2 BITS: Muschamp gets season, UF drug testing

1 » During a radio interview with Mike Bianchi on 740 The Game out of Orlando, Florida, this week, Florida Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley said head coach Will Muschamp will keep his job through the end of the season, at which point Foley will make a decision on the future of the program. “You never judge or evaluate a program based on one game or one season,” Foley told Bianchi. “That’s just not how we do things here. We’re going to evaluate where we’re headed — where the players are, how is recruiting going, what type of staff we have, are we better? That’s going to be plain for all of us to see, but it’s also going to be played out over the course of 11 games, and we’ll see where we are when we get to the end of the season.” Florida’s defense, helmed by Muschamp, has allowed nearly 1,100 yards of offense in its last two games, coughing up a school-record 645 yards to Alabama last Saturday. The Gators (2-1, 1-1 SEC) next face the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday, Oct. 4; Florida will be looking to extend a nine-game winning streak in the series.

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The Silver Lining for Thursday, September 25

Due to the off week and Will Muschamp’s only media appearances being scheduled for Wednesday, this week’s The Silver Lining was pushed to Thursday. It will next be published on Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Jelani Jenkins, the NFL’s Leading Tackler

It’s easy to forget how much of an impact former Florida Gators linebacker Jelani Jenkins had during his time with the team and some of that has to do with how often he was dealing with injuries in college.

Even the Miami Dolphins, which selected him in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, did not appear to know what they had in Jenkins until they had no choice but to start him in Week 2 and 3 of this season.

Due to his performances the last two weeks, which have earned him back-to-back OnlyGators.com Player of the Week honors, Jenkins now leads the NFL with 25 total tackles and 35 combined tackles.

Not too shabby, huh?

Continue Reading » The Silver Lining for Thursday, September 25

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Snell’s Slant: Enough is enough, time for changes

By Shannon Snell – OnlyGators.com Featured Columnist

Why does this feel like we’ve been here before? Reflecting on Saturday’s game brings me back to the 2013 season finale against Florida State when Florida of course wanted to win but might have settled for a moral victory, a hard-fought close game.

Yes, the Gators did fight hard on Saturday. Yes, the game was close (21-21) early in the second half. But Florida lost by 21 and neither an actual win nor a moral victory was in the cards. Plus, when did the concept of the University of Florida playing for a moral victory ever even become acceptable? When did it become OK to play to keep the score close?

The empty feeling in the pit of my stomach is the unquestionable fact that the Gators have become irrelevant on the national stage. Maybe I was just drinking Will Muschamp’s Kool-Aid when he said this was the best and most talented team he’s had in his time at Florida. Perhaps I just wanted to believe Florida was on its way. The fact of the matter is, I was wrong, and the Crimson Tide had absolutely no problem proving that they remain in a completely different league than the once-mighty Gators.

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FOUR BITS: Muschamp and Foley, Noah, Horschel

1 » Florida Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley took head coach Will Muschamp/s place during the weekly WCA Gator Hotline Show, which airs on Thursday evenings during football season. (In fact, Muschamp will only appear on the program five of the 12 times it airs in 2014.) Anyway, Foley answered a number of phone calls during the program, including one in particular from a voice that sounded oddly familiar. “Bill from Gainesville” jumped on the air to praise Foley for the job he was doing, suggesting that he should permanently sit in for Muschamp on the program. He then took a jab at Foley’s favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, before jumping off the air. With no attempt made to disguise his voice, “Bill from Gainesville” was quite obviously Muschamp himself having some fun with his boss. Check out the audio below.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Muschamp and Foley, Noah, Horschel

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Florida-Idaho declared “no contest,” Gators pay Vandals with game to be scheduled for 2017

The Florida Gators and Idaho Vandals have decided to cancel – rather than reschedule – their season-opening college football game, which was set to take place on Saturday, Aug. 30 from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, before first being delayed and then suspended due to weather.

Florida will pay Idaho its contractually agreed upon $975,000 fee for the game. The schools also agreed to schedule a contest as part of their the 2017 season slates.

“We looked at a number of options and, in the end, we both thought it was in the best interest of our student-athletes and football programs to play out the remainder of our respective schedules as they stand,” Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a school release.

Added Vandals AD Rob Spear: “I want to thank UF, especially AD Jeremy Foley, for the professional and first-class way they worked through this issue and the focus on student-athlete welfare. It was not in our best interest to play 11 consecutive weeks without a bye week. We look forward to our return to Florida in 2017.”

Continue Reading » Florida-Idaho declared “no contest,” Gators pay Vandals with game to be scheduled for 2017

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Options being considered for Florida-Idaho game

With discussions ongoing and no resolution expected until Tuesday or Wednesday at the earliest, the athletic departments of the Florida Gators and Idaho Vandals are considering a number of options after the season opening showdown between the teams scheduled for Saturday was delayed and then suspended due to weather.

The primary options being discussed are either rescheduling the game this season or canceling it outright, declaring it a no contest without a victor.

However, within each of those options are a number of variables that must be considered.

RESCHEDULING THE GAME

The Gators and Vandals both possess an open week on Oct. 25, which would make moving the game to that date a no-brainer, right? Wrong.

The Oct. 25 bye week is immensely important for both programs.

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9/1: Foley, Muschamp comment on Florida-Idaho, Gators suspensions, named starters

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to open up game week ahead of his team’s new home opener against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 4 p.m.

He and athletic director Jeremy Foley spoke at length about Florida’s false-start against the Idaho Vandals, which was delayed and then suspended due to lightning, and the Gators’ focus with another week to go before stepping on the field.”

THE SUSPENDED PLAYERS: REINSTATED

Sophomore wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (university sanction) and defensive tackles senior Darious Cummings and redshirt freshman Jay-nard Bostwick (violations of team rules) have all be reinstated. Muschamp said Monday that all three players will be back in action for Florida next Saturday against Eastern Michigan.

“They will be back this week with us,” said Muschamp of his Cummings and Bostwick. “They have, not just as far as the suspension for a game, they’ve handled a lot of other things for me.”

In regards to Robinson, Muschamp said his university sanction has been “resolved” and his punishment was not a continuation of the suspension that cost him the final two games of 2013. “This was a totally separate issue,” he noted.

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The Silver Lining for Wednesday, August 27

Florida basketball staff reloads

Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan knew for a while that he would have two staffers leaving the program this offseason, and it all became a reality last week when assistant to the head coach Mark Daigneault and video coordinator Oliver Winterbone both departed to join the Oklahoma City Thunder organization.

Daigneault was hired as the head coach of the Thunder’s D-League affiliate, the 66ers, while Winterbone accepted a basketball information analyst position with Oklahoma City’s front office. (The 66ers are moving from Tulsa to Oklahoma City this season.)

Donovan did not wait long to fill the staffing holes and keep his machine running.

On Tuesday, ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman reported that Donovan will hire veteran assistant coach Billy Schmidt to fill the off-court assistant position vacated by Daigneault.

Schmidt has spent the last 11 seasons coaching under Brian Gregory including eight at Dayton and the last three at Georgia Tech. He was Gregory’s first hire, joining the Flyers after spending nine seasons coaching in major conferences. Schmidt’s journey began as a manager with Wake Forest (1988-92) but continued with stops at Tennessee (1994-97), Northwestern (1997-2000) and under Tommy Amaker both at Seton Hall (2000) and Michigan (2001-03).

OnlyGators.com learned Monday evening that Donovan has also desired to hire Peter Gash to replace Winterbone as video coordinator.

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