TWO BITS: SEC Honor Roll, Babik pleads guilty

1 » Fifty-three student-athletes attending the University of Florida were named to the 2010 Southeastern Conference Winter Academic Honor Roll on Tuesday according to a release by commissioner Mike Slive. The women’s swimming and diving teams led the way with 18, the men’s team added 15, nine represented gymnastics (every eligible member), women’s basketball added six and men’s basketball followed with five. Florida’s total of 53 was second-best in the SEC, following only Alabama (56).

1 » Former UF network coordinator Steve Babik, a member of the athletic department for two decades who was arrested and charged in federal court with the receipt, distribution and possession of child pornography in January, pleaded guilty to the charges Tuesday in United States District Court. Babik, 50, faces five to 20 years in prison and will be sentenced on Aug. 2 after investigators found “a significant volume of [media featuring] children engaging in sexual acts” on his computer.

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SAAC holds first annual Florida Letterman Awards

The University of Florida’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) held the first annual Florida Letterman Awards on Monday at the Phillips Center in Gainesville, FL. Check out the winners of each award…after the break:
Continue Reading » SAAC holds first annual Florida Letterman Awards

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SIX BITS: Knight, NCAAs, baseball, softball, tennis

1 » Five-star 2011 guard recruit Brandon Knight (Fort Lauderdale, FL) looked to be heading anywhere but the University of Florida, after a report surfaced last week that the Florida Gators have decided to stop pursuing him and move on. Whether you believe that to be the case or you think Knight has already made up his mind to play for the Kentucky Wildcats is no matter – Knight has told The Miami Herald that he has not made a decision yet. “I still have an offer [from Florida],” Knight said. “They’re not not recruiting me. They’re just trying to make sure they get a point guard before the signing period is over. […] I don’t feel anything wrong with [that decision]. It’s smart. As a head coach, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket and not end up with anything. They just don’t feel as strongly as they did before. Since they’re the hometown school, they thought I would have signed early or something of that nature. I’m not exactly sure.”

2 » Though Gators men’s swimming failed to match the women’s team with a 2010 National Championship, the team did finish in fifth at this year’s event and is the backbone of the 2010 Division I National Men’s Swimmer of the Year, junior Conor Dwyer. The Texas Longhorns ended up winning the event even as 11 Florida swimmers earned 38 All-America performances while simultaneously shattering two school records. Dwyer picked up seven honors of his own along with two national titles in the 500- and 200-yard freestyles. Read more about the event.

3 » No. 2/5 Florida baseball (18-5, 4-2 SEC) succeeded in ending its two-game road losing streak with a dominating 13-1 victory Sunday against the No. 17/19 Ole Miss Rebels (19-6, 4-2 SEC). After falling 3-2 in a tight first game and being trounced in the second game 15-3, the Gators rebounded with three RBI apiece from freshman catcher Austin Maddox (2-4, two runs) and sophomore outfielder Daniel Pigott (1-4) as well as 5.1 solid innings from freshman starter Brian Johnson (2-1). Johnson did not allow a single earned run in the outing.

Catch up on No. 6/13 softball, No. 4 women’s tennis and No. 6 men’s tennis!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Knight, NCAAs, baseball, softball, tennis

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FOUR BITS: Gymnastics wins SEC Championship

1 » No. 4 Florida Gators gymnastics (15-2, 5-1 SEC) took home the 2010 Southeastern Conference Championship Saturday at Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL. The program’s seventh conference title and first since 2007, it came on a slight 197.05-196.875 victory over the No. 1-ranked and defending SEC champion Alabama Crimson Tide. “There was never a moment in mind I doubted us,” head coach Rhonda Faehn said. “It is a huge sense of accomplishment. Look at what makes up our routines. The majority of our routines were done by freshman who have never taken part in an SEC Championship. They don’t even know what it’s like. For them to come up here and compete the way they did, with the guidance of our upper classmen, gives them a huge sense of accomplishment. Look what we can do and what our future holds. It’s really exciting for them.” Next up? The 2010 NCAA Championship.

2 » While gymnastics was busy winning a title, No. 2/5 Gators baseball (17-5, 3-2 SEC) dropped two straight games to the No. 17/19 Ole Miss Rebels (19-5, 4-1 SEC). Ole Miss squeaked by Florida in the first game, taking a 3-2 win after freshman catcher Austin Maddox struck out looking with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth. Rebels’ starter Drew Pomeranz (4-0) only gave up a run over 7.1 innings with nine strikeouts, out-dueling Gators’ sophomore pitcher Alex Panteliodis (5-1), who also pitched 7.1 innings but gave up three earned runs combined in the first two innings. In the second game, Florida jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but gave up nine unanswered runs to fall behind by seven through three innings. They would eventually fall 15-3 with freshman starter Hudson Randal (2-1) giving up five earned runs on six hits in an inning’s work. The Gators hope to salvage the weekend road series with a win in the finale Saturday before facing Florida State in Jacksonville on Tuesday.

3 » Former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow’s “The Promise” speech, and Gators football itself, has inspired 7th grade students at a Harlem public school to dub their classroom “Gator Nation” and work to achieve their dreams. (h/t “mudlizard”)

4 » Trying to match their female counterparts with an NCAA Championship, the men’s swimming and diving team is currently in fourth entering the final day of the 2010 NCAA Championship meet. Junior Conor Dwyer, who became the first NCAA men’s swimmer since 2001 to win both the 200 and 500 freestyle races in the same meet, is leading the team in its efforts. OGGOA will update you on the team’s finish after action concludes.

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Gators women’s swimming & diving team takes 2010 NCAA Championship, first since 1982

Pulling out a 2.5-point victory over second-place Stanford, the Florida Gators women’s swimming and diving team captured the 2010 NCAA Championship at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center in West Lafayette, IN, on Saturday. The team’s first national title since winning the inaugural NCAA Championships in 1982, Florida also brought home individual event national titles in the 200-yard free relay and 100-yard backstroke.

2010 National Titles
(1) 200-yard free relay (Stafford, Spofforth, Napier, Bateman): 1:27.79
(2) 100-yard backstroke: Gemma Spofforth, 50.92

Head coach Greg Troy, who was named the 2010 NCAA Women’s Coach of the Year, was ecstatic about the hard-fought, come-from-behind victory. “This was really a team effort and there was no room for error,” he said.

In all, 12 Gators were named All-Americans and five school records were set in the competition. Additionally, Florida’s title is the second National Championship the school has won in as many weeks, with the men’s track and field team bringing home the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championship last weekend.

The University of Florida has now won 24 National Championships.

ESPN2 will air a truncated version of the 2010 Women’s NCAA Championships at 1:30 p.m. on Tues., April 6. Expect to see plenty of the Gators during the 90-minute show.

For more information on the Gators’ title win, visit GatorZone.

Photo Credit: Walt Middleton

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FOUR BITS: 200 FR title, WNIT, Murphy, Crowder

1 » Competing in the first night of the finals of the 2010 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship meet, the Florida Gators women’s team has already taken home a national title. UF’s 200-yard free relay team – seniors Gemma Spofforth and Stephanie Napies and sophomores Shara Stafford and Sarah Bateman – won the title behind a school-record 1:27.79 time. The Gators are in fourth place with 107 points after the first day of competition, even with their 101st national title being captured.

2 » Though they failed to reach the 2010 NCAA Tournament, the Florida women’s basketball team (15-16) got off to a quick start in the WNIT with a 61-54 win over the South Florida Bulls (15-16) at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Senior guard Steffi Sorensen scored a team-high 16 points as sophomore center Azania Stewart contributed 11 of her 15 points in the second half. The Gators move on to face the Miami Hurricanes (19-13) on Sunday at the BankUnited Center.

3 » Sophomore right-side/setter Kelly Murphy of the Florida volleyball team has been announced as one of 24 players selected to the roster of the 2010 U.S. Women’s National A2 team. The 2008 AVCA National Freshman of the Year, Murphy ranked third in the SEC in hitting percentage (.344) and seventh in assists per set (7.04) in 2009. She is the 35th Gators volleyball player to receive this honor since 2001.

4 » One of OGGOA’s favorite all-time Florida football players is Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that one of our all-time favorite Gators’ mom’s is his very own – Pauline. Aside from helping raise Channing and supporting him throught his life, Pauline has started a Football 101 for Women & Friends class that has become quite popular in South Florida. You can read more about it here.

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Swimming finishes second at SEC Championships

Competing for four days in the Gabrielsen Natatorium at the University of Georgia, the No. 6 Florida Gators men’s and No. 7 women’s swimming and diving teams each finished in second place at the 2010 Southeastern Conference Championships. On the men’s side, the Auburn Tigers took first place by only 19 points (784-765), while the Georgia Bulldogs finished ahead of the Florida women by a larger margin (824.5-698).

Men’s coach Gregg Troy and women’s coach Donnie Craine led the Gators’ efforts all season long, bringing home recognition for themselves while assisting numerous student-athletes in reaching accolades of their own. The men’s and women’s teams combined for 14 SEC Championship titles (six and eight, respectively), two SEC records and six school records. Florida also earned 18 NCAA automatic qualifying marks/times.

2010 Florida SEC Awards
SEC Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year – Gregg Troy
SEC Women’s Diving Coach of the Year – Donnie Craine
SEC Men’s Swimmer of the Year – Conor Dwyer
SEC Women’s Swimmer of the Year – Gemma Spofforth
SEC Women’s Diver of the Year – Kara Salamone
Commissioner’s Trophy, High Point Award (Men’s) – Conor Dwyer, Shaune Fraser
Commissioner’s Trophy, High Point Award (Women’s) – Gemma Spofforth

Check out Florida’s numerous new SEC titles, SEC records, school records, NCAA qualifiers and more after the break!
Continue Reading » Swimming finishes second at SEC Championships

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FOUR BITS: Softball sets record, lacrosse debuts

1 » No. 3/9 Florida Gators softball (5-1) shutout the Campbell Camels (1-4-1) 7-0 Friday night on the back of a school-record six home runs. Leading their team to victory, junior first baseman Megan Bush had lead-off home runs in back-to-back plate appearances, and junior starter Stephanie Brombacher (4-1) blanked Campbell over five innings while compiling a season-high 11 strikeouts. Six of Florida’s seven runs came on solo homers from five different Gators including Bush (4th, 6th), sophomore outfielder Michelle Moultrie (4th), junior catcher Tiffany DeFelice (6th), freshman C Kelsey Horton (6th) and junior outfielder Kelsey Bruder (7th).

Florida softball (6-1) continued its dominance Friday with a 12-4 win over the Kansas Jayhawks (2-5) in the Gators’ second game of the night. Junior second baseman Aja Paculba went 4-4 with a career-high five RBI. In all, seven UF players accounted for 14 hits and freshman pitcher Erin Schuppert (1-0) earned her first career win in four innings of relief with seven strikeouts while allowing only two runs. Freshman Ensley Gammel started for the Gators.

2 » Florida’s newest sport, women’s lacrosse, is set to debut Saturday against the Jacksonville Dolphins (0-2) at 6 p.m. in the brand new Donald R. Dizney Stadium for the first regular season game in school history. Head coach Amanda O’Leary has done a terrific job preparing the Gators, including recruiting the No. 1–ranked signing class in the nation according to Inside Lacrosse Magazine. The team, which fell 17-8 in its first exhibition match against the U.S. National Development team before rallying to a 7-7 tie at Rutgers and a 10-8 win over Princeton, is made up of two seniors, one junior, two sophomores and 24 freshmen. Admission is free for all home games, so be sure to go out and support this up-and-coming team in its first season!
- Athletic director Jeremy Foley is proud of the school’s newest sport.
- The Florida lacrosse team was years in the making.
- Everything you need to know about how lacrosse is played.

Gators swimming & diving and gymnastics also impressed on Friday…
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Softball sets record, lacrosse debuts

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