1 » Despite meeting and discussing opportunities with other franchises, former Florida Gators forward Corey Brewer chose stability – and plenty of cash – on Friday when he agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal to return to the Houston Rockets. Brewer, who has been on five franchises in eight seasons, has proven to be a solid, versatile defender throughout his NBA career; however, he has struggled offensively, averaging 10.2 points per game while knocking down just 29 percent of his three-pointers (19.5 percent last season). Still, he is a capable roleplayer for a contender, already has a ring and has been a consistent highlight factory during his career.
1 » The Florida Gators pulled off an elaborate April Fools’ Day hoax on Wednesday – not that anyone was actually fooled, per se – by creating a “Freaky Friday Night Lights” campaign that included University of Florida president Kent Fuchs and head football coach Jim McElwain switching jobs after Fuchs supposedly exercised an unknown clause in his university contract.
The video is good. What really sent the “prank” home was the president and coach changing their respective Twitter profiles and the men, plus the players involved in the video, all playing along. And fun was had by all. Considering there is a Florida football practice this afternoon, though, maybe Fuchs will actually open up and provide some details on what exactly the Gators will be doing offensively this season.
— Coach Fuchs (@PresidentFuchs) April 1, 2015
The Florida Gators announced Wednesday that a planned $60 million renovation to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center has been postponed one year.
Citing an “aggressive schedule, escalating costs associated with the rehabilitation project and a change in the construction management team,” the University of Florida‘s University Athletic Association will no longer push the project forward at the conclusion of the 2014-15 basketball season.
“The renovation proposal is a major renewal of one of our campus’s most iconic buildings,” said new school president Kent Fuchs in a release. “It’s incumbent on us to take the time and do it right.”
According to Florida, the new construction management team’s design plan is “about 60 percent complete.”
Florida Gators basketball (12-11, 5-5 SEC) is on pace for its worst season under head coach Billy Donovan since his first two with the program. It should be no surprise, however, that with Donovan’s track record of immense success and the basketball program’s still-growing national prestige, the Gators continue to invest in the future.
Announced in June with renovations expected to begin in March 2015, the 35-year-old Stephen C. O’Connell Center is set to undergo a massive renovation that will include a “prominent main entrance,” club seating, permanent chair backs, a “center-hung, high-definition video board” with a sound system, concourses and concession stands, offices and locker rooms, and advanced “mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.”
Initially projected to cost $45 million, $10 million of which would be contributed by the University of Florida, the updated price tag is $60 million, athletic director Jeremy Foley said on Monday. UF and the University Athletic Association have contributed with the rest of the $60 million committed via donations.
If you did not know entering Monday’s three-headed press conference with Florida Gators president Bernie Machen, athletic director Jeremy Foley and head football coach Will Muschamp that the purpose of the event was to discuss the dismissal of the third man on that list, you might have thought it was held to explain why Muschamp was receiving a raise and contract extension.
Over approximately 45 minutes inside the Florida football facility, Machen and Foley sung Muschamp’s praises. When Muschamp got to the podium, he shared similar sentiments about his employers and the program he was leaving behind.
“From my perspective as president, I have treasured – literally treasured – the last four years in working with Will. He was asked to come here and build a program, a program built on character and good academic values, and he was asked to develop young men that would be a credit to the Gator Nation. He has done that,” said Machen.
“Will and Carol and their family … are beloved by the people of this community, and we feel like they are ours. Never have I worked with a coach in any sport over three different universities that has been more supportive of the university mission and what we’re trying to accomplish. In the end, can you say that someone who has to leave has made a positive contribution? And the answer for that is definitely yes for Will Muschamp. In fact, I would love for my son or my grandson to have the opportunity to be coached by Will Muschamp.”
Foley admitted it was hard to follow Machen’s comments because it is how everyone within the Gators program feels about Muschamp.
The University of Florida on Wednesday released its full police report on the incident involving Florida Gators quarterback Treon Harris and an accusation of sexual battery by a female student.
The three-document report, which totals 166 pages, shows a comprehensive investigation that included an extensive interview process as well as the collection of evidence both in physical and digital form.
Outside of former head coach Urban Meyer, there has never been any substantial connection between the Florida Gators and Notre Dame Fighting Irish…until Friday when official Twitter accounts for both schools traded well wishes ahead of their respective football games this weekend.
It all started with the official University of Florida Twitter account, which sent a simple, innocuous message to the official University of Notre Dame account.
@NotreDame Have a great weekend.
— Univ of Florida (@UF) October 17, 2014
The Fighting Irish athletic program got the gist of the message and responded with a similar message of support to the Gators for their homecoming weekend game.
The Florida Gators on Friday officially ended the indefinite suspension of freshman quarterback Treon Harris, reinstating him to the football team but announcing he will not play in Saturday evening’s home game against the LSU Tigers.
“We have been notified that the University and legal process is complete,” head coach Will Muschamp began, in a statement released to the public.
“Treon has been reinstated to the team, but he will not play Saturday. This has been a learning experience for everyone involved. Treon has been honest with me throughout the process and is looking forward to rejoining his teammates.”
The female student who accused Harris of sexual battery on Monday withdrew her complaint early Friday, four days after the two allegedly engaged in sexual conduct.
Harris subsequently had his University of Florida suspension lifted, which led to the University Athletic Association allowing him to rejoin the football program immediately.
“The University of Florida has informed the University Athletic Association that the sexual battery complaint has been withdrawn, and the university is not proceeding with any action,” UF spokesperson Janine Sikes said in a statement released to OnlyGators.com late Friday afternoon.