Ronnie Wilson should have been gone from the Florida football team long ago. I understand Urban Meyer feels he can help young men who screw up by giving them the carrot of being involved with athletics again one day rather than just booting them. The death of Avery Atkins still resonates with him. I have no problem with that approach when it is applied to non-violent offenders, but that's not the case here. Wilson's original brush with the law involved trying to scare someone by firing an AK-47 into the air - unacceptable. Now he's been involved in another incident where things got physical, resulting in a woman getting a broken wrist while trying to play peacemaker and two others being attacked as well. I've long discussed on air my belief in the knucklehead postulate - people who are knuckleheads tend to remain knuckleheads. Wilson had already screwed up his second chance (although not with a physical altercation) back in January. There is no reason he should be anywhere near UF's (or anyone else's) campus again, and Meyer needs to step up and say so.
I'm very much looking forward to getting a first look at the UF basketball team in person November 14 against Toledo. Last night was the standard exhibition walkover, but there was still some news as Walter Hodge was used as a sixth man. The Gators will actually have depth to work with this year, and I'll be curious to see how Donovan makes all the young pieces fit together.
As noted yesterday, the only question for Phillip Fulmer after Tennessee's loss in Columbia was when his departure would be announced. By doing it Monday, the Vols can get on with their coaching search in the open. Presumably UT fans will pay tribute to Fulmer down the stretch now rather than booing and refusing to come to games. While it was hard not to feel for the man during his emotional press conference, there's no getting around the fact he is not (and has not been for quite a while) a very good X's and O's coach. Look at his four wins against Spurrier as a non-interim head coach. All were by under a touchdown, while Spurrier routinely hung beatings on Fulmer (including the 21 point win that finished him off). Considering the high level of coaching in the conference right now, nothing about Fulmer inspires confidence that given similar personnel he will beat another current SEC coach. A #36 ranked recruiting class last year shows the days of the Vols loading up on talent have been gone for a while. No definitive word on what UT will do yet for a coach, but it won't be Steve Spurrier, Jon Gruden or David Cutcliffe no matter what some guy with "great sources" posts on a message board.
Looks like Greg Maddux is ready to hang up his glove. It's been a great career, but the timing on this seems right. Now the question is whether Glavine and Smoltz will do the same. I'm no Braves nut, but those three should get the shot to go into Cooperstown together. I think they all will make it eventually, but you never know how long it will take with the way some of the snobs on the committee are about "first ballot" Hall of Famers.
I hope you vote today. I also hope, as I am, you're prepared to be fair toward whoever wins. After Clinton won in 92, Republicans refused to give him any credit for it - he didn't get a majority, it was all Perot's fault, etc. We all know the controversy that happened in 2000 and that Democrats have never considered Bush's presidency legit as a result. Whichever candidate wins tonight, hopefully it's clear enough that there are no lingering issues stemming from the victory. Once it's done, people need to give the guy a legit shot to do the job - things have been polarized for way too long. Whatever side of the the political fence you're on, I think everyone understands tonight's winner inherits a major mess and will need the support of the American people to start solving it.