Some people will see the news UF has released signee DeShawn Painter from his letter of intent and think that's how they're resolving being one over the scholarship number for next year if Nick Calathes returns. I don't believe it has anything to do with that. UF is recruiting multiple point guards in the event Calathes does go, and may even sign one regardless of if he returns. This move apparently is about academics as well as a belief Painter's development has tailed off. There will be subtractions from the current roster, with multiple possibilities available. My guess is that Eloy Vargas will not return, and who knows what Adam Allen's physical status will be come fall? Allan Chaney ended the year in limbo too. As for Painter, better to let him go now than find out he won't be coming in too late to do anything about it, a la Doneal Mack and Derwin Kitchen.
The attrition continues at Tennessee, where safety Dee Morley is off the team after missing some conditioning drills and practices. Morley is a classic example of a guy who has tons of talent but lacks the personal discipline to do much with it. He was one of the recruits UT "stole" from UF when Zook's 2004 squad began to struggle, and he already had missed a year due to academics. It makes this year's Vol squad weaker, but if an underclassman steps in and learns Monte Kiffin's defense it will help when they have a more realistic shot of competing for big things.
Everyone's looking for ways to make money these days, and college athletic departments are never shy about that. Auburn has a new angle that I hadn't seen before - they've sold the naming rights to their spring football game. Hearing that, you'd assume it was an Alabama based business that would make such a move. Instead, it's the US Navy. Huh? Alabama's spring game is being shown on ESPN, so I could have understood sponsoring that. How many prospective recruits is the Navy likely to reach on A Day in Auburn? One thing you can count on is that every athletic department in the southeast is calling the Navy's ad agency right now.
How uninspiring is this year's NFL Draft's top wave of prospects? Bad enough that a Michigan newspaper is floating the scenario of Detroit passing on the first overall pick. The idea would be to let their fifteen minutes expire and assume the teams with picks two and three don't want a quarterback. Then the Lions would turn their pick of Matthew Stafford in third and try to pay him the salary for that spot instead of the kind of contract a QB selected first overall gets. In effect, it would be trading down with themselves. While this is legal under NFL rules, it would be a disastrous beginning to their relationship with Stafford and would make the franchise look like more of a joke than it already does. All the top teams want to trade their picks and not shell out huge money to these guys - what if they all refused to draft until someone else made the first five picks? Mel Kiper's head would explode!
One of the truly weird moments of my run in Gainesville was the time in 2002 I wound up appearing on Fox Sports Net's Best Damn Sports Show Period. I was getting ready to do my afternoon show for 900/1230 when our office phone rang. It was the show's producer asking me to come on and discuss Ron Zook's status at UF and argue about the BCS. After confirming it wasn't a prank, I agreed to do it but there wasn't anywhere in Gainesville with a compatible satellite hookup. Inexplicably, they wanted me on badly enough that they rented a satellite truck and sent it to my house so I could go live from my backyard four hours later. My neighbors probably thought I was being charged with some sort of crime. Perhaps because of that kind of "spare no expense" approach to programming, the plug is reportedly being pulled on the BDSSP. If they have a recap of the show's history, maybe I can win some sort of award as the palest guest. TV lights shining on a really white guy with no makeup in a pitch black back yard made me look like Powder.