Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Scot Brantley recovering from heart surgery

Scot Brantley, a former Buc and Florida Gator standout linebacker, said Wednesday he is on the mend and in good spirits following recent heart surgery in Ocala to repair damage caused by a “mini-stroke” he suffered last fall.

A second mini-stroke, sustained this January, caused severe harm to Brantley’s left eye.

“I’ve lost 90 to 95 percent of my vision,” said Brantley, a longtime Tampa resident. “My right eye now has to work twice as hard. I might not ever regain vision in the left eye.”

Brantleys Brantley (left in photo from 1978), 51, played eight seasons with the Bucs (1980-87). He was the team’s third-round draft pick in 1980.

At Florida, the one-time Ocala Forest star’s play was legendary. After leaving school, his No. 55 jersey was retired by the program until Steve Spurrier un-retired it – along with his own -- in the early 1990s.

Since his retirement from football, Brantley has worked radio broadcasts of both Tampa Bay and Florida games. At one time, he was the color commentator for each. Today, he hosts pre-game, halftime and postgame radio shows for the Gator Radio Network.

The mini-strokes aren’t Brantley’s only recent physical setback. Last year, he had hip replacement surgery.

“It seems like everything happens at 50,” Brantley said.

The surgery, performed two weeks ago, will help fix a small hole in Brantley's heart.

Brantley’s brother, John Brantley (right in photo), also a former Gator player, has kept a close watch on Scot and is confident he has a positive longterm prognosis.

“The only thing is, in one eye he only has partial vision due to this,” John Brantley said. "Of all the things, that’s really what’s bothering him.”

-KEITH NIEBUHR

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:34pm]

    

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