Follow the breaking ball: Plant's Charles broke BCS trophy
For about a minute, no one moved. Everyone was silent at the football offices at UF, as Gators coaches and local recruits stared at the floor as a a championship season shattered into hundreds of pieces of Waterford crystal.
Plant tight end Orson Charles, in town participaing in a Nike football camp, was posing for photos with the Tim Tebow's Heisman Trophy and the 2006 BCS National Championship trophy. While posing with the Heisman, his hip bumped the table, and the $35,000 crystal football on top of the trophy crashed to the floor just outside coach Urban Meyer's office.
Jaws dropped. For once, Plant coach Robert Weiner, 3 feet from the fall, didn't know the next play.
Weiner whispered to Charles (right): "They're either going to take your scholarship away or they're going to make you commit to them today."
Meyer came to survey the scene.
Plant assistant T.J. Lane broke the silence: "That's a replica right?"
UF assistant John Hevesy informed the Panthers it was the real thing that the Gators had hoisted after beating Ohio State in Arizona. After further review, all parties were relieved once they realized the crystal is insured. Another one is in the mail. Hevesy joked that Charles, who has offers from Florida, Florida State and Miami, better come to Gainesville now.
"It was 100 percent an accident," Weiner said. "If he ends up going to Florida, I can see the story about it years from now when he plays for a national title for another trophy -- about him overcoming 'Shattered Dreams.'"
-- EDUARDO A. ENCINA