Make us your home page

Sunshine State Report

The latest on college sports in Florida

Gators fall to Charleston Southern in NCAA baseball regional

Times Staff Writer

GAINESVILLE – A 3:15 rain and lighting delay and a three-run first inning proved to be too much for Florida to overcome Friday night.

College of Charleston had seven hits and scored three runs in the first inning, then the Cougars held on for a 3-2 victory in their opening game of the NCAA Tournament Gainesville Regional at McKethan Stadium.

The game’s first pitch didn’t come until 10:15 p.m.

Florida (40-22) will play North Carolina (34-26) Saturday at 1  p.m. in an elimination game. Long Beach State defeated the Tar Heels 6-1 in Friday’s first game of the regional. Long Beach State will play College of Charleston at 7 p.m.

Whether the weather delay affected Gators starting ace Logan Shore is up for debate. Shore struggled through the first inning, giving up seven hits  (five singles and two doubles) and three runs. He needed 33 pitches to get out of the inning.

However, he eventually settled in and retired seven of nine batters at one point. Shore, went five innings, giving up 10 hits, three runs, two walks and six strikeouts on 95 pitches.

After falling behind early, the Gators squandered multiple opportunities in their comeback efforts. …

Full Story

SEC to distribute record $309.6 million between 14 member schools

The SEC will distribute approximately $309.6 million of total revenue distributions among the 14 member schools, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive announced today.

The average amount distributed from the conference office, excluding bowl money retained by participants, will total more than $20.9 million per school.

The distributions are calculated based on the revenue sharing plan for the 2013-14 fiscal year which ends August 31, 2014. It is the highest revenue amount in SEC history.

The total includes $292.8 million distributed from the conference office, as well as $16.8 million of revenue from bowl games this past season.

The total distribution amount includes revenue generated from televised football games, bowls, the SEC Football Championship, televised basketball games, the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, NCAA Championships and a supplemental surplus distribution.

The $309.6 million does not include $1 million of academic enhancement payments that is paid directly from the NCAA and divided among the 14 member institutions. Revenues derived by member institutions from their local media packages are also not included in the total amount. …

Full Story

Gators fans won't get promise to stay forever from Billy Donovan

For some reason this time of year - EVERY year- people become intrigued with Gators coach Billy Donovan and the NBA.

For some fans, it might be comforting if Donovan would simply say he's never going to the NBA and let the talk die down once and for all.

Guess what? That's not going to happen.

While attending the SEC Spring Meetings this week in Destin, Donovan reiterated his love for the Florida program and his happiness in Gainesville - for now.

But he won't promise Gators fans that he'll stay forever. And he has good reasons for that.

Like anybody, he has no idea what the future may hold, he remains intrigued by the possibility of one day coaching in the NBA, and most of all he doesn't want to be called a liar.

"I said this before and I got into a bad situation several years ago where I really felt bad about how that transpired," Donovan said. "It wasn't me, and I apologized. But at the same point, I think when you start making guarantees about life and start making guarantees about where you're going to be, that's not good because if for some reason I ever change my mind and did something, I wouldn't want (people) saying, 'Well, he promised, he guaranteed, he said this on record.' …

Full Story

SEC Women's Basketball Tournament coming to Florida in 2016

The SEC Women's Basketball Tournament is coming to Florida.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive announced today that the 2016 Tournament will be held in Jacksonville at the 15,000-seat Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

It is the first time the tournament will be held in the state of Florida.

"The Southeastern Conference and its member institutions are excited to travel to Jacksonville, a new site for our women’s basketball tournament," Slive said.  "We look forward to showcasing our women’s basketball programs in the Sunshine State for the first time. Our student-athletes, coaches and current fans will greatly enjoy their visit and the exciting games will forge new fans of SEC women’s basketball in the process.”

In November 2015, Jacksonville will also host a premiere women’s basketball event involving two SEC teams. The league is scheduled to provide more details on that event at a later date.


Full Story

Gators baseball coach Kevin O'Sullivan named SEC Coach of the Year

Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan on Tuesday was selected as the SEC Coach of the Year, and right-hander Logan Shore was named the SEC Freshman of the Year, in a vote of the league’s 14 head baseball coaches. 

O’Sullivan earned the award for the second time in his Florida tenure, having also won in 2010. The Gators were picked third in the Eastern Division in the preseason poll, but eventually on their third SEC title in the past five seasons with a 21-9 league record.

UF claimed a school-record 12 league wins in a row from April 12-May 9. O’Sullivan is the fourth coach from Florida to earn the award multiple times, joining Dave Fuller (1952-56-62), Jack Rhine (1982-83) and Joe Arnold (1984-88). …

Full Story

Gators coach Will Muschamp leaning toward eliminating FCS opponents

With increased emphasis being placed on strength of schedule to determine the four teams that will play for the national championship, Florida coach Will Muschamp said Tuesday the time may have come for the Gators to stop playing FCS opponents.

Muschamp said he and Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley have had brief conversations about future schedules now that the SEC has decided to stay at an eight-game conference schedule. Muschamp said eliminating the FCS games may be the best thing for the Gators.

"I think every institution ought to be making their decision on what they want to do," Muschamp said during a gathering of reporters at Tuesday's SEC Spring Meetings. "I know moving forward that for us obviously having four non-conference games, one of those would be Florida State every year. We’ve talked about upping our non-conference schedule. My opinion is what everybody else does doesn’t matter."

He added" "We’re probably going to move forward without playing FCS opponents."

Foley said while Muschamp doesn't have final authority in scheduling, he does have the right to weigh in with his opinion. However, eliminating FCS opponents completely may be easier said than done. …

Full Story

Gators to open NCAA Baseball Tournament vs. College of Charleston

Florida was awarded the No. 2 national seed in this year's NCAA Baseball Tournament and will open the tourney against College of Charleston on Friday at McKethan Stadium.

The Gators (40-21) will play College of Charleston at 7 p.m. North Carolina will play Long Beach State in the Gainesville Regional at 1 p.m. on Friday.

Even with the No. 2 seed, the Gators' won't have an easy road to the NCAA Super Regional. The RPI for the schools participating in the Gainesville Regional is No. 29 (Long Beach State), No. 41 (North Carolina) and No. 53 (College of Charleston).

College of Charleston (41-17) is a No. 4 seed and the CAA Tournament champions - its first year as a league member. It's only the second conference title for CofC, and the first since 2006.

Florida is a top 8 seed for the fifth time since 2009, which leads the nation. The Gators are among 10 SEC schools to make the NCAA Tournament.


Full Story

Gators to host NCAA baseball regional

Florida is one of 16 schools that will serve as an NCAA Baseball Regional site this upcoming weekend.

This afternoon, the NCAA will announce the NCAA Baseball Tournament field, and four teams will compete at McKethan Stadium in a double-elimination tournament starting on Friday.

The winner will advance to the best-of-three Super Regional to be held the following weekend at eight different sites.

The 64-team field for the NCAA Tournament will be announced live today at noon on ESPNU.

“We’re extremely happy about hosting games in Gainesville,” Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “It is great news for the program, our players, the university and the fans, and we appreciate the support.”

The other 15 schools chosen as host venues include: Cal Poly, Florida State, Indiana, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisville, LSU, Miami (Fla.), Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon State, Rice, South Carolina, TCU, Vanderbilt and Virginia.


Full Story

Former Virginia TE Jake McGee transfers to Florida

Former Virginia tight end/wide receiver Jake McGee has decided to transfer to Florida.

McGee has enrolled and will be in Summer A classes on Monday.

McGee graduated from Virginia in the spring semester, and therefore will be eligible to play in the 2014 season.

McGee played in 11 of Virginia's 12 games, with three starts. He led the Cavaliers with 43 receptions and was first on the team with 395 receiving yards. McGee caught at least one pass in all 11 games. Of his 43 receptions, 26 resulted in a first down or a touchdown - or both. Fourteen of those came on third down.

The addition of McGee could be a huge benefit for the Gators under new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper's system. Florida is in need of more playmakers at the receiver position.

Full Story

Gator women's tennis team opens NCAA tournament play today

After a season that has been below the Gators' normal lofty standards, the Florida women's tennis team begins NCAA Tournament play hoping to recapture the stellar tournament play of the past several years.

The Gators will play South Carolina State in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships at 3 p.m. today at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville.

The Gators are hosting the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament. USF and Oklahoma State will also compete in Gainesville.

It will be Florida's first match since a 4-3 upset loss to then-No. 8 Texas A&M in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. It was the first time in the 27-year history of the tournament the Gators failed to reach the semifinals.

Florida is hoping to bounce back this weekend.

Here is this weekend's schedule:

No. 33 South Florida (18-3) vs. No. 22 Oklahoma State (15-8), Noon.

South Carolina State (13-5) vs. No. 8 Florida (19-5), 3 p.m.

NCAA Second Round: 3 p.m.



Full Story

Dominique Easley becomes 46th NFL first round pick for Gators

Despite suffering a second ACL injury that caused him to miss the final nine games of his senior season (2013), former Florida DL Dominique Easley was selected in the first round of Thursday night's NFL Draft by the New England Patriots.

Easly was the 29th overall selection and became the 46th Gator to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

He played in 32 games with 26 starts on the defensive line, and had 72 total tackles with 18 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks in his career.

With Easley's selection, the Gators have now had a defensive lineman drafted in the first round in each of the last two drafts. Sharrif Floyd was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in 2013.

Easley joins a long list of former Gators who have been drafted by the Patriots.

New England has drafted 12 former Florida players, including three in the 2010 NFL Draft. …

Full Story

Recruits on hold? That's just fine with Gators coach Will Muschamp

When you're coming off a 4-8 season, recruiting takes on a little extra significance.

The Gators are not currently listed among the Top 25 recruiting rankings for the Class of 2015 by either or

Florida coach Will Muschamp said he's well aware of the outside perception that the Gators are struggling on the recruiting trail. And part of that is some recruits are in wait-and-see mode with Florida.

And that's perfectly acceptable, Muschamp said.

"We’re probably in a holding pattern for a lot of kids right now," Muschamp said this week. "They’re waiting to see how our season goes, and that’s fine. We’re going to have a good year. And we’re in great shape in recruiting. I’m really ecstatic where we are."

Part of that optimism stems from the fact the Gators have been involved with many of the current recruits for a couple of years, which means they have seen Florida in better times.

Muschamp says winning is important, but ultimately recruiting is about relationships. …

Full Story

Gators Jayhawks to meet in SEC/Big 12 basketball challenge

Florida and Kansas will meet for a rematch of last year's game on Dec. 5 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

The game will be a rematch of last season's game in which Florida defeated the Jayhawks. And although both are defending conference champions, both teams will be much different. The Gators will be without four seniors and Kansas without start Joel Embid.

The second annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge will feature 10 games over four days, Dec. 3-6. Ten of the Big 12's teams and 10 of the SEC's 14 member schools will participate in the event.

ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will televise all 10 games of the event.

“The ability to showcase SEC basketball in this kind of inter-conference competition makes this a unique and exciting event for our coaches, student-athletes and fans,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said.

Here is the full SEC/Big 12 schedule

Wednesday, Dec. 3: Auburn at Texas Tech

Thursday, Dec. 4: Arkansas at Iowa State; LSU at West Virginia; Baylor at Vanderbilt; TCU at Ole Miss

Friday, Dec. 5: Florida at Kansas, Texas at Kentucky; Missouri at Oklahoma.

Saturday, Dec. 6: Oklahoma State at South Carolina; Kansas State at Tennessee



Full Story

Gators men's and women's track teams are No. 1 this week


Florida track coach Mike Holloway often talks about having his squads performing near their peak as they head into postseason competition.

It appears the Gators are right on schedule this year.

Both the Florida men's and women's track teams occupy the No. 1 spot in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national poll. The Gator women took over No. 1 from the Texas women, who held that spot for just one week.

It is the first time the Florida women have been ranked No. 1 in the USTFCCCA rankings since 2008.

It is the third straight week a different women's team has held the top spot.

This is the first time a school has had both its men's and women's team ranked No. 1 at the same time since Texas A&M in 2011.

That year, the Aggies' men and women's teams both won national titles. The NCAA Track and Field Championships are five weeks away.

Here is the men's Top 25: …

Full Story

Gators pitcher Hannah Rogers among five Florida All-SEC selections

Florida senior pitcher Hanna Rogers is among five Gators selected to the All-SEC softball team announced today, earning second team honors.

This is the fourth consecutive all-conference honor for Rogers who was one of the league's top this season in victories (third, 23), ERA (fourth, 1.85) and strikeouts (ninth, 137).  Rogers had just two errors in 55 chances in the field, and became the second pitcher in Gators history to win 100 career games
(120). She now has an opportunity to become UF's first four-time All-American.

Sophomore IF Kelsey Stewart was a First Team selection, her first all-conference honor. Infielder Stephanie Tofft was named to the All-SEC Second Team, and OF Justine McLean earned a Freshman All-SEC designation.

Florida was the conference's second-best fielding team, and Rogers, Stewart, Tofft and Taylor Schwarz all were named to the SEC All-Defensive Team.

The No. 4 seed Gators will play No. 5 seed Georgia at 4 p.m. on Thursday in the SEC Softball Tournament in Columbia, S.C. The game can be seen live on ESPNU.

Full Story