TAMPA — Darryl "Cuda" Patterson, a point guard at Robinson High and USF in the 1980s, died Wednesday after battling a rare blood disorder for four years. He was 49.
"Cuda was one of the nicest kids you'd ever want to meet; a wonderful, soft-spoken person," ex-Bulls coach Lee Rose said Thursday. "He was never a minute's problem in any way for me. Players all liked him; somebody they all admired."
After starring at Robinson and Florida College, Mr. Patterson joined his friend and high school teammate, Charlie Bradley, at USF from 1983-85. He averaged 12 points as a senior and helped the Bulls to their first win at Madison Square Garden by scoring 21 points (10 in the final six minutes) against St. Peter's.
Bradley said Mr. Patterson helped him fall in love with the sport they played together starting at the playground courts in Ybor City.
"As a friend, Cuda kind of got me started into basketball," said Bradley, who stayed at his bedside until he died. "He would do anything for you, and you only had to ask once. We shared so much together. He's definitely going to be missed."
More Basketball: The biography new Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan provided to the school lists Rutgers as his "alma mater." After hiring him last week, the school said he graduated. It was later revealed he did not earn enough credits. But "alma mater" is defined as "a school, college, or university which one has attended or from which one has graduated."
SEC's first black athlete dies: Stephen Martin Sr., the first African-American to play a varsity sport in the SEC, died Tuesday in New Orleans at 66. No cause was disclosed. He played centerfield for Tulane against Spring Hill in the 1966 season opener. Tulane left the SEC after the season.
Football: ACC studies financial losses
AMELIA ISLAND — Commissioner John Swofford said he wants to "protect" schools that go to the ACC title game from losing money. Florida State lost about $440,000 after selling only 6,000 of its allotted 10,000 tickets for December's victory against Georgia Tech in Charlotte, N.C. (The ACC did give it $144,895 for unsold tickets.)
Many FSU fans saved their money for an anticipated trip to the Orange Bowl. Tickets were available for as low as $5 on the secondary market. According to warchant.com, an FSU-oriented site owned by rivals.com, Tech lost about $375,000 due to unsold tickets.
Swofford did not disclose details, saying only ACC officials are examining options.
Baseball: USF opens final series with win
TAMPA — Chris Norton, a graduate of East Bay High, hit a sac fly during a four-run first and two-run double during a five-run second to help USF beat Rutgers 11-4 in the opener of the final Big East series of the season. The Bulls (34-19) are tied for third in the conference at 16-6 with Seton Hall, which lost 4-3 to visiting St. John's. They are three games ahead of Rutgers (25-27) and two behind Louisville and Pittsburgh, who meet this weekend.
More baseball: Thomas Brittle's two-run homer helped visiting Clemson (39-15) beat Florida State (42-11) 8-2. They are tied for first in the ACC Coastal at 18-10, a half-game ahead of N.C. State, with two games left. … B.J. Zimmerman drove in three to help host Tampa beat Stillman 5-4 in the opener of the Division II South Region. Tampa, the top seed in the double-elimination tournament, faces Florida Tech, which lost 7-3 to West Florida, at 3 today. Delta State beat Valdosta State 4-2 in the other game.
Men's golf: Tyler McCumber and T.J. Vogel shot 2-under 70 (best among all golfers) to help Florida lead after Day 1 of the Baton Rouge Region in Louisiana. UF shot 2-under 286 and led Alabama and South Alabama by 10 shots with two rounds left. Meanwhile, Chase Seiffert shot 6-under 66 (tied for second among all golfers) and Plant High grad Doug Letson 70 to help FSU sit third in the Tallahassee Region. FSU shot 11-under 277, five behind first-place North Florida. USF, led by 68s by Chase Koepka and Richard James, is among three teams tied for fourth at 280. The top five advance.
Hawaii: All men's teams will again be called the Rainbow Warriors. From 2000-12, some teams, including football, were Warriors and others Rainbow Warriors. Women's teams will remain the Rainbow Wahine.
The Orlando Sentinel contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires.