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Florida Gators receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Aubrey Hill resigns

GAINESVILLE — Florida began fall camp Friday a few hours after losing receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Aubrey Hill.

But coach Will Muschamp insisted the Gators will be fine despite the departure coming about a month before the Sept. 1 season opener.

Hill, a former Gator receiver, resigned, citing personal reasons. He informed Muschamp on Thursday. Muschamp met with the players late Thursday night to inform them.

"I was very surprised," Muschamp said Friday. "It was all (his decision). Aubrey's a good guy, and it was disappointing that he felt like he needed to do this at this time."

Hill's resignation comes two weeks after a Yahoo Sports story implicated him in illegal recruiting at Miami. He was the Hurricanes' receivers coach/recruiting coordinator from 2008-10 and remained on Al Golden's staff for a brief time after Golden was hired in December 2010. But Hill joined Florida a month later.

Hill and several members of Golden's staff are alleged to have circumvented NCAA rules by using an equipment manager, Sean Allen, once a close associate of former booster Nevin Shapiro, to recruit players.

Shapiro is currently in prison for orchestrating a $930 million Ponzi scheme. In 2011, he said he gave cash and other favors to 72 Miami players and recruits.

According to Yahoo, Hill was present when Shapiro made illegal contact with three recruits.

The NCAA's investigation is ongoing.

Muschamp said Friday that Hill's decision had nothing to do with his job at Florida.

"We're obviously disappointed, but I really don't have anything more to say," he said. "It's a personal situation with Aubrey. It has nothing to do (with Florida)."

Hill, 40, could not be reached for comment but the Miami native said in a statement released by Florida that his decision was an effort to avoid distraction from the program: "I have too much love and respect for this program to become a distraction as I deal with some personal issues."

Offensive coordinator Brent Pease and graduate assistant Bush Hamdan will handle the receivers, with the majority of the duty going to Hamdan. Pease, a former Boise State offensive coordinator in his first season at UF, also coached receivers for five seasons at Boise State.

Hamdan and Pease have a relationship that dates to Hamdan's days as a backup quarterback with Boise State from 2005-08. He also was an intern at Maryland in 2010.

Muschamp will be the recruiting coordinator.

"I feel very comfortable with this situation," Muschamp said.

Some Florida recruits feel otherwise, including Lakewood High standout receiver Rodney Adams. One of the bay area's top players orally committed to Florida in February but said he will reopen his recruitment.

"I just want to see what's out there," Adams said. "I want to see how things shape up at Florida and how the receivers do this season. I don't think I'll make my decision for a while."

Times staff writer Bob Putnam contributed to this report.

Florida Gators receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Aubrey Hill resigns 08/03/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 3, 2012 11:13pm]
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