Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Two Florida players cleared in Miami booster case

Florida said the NCAA okayed defensive lineman Matt Patchan, a former standout at Armwood, to play this season. His name had come up in reports about a former UM booster. (2008)

Florida said the NCAA okayed defensive lineman Matt Patchan, a former standout at Armwood, to play this season. His name had come up in reports about a former UM booster.

GAINESVILLE — Florida OL Matt Patchan and WR Andre Debose are eligible to play for the Gators this season despite allegations by a former Miami booster who says he had improper contact with the two during recruiting visits to UM.

Florida athletic officials released a statement Thursday saying there are no eligibility issues with either player.

"We have been in communication with the NCAA, and there are no eligibility issues with Andre Debose and Matt Patchan as it relates to recent reports," the statement said. "Andre, Matt nor the University of Florida will have any additional comments regarding this matter."

Former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro, serving prison time for a $930 million Ponzi scheme, told Yahoo Sports he participated in rampant NCAA violations at Miami from 2002-10. Shapiro says Patchan, a former Armwood player, and Debose were among dozens of players brought to him while they were in high school so he could recruit them to Miami.

OPPORTUNITY ARISES: With the loss of freshman TE A.C. Leonard to a meniscus injury, converted TE Gerald Christian is making the most of the opportunity. Christian played tight end last season, moved to linebacker in the spring and has switched back.

"You don't want to wish injuries upon people, but since there have been injuries, I've had to take a bigger role and take more snaps in practice and show what I can do," Christian said. "It gave me more opportunities."

FSU: Third CB happy

TALLAHASSEE — Officially, only two starting cornerback positions are on Florida State's roster. But try telling that to former South Miami standout Mike Harris.

"Even though I'm coming in as a backup, I also view myself as a starter," Harris said.

Last season, the junior college transfer tied fellow CB Xavier Rhodes for the team lead with four interceptions. But with Rhodes and Greg Reid covering the sides, he has been playing third fiddle.

But he combines with Reid and Rhodes to give the Seminoles a formidable three-man, nickel package.

"We just have a great combination with all of us," Harris said.

Coley Harvey, Orlando Sentinel

USF: Landi role grows

TAMPA — Junior Evan Landi, the Bulls' top returning receiver in yards and catches, is getting work as an "inside receiver", a hybrid WR/TE role that makes good use of his 6-foot-3, 221-pound frame.

"He can play anywhere, he's so smart, but we're trying to make him a multifaceted guy," offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said Thursday.

Landi is USF's tallest and biggest receiver, and the move takes advantage of the Bulls' newfound depth at receiver, as well as an overall shortage at tight end. USF has junior Andreas Shields and sophomore Isaac Virgin returning at the hybrid position, but the two combined for just seven catches for 109 yards last season.

"We're trying to do what's best for us as an offense, but also what's best for a young man," Fitch said. "(Landi's) skill set, his body type … you get him matched up with those linebackers and he's what you call a mismatch."

FRESHMAN HAS SURGERY: C.J. Garye, a safety, had minor arthroscopic knee surgery. He is expected to miss three weeks and likely will redshirt.

Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer

UCF: TE is versatile

ORLANDO — Senior TE Adam Nissley, the strongest player on UCF's team, has always had blocking skills. But now the Knights need Nissley to play a bigger role in the passing attack, and he is. "Adam Nissley is doing a great, much improved job in the passing game," offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe said. "He's catching the ball, so that and the backs involved in the passing game takes some of the pressure off at receiver, where we don't have a lot of depth right now."

Iliana Limon, Orlando Sentinel

Two Florida players cleared in Miami booster case 08/18/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 18, 2011 10:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. USF tight end Palmore faces charge of credit card fraud


    A University of South Florida football player faces charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft following his arrest by Temple Terrace police on Monday.

    USF senior tight end Adrian Palmore faces charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft after his arrest by Temple Terrace police on June 19, 2017. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Rowdies defender gets the call to represent Jamaica


    ST. PETERSBURG —- Damion Lowe has loved his first season with the Rowdies but has some other soccer-related business that might pull him away for a bit.

    Family business, too.

    Tampa Bay Rowdies defender Damion Lowe collides with Louisville City FC forward Luke Spencer earlier this year.
  3. Sarasota's Scooter Gennett: Utility man turned historic slugger

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On June 10, 2009, the Brewers selected a Sarasota High School shortstop in the 16th round of the MLB draft. He'd assembled an impressive resume in prep ball, but as one of more than 1,500 players drafted that year, he had a tough road to the big leagues.

    Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett (4) of Sarasota makes the throw to first as Rays DH Trevor Plouffe (14) grounds into a double play at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg Monday, June 19, 2017. For Gennett, the three-game series this week with the Rays was his first trip back to Tampa Bay since his historic four-home run game June 6, 2017 against St. Louis. DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  4. Vegas Golden Knights expansion selections

    Lightning Strikes

    Vegas Golden Knights expansion selections


    Calvin Pickard, Colorado Avalanche

    J.F. Berube, New York Islanders

    Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins


    Teemu Pulkkinen, Arizona Coyotes

    William Carrier, Buffalo Sabres

    Cody Eakin, Dallas Stars …

  5. Lightning's Victor Hedman third in Norris Trophy voting

    Lightning Strikes

    Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman knew he was a long shot to win the Norris Trophy, given to the league's top defenseman, at Wednesday's NHL awards show.

    LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 21:  Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning attends the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena on June 21, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) 700065353