As the team prepares for its regular-season opener under new coach Carolyn Peck, the Gators will be without sophomore guard Tishona Gregory.
She has been "indefinitely suspended for conduct detrimental to the team" by Peck. Gregory started 13 games last season, averaging 4.4 points and 1.5 rebounds. Gregory is the second player to be suspended this season. Junior center Vanessa Hayden recently was reinstated after a two-month suspension.
Florida opens the season at 7 tonight against visiting Lamar. It's the first time in 13 years the Gators will be without 12-year veteran coach Carol Ross, who resigned after last season. Florida will play with nine of its 12 scholarship players having one year or less of college experience.
Mississippi State to appeal
ruling on Austin's eligibility
JACKSON, Miss. _ An attorney for Mississippi State center Mario Austin said he and the school's attorneys will appeal an NCAA determination that could force the player to sit out this season.
On Wednesday, the NCAA told the university that it made a mistake when it certified Austin to play as a freshman in 2000.
Donald Jackson, Austin's attorney, said Thursday he is asking the NCAA to clarify the ruling.
"Once the clarification is done, if the outcome is negative, then we'll try to have that initial decision reversed as it relates to his eligibility," Jackson said.
The NCAA is considering making Austin ineligible this season, Jackson said.
"They have not determined he is ineligible for this year. They have determined that he was ineligible two years ago," Jackson said.
Mississippi State athletic director Larry Templeton said Jackson is working closely with university attorney Mike Glazier of Kansas City, Mo.
The 6-foot-9 Austin led the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding last season.
KENTUCKY: Forward Erik Daniels has been suspended for four games because he played in two summer leagues. NCAA rules allow players to participate in one sanctioned league per summer. The 6-foot-8 junior will not play in next week's Maui Invitational or Kentucky's home opener Dec. 3 against High Point. "He had received permission to play in the league (in Lexington), and when he went home to visit his family in Cincinnati, he ended up playing with his old friends in a league there," coach Tubby Smith said. "We asked the NCAA to reconsider on his behalf, but our appeal was denied."
SOUTH CAROLINA: Coach Dave Odom's eyes danced as he gazed around the $64-million Carolina Center in Columbia.
He pointed to the large multimillion dollar scoreboard as test messages flashed across it.
He smiled as he looked to the casually sloped seats _ there's space for 18,000 fans _ that promise to bring people closer to the floor than in the outdated Carolina Coliseum.
But his expression grew somber as he wondered how his Gamecocks would handle their new, ultramodern home.
"There's a certain majesty, a certain eeriness to the unknown," Odom said, three days before the Gamecocks host East Tennessee State.
"We don't know what's going to happen in this building," Odom said. "And it's up to us to make the moments very special."
That chance begins tonight when the South Carolinas women's team christens the state's newest and largest arena against Clemson.
_ Information from Times wires was used in this report.