Join Gator Country today and get a bevy of bonus extras - one year of Sporting News magazine, the Saturdays in the Swamp coffee table book, and two recruiting yearbooks in addition to the Fightin' Gators magazine! Get the best year-round coverage of the Gators, anywhere...
You see except for the occasional verbal commitment, there is rarely good news in the summer when it comes to college football programs. Summer is when guys find out they didn't get their test score or lost their grade appeal. Summer is when malcontents stop working hard and look for an either path on some other college campus. Summer is when hot, boring days lead to hot, violent nights. Summer is when guys stay at nightclubs too late. Summer is the most nervous month of the year for college football coaches.
In just the last couple of weeks, the biggest "news" in Gator football has been the departure of talented tight end Dane Guthrie and failure to qualify for another talent, LB/TE Brian Ellis. Guthrie won't be back, Ellis might be. But neither update was the kind of "news" Gator fans are looking for.
Sure, it's great for coaches to get a break from the demands of college football and get mentally geared up for training camp and the season ahead. As Chuck Heater told me the other night, it's also the last chance to get things done on the "honey do" list all husbands have to work on. But I've yet to meet a college coach who doesn't worry about this month more than any other. Coaches have n control of anything in July. Can't see players unless they come to you. Can't watch them work, can't watch film with them. Coaches get to where they are in their careers because they focus on "can" rather than "can't". That's why they hate summer... 'cuz there's nothing they "can" do.
So the next time you find yourself "Jones-ing" for some news on your Gators on a hot summer day, do yourself a favor. Pour a glass of your favorite beverage and grab one of your favorite videos of Gator games past. Or watch one of those classic games on Sun Sports. Or just for grins make a list of the ten best Gator moments you ever saw in person and then start a thread about it on GatorCountry.com.
Just be thankful there isn't any real "news".
Don't Believe Me? Ask The 'Noles
There may not be any school in this part of the country more eager to get summer out of the way than Florida State. The Seminoles have seen two of their more talented defenders, A.J. Nicholson and Ernie Sims involved in off the field incidents and quarterback Wyatt Sexton has taken his teammates, fans and family on a frightening roller coaster ride emotionally.
While all indications are Sims' charges might be dropped, Nicholson will likely miss at least game or two. But the Sexton situation is a clear reminder we all need to take a step back before judging a situation.
I'm not saying there isn't reason to remain suspicious about the story being told out of Tallahassee regarding Sexton's bizarre behavior and subsequent diagnosis of Lyme Disease. There are more unanswered questions about the timeline for all of this, questions that most likely will never be answered. But too many media types - and some fans - have had too much fun with a sad situation involving a 22-year-old guy who is trying to get his act together. Personal problems are difficult enough to deal with privately, let alone with the college football world watching. We would all do well to remember our own screw-ups and the privacy had in overcoming them the next time we are encouraged to take delight in someone else's tragedy.
Meanwhile the Seminoles have to try to end their six-year losing streak to Miami with a freshman quarterback on opening day. Xavier Lee and Drew Weatherford certainly had strong credentials coming out of high school, but neither is really ready for prime time. But they'll have to be for FSU to have any chance. Miami will have a new QB as well, but Kyle Wright has been around Coral Gables for two years and many in the Miami camp felt he would have taken the job from Brock Berlin last year were it not for a shoulder injury. Still, it promises to make the Monday night opener must-see TV. FSU is usually favored, but Miami usually wins.