Running off at the typewriter. …
It will be absolutely shocking if Gators coach Will Muschamp doesn't dismiss sophomore tight end A.C. Leonard from the team for the latest in the perpetual string of embarrassing UF arrests.
Urban Meyer — a program bereft of not only talent and depth but honor and discipline. Muschamp dismissed his best player, Janoris Jenkins, from the team for a couple of pot arrests last year. Said Jenkins afterwards: "No doubt, if coach Meyer were still coaching, I'd still be playing for the Gators."
The charges against Leonard are much worse than the charges against Jenkins. The police report accuses Leonard of shoving his live-in girlfriend to the ground and trying to drag her out of the apartment by the hair (see Lawrence Phillips, Nebraska, 1995).
If these charges are true, it would be hard to imagine Leonard remaining on the team. He should either be dismissed entirely or suspended for a full season and made to take anger management classes.
So far, Muschamp has suspended Leonard indefinitely and released a statement saying such conduct will not be "tolerated" or "condoned." Muschamp's statement was strong, but not nearly strong enough. Muschamp has used more forceful language to complain about rotten officiating calls and to rail against the NCAA last year for its suspension of Sharrif Floyd. He should have added that such conduct by Leonard is "deplorable, abhorrent and inexcusable."
It's no secret Meyer recruited players and fostered an atmosphere that Muschamp is trying to clean up. Many of Meyer's recruits have transferred, not wanting to deal with a coach who actually holds them accountable for their actions. The arrest record under Meyer was embarrassing and already nine UF players have been arrested under Muschamp. It's no coincidence that eight of those nine players were either recruited by Meyer or committed to Meyer before Muschamp took the job.
Even so, Muschamp is now the coach and must play the hand he's been dealt.
His first play should be to discard any and every player who abuses women.
Short stuff: I asked Danica Patrick earlier this week if there is still sexism involved in auto racing and she went on a mini-rant, wondering why fans and media always refer to her as "sexy." Hmmm, could it be those racy Godaddy.com commercials or those provocative poses on the hood of her car while wearing a skimpy bikini? Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with Danica in a swimsuit, but she can't then quibble with the word "sexy." Wouldn't you say this is a perfect example of slighting the brand that feeds you. … Did you see the Westminster Dog Show earlier this week? So that's where they got the contestants for the NBA Dunk Contest. … By the way, who are these guys in the dunk contest? Are they going to have to wear name tags that say "Curley, Moe, Larry and Shumpert?" … Gary Carter won't just go to heaven like everybody else. The Kid will have that big, boyish smile splashed across his face as he jumps into St. Peter's arms. …
Why is Kobe Bryant getting back together with his wife, Vanessa? I've got about $100 million reasons! … Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 Chevy failed pre-race inspection for this year's Daytona 500. Is his crew chief Cheat, er, Chad Knaus at it again? … True story: There are actually 8 million dead people who are still registered to vote. And 12 of them are on the roster of the Charlotte Bobcats. … A belated Valentine's Day poem for Dwight Howard: "Roses are red, violets are blue. The Magic stink without you!" … Guess who's coming to Vince Carter's house for dinner? President Obama, that's who. Carter, the former Magic star, and local attorney/power broker John Morgan are hosting a private fundraising dinner for the commander-in-chief later this week at Carter's home in Isleworth. Tickets are only $30,000 each. Sheesh, $30,000 for one meal? What is this — the Amway Center concession stand? …
It's admirable that Dwight wants to be the Magic's late-game closer, but doesn't he realize he already is? Bill Russell, with his relatively modest 15.1 career scoring average, didn't have to score points to be the closer. He closed games with defense, rebounding, desire and leadership. Big men don't need to close games on the offensive end; they just need to dominate them everywhere else. … Lin-sanity! Lin-derella! Lin-credible! Lin-conceivable! To Lin-finity and beyond! Make me stop, please. Seriously, how many puns have there been playing off Jeremy Lin's last name? Isn't it only a matter of time before a certain politician takes David Letterman's idea and changes his name to take advantage of Lin's popularity? And we now introduce the 45th President of the United States — Newt Lin-grich!
Most every weekday, you can click on OrlandoSentinel.com and read the wildly popular Open Mike blog and interactive extravaganza to get my freshest takes on what's happening in the world of sports. Here's an excerpt from a blog post comparing defending Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne to New York Knicks point guard sensation Jeremy Lin:
DAYTONA BEACH — A young, charismatic kid who came from nowhere to capture the imagination of fans everywhere in front of the biggest media horde in his sport.
Jeremy Lin is doing it with the New York Knicks right now. Trevor Bayne, defending Daytona 500 winner, has been there, done that. Bayne won the 500 last year as an anonymous rookie and a part-time driver in the Sprint Cup Series.
In other words, there was NASCAR "Bayne-ia" before NBA "Lin-sanity."
At Speedweeks Media Day Thursday, Bayne was asked what advice he would give Lin in dealing with the fame and fortune that comes suddenly and unexpectedly.
"What's funny is that when you show up for the Daytona 500 or you do what he (Lin) is doing, everybody thinks you just woke up and you were a race car driver or basketball player and competed in your first race (or NBA game) and ended up winning it. They don't really see the hard work you put into it. He (Lin) has probably been playing basketball since he was 3 years old and grew up working at it.
Mike Bianchi: Will Muschamp still trying to fumigate stench left behind by Urban "Mire"
Meyer arrest record continues under Muschamp
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