Will Muschamp, Charlie Strong

Gators took financial bath in Sugar Bowl loss


Florida’s pride wasn’t the only thing to take a hit this past postseason; the athletic department’s financial bottom line did as well.

According to the Gainesville Sun, it was revealed during a university system budget meeting Wednesday that UF lost in the neighborhood of $840,000 on its trip to the Sugar Bowl.  The Gators lost 33-23 to former UF defensive coordinator Charlie Strong‘s Louisville Cardinals in a game that was 30-10 entering the fourth quarter.

As is ofttimes the case, it was the allotment of tickets that played a significant role the financial deficit.  According to an early-January report by the Orlando Sentinel, UF sold less than 7,000 of the 17,500 tickets allotted to them; the Sun wrote that the loss was “mostly due to unsold tickets.”

The Gators’ plight, mirrored by several other schools in the SEC, led to the ticket allotment issue to be addressed during the conference’s recently-completed spring meetings.  From the paper:

UF was one of several SEC schools that took a loss on bowl ticket sales this past year, something that the league addressed at its annual spring meetings in Destin last month. Commissioner Mike Slive said the SEC will be pushing for a lower minimum number of tickets that bowls can require league schools to purchase in the future.

The good news for Florida and others in similar situations?  The chief operating officer of the College Football Playoff, Michael Kelly, said today that  “the number of required tickets for schools in host bowls will drop from 17,500 to 12,500.”

Whether conferences such as the SEC will seek a deeper reduction in the ducat requirement remains to be seen.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.

Tulsa loses second-leading receiver to season-ending injury

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 14:   Wide receiver Keevan Lucas #2 of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane just misses a pass against the Oklahoma Sooners September 14, 2013 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Golden Hurricane 51-20.  (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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One of the most productive pass-catching duos in the country has been cut in half.

Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery confirmed Tuesday that Keevan Lucas sustained a torn patellar tendon  in the third quarter of Saturday’s loss to Houston.  As a result, the wide receiver will miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

“He’s such an emotional leader for us and such a great kid,” the first-year coach said. “We’ll have to make a few adjustments offensively and move some people around and try to make sure we’ve got guys in the right spot but also guys who will step up and be ready to play.”

Lucas is currently second on the team with 26 receptions and 409 receiving yards, behind Keyarris Garrett‘s 33 and 539. His five receiving touchdowns, though, are tops on the team.

Montgomery expects Lucas to be healthy enough to participate in spring practice next year.