Update: GPD clarifies incident involving UF’s Andre DeBose

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Earlier this month, Andre DeBose was granted a sixth season of eligibility.  Exactly two weeks later, the Florida wide receiver celebrated the extra year by doing what any normal person would: throwing a human being through a window.  Allegedly.

The Gainesville Television Network is reporting that DeBose was involved in some type of altercation Saturday night.  While the details are few and far between, the television station reported that DeBose tossed an individual through a window during the course of the altercation.

The Gainesville Police Department confirmed to GTN that there was an incident, but did note that DeBose was not arrested.  It’s unclear if DeBose or anyone else allegedly involved could face charges down the road.

UF has not commented publicly on the situation.

During summer camp last August, Debose tore an ACL and did not see the field in 2013.  Additionally, Debose missed his entire true freshman season in 2009 due to an injury he suffered running high school track.  The two missed seasons led to the NCAA approving a sixth season for the player.

A five-star member of UF’s 2009 recruiting class, Debose was rated as the No. 2 receiver in the country by Rivals.com and the No. 21 player at any position.  Debose appeared in 31 games and made eight starts from 2010-12.  He has 29 career catches for 543 yards and four touchdowns.  His most productive season as a receiver came in 2011 (16-432-4).

Debose has done the majority of his damage on special teams as his four career kickoff returns for touchdowns are a school record and tied for the most in SEC history.

(Tip O the Cap: Orlando Sentinel)

UPDATED 2:22 p.m. ET: And this is precisely why we use — or overuse in some cases — the words “allegedly” and “reportedly.”

Shortly after we posted the original story above, the Gainesville Police Department released a statement addressing the situation involving DeBose.  The key portion of the release appeared at the very bottom.

Note: Information originally released in a Sunday Morning “GPD Media Weekend Snapshot” email sent to local media reported that Debose was an aggressor, but this information was incorrect.

The GPD also detailed in the release the events that led up to officers being called to a local residence.  Suffice to say, all parties involved are very lucky that there were no injuries… or deaths.

Below is the GPD’s statement, in its entirety.

Gainesville, FLA – At 6:30pm Saturday, officers responded to an armed confrontation involving at least 2 subjects in the front yard of the house that were reportedly armed with a handgun and a rifle.  

When officers arrived, they found an SUV parked in front of the house with numerous bullet holes and shell casings in the road.  One subject retreated into the house but came out and was secured within moments.  Investigation determined that John Mark Honeycutt W/M 7/1/90, Andre Debose B/M 9/12/90, Victor Watkins II B/M 12/20/89 and Kristan Lipham W/F were eating together in the house.  

Debose and Watkins got into an argument resulting in Watson pushing Debose into a window.   The glass broke, but Debose was not injured.  This angered Honeycutt who retrieved a handgun and threatened Watkins with it.  However, Watkins immediately took the handgun from Honeycutt and then discharged several rounds into the ground outside the house.  

Honeycutt now retrieved the rifle and fired several rounds into Watkins’s SUV and into the ground in front of the house.  All parties were transported to CID where GPD detectives conducted interviews.  After an extensive investigation, detectives arrested Honeycutt for Aggravated Assault.  All other parties were released.

UPDATED 2:59 p.m. ET: The Gainesville Police Department has taken a somewhat unprecedented step by issuing yet another statement addressing the initial discrepancy involving DeBose while also directing an apology to the player for the initial, incorrect information.

Again, the complete statement from the GPD appears below.

Social media is both a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, important information can be relayed to millions of people in a fraction of a second.

On the other hand, incorrect information can spread like wildfire.

This morning, as I read our end-of-shift reports, I copied and pasted the incident summary that included information about Florida Gators WR Andre Debose and sent it to my local media contacts as I do each and every day.  Unfortunately, the initial information released was incorrect.

The initial summary read that Mr. Debose, during an argument, threw another person into a window.  In fact, the names in the summary were transposed, and I did not catch the error before sending it to my local media contacts.  I did not catch the error until the wildfire had started, and now I am trying to help put that wildfire out.

Mr. Debose was actually the one pushed into the glass, and in fact tried to break this altercation up multiple times during the incident.  

To Mr. Debose: I apologize that my error put your name and reputation in jeopardy, no matter how briefly.  I take full responsibility for this error, and hope that the stories printed and published will correct your name and reputation.  Furthermore, I am extremely proud that you intervened in this incident and likely prevented anyone from being injured or killed.

-Officer Ben Tobias, PIO
Gainesville Police Spokesperson

Shea Patterson blasts Ole Miss as battle over eligibility continues

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If the tension between Ole Miss and Michigan-bound quarterbacks transfer Shea Patterson wasn’t already made clear, a letter from Patterson did not hold back his seething comments about his former university in an explanation to the NCAA hoping to help his cause. Former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze was just one of Patterson’s targets.

Patterson suggested Freeze was not the man he claimed to be and believes Ole Miss has taken measures designed specifically to prevent certain players from leaving the program via transfer. Patterson is just one player attempting to move on from the program for a new college football home that is battling to gain eligibility for the upcoming fall rather than sit out a full season as per typical NCAA transfer rules.

“It doesn’t seem fair to me that the only thing standing in the way of Coach Freeze making $5 million a year at another school was the discovery that he wasn’t the trustworthy, straight-laced role model that he claimed to be,” Patterson states, as reported by Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports.

Patterson is transferring to Michigan, but his eligibility status being left up in the air to be determined has left uncertainty about what will happen in Ann Arbor. If Patterson is granted immediate eligibility, he would likely step right into the starting job for the Wolverines. But with Ole Miss holding up the transfer process with regard to his eligibility status, things have gotten dicey for all parties involved.

Patterson’s lawyer also put Ole Miss on full blast in this ongoing battle and war of words. We have not seen the end of this one yet.

Fortune Magazine names Nick Saban one of World’s 50 Greatest Leaders

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Add another line to the future College Football Hall of Famer’s burgeoning résumé.

Fortune Magazine Thursday released its annual list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.  Checking in at No. 12, ahead of the likes of Apple CEO (and Auburn alum) Tim Cook (No. 14), Oprah Winfrey (No. 27) and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (No. 29)?  Alabama Crimson Tide head football coach Nick Saban.  He’s the only individual on the list with direct ties to college football.

Below is a portion of the magazine’s write-up on the coach:

Add an earlier one he won at LSU in 2003, and his six rings match Alabama legend Paul “Bear” Bryant for the most football championships by a college coach in the so-called poll era, dating back to 1936. Now that he’s succeeded to a historic degree, Saban is grappling with the sports version of what business guru Clayton Christensen famously dubbed the “Innovator’s Dilemma”—the fact that success today makes it hard to keep the edge you need to win in the future. But if the last few years are any indication, the grappling is going pretty well.

The only other individuals from the sports world who made the list tennis player Serena Williams (No. 15) and “The Gymnasts and Their Allies” (No. 22), with the latter connected to the scandal surrounding disgraced former professor at Michigan State’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and sports physician for both the Spartans and USA Gymnastics Larry Nassar.

For the complete list, including the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and other schools at No. 1, click HERE.

Alabama announces future home-and-home with Notre Dame

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The reports have officially come to fruition.

Late last month, it was reported that Alabama was working on scheduling a home-and-home series with Notre Dame.  Nearly a month later, the Crimson Tide confirmed that it has indeed reached a scheduling agreement with their counterparts with the Fighting Irish.

The Crimson Tide will travel to South Bend Sept. 2, 2028, with the Fighting Irish heading to Tuscaloosa on Sept. 1 of the following season.

“It doesn’t get more tradition-rich than Alabama and Notre Dame when it comes to college football,” a statement from UA athletic director Greg Byrne began. “What a great opportunity this is for our program and for our fans to kick off the 2028 and 2029 seasons.”

The two storied football programs have met seven times previously, with the last coming in the 2012 championship game.  The Tide won that last matchup, but trail in the series 5-2.  Including the BCS title game, three of the meetings have come in the postseason, with the other two being the 1973 Sugar Bowl and the Orange Bowl following the 1974 season.

The 2029 game will mark the Fighting Irish’s first-ever appearance at Bryant-Denny Stadium as their two previous regular-season games against the Crimson Tide were played at Legion Field in Birmingham (1980, 1986).  Alabama has played Notre Dame in South Bend twice (1976, 1987).

“We are excited to be able to add a home-and-home series with a team like Notre Dame,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “Alabama and Notre Dame represent two of the most storied programs in college football history. What a great opportunity for our team and our fans to be able to witness these teams play in two of the sport’s most iconic venues in Tuscaloosa and South Bend.”

Tennessee announces four-year deal for AD Phillip Fulmer

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Earlier this month, it was reported that Tennessee and Phillip Fulmer were closing in on a long-term deal.  Two weeks later, those reports have come to fruition.

Thursday morning, UT announced that it has reached an agreement on a four-year contract with Fulmer to continue in his role as athletic director.  Fulmer was named as acting athletic director on Dec. 1, not long after John Currie was fired from the post.  His first big move came less than a week after being tabbed for the role when Jeremy Pruitt was hired as the Volunteers’ new head football coach.

Fulmer’s contract will reportedly average $1 million annually, with the opportunity to earn up to $300,000 in bonuses as well.

“Phillip has been a great partner over the last four months and I commend him for the work he has done with our student-athletes, coaches and staff,” chancellor Beverly Davenport said in a statement. “Phillip has been connected to the University of Tennessee and its athletics program for more than 40 years and he understands the expectations we have for our athletics department.

“He is surrounded by a very knowledgeable staff that is deeply committed to the success of our student-athletes. I look forward to our continued partnership.”

A native of Winchester, Tenn., Fulmer played his college football for the Volunteers in the late sixties.  He began his coaching career at UT as a grad assistant from 1972-73, then returned as offensive line coach in 1980.  After spending 13 seasons as an assistant, he took over as the Volunteers head coach in 1992 — Johnny Majors has always alleged Fulmer was behind his ouster — and spent 17 seasons leading his alma mater.

In that span, Fulmer went 152-52, winning a pair of SEC titles and the 1998 national championship.

“I am very grateful to Chancellor Davenport for the opportunity to continue to serve our outstanding university and its proud legacy,” Fulmer said. “The positive momentum established by our talented student-athletes, dedicated coaches, excellent staff, our great alumni and fans has united us all. I am excited to work alongside them as we push forward in pursuit of excellence in all sports.”