Thoughts and Stories of the Week: May 26 – May 30

A few thoughts (and stories) on the week. This is my first go around — be nice! (or don’t, if you don’t like them!)


The world lost one of it’s greatest silver tongues, when writer, speaker, and activist Maya Angelou passed away at age 86 on Wednesday. Angelou was a voice for millions and her poem, “And Still I Rise” resonates with me from my first reading of it in middle school to this day, even though I will never understand the anguish that racism caused in her childhood. She was one of my favorite poets and speakers and I think her family can rest well knowing that her impact on the world was greater than anyone can hope to have during their lives.


At the SEC Media Days in Destin, Fl. on Wednesday, SEC coaches and representative steadfastly stood their ground against an early signing period for high school football prospects. SEC commissioner Mike Slive was the most outspoken saying, “We will continue to encourage our colleagues in (other conferences) to retain the current model…We hope it won’t (change).”

The reason SEC coaches are against an early signing period stems from their having to recruit instead of preparing to tackle opponents during the football season. Florida head coach Will Muschamp echoed saying, “A lot of coaches, including myself, don’t want an inordinate amount of visits during the season because it takes away from your football team and your preparation and preparation for the next week.” Georgia head coach Mark Richt continued, “Our biggest fear was making our regular season crazy with too much recruiting.”

Ultimately, however, the SEC is preparing for the conversation on the national level knowing it may be inevitable and have unanimously voted that the Monday following Thanksgiving as a date they would propose for an early signing period.


Jeremy Foley announced at the SEC meeting in Destin, that UF will be adding a $50 million renovation to the O’Connell Center, including a permanent reconfiguration that would no longer allow indoor track. Currently, the plan is to close the O’Dome after the 2014 – 2015 season and build through 2015 and re-open in January 2016. With the O’Dome being closed from September – December, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, and indoor track would require them to play elsewhere.

One of the plans proposed by Foley was to play basketball in cities such as Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville, which could be great for two reasons: 1) the opportunity for those that cannot make the trek to Gainesville to see their beloved Gators 2) give the opportunity to players that UF is recruiting to see the team play. When you look at the last five recruiting classes eight of the fifteen recruits that Florida signed were within a short drive of Tampa, Orlando or Jacksonville. Obvious hotspots in recruiting, playing games in those cities allow for extra visits, more visibility, and the opportunity for those young men to play in front of their friends and family.

Oh, and once the renovation is done, the basketball court better be named “Billy Donovan Court.”


The Gators secured their eighth commitment of the class of 2015 and it was brother of current Gator defensive tackle Joey Ivie – defensive tackle Andrew Ivie. has him ranked as the 100th best player in Florida and list him as a 3-star.

At 6-foot-3, 285-pounds Ivie has good size for a defensive tackle and shows good flashes on his tape. He shows a great ability to break off the lineman and disrupt the play. He has good speed and moves well for his size.

I have always maintained that recruiting for the defensive line was the second hardest group to recruit for (behind offensive line), because you simply don’t know how well they will project at the next level. Are they good on tape because they were physically more gifted than their divisional opponents, but not necessarily significantly better than others in a different division? Do they have sloppy technique and just power over people, or do they have good fundamentals? How will their bodies fill out after they drop the bad weight? Can they eat up space or do they simply keep with their man?

Congratulations to Andrew Ivie – work hard your senior year.




Track – NCAA East Preliminary Round

Baseball – Game 1 of Regional: v. College of Charleston – 7:00 PM (weather permitting)

Softball – Game 2 of Women’s College World Series: v. Oregon (Winner’s Bracket) – 7:00 PM


Track – NCAA East Preliminary Round

Baseball – Game 2 of Regional: v. North Carolina/Long Beach State (1:00 PM or 7:00 PM)

Softball – Potential Game 3 of Women’s College World Series (if loss to Oregon): v. Baylor/Florida State (If Florida beats Oregon on Friday, they advance to Sunday game)


Track – NCAA East Preliminary Round

Baseball – Game 3/4 of Regional. If Florida wins at least one game on Friday/Saturday they will play on Sunday.D Winner crowned after 7:00 PM game on Sunday night.

Softball: Potential Game 4/5 of Women’s College World Series: v. Oregon/Florida State/Baylor



Margalit Fox: Maya Angelou, Lyrical Witness of the Jim Crow South, Dies at 86
Richard Johnson: Gainesville regional historically hard for Gators according to RPI
Tim Layden: Artificial Turf: Change From the Ground Up
Dave Bartoo: Where the SEC gets its football players
Adam Silverstein: The Silver Lining: Billy Donovan’s honesty about NBA interest not indicative of imminent departure
James Rainey: Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to buy Clippers for $2 billion
BJ Lutz: Coating on Willis Tower Skydeck’s Ledge Cracks Under Tourists


A ballad by an up-and-coming country musician Eric Paslay. His self-titled album is one worth listening to if you like country music.

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Daniel Thompson
Dan Thompson is a 2010 graduate of the University Florida, graduating with a degree in Economics and a degree in Political Science. During this time at UF, Dan worked three years for the Florida Gator Football team as a recruiting ambassador. Dan dealt daily with prospects, NCAA guidelines, and coaching staff. Dan was also involved in Florida Blue Key, Student Government and Greek Life. Currently, Dan oversees the IT consulting practice of a Tampa-based company. Dan enjoys golfing, country music, bourbon, travel, oysters, and a medium-rare steak. Dan can be found on Twitter at @DK_Thompson.


  1. Good job for the go around. I really apreciate you bringing some current music to the Thoughts of the Day/Week. Like most other young people I have no interest in music from the 60’s and always skipped over that section before. I’m not saying that music is bad, it’s just doesn’t appeal to me. Also, here in NC, country music is pretty big so thanks for the up and coming artist update as well. I’ve heard a few of Eric’s songs before and they’re pretty good.

    • I promise I just told Ray and Bernadette the same thing. I’m glad that I can actually listen to the song of the week for a change.

    • DRPETE, My comments reflected what Adam Silverstein wrote on OnlyGators in the Must Read Articles.

      I think he is smart for leaving the door open — because you never know what can happen — but at the same time, I see him staying for the long haul. There is no real reason for him to leave now. His favorite thing is growing players and you can’t do much of that in the NBA, it is too transient.