Racial bias is not an issue to the Leaks


Published: Saturday, July 22, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 22, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
Curtis Leak wants to be perfectly clear - he has no problems with anything at the University of Florida.
"Florida has always treated us with class," Leak said Friday.
But in a column on a national Web site, Leak was quoted as saying that Florida fans did not want his son, Chris, to break former Gator quarterback Danny Wuerffel's records because Leak is black.
"Some woman did say to me that people around her said something like that," Curtis Leak said. "But I've never heard anything like that. And Chris has never told me he's heard anything like that."
You have something as big as the Gator Nation and there are always going to be some knuckleheads. And every quarterback who has succeeded Wuerffel has had to deal with the legend he left behind.
But 99 percent of Gator fans don't want Chris Leak to be white, they just want him to be Wuerffel.

Busy summer for Billy

When your three potential first-round draft choices announce they are returning only four days after winning the national title and you lose only one senior, you would expect a pretty quiet summer.
It has been anything but that for Billy Donovan.
His future rosters have changed so much you have to slow down and put them together in your head. OK, I do. But even for the rest of you, the scholarship count has kept you on your toes.
First, Jimmie Sutton transferred. Then, David Huertas. Meanwhile, Florida gets in the mix for Dan Werner, eventually handing Kentucky another loss by landing the 6-foot-8 high school star. Donovan also gets commitments for 2007 from Alex Tyus and Adam Allen, growing that class to four. And, of course, the latest soap opera concerning Doneal Mack, who failed to gain admittance to Florida.
Mack's high school coach John Jordan came off looking silly when he accused Donovan of sabotaging Mack to get Werner instead, saying it happened to open up a scholarship.
"We have a scholarship left," Donovan said. "Believe me, we'd have loved to have both of them."
Mack had his ACT score flagged and UF's rule is that when that happens, you have to come within two points on the re-take. Mack came within three. Rules are rules.
Meanwhile, in the middle of all of this, Donovan flew to New York to be the godfather for his niece and to Los Angeles for the filming of the ESPY Awards.
"I sat across the aisle from Will Ferrell," Donovan said. "That is one funny dude."
Donovan and his wife, Christine, received some face time on the broadcast.

Meyer's flick

You probably have caught Urban Meyer in the latest Nike commercial along with Don Shula and Deion Sanders among others.
As you might expect, the few seconds of time Meyer is seen in the commercial took a little longer to film in Los Angeles.
"It took a day-and-a-half for me to be on for about a second-and-a-half," Meyer said. "They called me and I figured it would be good for the school. There's actually a second one and my daughter Nicki may be in it, too. They filmed her as Deion Sanders' daughter."

Track and flee

Arkansas has a bit of a mess on its hands with the resignation of assistant men's track coach Lance Brauman after being charged with embezzlement, theft and mail fraud. It could also affect Florida.
The Gators finished second to Arkansas outdoors in both 2004 and 2005. Brauman was convicted in Kansas recently on five felony charges related to his tenure at Barton County Community College, where he coached the men's and women's track and field teams from 1997-2002.
Federal prosecutors said Brauman, while an Arkansas assistant, sent money from Arkansas to Barton County to pay for a course he knew sprinter Tyson Gay would not take. Gay no longer appears on Arkansas' online rosters from the two years when he earned 19 and 16 points, respectively, in the '04 and '05 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
If the NCAA vacates the titles and moves up No. 2, Florida would suddenly have a new pair of national championships. NCAA reps didn't return calls this week.

Bye Batesy

Our community won't seem quite as funny, quite as zany during the next football season.
James Bates won't be around. The former Florida linebacker who settled in Gainesville after his college career and has been a TV staple is moving to Denver. He will become the face of Mountain West Conference football on CSTV.
It's good for him, bad for us. Who's going to do those impressions of Tennessee fan Luther Ogle?

Camping it up

You kids have no excuses. Me, I have plenty for not turning into a great athlete. For example, I didn't have the options like you have next week.
Option one: Learn football from Shane Matthews, Willie Jackson and Kerwin Bell among others at Shane's Fun 'n' Gun Youth Camp at Oak Hall July 28 and 29. You can call 332-1366 for more info.
Option two: Learn the fundamentals of basketball at the Hoops Galore Camp run by former Gator great Dan Cross at P.K. Yonge Wednesday through Saturday next week. Call 284-2400 for more info on that camp.
Or do both. Like I said, you have no excuses.

Pat-pourri

Florida gymnastics coach Rhonda Faehn and assistant men's tennis coach Jeremy Bayon married recently in Ponte Vedra. You can still call her Rhonda Faehn. ... Kentucky is tinkering with the idea of moving Randolph Morris to forward and starting either Lukasz Orbut or Jared Carter at center. Think that's a direct reflection on UF's combo of Joakim Noah and Al Horford? ... Ike Hilliard made the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame but the media release failed to mention he was suspended as a junior in '96. ... Danny Wuerffel's battle to save his Desire Street Ministry will be featured on Aaron's Football Saturdays in the South at 2 p.m. Sunday on Fox. ... Emmitt Smith will be honored at the Buoniconti Fund's Legends of Sports dinner Sept. 19 along with Dean Smith and Patrick Ewing among others. Former UF women's track coach Bev Kearney will also be honored. ... Be safe.
You can reach sports columnist Pat Dooley by calling 374-5053 or by e-mail at dooleyp@gainesvillesun.com

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