Published: Friday, January 23, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 22, 2004 at 11:46 p.m.
Practice starts today for Gators' 2004 season
"We're excited to begin team practice as we get closer to the season opener," coach Pat McMahon said. "There is a lot of competition for jobs so we can't wait to let our players compete for positions."
Today's practice begins at 2:35 p.m, but the weekly schedule will fluctuate depending on weather conditions. All workouts are open to public and will feature numerous intra-squad games.
The 20th-ranked Gators open the season by playing host to Gardner-Webb Feb. 7 at 2 p.m.
Gators take on No. 1-ranked Auburn
Florida plays host to Auburn, whose men's and women's teams are both ranked No. 1, at 7 tonight in the O'Connell Center, while Alabama travels to Gainesville to take on the Gators at 1 p.m. Saturday in a meet that will be shown on the Sunshine Network tape-delayed.
The matchup with the Tigers will be among the most prestigious dual meets of the collegiate season. Auburn and Florida combined will showcase nine Olympians, 11 NCAA champions and 47 All-Americans.
"I think it's probably the top dual meet in the country this year," Florida head coach Gregg Troy said. "The meet is going to be exciting and challenging for us, and I think we'll put on a good show for our fans."
Florida meets Alabama on Senior Day in another dual meet. The 12 Gator seniors will be honored before the meet, while Florida also will hold a "Meet the Team" session at 10:30 a.m. at the O'Connell Center.
Rule change allows coaches to call timeouts
Previously, a timeout could be requested only by a player. To request a timeout, the head coach must be on the field and clearly be seen by the official.
''One of the purposes of timeouts is to legally conserve time,'' said Jerry Diehl, assistant director of the National Federation of State High School Associations and liaison to the group's football rules committee. ''It is not a major issue whether the head coach or a player requests the time-out.''
The rule change was approved at a recent meeting in Phoenix.
Teammates, friends remember fallen player
''We are here in Haas Pavilion today because this is what Alisa lived and this is where Alisa wanted to be,'' said Caren Horstmeyer, head coach of California's women's basketball team. ''Can't you just see her watching over us?''
Lewis, a reserve in her junior year, died after being taken to the emergency room early Monday with a severe headache, rash and flu-like symptoms.
Test results later confirmed the cause was bacterial meningitis, an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. Teammates and others who might have been in close contact with Lewis were given antibiotics as a precaution, but health officials said they believed the risk of infection was extremely low.
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