Discipline plays role in Richard's disappearing act

Published: Friday, January 30, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 29, 2004 at 11:53 p.m.

If you are like a lot of Florida basketball fans, you've been wondering about freshman Chris Richard.

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Gainesville Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley makes good on a bet by having his head shaved Friday afternoon at Beef O'Brady's Family Sports Pub by stylist Laura Green. Dooley said two weeks ago on his radio program on WGGG 1230-AM that if Georgia beat Kentucky on the road, he would shave his head. The Bulldogs won the basketball game 65-57. Along with a new hairdo, the boast raised more than $800 for Stop Children's Cancer. Beef O'Brady's at 1999 NW 43rd Street donated $200, Greg Ahrens was the largest single donor at $150, Dooley and co-host Heath Cline each donated $100, and many restaurant patrons on hand to watch the event donated as well.

MICHAEL C. WEIMAR/The Gainesville Sun

Richard appeared to be making progress with consecutive double-digit scoring games against Tennessee and Vanderbilt. But he played sparingly in the next two games, then did not play at all in Florida's win over Alabama on Tuesday night.

That appeared especially puzzling because Florida's big men were in foul trouble throughout the game in Tuscaloosa.

Richard's lack of playing time against Mississippi State was about the matchup problem with Lawrence Roberts. But the last two games were a result of Richard not doing the things asked of him by the coaching staff.

In fact, Richard served a one-game suspension against Alabama.

"It's internal within the program," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "It's more a case of my disciplinary action with him. I told him I'm not going to play him against Alabama. He's fine right now for Tennessee.

"It's a shame because I think he could have had a good game against Alabama. It was a good matchup for him."

On the other hand, freshman Ryan Appleby did not play in the last two games and may see little playing time the rest of the season.

"Physically, he's not there yet," said Donovan. "If Anthony Roberson and Matt Walsh don't get into foul trouble, it's going to be difficult to get him in there a lot."

  • LIVE ON TAPE: With two weeks between the conference title games and the Super Bowl, coaches for both Carolina and New England had plenty of time to study tapes of the opponents.

    Carolina coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Dan Henning even looked at a 1999 tape of a game between the Giants and Jets.

    Why? Because Henning was with the Jets and Fox was the defensive coordinator of the Giants. They wanted to see how Henning attacked Fox's defense.

    One tape that likely received plenty of attention is the one of New England's last loss, which seems like a year ago.

    In Landover, Md., back when the Washington Redskins still had hope for a good season, Steve Spurrier's team beat the Patriots 20-17.

    It wasn't a great offensive show for the Redskins (253 yards), and the defense allowed 387 yards. But Washington picked off Tom Brady three times and also recovered a fumble.

    So it's conceivable that in the same season, the world champions' last loss could be to Spurrier and the national champions' (LSU Tigers) only loss was to Florida.

  • ORR SWINGS: A coaching legend was in our town this week for a golf tournament played in his honor.

    Johnny Orr, who coached at both Michigan and Iowa State, took part in the fourth annual tournament in his honor at Plantation Oaks on Tuesday. There is also a tournament played for him in Dubuque, Iowa, every summer.

    Dick May, the owner of Plantation Oaks, is a close friend of Orr's and got the idea to have a winter event after playing in the tournament in Iowa each summer.

    Pros and amateurs from Iowa made the trip to play in the tournament. Two golfers -Nick Gilliam and Bubba Dickerson - tied for low pro honors, each with a 69 in the windy conditions.

    That's a pretty good leader board when you have a former NCAA champ and a former U.S. Amateur champ tying for top honors.

  • RIVAL COACHES: Carolina running back Stephen Davis has the distinction of playing for a Bowden and a Spurrier. He played his college football for Terry Bowden and one year under Steve Spurrier in Washington.

    "I'm only going to say this about Terry Bowden and Steve Spurrier," Davis said this week in Houston. "Those two guys are in the same boat as far as I'm concerned. Don't ask anything more because I'm going to leave it at that. They are in the same boat."

    Both coaches preferred an open passing attack rather than feature Davis' ability to run the ball.

    The only other player I can think of who played for a Bowden and a Spurrier was Vannez Gooch, who played at FSU under Bobby before transferring to Florida in 1998.

  • CLOSE SHAVE: Two weeks ago on the radio show I do with Heath Cline on WMOP and WGGG, these words somehow came out of my mouth:

    "If Georgia beats Kentucky in Rupp tomorrow, I'll shave my head."

    Dummy. Just dummy.

    The Bulldogs pulled off the stunner, their only Southeastern Conference win of the year so far, and I hoped that perhaps nobody heard my vow. Unfortunately, many of you did.

    So today at Beef O'Brady's on Northwest 43rd Street, the locks will come off while we're doing the show from 4-7 p.m. I needed a haircut anyway.

  • PAT-POURRI: Look for former Gator Clint Mitchell, who spent this year on injured reserve in Denver, to show up in NFL Europe this summer. . . . The Air Force likes to fly under the radar and this year's basketball team is no exception. I'll bet you didn't know the Falcons are 14-2 with wins at Cal and New Mexico and home wins over BYU and Utah. . . . It's way too early, but still of some interest to note that ESPN's Bracketology currently has Florida as a fifth seed in Denver for the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In all, there are seven SEC teams projected to the Big Dance. . . . That includes SEC East leader South Carolina which the media picked to finish sixth in the division during the preseason. . . . Former UF recruiting coordinator Tyke Tolbert is on the move again. After a year with the Arizona Cardinals, Tolbert is the new receivers coach with the Buffalo Bills. . . . Be safe.

    You can reach sports columnist Pat Dooley by calling 374-5053 or by e-mail at dooleyp@gvillesun.com. You can hear Pat weekdays from 4-5 p.m. on WGGG 1230-AM in Gainesville and WMOP 900-AM in Ocala.

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