Whitley's Believe It or Not

David Whitley
Gator Sports

Before we kick off this week's edition of Whitley's Believe It or Not, I'd like to congratulate UF on its award-winning weekend.

The Gators won the SEC men's swimming and diving championship, clinched at least a tie for the SEC gymnastics title and won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in an Offseason Drama.

That last award goes to tight end Arik Gilbert, who never actually played for Florida. He was last spotted in an LSU uniform in early December.

But young Mr. Gilbert was unhappy and entered the transfer portal and committed to the Gators. Then on Sunday he tweeted he was decommitting from UF and recommitting to the transfer portal.

When it comes to relationships, men and women have been entering the transfer portal for eons. It's a relatively new development with the NCAA, but the emotions are the same.

Florida fans feel jilted, and with good reason. Gilbert was a five-star recruit in 2019 and seemed like the perfect replacement for Kyle Pitts.

He was having a strong freshman season at LSU until he abruptly quit with two games left. Gilbert told coach Ed Orgeron "his body was hurting and he had some things to take care of."

One thing might be a problem with the C word — Cuh-Cuh-Cuh-Commitment.

The condition has led to many a breakup. The difference with the transfer is the number of people getting dumped.

Gilbert has broken thousands of hearts in a three-month span. That happens when you hook your emotional wagon to an 18-year-old manchild.

Overall, the transfer portal has been good for the Gators. It's brought them five former 5-star recruits, the latest being running back Demarkcus Bowman from Clemson.

So if you're suffering from Gilbert withdrawals, my advice is to look at the net results. And maybe spread a little more love to UF's swimmers and gymnasts. They're far less likely to break your heart. ...

I don't want to say the football recruiting industrial complex has gotten out of hand, but  MaxPreps reported over the weekend that 9-year-old Dashaun Morris II committed to Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga.

Dashaun (I can't call a 9-year-old by his last name) is apparently a football prodigy. He has 128,000 Instagram followers, which was 128,000 more than Tim Tebow did when he committed to Florida.

Hopefully, Dashaun will hang up when Nick Saban calls to tell him he should decommit and throw in with Tuscaloosa High. ...

Cal Ripken announced last week he was becoming a "special advisor" to DraftKings' board of directors. Ripken hopes to break Lou Gehrig's record of betting on 2,130 straight daily fantasy games. ...

Zoom of the Week

•NASCAR driver Tyler Reddick had his video news conference interrupted by his cat, which apparently wanted some face time with reporters. It was the second time this year the cat has tried to crash one of Reddick's Zoom calls.

Runner-up — Sacramento plastic surgeon Scott Green, who appeared in a videoconference for a traffic ticket while operating on a patient.

Green told the judge that another surgeon was assisting him, so he could proceed with the hearing. The judge took a pass and the Medical Board of California is investigating.

The patient's identity was not revealed, but if somebody's walking around Sacramento with a face that reminds you of a Picasso painting, you'll know why. ...

Note to Georgia fans

All those PGA golfers were wearing black and red on Sunday to honor Tiger Woods, not the Bulldogs. ...

Portal II

When Gilbert told Orgeron his body was hurting, don't you know Orgeron wanted to yell, "Of course it's hurting! This is football, not chess!". ...

Note to Georgia fans: Picasso was a painter. ...

Thanks for the memories

And finally, a moment of silence, please, for Joakim Noah, who announced his retirement from the NBA on Monday.

He and four other starters set an NCAA record for dedication when they all returned to defend their national championship in 2006. Besides his passion for the game, the ponytailed Noah exuded cool and wit.

He laughed when skeptics said he would be a bust after Chicago drafted him with the ninth pick. Noah turned into an All-Star and NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

The Athletic reported Noah plans to sign a short-term deal with Chicago and retire as a Bull. That will bring him full circle with coach Billy Donovan, who brought the spindly recruit to Gainesville 17 years ago.

So long, Joakim.

You were one guy who knew how to spell commitment.

— David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at And follow him on Twitter: @DavidEWhitley