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When will Mo be out of chances?

Published June 8, 2003

Florida lineman Mo Mitchell is at it again (note: this is not a reprinted story). Last week, Mitchell was punished for "classroom attendance, conduct and academic issues." He was dismissed from the team by coach Ron Zook, but he wasn't really dismissed.

Mitchell remains on scholarship and Zook said he will return this fall if he "takes care of things." Zook also said Mitchell's latest issue "was no big deal." He's right: A mediocre player slipping up academically and incurring a suspension during the summer isn't seismic news.

Mitchell's rap sheet from the past 10 months is a big deal, though: underage drinking and an open-container violation; leaving the team for two weeks during the season for personal reasons; a senseless personal foul against Auburn that sparked the Tigers' comeback; multiple personal fouls against Florida State, trying to leave the field before the game ended and accusations he tried to injure an FSU player; criminal mischief charges, which were dropped for lack of evidence, for ripping mirrors off cars; and the latest transgression. What sort of message is Zook sending by not jettisoning Mitchell? His failure to properly discipline Mitchell is appalling. Mitchell's next chance, if he earns one, should come anywhere but at Florida, where he has worn out his welcome several times over. In Gainesville, it should be "No mo' Mo."

...and Rave In tennis, Belgium is huge

Waffles, chocolate, brussels sprouts, beer - tiny Belgium has its share of popular items.

Add this to its top-of-the-line exports: women's tennis players.

Serena Williams's year-long reign of dominance abruptly was interrupted Thursday in a French Open semifinal by Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne. It wasn't a fluke.

Henin-Hardenne is the No. 4 seed and had beaten Williams this year.

Henin-Hardenne defeated No. 2 seed Kim Clijsters Saturday for the title. It was an All-Belgian Grand Slam final at neighbor France.

Not bad for a nation roughly the size of Maryland with about 10-million people. Henin-Hardenne and Clijsters are welcome challengers to the Williams sisters. Venus and Serena have elevated women's tennis to new heights while leaving their competitors - Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati - in their wake, injured or humbled or both.

Serena had won four consecutive Grand Slams, vanquishing Venus in the final each time.

Henin-Hardenne, who has a textbook backhand, turned 21 a week ago. Clijsters, a spitfire competitor, turns 20 today. They have been playing each other since grade school and are poised to provide a lift to their sport.

And give tiny Belgium another source of pride.

[Last modified June 8, 2003, 01:33:29]

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