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Ex-area star considers post-Gator options
Hernando High graduate Bernice Mosby, dismissed from Florida, has talked with USF and contacted FSU.
By GREG AUMAN
Published March 25, 2005
One day after she was dismissed from the team, Bernice Mosby said she had hoped to stay with Florida but is eager for a fresh start elsewhere.
"I'm sad I had to leave, and I'm really sad for letting my teammates down," said Mosby, a 6-foot junior forward from Brooksville who was suspended from the team last month then dismissed Wednesday.
"This was something we decided. Me and my coach thought this was best for my team and best for me as a person."
USF is among the teams being considered by Mosby, who spoke with Bulls coach Jose Fernandez on Thursday. USF recruited her out of Hernando High. But the program has come a long way since then, earning its first two postseason berths and moving next season to the Big East.
"They have a great program that's on the rise, and I know (assistant coach Harry Elifson) and Jose really well," said Mosby, who also sent a release to Florida State, another school she considered. Mosby, who led the Gators with 15.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game as a junior, must sit out next season. She said she'll finish the spring semester at Florida and make a decision in time to attend summer classes at her new school.
"I'm happy to start a new journey in my life," Mosby said. "I really believe that if you're not happy as a person, it's not going to work out for you. You have to go through things like this to be a stronger person."
Mosby said she'd like to find a school that offers fashion design as a major. Florida does not, so she has been working toward a degree in event management. USF does not either, but FSU has a fashion program, as does LSU, where she nearly signed three years ago. Florida granted Mosby an unconditional release, but the SEC could frown on a player with only one season of remaining eligibility transferring from one league school to another.
Gators coach Carolyn Peck, who did not disclose the reason for the dismissal, called Wednesday's announcement "the hardest decision I've ever had to make as a coach." And Mosby said she harbors no ill will toward her coach.
"I had a great time here, and Florida is a great program," Mosby said. "There's no animosity between (Peck) and I, no hard feelings with any of my teammates. I'm content with this decision and want to move forward with my life."
MIAMI: Ferne Labati was fired as coach after missing the postseason for the first time in four seasons. She went 303-195 in 17 seasons and earned six tournament berths.
It could have a ripple effect at USF.
Fernandez is a Miami native who coached high school, junior college and Division II teams in the Miami area before coming to USF.
Fernandez declined to comment Thursday except to say he's happy with the job and is renegotiating his contract. His current deal has one season left at $88,000.
"I'm happy with what we're building here," he said. "(Athletic director) Doug Woolard has been very supportive, and our program is headed in a great direction."
Information from other news organizations was used in the report.