By ANTONYA ENGLISH
© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 1, 2001
HOOVER, Ala. -- Despite a push by Georgia fans for a change of venue, the annual Florida-Georgia game will remain in Jacksonville for the near future, Georgia athletic director Vince Dooley said Tuesday.
"I feel like what the majority (of Georgia followers) want is to stay there in the immediate future and I am negotiating that way at this time," Dooley said. "I think the game will definitely remain there for the immediate future."
Florida officials, including coach Steve Spurrier, have said they want the game to remain in Jacksonville. But Dooley said that might not be a viable option. There still is unrest among many big-time Georgia alumni, who would like to see the game played on a home-and-home basis.
"There are still some pressures there, from our standpoint, that others involved in the negotiations don't have to deal with," he said.
With three years left on his contract, Dooley said this most likely will be his final negotiation for the game, meaning the future could be placed in the hands of a new athletic director.
AN UNFORTUNATE TRAGEDY: Despite the death of freshman Eraste Autin from heat stroke and a massive heart attack nearly two weeks ago, SEC commissioner Roy Kramer said he's comfortable with the manner in which Florida handles its off-season conditioning and its actions after Autin's collapse.
"Based on the information I've gotten, and talking with people at Florida, I feel like they did the best job they could," Kramer said. "Proper steps were taken. It's just unfortunate that the incident occurred."
GETTING BACK ON THE GOOD SIDE: South Carolina tailback Derek Watson could be allowed back on the team.
Watson was suspended from the Outback Bowl and in the spring for disciplinary reasons. Coach Lou Holtz said his status will be evaluated this week.
"It does appear Derek Watson has done everything we asked him to do," Holtz said.
Holtz wouldn't say what Watson was asked to do.
WE'RE ALL-DECADE: Twelve former Florida players, the most of any school, have been selected to the SEC 1990s All-Decade Football Team, chosen by media representing all nine SEC-area states and several national writers.
Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel (quarterback), Ike Hilliard (receiver), Jason Odom (offensive lineman), Jevon Kearse (linebacker) and Lawrence Wright (defensive back, tied with Mississippi State's Walt Harris) were first-team selections. Fred Taylor (running back), Reidel Anthony (receiver), Reggie Green (offensive lineman), defensive linemen Kevin Carter, Ellis Johnson and Ed Chester and kicker Judd Davis (tied with Alabama's Michael Proctor) were selected to the second team.
Tennessee led in first-team selections with seven.