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Ex-official dismisses Spurrier's allegations

By ANTONYA ENGLISH

© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 1, 2001


GAINESVILLE -- Two former Tennessee players who live in the Knoxville area, referee Rocky Goode and back judge Terry Brown, were on the SEC crew that coach Steve Spurrier blasted Sunday for poor officiating at Saturday's Georgia game.

While Spurrier contends the officiating was poor and perhaps even biased against the Gators, a former SEC official said the allegations are typical of Spurrier when a Tennessee crew is involved.

"Spurrier has always been sensitive about the Tennessee crews," Bert Ackerman told the Knoxville News-Sentinel. "He has a history of that sort of thing since he's been coaching at Florida. You just have to laugh because it's so obvious why he says those things."

Ackerman, who retired last season after 32 years, was part of a Tennessee crew that Spurrier ranted against after the 1996 Florida-Florida State regular-season game.

He said two of the nine SEC officiating crews are comprised mainly of former Tennessee players or residents of Tennessee.

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley filed an oral complaint with SEC commissioner Roy Kramer, and Spurrier said he won't address the issue anymore.

NO-LOVE DEFENSE: The defense is starting to get annoyed that national commentators keep omitting it when talking about the nation's top defenses.

Florida ranks fourth in the nation in scoring defense and eighth in total defense.

"We talk about that every week when we get on the bus. What's it going to take?" senior defensive back Marquand Manuel said.

"We hear them talk about all the other defenses. At the end, when it's all said and done, they are going to say that our defense is great because week in and week out we perform."

Florida defensive coordinator Jon Hoke said entering the season, he and his staff believed the group had a chance to be special.

"As a defensive staff, we felt we had a good core of seniors," Hoke said. "We had guys that played a lot. We had guys that had been through a lot.

"We felt very good about Marquand, Andra Davis, Bennie Alexander, Travis Carroll, Alex Brown and those guys." BASKETBALL BEGINS: The men's basketball team plays its first preseason game tonight against Birmingham (England). Tipoff is at 7 at the O'Connell Center.

WAMBACH HONORED AGAIN: Senior soccer forward Abby Wambach will make her third appearance of the month on the Soccer America Team of the Week.

This is her fourth appearance and the fourth time a Gator has made the team this month.

Florida won twice last weekend. Wambach had five goals and three assists, including her eighth career hat trick against Mississippi State.

Wambach was named SEC player of the week and is among 15 candidates for the Missouri Athletic Club Collegiate Soccer Player of the Year Award.

No. 13 Florida hosts No.10 Clemson at 6 p.m. Saturday at Percy Beard Stadium. Admission is free.

AREA STANDOUTS: Former Citrus High state champion Cory Presnick finished 36th (25 minutes, 47.97 seconds) at the SEC cross-country meet last week as Florida finished fourth behind Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee.

Sophomore golfer Amanda Dick of Clearwater shot 228 (77-74-77) to finish 16th and lead the Gators to a fourth-place finish at the Lady Paladin Invitational on Sunday.

- Antonya English covers Florida athletics. She can be reached at (813) 226-3389 or

english@sptimes.com.

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