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Caldwell will not speculate on NFL

By ANTONYA ENGLISH, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 17, 2001

GAINESVILLE -- Despite speculation he is NFL-bound after this season, Florida wide receiver Reche Caldwell said Sunday he hasn't made a decisions.

"I'm just trying to focus on playing this last game and I'm not looking forward," the junior said. "I like playing for the Gators, and I'm going to just keep working hard and trying to do what I do to help this team win the Orange Bowl."

Caldwell, a former Jefferson High standout quarterback, and teammate Jabar Gaffney are the second tandem in Florida and SEC history to each have more than 1,000 receiving yards in one season. The others to reach 1,000 each: Chris Doering and Ike Hilliard in 1995.

Gaffney, a sophomore, said he hasn't decided if he will turn pro.

REGAINING COMPETITIVE EDGE: The Gators took the practice field for the first time since losing to Tennessee on Dec. 1, an upset that cost UF a shot at the SEC and national championship. Florida faces Maryland Jan. 2 in the Orange Bowl. "It's pretty good, pretty decent," coach Steve Spurrier said of his team's morale. "We've got to keep building it back up. We've got to keep working on them a little bit. ... You can't mope but for so long, and hopefully our moping is over." ... Guard Zac Zedalis has a scratched eye and missed practice, and center David Jorgensen was absent because of a family reunion. ... Spurrier said tailback Earnest Graham, injured in the win over Florida State, may play in the Orange Bowl.

O'Leary offered to resign from ND multiple times

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The lies George O'Leary lived for 21 years unraveled in a span of about 30 hours, leaving him jobless and Notre Dame without a coach.

The Associated Press reported that it began 6 p.m. Wednesday with a question about O'Leary's career at New Hampshire and ended near midnight Thursday after O'Leary admitted he made up the master's degree in education from New York University.

"It was a very disappointing and sad set of events," said Louis M. Nanni, vice president of public affairs and communication.

Notre Dame's sports information office got a call Wednesday from the Union Leader of Manchester, N.H., about a story on O'Leary, whose bio said he earned three letters at New Hampshire.

The Union Leader interviewed New Hampshire coaches and players from the seasons in question, and none remembered O'Leary playing. John Heisler, an associate athletic director, questioned O'Leary, who admitted he had not played and said someone must have made a mistake on the bio.

Things continued to unravel, and Nanni asked O'Leary about a handwritten form at Syracuse, where O'Leary got an assistant's job in 1980, that said he played.

"He said, 'Geez, it was 22 years ago. ... But if they have it, I probably (filled it out).' "

O'Leary offered to resign, but officials didn't accept at that time. Nanni asked if there were any more surprises.

"He kind of cryptically talked about a few different things. I then asked him if they were to look at his records with his master's degree at NYU, would it be fair to say they're not going to find your name there? He said, 'Yeah, that would be fair to say that.' "

That's when Nanni put together a group of administrators, including White and university president Rev. Edward A. Malloy.

"We talked it through and looking at the details of the things we felt there was just a breach of trust there," Nanni said. "George offered to resign five or six times during the course of that afternoon and evening. Finally late that evening we decided to accept it."

GEORGIA SOUTHERN: Offensive coordinator Mike Sewak was promoted to coach. The 43-year-old succeeds Paul Johnson, who resigned to become coach at Navy. Sewak has guided the Eagles offense to a 62-10 mark the past five years.

-- Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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