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College football roundup

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 19, 2000


UF gives Gaffney scholarship back

GAINESVILLE -- Wide receiver Jabar Gaffney has broken records and caught plenty of accolades this season, but his return will not be complete until January.

And not Jan.2, for the Sugar Bowl.

Jan.8, the first day of classes in the spring, Gaffney will get back the scholarship he lost in December 1999.

"It's great to get the scholarship back," Gaffney said Monday. "My main thing was to come out here and work hard and get that back."

Gaffney, dismissed after being arrested, was allowed back on the team as a walk-on after spring drills.

"We have got some seniors (receiver Alex Willis and offensive lineman Leon Hires) graduating and we will have the chance to do that," coach Steve Spurrier said.

Gaffney broke NCAA records in receiving touchdowns (14) and receiving yards (1,184) for a freshman.

He was named national freshman of the year by the Sporting News.

NFL STATUS: Tackle Kenyatta Walker said his decision to turn pro will be based on his projected draft status. "It's first (round) or nothing," said Walker, who still is awaiting an answer from the NFL.

COLON STILL RECRUITED: Offensive lineman Jonathan Colon is being recruited again by Florida. He attended UF during the second summer session, but left after not receiving the required test scores.

NO TRUTH: Quarterback Brock Berlin said he is not thinking of transferring. "I'm just looking forward to next season and everything going on here," said Berlin, who will battle Rex Grossman for the starting position.

FSU peaking

TALLAHASSEE -- Even though Christmas is fast approaching, the Seminoles weren't thinking about resting and exchanging gifts.

No, they weren't Scrooges. They were focusing on Oklahoma and the national championship showdown in the Jan.3 Orange Bowl.

"Today was one of the best practices we've had all year in terms of intensity and concentration," senior quarterback Chris Weinke said. "That's exactly what we need ... before we take a few days off."

The players' gusto also caught the eye of coach Bobby Bowden, who returned to his spot in the practice-field tower after staying in bed for much of the weekend with a bad cold.

"I couldn't believe how well they practiced," he said. "I can remember days when we were preparing for bowls where everybody was just bored to death. ... This team has shown some maturity about them."

ODDS AND ENDS: Senior cornerback Tay Cody, nursing a cold, missed practice. ... Oft-injured junior tailback Davy Ford (broken collarbone) is running but isn't cleared for contact. Senior tight end Nick Franklin (knee), the former Osceola High star, is in a similar situation. ... The team helped 250 needy children pick out Christmas gifts at Target on Sunday morning. Each child could spent $75. A local family, the Ghazvinis, funded the shopping spree.

'Canes work overtime

CORAL GABLES -- After several days of work on fundamentals and conditioning, No.2 Miami focused on attacking the Gators.

"With classes finished, it gives us a chance to really work in a lot more detail on everything," coach Butch Davis said.

Defensive end Jevon Rhodes did not practice. He is awaiting clearance to return while recovering from the effects of a bruised back that led to a kidney malfunction late in the season.

Dolphins' All-Americans

JACKSONVILLE -- Linebacker Tommy Swindell was named to the I-AA Independent All-America first team. Junior Brett Palmi earned first-team honors as a punt returner and second-team honors as a receiver.

Around the nation

GEORGIA: Packers receivers coach Ray Sherman and Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey interviewed for the vacant coach position. Southern Miss coach Jeff Bower and FSU offensive coordinator Mark Richt have been contacted, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

IOWA STATE: Coach Dan McCarney was rewarded for the team's first winning effort in 11 seasons with a contract that doubles his salary to $600,000. It runs through 2004.

-- Staff writer Brian Landman and correspondent Debi Jones contributed to this report.

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