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Driskel Injury At UF Shines Light On Bigger Problem With Fans, Media

The quarterback duel in Gainesville between Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel may be decided by injury rather than by on-field performance.  According to Twitter reports today, Driskel has banged up his left, non-throwing shoulder.  Ah, but the extent of the injury is anyone’s guess.

Robbie Andreu of The Gainesville Sun claims a source told him that Driskel sustained a “significant shoulder injury” in practice today.

But Bryan Holt of — the Rivals site covering Florida — claimed he had heard from “a source close to Florida” that Driskel “seems fine.”

Meanwhile, WJXL-AM 1010 in Jacksonville has reported that Driskel suffered a “broken scapula.”

The website does a nice job of summing up just how bizarre the whole situation is.  And it’s really just symptomatic of a larger problem.

Fans knock news outlets when they don’t get a story first.  But fans also knock news outlets when they rush a story that turns out to be more rumor from poor sources than fact.  Catch-22.

Then you have schools who close down practices, won’t talk about injuries, and — in some cases — produce their own “news” coverage on their official athletic department website which is really nothing more than PR spin.

And fans like that, too.

So fans want news first and fast and accurate — which isn’t always possible — since many media members are now more worried about getting something up on Twitter before anyone else than they are actually getting their facts straight.  Oh, and there are also more media members than ever before, all trying to make names for themselves.  Break a story, get followers.  It’s a simple formula.  But not every media member out there paid attention in — or even attended — journalism ethics classes.  Some folks are more likely to throw a lot of nonsense up against the wall, knowing that if just one thing sticks… they’re gold.

So while we wait for final word on Driskel’s injury — if that word ever officially comes — it might be a good time for fans and those of us in the media alike to ponder just what the hell we’re doing these days.


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SEC Headlines 7/8/2011

1. One month into the search, Tennessee has yet to interview an AD candidate.

2. Vanderbilt is getting a new grass field - courtesy of U2.

3. A review of Gene Chizik’s new memoir: “(T)he book seems to be missing some central figures in Auburn’s two-year turnaround and Chizik’s ascent from 5-19 coach to national champion — the assistant coaches.”

4. A key to success for any SEC team this fall - the schedule.

5. More on Willie Lyles and the LSU connection.

6. Two newcomers have yet to enroll at Alabama.

7. He was the top rusher and receiver for Ole Miss last year and now Brandon Bolden has a new role – leader.

8. Alabama won exactly 10 games last year. The previous four times that happened, the next season was a losing one.

9. Big changes - key word big – along the Georgia defensive line coming this year.

10. Top 25 countdowns: The player - Courtney Upshaw. The game – Arkansas vs. Texas A&M.

11. Trial for four former Auburn players accused of armed robbery gets pushed back to late October.

12. Robbie Andreu peruses the new Florida football media guide.

13. Incoming Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis is talking national championship. Kentucky releases its 2011-2012 roster. Breakout candidates.

14. New Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin is on a recruiting blitz.

15. Former Vol player Wayne Chism gets a $73-grand award from his former Turkish team.


16. American sports take a beating in the British press.

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SEC Headlines – 6/30/11 Part Two

1.  While Rotnei Clarke considers Butler, former Arkansas guard Jeff Peterson has decided to transfer to Florida State.

2.  This writer says it’s time to start focusing on who is returning to Razorbacks’ basketball team.

3.  Mississippi State fans are enjoying wins and feeling some schadenfreude at Ole Miss fans’ expense.

4.  Robbie Andreu of The Gainesville Sun picks Georgia to win the SEC East.

5.  Here’s a preview of South Carolina’s football team… from a Florida perspective.

6.  Here’s a list — what else — from Athlon’s of the best new assistants in college football (complete with three SEC hires).

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There’s A Good Chance Practices Will Be Closed At UF This Spring

Out with the old, in with the new.  Only Will Muschamp might not want you to know what exactly will be new when Florida hits the football field this fall.  For that reason, Robbie Andreu of The Gainesville Sun believes “there’s a good chance that many, if not all, Florida practices will be closed to the public and the media.”

The writer believes spring practice in the Sunshine State will take on a more serious tone under the Gators’ new coach.  Rather than the spring being used to work on the development of young players — as was often the case under Urban Meyer — Muschamp and crew have to learn their players strengths and weaknesses and put in new offensive and defensive systems.

Interestingly, Andreu is A-OK with being locked out of practice… if it comes to that.

This is going to be a spring about competing and staying focused as the Gators move into a new era.  If the coaches decide the fans and the media might be a distraction, hey, I’m cool with that.

It’s that happy-go-lucky attitude that easily makes The Gainesville Sun the most obliging and accommodating hometown paper in the SEC.

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SEC: Auburn-South Carolina to meet in title game

Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(AP photo/Phil Sandlin)

(AP photo/Phil Sandlin)

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SEC: At Georgia, the problem is coaching

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(AP photo)

(AP photo)

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SEC: South Carolina wants to exorcise Chicken Curse

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SEC: Florida catching heat over Chris Rainey

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