Bait & Bits: Florida-Florida State Renews Rivalry, Matt Elam’s Day Job, Prather & Dovonvan Finalists, and UF in Congress


Oct 6, 2012; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive back Matt Elam (22) celebrates a defensive play after losing his helmet against the LSU Tigers during the fourth quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Bait & Bits, a series on Hail Florida Hail that will feature one “bait” about an opposing school and some bits about the Gators. Have any links that you want on Bait & Bits? Tweet it at us @HailFloridaHail or @BrettKaplan13 or email it to us at


Vanderbilt Women’s Basketball Seniors. Florida’s women’s basketball team heads to Nashville tonight to face Vanderbilt. The Gators are hoping for the same result as their men’s basketball counterparts had when they faced the Commodores. But this will be senior night at Vandy and seniors Jasmine Lister and Christina Foggie are following a tradition in which they dedicate their final home game to a charity or community-service group. This year, the ‘Dores will honor the Nashville Dolphins – a group that provides year-round swimming opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Fans in attendance are asked to wear lavender in support. It’s certainly a great tradition and cause, but let’s hope Florida comes away with the W.


Matt Elam’s Offseason Day Job. Former safety for Florida Matt Elam makes a lot of money in the NFL playing for the Baltimore Ravens. But Elam is working at Finish Line, the retail shoe store, to gain knowledge as a businessman. He decided to work at the Oaks Mall location in Gainesville because he’s working on his Anthropology degree from UF. Kudos to Elam for being a prudent businessman and finishing school. You can read the full story here. (Garrett Downing,

Florida-Florida State Renews; East Carolina Added. It’s not like there was any question that they would, but Florida and Florida State have extended their series through the 2018 season. The contract between the two schools ended after this season. Florida also announced East Carolina has been added to the 2015 slate, most likely because the Pirates are moving to the American Athletic Conference (AAC; Formerly the Big East) and strength of schedule will help the Gators move in to the four playoff spots. (GatorZone)

Billy Donovan and Casey Prather Among Finalists. The United State Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) has named Billy Donovan as one of 10 coaches named a finalist for the Coach of the Year honors. The USBWA also named Casey Prather to their Player of the Year list. Prather’s one of 15 finalists for the award. My question is: Where’s Scottie Wilbekin on these national awards lists? He’s the MVP of the Gators. (h/t Pat Forde) (GatorCountry)

Men’s Tennis Beats FSU. No. 22 Florida’s men’s tennis team beat Florida State, 4-2 Wednesday. The Seminoles provided some drama, but the Gators were able to pull out the win. Visit here for a complete recap. (GatorZone)

Tonight’s Sports Schedule. The second-ranked men’s and fourth-ranked women’s track & field teams start competing at the 2014 SEC Indoor Championships in College Station, TX today. The Pentathlon begins today at 1:30 and the Gators have two participants in the event. You can see the full schedule with UF’s particpants here. Florida baseball also starts their round-robin play tonight against Florida Gulf Coast at 7 pm. Illinois is the other team involved. And finally, women’s basketball travels to Vanderbilt with tip-off at 8 pm.

UF in Congress. Florida once again has beaten Florida State in something else, this time with a political flair. The University of Florida ranked in the top-20 universities with members in U.S. Congress. Currently, there are 12 alumni serving in Congress, more than Princeton, Columbia, and Dartmouth. For those who are counting, Florida State has only four. (Amanda Kastrinos, The Independent Florida Alligator)

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