Florida Gators Bait & Bits: Billy D’s Contract Extension, Women’s Basketball, Gymnastics, and a Poster Snafu


Mar 22, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan reacts after defeating the Pittsburgh Panthers in the men’s basketball tournament. Mandatory Credit: ©Kim Klement-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 BrettKaplanHFH@gmail.com.


Penn State Nittany Lions Women’s Basketball. 11-seed Florida and three-seed Penn State meet tonight in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. The game is essentially a home game for the 14th-ranked Nittany Lions as it’s being played on their home floor. Florida has a 1-1 all-time record against Penn State. The last time the Gators played the Lady Lions, Florida came out with a 92-79 win against No. 9 Penn State in 2000. Let’s hope they can do that again tonight. Coverage starts at 7:10 pm on ESPN2.


Billy Donovan Signs Contract Extension. Florida and Billy Donovan agreed to terms to extend Donovan’s contract through the 2019 season. The deal is expected to keep his salary around $3.5 million with the potential to earn $20 million over the life of the extension. As David Jones of USA Today points out, Donovan and Florida had this contract on the table at the end of last year. A couple of interesting notes: This season was the first Donovan was allowed to return to the NBA after a five year agreement with Florida to not flirt with NBA teams after nearly leaving for the Orlando Magic. Also, Richard Johnson points this out:

Interesting stuff considering Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks could be calling at season’s end. (David Jones, USA Today)

Gymnastics Starts NCAAs at Penn State for Regionals. The top-ranked Gators’ quest for back-to-back national championships begins April 5th in University Park, PA. Florida’s regional includes No. 12 Oregon State, No. 15 Penn State, No. 23 New Hampshire, SEC foe 29th-ranked Kentucky and No. 36 Maryland. The top two teams along with the best all-around performances not on those two qualifying teams will advance to the NCAA Championships.

Four Gators on All-SEC Gymnastics Team. Four Florida gymnasts were named to the All-SEC team. Mackenzie Caquatto, Kytra Hunter, Alaina Johnson, and Bridget Sloan represent the Gators on the team. Hunter and Sloan each notched at least two perfect 10.0s on the season, with Hunter having six and Sloan two. Sloan also had the team’s top all-around score with Johnson at 39.825. Caquatto scored 9.95 three times each on the balance beam and uneven bars en route to personal bests in nearly every event, including the all-around.

Mike Summers Poster Snafu. Mike Summer is in his first year as the Gators offensive line coach and his job is to turn around a terrible group from last year. To try to put some pep in their step (I guess?), Summers tweeted out a photo of a poster (later deleted):

After it made it’s rounds among the media, Summers tweeted out a reprint:

It’s a somewhat inauspicious start to Summers’ time at Florida.

Reidel Anthony, Ramona Saridakis Bean Inducted into Palm Beach Hall of Fame. Former Gators wide receiver Reidel Anthony and runner Ramona Saridakis Bean were inducted into the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame Sunday night. Anthony was a standout WR on the 1996 national championship football team and enjoyed a five-year NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played high school at Glades Central. Saridakis Bean was a cross country and track competitor for Cardinal Newman and Florida. (Anthony Chiang, Palm Beach Post)

Tuesday Evenings Schedule. It’s a big night for Florida sports with women’s basketball having a chance to advance to their third Sweet 16 and baseball taking on No. 1 Florida State in Jacksonville, one week after beating them in Gainesville. Here’s the info:
Men’s Golf @ Valspar Invitational at the Floridian
6:00pm Baseball vs. No. 1 Florida State (Jacksonville)
7:00pm Women’s Basketball @ #14/15 Penn State – NCAA 2R

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