Share All sharing alternatives for: Florida Softball"s Babsence Friday: Three Starters Dismissed Before 2-1 NCAA Tournament Loss To Florida Gulf Coast


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Tim Walton"s suspension of 3 Florida softsphere starters touched off among the worst days for the Gators in recent memory.
The easy thing to compose about from Florida softball"s eventful Friday is the thing that made history. Florida dropped 2-1 to Florida Gulf Coast in their initially game of the Gainesville Regional of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, starting off their attempt to make a fifth right Women"s College World Series through a loss to a regimen that had never before prior to appeared in an NCAA Tournament.

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The Gators, the No. 5 national seed heading into the 2012 NCAA Tournament, never before led versus the Eagles, thanks to Kirsten Bembnowski"s second-inning homer off Hannah Rogers. Florida got its in the 3rd inning on Lauren Haeger"s RBI single, however would not score again on FGCU starter Shelby Mbody organ, and Emily Lanier"s solo swarm off Rogers (salso innings, 6 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 walks, nine strikeouts) in the sixth inning proved to be the difference.

Florida falls to the losers" bracket of the Gainesville Regional, and also will certainly challenge UCF — a team that shut out the Gators in their only meeting of the seakid — on Saturday in an elimicountry game. The bideal side of Friday"s outcome on the field, for Florida, might simply be that they will constantly be fondly remembered by Florida Gulf Coast: the win was the initially for the Eagles by any type of team in any type of Division I NCAA Tournament, and also this is FGCU"s first year as a Division I regime.

But all of that appears nearly prefer subplot, offered that sophomores Kasey Fagan and Cheyenne Coyle and also freshmale Sami Fagan were suspended and also departed from the team mere hours prior to the 2012 NCAA Tournament, apparently after an altercation, and will certainly apparently carry from Florida.

UF announced on Friday afternoon that the Fagans and Coyle would certainly not play versus the Eagles; coach Tim Walton told reporters after the game that all 3 players were off the team for the rest of the seakid.

Walton declined to give specifics around why the players are no much longer on the team, saying just that he is handling the situation internally and that the players "are no longer via us."

When asked if that was permanently, he said:

"As you go via the finish of the season you"ve gained to deal with everything where you"re at, so as of right currently they are off the team for the remainder of the seachild."

Kevin Fagan, father of Kasey and Sami and also their previous softball coach, told The Gainesville Sun that "an altercation on the team" is to blame, and also that Walton made the decision to cut those three players loose.

"The team type of separated and Walton felt favor it was in his finest interest to remove those three," he said.

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"I"ve booked an appointment via the athletic director, but yes, they"re done tright here," he said. "They will not play tright here anymore."

Saturday morning, Sami Fagan required to her Facebook web page to pass along her very own statement:

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The 3 of us have actually not been released from the team bereason of racism or bullying. There are a lot of rumors circulating that are false. Kasey and also Cheyenne were both Michelle"s roommate. All 3 of us are good friends via her, and also will certainly remain close to her. It is sad that world have actually produced such false accusations.

Fagan is referring to Michelle Moultrie, UF"s only senior, that is babsence. Upday, 12:05 a.m. Sunday: Moultrie just tweeted her very own comments around the still-mysterious altercation:

Kasey, Sami, and also Cheyenne are really good friends of mine. This is difficult on everyone. Please do not spcheck out crazy rumors. They"re not true.

In a comment on that condition, Fagan composed "We will not be returning to the College of Florida. Thank you all for your support." If you want an indication that the 3 players — that apparently soaked up the Fagans" alma mater, Dunnellon High, shedding to Lake City Columbia High on Friday night, a game that featured Florida footsphere target Laremy Tunsil — will deliver that goes beyond the father of two of them saying as a lot, obtaining it from among the players is most likely pretty great.

If race played a function in the altercation that is reportedly at the root of this suspension, it would be simply an additional example of the Florida softball team clumsily managing the subject. In October, Rogers tweeted photos of herself and also various other Florida softsphere players dressed up as Florida footround players, finish via blackconfront, for a costume party.

In the comments of that write-up, "softballchick" included that Rogers and Kelsey Horton dressed up as "INDIA ladies" for a "COWBOY/INDIAN party." That party might, perhaps, be the root of these images of Sami Fagan and also Coyle, both offered as the players" Twitter backgrounds for their now-defunct accounts.

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This photo, of Fagan, was uploaded as a paper named "indy.jpg."

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This photo is from Coyle. All 3 players deleted their Twitter accounts over the course of the past 48 hours, and Florida pitcher Lauren Haeger tweeted that she is adhering to suit and also deleting her account; Haeger likewise tweeted out what could be thoughts in the wake of the altercation on Thursday.

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Something has felt wrong to me about this Florida softball team since Rogers tweeted those photos. The team banded together that night on Twitter to strike a perchild who offered a vulgar term in a reply to Rogers in re: her photos; they did the same thing recently to assault the many type of vocal doubters of Florida baseball"s Cody Dent (the boyfriend of softround player Ensley Gammel), charging that fans need to be unfailingly supportive of their team, not instrumental. They were wrong around that, I think, because fans have eextremely best to boo their own players, much less accurately assess players prefer the weak-hitting Dent as deficient, because being a fan is not an act restricted only to cheering.

I take into consideration myself proof of that: My very own fanhood of Florida softball has actually been a tempered one considering that the photos, via my pride in them as fellow Gators mitigated by off-placing tweets around just how (and I"m paraphrasing, as I faibrought about save those tweets) fans would certainly not have to go to church on Sundays bereason of many players" usage of Christian worship songs as at-bat music, my discovery of Fagan and Coyle"s "Indian" getups (which are every little bit as racially tone-deaf as the use of blackface), and also, recently, being told that an underage softround player was watched drinking at a Gainesville bar.

Right or wrong, the impression I obtained of the Florida softround team, as an attentive and also interested observer, was of a team through a small-minded cadre of players at its core — a clique that did not take kindly to criticism or adversity, and that did even more scowling than smiling. (For what it"s worth, I believed that both last year"s cover of Avril Lavigne"s "What the Hell" and this year"s cover of "Call Me Maybe" were considerably less fun than the source songs, partially because of what seemed prefer a conscious effort to show up to be having actually fun.)

We do not recognize every one of the story of the last 2 days yet, and also we can not understand it, if Walton chooses not to divulge his reasons for reportedly dismissing the Fagans and also Coyle and also the Fagans and also Coyle decide to store mum about their component in it. I recognize extremely little bit beyond what I"ve written and also reported below. But I recognize sufficient about Florida sporting activities, and this Florida softround team, to take into consideration this seaboy one of the a lot of painful to endure by any kind of Florida team over the expectancy of my Gators fanhood.

In quotes after Friday"s loss, Walton appeared resigned to this outcome being the outcome of him making the finest decision when confronted with a tough choice.

"It"s something that I handled and also tackled and I can and also and I"m qualified of managing," Walton shelp afterward. "I"d be crazy to say it didn"t influence the team.

"A team is a team and you work tough from the beginning of the seakid. Any sort of leave of any kind of perkid on this team not in that lineup or not on this field is a distraction, no question."

The distraction is not beneficial, to be certain. But it"s also factual that the Gators are worse without 3 dependable starters. Without the Fagans and also Coyle — Sami led the team through a .371 batting average; Coyle swatted 10 homers, was third on the team with 34 RBI, and also played solid defense at shortstop; Kasey started 50 games for Florida — Florida"s really hopes of heading to Oklahoma City are on life support, even via the rerevolve of power hitter Brittany Schutte (.457 average, 3 homers, and also 23 RBI in 18 games in 2012) to the lineup, and also their possibilities of playing after this weekend are practically as slim, through three groups that have actually beaten the Gators this year playing a team considerably lessened from its peak potential.

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The Gators play what might be their last game of the seachild this afternoon at 3:30 versus UCF. While I have never and also hopefully will never root against any type of Gators, I can"t say I"ll be specifically upcollection if this lost seachild meets an abrupt end.