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Florida offenseive coordinator Kurt Roper will be packing up and leaving Gainesville because of the departure of head coach Will Muschamp.GAINESVILLE – Coaching changes in sports are inevitable. When one leaves, everybody wants to know who is next.It’s so stressful to a program that the “coach in waiting” tag was started a few years ago in college football, although it rarely seems to work out.Florida State was one of the lucky ones, with Jimbo Fisher already in place when Bobby Bowden left. But often the title just means the next guy in line will get the head coaching job only if the stars are lined up just right.Muschamp’s departure may mean some Gators jumping to NFLBut lost in all the stress, change and scramble are the names and faces most people forget about quickly. Assistant coaches can make or break a program. Kurt Roper was supposed to save Will Muschamp at Florida after running up huge offensive numbers at Duke as the coordinator there. He took a gamble and left security, and almost certainly a future lucrative salary as a head coach somewhere soon to try to turn the Gators around.It didn’t happen. But assistants like Roper, who refers to his family when talking about jobs, are used to chasing the dream.“We got fired at Ole Miss in 2004 and then at Kentucky and Tennessee and other places,” Roper said. “Shoot, we love it here. Everybody’s been great to us … so we’ll miss it.”Roper has a wife and two kids, both under the age of 7. They found a place to live, moved everything they had from North Carolina, made friends and settled in. But he knew what could happen, it’s part of the job.Now the Ropers will have to do it all over again.No, he didn’t rent. The Roper family will have a house filled with nothing but lost dreams for sale pretty soon, if you’re interested.Muschamp’s departure may mean some Gators jumping to NFLFlorida’s new special teams coordinator for 2014, Coleman Hutzler, received a one-year deal worth $230,000 in base salary and new offensive line coach Mike Summers was given $190,000, with a two-year deal. But most assistants have one-year deals and few schools pay like UF. When a coach exits, the mad scramble is on to save yourself.One assistant told the story a few years ago, after his head coach was fired, of being in his office making calls to recruits while another member of the same staff was in the room next door calling the same recruit to try to convince him to go to another school. Both were still coaching at the same school for another month before leaving for other jobs, but were already trying to lure commitments elsewhere.Talk about weird.Some of that will certainly happen at Florida, as sneaky as it is, in the coming weeks. But right now, the biggest concern for assistants is trying to get the Gators ready for a couple more regular season games. And hope the phone rings with job offers in the meantime.“You take calls when the calls come,” said Roper, who’s never been fired in-season. “The No. 1 priority is to be prepared (for the last two games). … I’ve never been through this. To be honest with you, I think it gets harder (to stay focused) a little bit as you go. It’s getting harder rather than easier because it’s human nature.”Over the years, one of the most uncomfortable moments I’ve experienced is when an email or a text suddenly shows up with the new contact information of an assistant coach you dealt with for many years. I’ve had the experience of one day jogging in a neighborhood and waving at an assistant and a week later he texted me with his new phone number at a new job.It happens that quickly, which is the sad part of athletics, but the reality. One day an assistant is there, the next they are gone, often sleeping in hotels for months at a new job while the rest of the family packs up. Those days are coming again in Gainesville and at other schools where changes will be made in the coming weeks. One of those who has lost jobs and landed elsewhere texted me Sunday night just to say hello. He’s moved three times in about four years since leaving the Sunshine State and he’s still got the house he bought on the market in Gainesville.Good luck, Kurt.Contact David Jones at djones@floridatoday. com or follow him on Twitter: @DaveJonesSports
The National Sports Commission (NSC) continues to support the development of sports in Guyana and recently sustained that mantra by donating to the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF). The federation received a cheque of two million dollars as a contribution towards their hosting of the Easter Weekend CARIFTA Junior chess championships.Seon Erskine – NSC’s Technical Development Officer presented the cheque to the federation’s members John Lee and Anand Raghunauth. The latter is responsible for the coordination of the Chess in Schools initiative. Meanwhile, speaking after the handing over ceremony, the federation members made a plea to the general public to come out and support Guyana’s preparation for the tournament and to share in the competition experience over the Easter Weekend at the Princess Ramada Hotel. Contact could be made with the President- Frankie Farley (670-3839) John Lee (623-0896) or Anand Raghunauth (681-8771) to aid the growth of the sport not only for this tournament but especially for the development of players and clubs at the level of schools.
Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST01:04Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown Meralco whips Phoenix behind Durham, Amer “He’s been putting in the work,” said Racela, referring to Tuffin, who entered the game averaging just under 4 points an outing. “He struggled in the past games, but all players go through that and what matters is what you do when that happens. He just stayed the course.” For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. MOST READ Negros Occidental gov’t, church call for prayers for safety of Taal evacuees “It was a hard fought win, a hard fought game,” said FEU coach Olsen Racela.“That’s what you expect every game in the UAAP. We have to focus on what’s in front of us and that was UP. We kept our focus. We started out well, we didn’t end well in regulation but we came back in overtime.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4Much of the pre game hype centred on the absence of UP coach Bo Perasol, who was serving the first of a three-game suspension.But the Tamaraws immediately set the tone with LJ Gonzales anchoring their strong start that saw them build a double-digit lead in the first period. LOOK: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 takes you straight to hell with a Music Video and First Look-Images ‘People evacuated on their own’ LOOK: Taal Volcano island 2 days after eruption Taal Volcano eruption: House to develop rehab plan for Batangas, Cavite, Laguna Francis Kong, Jason Magbanua headline ‘The School for the Passionate, New Bold U 2020’ Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Ken Tuffin and Wendell Comboy delivered the biggest shots in overtime as Far Eastern University outlasted University of the Philippines, 82-79, Sunday night to climb into a share of third spot in UAAP Season 82 at MOA Arena.Finally breaking out of his slump, Tuffin shot a terrific 5-of-6 from beyond the arc and finished with 18 points, while Comboy scored half of his 10 points in the extra period as the Tamaraws pulled level with La Salle and University of Santo Tomas with 4-4 records.ADVERTISEMENT No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. FEU nearly wasted a 19-point lead in the second half as the Fighting Maroons ended regulations with a 16-0 run capped by Javi Gomez De Liano’s lay-up with 24.7 seconds remaining.Comboy missed a potential game-winning triple at the buzzer, but came out strong in the extra period, hitting a triple to extend the lead, 77-72, with 2:11 remaining in overtime.Juan Gomez De Liano made three foul shots in the next possession, and Bright Akhuetie tied the game at 77-all with 1:04 remaining.But Tuffin hit a three for the go-ahead basket and after UP came up empty on the next play, Comboy nailed a baseline jumper to help seal the win.Racela was elated over Tuffin’s breakout performance.ADVERTISEMENT Taal Volcano’s lava fountain weakens, but Phivolcs says it’s not sign of slowing down LATEST STORIES View comments
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The New York Times: The Cliff Is A Hard Place To Compromise [T]he closest thing to a framework for a big deficit agreement has more for Republicans to like than for Democrats. Mr. Obama was so eager to reach a deal with Congressional Republicans in 2011 that he agreed to the outline of a plan that made many Democrats cringe. It was well to the political right — with fewer tax increases, fewer military cuts and more cuts to Medicare and Social Security — of the bipartisan plan released by the Bowles-Simpson commission in 2010 (David Leonhardt, 11/10). The New York Times: Budget Showdown Offers An Opportunity For ProgressRepublicans in Congress will likely insist that reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security be part of any budget deal. Democrats should meet them partway. It will be impossible to get our long-run deficit under control without slowing entitlement spending. Rather than fighting all changes to these programs, Democrats should work to preserve their core functions and protect the most vulnerable (Christina D. Romer, 11/10).The New York Times: The Fiscal Delusion Now that the election is over, Washington’s attention is consumed by the looming combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases known as “the fiscal cliff.” That combination poses risks, including economic contraction and erosion of confidence in government. But it also offers a chance to address our unsustainable and dangerous fiscal trajectory. … We should let the Bush high-end tax cuts expire, with an achievable, progressive reduction in tax expenditures. And we should have spending cuts, including entitlement reforms, equally matched by revenue increases (Robert E. Rubin, 11/12).Fox News: Off The Fiscal Cliff And Into The Great AbyssThe federal deficit exceeds $1 trillion dollars — up from $161 billion in 2007, the last year before the financial collapse. Spending is up some $1 trillion, as outlays for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlements have increased by an amount equal to the entire 2013 defense budget. By the end of the decade, runaway entitlement spending will require shutting down the military or crippling many other domestic spending programs to head off ballooning deficits. With Americans living longer, the only reasonable solution is to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70, and pattern U.S. health care reforms after other national systems that better contain costs (Peter Morici, 11/12).The New York Times: The Choice Confronting Republican GovernorsRepublican governors and legislators routinely rail against federal intrusion in activities that they think would be better managed by the states. This week they will have a chance to show they really mean it. … [P]ragmatic Republican legislators, insurers and advocacy groups for patients and health care providers ought to press their governors to move ahead [with health exchanges] (11/10).Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Create Insurance Exchange To Meet Wisconsin’s Needs An unlikely collection of business groups and liberal Democrats is urging [Gov. Scott] Walker to have the state do its own work, and we agree that’s probably the best approach. A Wisconsin exchange should acknowledge the state’s unique strengths and be tailored as much as possible to the state’s health care landscape. The Affordable Care Act requires certain baseline standards, and federal officials will have to sign off on any state-designed exchange. That’s why that other option — the blended approach of close cooperation with federal health care officials — also might make sense (11/12).The Baltimore Sun: Maryland’s Obamacare Gamble Pays OffThe outcome of last week’s presidential election has vindicated the wisdom of Maryland’s early decision to begin setting up a state health exchange where consumers can shop for affordable health insurance coverage. President Barack Obama’s victory virtually assures that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act he signed in 2010 will go into effect as planned in 2014 (11/12).The New York Times: Incredible Prices For Cancer Drugs An unusually bold stand by doctors at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York has forced a big drug company to reduce the cost of an overpriced drug for treating colorectal cancer that was no better than a cheaper competitor and did almost nothing to extend a patient’s life. It is a heartening sign that alert and aggressive physicians can potentially play a major role in helping to reduce the escalating costs of health care for treatments of marginal value (11/12). The Wall Street Journal: Not Enough Cancer Drugs, Too Many Price Controls Cancer patients face daunting challenges, including side effects of treatment, impact on family life and work disruptions. They now face another problem: shortages of vital drugs. Imagine an oncologist talking to his patient: Everything is going well with your treatment, he says, but one of the drugs you’ve been receiving is unavailable. There’s a substitute — sort of. Your Medicare copayment for the drug we’ve been using is $9. Now it will cost you $520 each time the substitute is given (Bill Cassidy and Patrick W. Cobb, 11/11). Los Angeles Times: Patient Trapped In Health Insurance Rate Hike It’s understandable that car insurance rates can change when you move. One neighborhood might have more accidents or burglaries than another. But health insurance? (David Lazarus, 11/13). Kansas City Star: Condom Requirement For Porn Actors Gets A Bad WrapA condom is not a crime against humanity. It’s a form of protection. But to hear James Deen, one of the porn industry’s biggest stars tell it, a new Los Angles County law requiring adult film actors to wear condoms is no different than laws banning gay marriage. The Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, known as Measure B, passed Tuesday in Los Angeles County. Proposed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the legislation mandates performers wear condoms and also requires porn producers to apply for a permit from the L.A. County Department of Public Health. The Free Speech Coalition, a trade group representing the adult film industry, is planning to challenge the rule (Jeneé Osterheldt, 11/11).Richmond Times-Dispatch: Tobacco: Money to BurnThe catechism recited by every advocate for a government program includes a line to the effect that spending money now will save money later. If that were true, then at some point one would expect government spending to shrink. Absent outside forces — such as a recession — it never does. But just because the argument is not true in all cases does not make it false in every case. Some spending probably does save money down the line. Spending for smoking-cessation treatments likely falls into that category. Yet as a recent Times-Dispatch news story pointed out, Virginia spends only a small fraction of what it should on smoking prevention and cessation (11/13). Viewpoints: Starting Point For Fiscal Cliff Puts Entitlements At Risk; Cancer Center’s Actions Provide Leadership On Reducing Drug Prices