Here at Rush The Court we have often been critical of Billy Donovan (surprising since he has won 2 of the last 3 national championships) and I have to admit I am programmed to hate all things UF (no, I’m not a Seminoles fan), but I have to tip my hat to Gators head football coach Urban Meyer for his latest gem. Meyer, who has his own national title along with several highly rated recruiting classes that are going to be frightening over the next few years, recently held a contest where he offered a full-ride to any non-football player on the UF campus who could beat Louis Murphy, Chris Rainey and Deonte Thompson in a 40-yard dash. While nobody was able to beat the football players and win a scholarship, it generated a lot of excitement on and off campus for the Gators football program. Jemele Hill has a pretty good piece on the event and the surrounding hype.
It seems kind of like the circus event that would be featured on a tv show or a movie, but I kind of like it. It generated a good deal of hype getting out Meyer’s message about having “the fastest team in America” out to anybody who was watching including a bunch of 5-star recruits, and it energized a bunch of former HS athletes on campus while having very little expected cost. I mean seriously if you can beat a 4.27 guy over 40 yards, you can get a full-ride somewhere even if you don’t have any hands.
I haven’t heard of many other school pulling this kind of stuff although I could see it happening. If any of you have heard of it, let us know. I’m also wondering what the basketball equivalent would be. It would need to be something that was objective (no dunk contests) and wasn’t really a risk in terms of having to fork over a full-ride (no half court shot contests), but still realistic enough that people would convince themselves that they had a chance to get the excitement level high enough.