Commentary | No shortage of headaches for Bucs, Gators, Bulls and MLB

adell@bradenton.comOctober 17, 2012 

Headaches, headaches, headaches.

They come in all shapes and sizes and have afflicted all of us at one time or another.

Here are five you want to avoid at all costs.

n Headache: Skip Holtz, USF head football coach

Patient: Doug Woolard, USF athletic director

Diagnosis: Woolard was sailing along until he gave Holtz a contract extension following last year's 5-7 season that included a 1-6 Big East record. He recently issued a statement that other schools were after Holtz and he was worried about losing him. That doesn't hold water with the fans, who would've gladly swung the door open for Holtz. Look at his resume; it's laced with mediocrity.

Cure: USF resumes series with UCF next season, and if Holtz comes back and loses to the Knights, nothing will save him. The response from irate USF fans will be so bad the coach will wish he never returned. Before he leaves, would Holtz please return the money USF gave him for those preseason training camps in Vero Beach. Financial supporters got zero return on that.

n Headache: Aqib Talib, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback

Patient: Greg Schiano, Bucs head coach

Diagnosis: When Schiano took over the team, he promised he would keep only "Buccaneer Men" who would be accountable for their actions. To prove his point, the coach cut Kellen Winslow Jr., Tanard Jackson and Brian Price. But at his Monday press conference after Talib got a four-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs, Schiano said he would welcome back the oft-troubled young man. A coach's credibility hinges on consistency and applying the same rules to everyone, so this could come back to bite Schiano.

Cure: This is one of those headaches that might take care of itself. Given Talib's track record, which includes charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and battery for punching a local cabbie, another transgression is not beyond the realm of probability. Schiano would then have no choice and send him packing. But the coach"s plea Monday, "You've got to trust us on his one," doesn't fly. Richard Nixon and Rafael Palmeiro issued similar statements, not to mention Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. And let us not forget the infamous statement: "I am not a crook."

n Headache: SEC schedule

Patient: Steve Spurrier, South Carolina head football coach

Diagnosis: You are the coach of an undefeated team chasing a national title and on consecutive weekends have to go to LSU and Gainesville. Don't think the Ol' Ball Coach wouldn't mind a few minutes alone with the person who made up that schedule? The coach showed his maturity last week by not burying all his visors into the turf at Death Valley after a loss to the Tigers. But he built The Swamp, and if anybody has a right to destroy its myth, it's Spurrier.

Cure: Have Ace Sanders return every punt for a touchdown and then get out of town before Gators head coach Will Muschamp realizes what hit him. In lieu of that dream, get Marcus Lattimore healthy and give him the ball. Two years ago as a freshman, he had 212 yards rushing and three TDs to beat UF and give the Gamecocks their first SEC East title.

n Headache: Tim Tebow curse

Patient: Jeff Driskel, Florida quarterback

Diagnosis: Driskel broke Tebow's Florida rushing record for a quarterback last week when he ran for 177 yards against Vanderbilt. It drew all these comparisons to the former Heisman Trophy-winning Gator. Unfortunately, those included Tebow's passing ability, which to put it gently doesn't quite rank up there with the best. There seems to be a No Fly Zone over Ben Hill Griffin Stadium these days with the Gators passing game under Driskel, which is dead last in the SEC, a league not known for producing Drew Brees-like signal-callers.

Cure: South Carolina might provide the perfect cure by stuffing Florida's run game, which ranks second in the SEC. That would force Driskel to the air, and maybe his passing will improve. Or maybe not, which means back to the doctor's office for another exam. The best antidote is feed the ball to Mike Gillislee, the SEC's second-leading rusher, and not allow Driskel's arm to decide the game.

n Headache: Bud Selig, MLB commissioner

Patient: Major League Baseball

Diagnosis: The playoffs are screaming for more replays to correct mistakes, like a dying patient shouting out for the doctor. We have seen enough, especially after that play at second base in Game 2 between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers when Omar Infante overran the bag and was clearly tagged out trying to get back. After 162 games, players and fans have a right to expect bad calls to be reversed. Yankees could've been up 2-0 if replays were used in first two games.

Cure: Selig operates from a horse-and-buggy mentality. Hasten his retirement plans. Buy him a castle in Switzerland, a mansion off the Florida Keys, promise him a key to Fort Knox; do anything to get him to turn in his office keys. This headache keeps getting bigger and was perhaps a reason for those empty seats at Yankee Stadium during the Detroit series.

Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7080, ext. 1221. Follow him on Twitter at @ADellSports.

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