Originally created 09/25/96

Edwards' status remains questionable



Georgia coach Jim Donnan couldn't say Tuesday if or when tailback Robert Edwards would be ready to return to the football field.

"But he should be ready for the Tour de France soon," he cracked.

The Bulldogs' leading rusher was held out of practice for the second day in a row Tuesday after spraining his left foot against Texas Tech this past weekend. Edwards regimen consisted of riding a stationary bike for the duration of the two hour-plus practice.

"I thought he was going to practice today," Donnan said. "They (the training staff) decided he could get more done working him out like that instead. He couldn't get on his toes real well so they thought he should get some aerobic work."

The sprained foot was the second injury Edwards has suffered this season. He suffered a sprained knee against South Carolina two weeks ago and missed much of the second-half of that game and some of practice last week.

Saturday, Edwards injured his foot, the same one he broke last year, in the first quarter, then removed himself from the game at halftime.

Donnan has said the Bulldogs will go with sophomore Torin Kirtsey if Edwards can't play Oct. 5 against Mississippi State. Edwards leads the team in rushing with 263 yards on 49 carries (5.4 yards per carry) and Kirtsey is second with 132 yards on 20 carries (6.6 ypc).

FLORIDA: The adage that a team is only as good as its last game doesn't apply at Florida. Coach Steve Spurrier thinks the No. 1 Gators are only as good as their last half.

"I'm not very happy with how we're playing right now," Spurrier said Tuesday.

He is not oblivious to the fact Florida had a 35-0 lead over Tennessee in the first 20 minutes, or that Tennessee gained 438 of its 501 yards trying to play catchup against a prevent, zone defense.

Spurrier settles for nothing short of perfection, and he simply feels the Gators (3-0) have a ways to go.

They probably won't get much resistance this week against Kentucky (1-2), which won its first game of the year last week, 3-0 over Indiana. The one obstacle Florida will have to overcome is a letdown from an emotionally charged 35-29 victory over Tennessee - and being voted No. 1 for only the third season in school history.

"We're going to do some hard coaching this week, trying to correct a lot of errors we made against Tennessee," Spurrier said.

MISSISSIPPI STATE: Derrick Taite remains Mississippi State's starting quarterback.

Coach Jackie Sherrill put to rest rumors that Taite, a third-year senior starter, had lost his starting job after completing just 1-of-8 passes for 8 yards in last Saturday's 38-23 home loss to Louisiana Tech.

After Taite was pulled, redshirt freshman Matt Wyatt completed 17-of-33 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns.

Taite suffered a strained knee ligament, but Sherrill expects the quarterback to play when the Bulldogs (1-1) play their SEC opener Saturday at South Carolina.

WEST VIRGINIA: Fullback Leroy White was reinstated to the West Virginia football team by coach Don Nehlen after pleading no contest to misdemeanor charges stemming from a check-cashing scheme.

White entered the plea in Monongalia County Circuit Court to two counts of obtaining goods by false pretenses. He was sentenced to six months in jail on each count, but the sentence was suspended and he was placed on a year's probation. He also was ordered to pay $1,800 restitution and perform 50 hours of community service.

White, 22, was charged in August with forging $1,769 in checks to buy a television, a video recorder and other items from a Lowe's home improvement center, police said. Authorities said the motive was personal gain.

White initially was charged with two counts each of forgery and uttering, all felonies.

Nehlen said the deciding factor in reinstating White was that he was convicted of a misdemeanor instead of a felony. Nehlen said the team and the coaching staff were unanimously in support of White.

"As a football coach, I'm here to help kids, not to hurt them. In my opinion in this case it would hurt him (to not reinstate him), Nehlen said. "He's a great young guy. He's made one mistake in 22 years."

White, the starting fullback in preseason, planned to begin practicing immediately.

"I don't know how long it will take to get him ready to play," Nehlen said.

However, the junior from Washington, D.C., must earn his starting spot back, Nehlen said.

"He's not coming back as a No. 1 fullback. That's just not fair to the other kids," Nehlen said.

In determining the outcome, Prosecutor Marcia Ashdown said her office looked at similar charges against other people. She also talked to the victims, police and looked at whether White had a criminal history, which he did not. She also cited his cooperation with police.

Under the sentence, White has 15 days to pay the first $500 restitution and must pay $200 a month until the restitution is paid off.



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