9 former Gators who were forgiven for leaving school early

Pat Dooley takes a look at nine more former Gators who were forgiven for leaving school early.

There was a time when college athletes who were draft-eligible had two options — turn pro or stay in school.

Today’s athlete has more to choose from with the transfer portal and the luxury of exploring the draft in basketball without necessarily leaving.

Of course, any time an athlete leaves early, there is some despair from the fan base. Not always though.

Sometimes the feeling is that we can understand why the player is moving on because it was time for him or her to try something else. It wasn’t working. Basketball player James White comes to mind.

Other times, we just want to tell them, “Well done,” and root for them at the next level.

Always remember that whatever these athletes choose to do, it’s their decisions and their lives. Whether they make the right or wrong choice is something they will have to live with.

It does affect the fans and sometimes can cause a coach all kinds of roster management issues. But it’s a new world in college sports.

That’s a long way of getting to the second part of our series on players who left early but were never vilified for the decision. We were happy to have them for as long as they were here.

Plus a few more that we wondered what the heck they were thinking.

OSU women’s tennis defends its Big Ten championship

Back-to-back titles for the OSU women’s tennis program. #GoBucks

The Ohio State women’s team took home its second-straight Big Ten regular-season championship over the weekend, making it a double for both the men and women this season (and last).

The OSU women did it by sweeping Rutgers 4-0 over the weekend, to polish off a perfect 11-0 campaign in the conference. Five of the six contests resulted in sweeps for the Lady Bucks for a team currently ranked No. 10 in the nation.

Ohio State will now turn its attention to the upcoming Big Ten tournament set to take place beginning on Wednesday in Iowa City. Needless to say, the Buckeyes will be the No. 1 seed and overwhelming favorite before it looks to do damage in the NCAAs.

With all the success of both tennis programs at Ohio State as of late, if you are a youth tennis player in the Midwest or beyond, you could do a lot worse than honing your craft in Columbus.

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