Sports

Florida's Calathes says gambling debt not an issue

Florida guard Nick Calathes ran up a significant debt playing poker online, but said Friday night he did nothing illegal.

Coach Billy Donovan and athletic director Jeremy Foley agreed.

The story first reported by Yahoo.com said Calathes amassed a $600 debt playing poker online. Calathes said he wasn't sure about the amount.

"I lost money," Calathes said. "I really don't know how much."

Donovan said he heard rumors about Calathes' gambling debt, but an investigation by the school's athletic department found no evidence of wrongdoing.

"The only thing I'm going to say about any of that stuff is the unfortunate part in all this is nobody on our team has done anything wrong," Donovan said. Foley said he was confident that Florida had "no eligibility issues" regarding the matter.

Calathes was in the starting lineup for Florida's season opener against Toledo on Friday night, finishing with 16 points and seven assists in an 80-58 victory.

Calathes was confident the gambling issue was behind him.

"I did nothing wrong," Calathes said. "I talked to Coach Donovan, I talked to the school and there's no problems. I'll be here for the whole season."

Ford, Horn win openers

Oklahoma St. 76, Texas-San Antonio 57: Byron Eaton scored a career-high 27 points and host Oklahoma State pulled away in the second half to win Travis Ford's debut as head coach. The Cowboys used a 12-0 run shortly after halftime to take control of the game.

South Carolina 89, Jacksonville State 76: Zam Fredrick and Mike Holmes scored 17 points apiece to make Darrin Horn a winner in his debut as South Carolina coach.

Friday's highlights

Louisiana-Monroe 56, Morehead State 54: Tony Hooper's layup with four seconds left completed a 15-point comeback for host Louisiana-Monroe in the season opener for both teams.

The Eagles led 35-20 in the first half and by as many as 14 on three occasions in the second half before Monroe began its rally. The only time Morehead trailed in the game was at the final score.

Florida International 57, Eastern Kentucky 54: Visiting EKU blew a 12-point lead in the second half and lost in the season opener for both teams.

Howard 47, Oregon State 45: Craig Robinson, brother of President-elect Barack Obama's wife Michelle, came up short in his trip to Washington in his debut game as Oregon State coach. The Beavers erased a seven-point deficit, but Daniel Deane's runner rimmed out at the buzzer.

Mississippi 65, Arkansas State 52: David Huertas scored 24 points, including 18 in the second half, to lift host Mississippi. Pre-season All-SEC point guard Chris Warren added 14 points but missed on his first 11 shots from the field. The loss spoiled John Brady's debut as head coach at Arkansas State.

Eastern Kentucky 83, Ohio Valley 53 (women): EKU hit six of its first seven three-pointers in the second half and ratcheted up its defense to break open the game and give Chrissy Roberts her first win as EKU coach. Nadia Mossong led EKU with a career-high 20 points.

Around the nation

North Carolina: Coach Roy Williams said senior Bobby Frasor might miss Saturday's opener against Penn. The Tar Heels likely will be without Tyler Hansbrough (stress reaction) as well. Top defender Marcus Ginyard is expected to be out until December after having surgery on his left foot.

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