Sports

Heisman winner Tebow also honored by The AP

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow (15), who was awarded the Heisman Trophy this season, is also The Associated Press' top player of 2007.
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow (15), who was awarded the Heisman Trophy this season, is also The Associated Press' top player of 2007. AP

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- At Southeastern Conference media days in July, Florida coach Urban Meyer joked about all the questions surrounding quarterback Tim Tebow.

"We're going to run the ball every play this year," Meyer said. "Tim can't throw. Yeah, tell all the other teams in the league that, too."

Five months later, Tebow has proved to be much more than passable as a passer. He's become the best player in college football.

The Florida star won AP Player of the Year honors Tuesday in a vote that was similar to the one that made him the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.

"That's cool," Tebow said Tuesday. "Again, it's a huge honor. It's a cool thing. Any time you're honored for an individual award, it goes back to the team. Without those guys and their support, you can't accomplish something like that on your own."

Tebow received 31 of a possible 58 votes from AP poll voters.

Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, the Heisman runner-up, received 19 votes, and Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan was third with four votes.

Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon received three votes and West Virginia quarterback Pat White received one vote.

Tebow became the first player in major college history to run for at least 20 touchdowns and throw 20 TD passes in the same season. He accounted for 51 touchdowns, including a Southeastern Conference record 22 rushing, and set a school record with 3,970 yards of total offense. He also was the second-rated quarterback in the country, completing 68 percent of his throws for 3,132 yards.

FLORIDA STATE SCANDAL -- An academic cheating scandal could leave Florida State without as many as 25 players for its Music City Bowl game against Kentucky on New Year's Eve, coach Bobby Bowden said.

It was the latest off-field blow to a once-proud program trying to regain its footing as a national power.

"We have some players not traveling for one reason and some for another, including those who are ineligible for the bowl because of academic issues," Bowden said in a statement released by the university.

Many of the players who won't be going to Nashville could also be ruled ineligible for some games next season for their connection to a cheating scandal earlier this year.

Federal privacy laws prohibit the school from releasing names.

QUICK HITTERS -- Top Boise State receiver Jeremy Childs and two other backup players will miss the Hawaii Bowl game for violating team rules, coach Chris Petersen says. Cornerback Keith McGowen and linebacker Ben Chandler will also miss Sunday's matchup against East Carolina. ... New Mexico running back Rodney Ferguson, the team's top rusher each of the past two seasons, won't play in the New Mexico Bowl against Nevada on Saturday after being declared academically ineligible. ... Clemson linebackers Nick Watkins and Tramaine Billie won't play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Auburn on New Year's Eve because of poor academic performances. ... Miami defensive coordinator Tim Walton was fired after the Hurricanes allowed more than 300 points this season for the first time since 1984.

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