The school announced wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill resigned for "personal reasons" just a few hours before Florida was slated to take the field for its first day of the 2012 season.
"Aubrey informed me he was resigning for personal reasons that have nothing to do with the University of Florida," Florida coach Will Muschamp said in a statement. "Aubrey didn't want to be a distraction to our team and our football program and he thought it was best for him to move on. I appreciate Aubrey's efforts and wish him the best of luck moving forward. He will always remain a Gator."
What distraction might that be? Well, Hill has been linked to a scandal at the University of Miami, where he used to work, that ties him with jailed booster Nevin Shapiro.
Hill was one of the coaches six cited in an investigative report by Yahoo! last August that chronicled impermissible benefits to Miami recruits from 2002-10 by convicted Ponzi schemer Shapiro. The report alleges that Hill, who was then Miami's recruiting coordinator, watched and even helped Shapiro commit multiple NCAA violations.
"Among the specific incidents, Shapiro or other sources say (Clint) Hurtt, Hill, (Jeff) Stoutland, (Joe) Pannunzio and (Sean) Allen all delivered top-tier recruits to Shapiro's home or luxury suite so the booster could make recruiting pitches to them."
Another Yahoo! story last month alleged that Hill helped Allen, a former equipment manager, to circumvent NCAA rules and illegally recruit quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
"I have too much love and respect for this program to become a distraction as I deal with some personal issues," said Hill in a statement. He did not address the allegations.
Offensive coordinator Brent Pease and graduate assistant Bush Hamdan will fill Hill's role as wide receivers coach, but replacing Hill's presence as the school's top recruiter might prove more difficult.
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- Nevin Shapiro