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EX-GATOR COACH BLASTS SCHOOL

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Former Gator basketball coach Norm Sloan said he has put the "stinking Florida mess" behind him, but not before angrily blasting the school for its response to NCAA charges of rules violations.

Sloan, who was forced to resign along with Florida football coach Galen Hall after the charges came to light, also said he has signed a one-year contract to coach a second-division professional club team in Athens, Greece.The university said Wednesday that it will appear before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions Aug. 11 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

While the school has admitted to nine of the 10 violations cited by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, it has denied the league's contention that the infractions demonstrate a lack of institutional control over the Gators' football and basketball programs.

Florida's dispute of that allegation drew a bitter response from Sloan. He said the university should have come to his defense instead of "calling me a renegade."

In its response to the NCAA, which was made public Monday, Florida said it believed the violations were "evidence of human frailty and not of institutional weakness."

"Florida was more vindictive (in its response) than I thought it would be," Sloan said Wednesday. "Everything I was charged with went through (Florida's) business office and was cleared by the university."

Sloan repeated his claim that he didn't intentionally do anything wrong.

Florida president John Lombardi has said, however, that ignorance of NCAA rules is no excuse.

"It was a short, bitter retirement," Sloan said about the time between his resignation and his new job, which he'll begin in two weeks. "Now I can put this whole rotten, stinking Florida mess behind me."

In its announcement Wednesday about the scheduled hearing, Lombardi apologized in advance for missing the school's summer commencement ceremonies when he leads a delegation include athletic director Bill Arnsparger, football coach Steve Spurrier and basketball coach Lon Kruger.