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Saying they can't be picky, Dolphins will honor UF's 2008 title

MIAMI -- Miami Hurricanes fans have had a lot to be upset about lately, and now they're angry at the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins recently disclosed plans to honor Tim Tebow and the rest of the Florida Gators' 2008 national championship team. The ceremony will take place during the Dolphins' game against Tebow and the Denver Broncos on Oct. 23.

That means the Gators will be honored on the field where the Hurricanes play. The University of Miami shares Sun Life Stadium with the Dolphins.

Plans for the ceremony had Hurricanes fans complaining this week to Dolphins executives on Twitter and elsewhere. Some unhappy about the ceremony said it slights the Hurricanes at a time they're already down, with the program reeling because of an NCAA investigation stemming from allegations by a convicted Ponzi scheme architect.

The idea to honor the Gators originated months ago, before news of the NCAA investigation surfaced, Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said Tuesday.

Dee said the Dolphins also made an offer to honor the Hurricanes' 2001 national championship team during a game this season. The Hurricanes declined because they plan their own celebration.

The ceremony for the Gators is an attempt by the Dolphins to help sluggish ticket sales, Dee said.

"We're sensitive to the reaction," he said. "But we have a very significant challenge in our market to market Dolphins football, and unfortunately we're not in a position to be selective about whom we market to. We love everybody, and we have to be aggressive and market in ways that attract new fans."

More than 20 former Gators are expected to attend the ceremony, including Dolphins rookie center Mike Pouncey.

"It will be a great time for me and Tim," Pouncey said. With a laugh he added, "But I think they're going to boo us."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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