UF's Tebow receives threatening calls
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 12:18 a.m.
Tim Tebow sure has a sense of humor.
On Tuesday, Florida's quarterback downplayed receiving hundreds of threatening messages left on his cell phone last week, presumably from LSU fans.
"It was an interesting experience handling it all,’’ Tebow said. "But it wasn’t too much."
According to Tebow, LSU fans began lighting up his cell phone early last week, leaving harassing and sometimes physically threatening, voice and text messages on his cell phone.
"Some people did take it way too far, farther than you should take it with sports," Tebow said. "For the most part, people are just having fun. There are people like that everywhere."
Tebow said he was forced to listen to the voice messages on his phone in order to delete them. Asked to describe some of the messages, Tebow said, "I really don't use that type of language too much."
Tebow, though, did confirm that many of the messages threatened physical harm.
"There was some stuff like that," Tebow said. "But I didn't think it was that big a deal."
Instead, Tebow had fun with the ordeal, mocking Tigers fans by simulating a phone call during the second quarter of Florida's 28-24 loss at LSU Saturday night.
Following a two-yard touchdown pass to Kestahn Moore, Tebow looked into the stands at Tiger Stadium and pretended to dial a number into the palm of his hand, then put his hand up to his ear as if using a telephone.
"They were having fun with me. I was having fun with them," Tebow said. "That's what college football is all about. It's fun. I had fun with it. I know it probably got under their skin a little bit."
It is unclear how so many people got hold of Tebow's phone number, but it assumed his number was somehow posted on the Internet. If the idea was to rattle Tebow, it didn't work. The quarterback rushed 16 times for 67 yards and a touchdown while completing 12-of-26 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
Florida coach Urban Meyer was in contact with Tebow's family throughout the week and asked a University of Florida police officer, who is assigned to the team, to monitor the situation.
"I worry about a young person's safety," Meyer said.
The situation added to a week loaded with distractions for the Gators. Among them, several players were questioned by police in a shooting (although no players were suspects) while senior captain Tony Joiner was arrested on felony burglary charges, which were later dropped.
Meyer said there is one simple way to handle Tebow's cell phone harassment.
"It's easy. Just get rid of his phone," Meyer said. "He dumped it. He got a new one."
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.
Comments are currently unavailable on this article