Meyer apologizes to Sentinel reporter
Published: Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 4:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 4:12 p.m.
Three days after his angry confrontation with Jeremy Fowler, Florida football coach Urban Meyer apologized to the Orlando Sentinel sports writer Saturday following practice.
"I won't get into the details. I will say Urban did apologize," Fowler said. "As far as a work-related conversation, it was constructive. I did (accept his apology), absolutely."
After practice Saturday, Fowler was approached by Meyer's personal security guard and asked if he would meet with Meyer on the field. Meyer and Fowler talked for almost 25 minutes.
Meyer would not comment to members of the media after the meeting. Fowler spoke briefly with reporters.
"I think Urban is a pro-player coach," Fowler said. "He wanted to defend his player. That's probably what the issue stands for. If he feels one of his players gets wounded emotionally or physically, or in any way, he wants to support that.
"I tried to express where I was coming from and tried to explain how I do my job. I think he understands that. I think it was constructive and that's all I really want to say on it. I don't want to get into all the details. He was definitely receptive to what I had to say. I wanted to let him know it was not my intent to hurt Deonte Thompson in any way."
Meyer took exception to a blog Fowler wrote earlier in the week in which he quoted Thompson saying that John Brantley was a "real" quarterback. The quote turned into a national issue when The Sentinel implied that the junior wide receiver might have been dissing legendary former UF quarterback Tim Tebow. It was understood by others there that Thompson meant Brantley is more of a conventional quarterback than the dual-threat Tebow.
Thompson was left distraught by the criticism he received from across the nation for his "real" quarterback comment.
A passionate Meyer came to Thompson's defense after Wednesday's practice, angrily calling out Fowler. At one point during the confrontation, Meyer said, "If he (Thompson) was my son, we'd be going at it right now."
The following day, many in the national media criticized Meyer for the way he dressed down Fowler in front of other members of the media.
After meeting with Meyer on Saturday, Fowler said he thinks he can have a good working relationship with Meyer in the future.
"That's to be determined, but we'll see," Fowler said. "It's still uncertain at this point. I'm glad he approached me and talked to me about it constructively."
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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