Say it ain't so, coach

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Those who cover the Gators on a daily basis appreciate Urban Meyer. He’s accessible, he’s a good quote, he’ll give you nice anecdotes on players you’re doing features on, he speaks what’s on his mind. He’s open and honest.

Meyer has reached the point where he is asked questions about a wide variety of topics around college football (and sports in general) because his opinion is so respected. He’s like Steve Spurrier in that regard. He has strong opinions and is willing to share them.

But here’s bad news for everybody. Meyer said he’s going to be guarded in what he says from now on after what happened last week.

Meyer was asked about his thoughts on teammates fighting at practice or in the locker room. The question stemmed from reports that two Miami players got into it in the locker room and one suffered a broken jaw.

Meyer responded that he certainly didn’t condone it. Then he revealed what the culture was like at UF when he arrived in 2005 in regards to veteran players mistreating true freshmen in the locker room.

Of course, some took this to mean Meyer was taking shots at former UF coach Ron Zook, even though Meyer never mentioned Zook. But Zook ended up releasing a statement about it, and so did Meyer.

It was much ado about nothing, really. But now, Meyer says he’s basically going to keep his opinions to himself from now on.

“I’m just not going to say much ever again,” he said after a practice earlier this week. “I’ve got to learn to give you what I need to give you and move on. You guys have jobs to do. I’m just not going to say anything (that could be construed as controversial).”

12 COMMENTS

  1. He said that after the Shane Matthews dustup from earlier this summer. Heck, he said that after people accusing him of campaigning for votes in 2006. He always says he’s going to stop giving good comments, and then three months later he says something that gets someone all riled up. I don’t believe him for a second.

  2. That’s to be expected when the media never seems to want to stop misconstruing everything Coach says. It seems he can’t say one word nowadays without somebody reading too much into it, spinning it a different way, and starting up a whole load of controversy.

  3. It’s too bad that Coach Meyer feels that way, certainly I don’t blame him, but Gator Nation is very interested in what he has to say. I, for one, appreciate his honesty and his insight into the program and in college football in general. But that’s the way it is today with the sensationalism and such and many newspapers and media outlets doing whatever it takes to survive.

  4. At first, I too thought it might come out like it did and commented that way on the post. It’s a shame because I went back and read it again and came out with the thought he was not attacking Zook, but just the conditions of the team when he took over. Of course it is going to sound like a slap in the face, however, one must realize the character that Coach Meyer has. He does not go out his way to stir trouble. If trouble pops it’s ugly head (Tennessee) he takes it straight on. He defends his family, character, his players and his University with passion and like the article is saying, respected by all in what he says. He has earned that not that he cared if we thought so because he is his own man, but the community of football has come to grips with that. The paparatzi of journalism will always be there. Thank God we have responsible writers with Robbie, Pat and the whole staff in waiting when they hear something that might be controversial to hear what was truly meant. Thanks for the article Robbie!

  5. Robbie,

    I am not certain if the article that you wrote is the one that got everyone talking about this or not but to be perfectly fair, I think that you did nothing but help this “controversy”.

    http://andreu.blogs.gatorsports.com/10163/meyers-culture-shock/

    You said:

    “Clearly, the Gators were a team divided in the troubled Ron Zook era. That was in part reflected by the way the true freshmen were treated.”

    And:

    “The thought of older players abusing freshmen is unconscionable to him. But that’s what happened under Zook, who try to run a college program more like a pro team (you know, the part where the rookies are hazed in camp, and stuff like that).”

    Those are your quotes, not Urbans. Urbans comments that you quoted were general, your comments were the ones that made the connection to Ron Zook.

  6. When I read Coach Meyer’s comments I did think it was a shot at Coach Zook, however it was taken out of context; I did not know he was referring to the incident in Miami. So much is taken out of context that the media easily causes controversies like this one. Yes it was nothing, but how did it get to be something?? The media should look at itself closely and try harder to eliminate these messes.

  7. This whole episode is the fault of the Sun’s writers and their celebrity obsession with all things Gator. Had it never been printed in the first place it would have never become an issue. Instead ‘CULTURE SHOCK’ was blared across the headline and off it went. The Sun’s writers ought to do more research and less blogging, more fact checking and less fawning, and Dooley in particular should pay more attention to his syntax and punctuation. It’s embarrassing. Why would Meyer, or anyone else for that matter, want to be interviewed by these clowns now that he realizes what they’re going to do with the information?

  8. Haven’t we been through this before? As I recall, back in 2006 Urban Meyer said he was going to stop speaking his mind to the media and start keeping his opinions to himself after being accused of “campaigning” to get into the national championship game. Don’t get too worried, Robbie.

  9. Hold on Bubbas, nothing was misconstrued. Coach Meyer made the mistake. Who was the coach prior to Mayer’s assuming control?….Zook. If he decides to reveal that our football program was condoning the abuse of freshmen and that he didn’t like it, who is he dissing? Coach Zook. I don’t think the media misconstrued anything. Coach Meyer spoke his mind and I’m ok with that.
    Coach Meyer should not have run for cover on this one and he definitely should not have blamed the media for reporting what he said to them.

  10. @1974gator

    You may not have a problem with it but it’s non constructive and unprofessional. There’s no reason to “diss” or blame anyone for the sake of satisfying your need for a scapegoat to justify the weakness of your program during that time. It’s fine to discuss what happened, but it’s a waste of time and energy to point fingers at someone else’s expense.