Meyer outburst should help recruiting

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No matter what the national (and local) media is saying about Urban Meyer’s outburst on Orlando Sentinel writer Jeremy Fowler, one thing is for sure — this can only help Florida in recruiting.

It’s not like Meyer and his staff needed anymore help snatching up top talent, but this only shows how much Meyer really does care about his players. Whether orchestrated or not, high school athletes are going to look at this incident and say, “Hey, this guy is going to defend me to the end.”

“I told you (the media) five years ago: Don’t mess with our players. Don’t do it. You did it,” Meyer told Fowler after Wednesday’s practice. “You do it one more time and The Orlando Sentinel’s not welcome here ever again. Is that clear? It’s yes or no.”

Now, I’m not in favor of a coach blowing up at a reporter in a public forum and I certainly know that most of the national media is against it as well, but Meyer’s outburst will be felt throughout the recruiting world. If kids weren’t completely sold on the family atmosphere before, they definitely will be now.

Two things really stick out to me about this whole incident. Well, besides the incredibly awkward feeling I had while I stood just inches away from Meyer. If you haven’t seen my Oscar-winning performance I assure you it’s a must-see. The way I held it together is certainly worth something.

Seriously, there were two things that I found interesting about this. One, Meyer was defending Deonte Thompson. A guy who was a highly rated wide receiver coming out a high school a couple years ago but had yet to really make his mark in Florida’s offense. A guy who battled a hamstring issue last season and looked like a relative unknown on the field. He was known more for holding calls than touchdowns. But he’s a guy that Meyer obviously has tremendous respect for. Injuries and a couple of drops hurt his on-the-field image, but it’s the image off the field that Meyer really admires. For him to defend a guy who hasn’t become a prominent program name gives the impression that Meyer really does care for his players. Again, I’m not defending what Meyer did, but I do think it shows he truly is passionate about his players.

Second, Meyer, whether serious or not, told Fowler things could possibly get physical if Thompson had been his son instead.

“If it was my son, we’d be going at it right now,” Meyer said.

Getting close to actually getting physical with someone over a player? Pretty intense. Maybe it’s not the best thing in the world to say to a reporter, but prospects are going to look at this and only think about how serious Meyer is about his guys.

Meyer will continue to take heat from the media for what he did, but I expect most recruits will have a little more respect for Florida’s head coach.

34 COMMENTS

  1. I understand all that everyone has said about this. One thing I have not heard from anyone is this: Why didn’t Fowler want to know what Thompson meant by “real quarterback”? If he had asked THAT question, none of this would have been a problem. My thoughts are Fowler knew he had something here and went with it as is. He knew he had a story that put his name out there, the Sentinel out there and hits on their web page would sky-rocket. This is the same newspaper that wanted the Earnhardt autopsy pictures to be of public record. These guys needed the attention and got it by lucking into it at Thompson’s expense.

  2. what a spin on Myer’s actions.

    you either have to be a UF grad, the biggest Gator fan, work for the Givlle Sun… to put a positive spin on it.

    Outside of the Gator Nation, Myer, a teacher/coach of student athletes put his finger in someone’s face and then went WWF on the guy and that’s positive?

    Dude, keep drinking the Gator kool aid, what Urban did doesn’t set a good example and reaked of arrogance, unless your part of the Gator Nation.

    This is Lane Kiffinish on a national scale, again , unless your some locked in recruit or Gator alumn or whatever.

  3. Blaming Fowler for not asking a different question? He quoted the guy, that’s enough. His job isn’t to try to make anyone look bad, or GOOD, just report the facts, and a quote is as cut and dry as it comes.

    Meyer embarrassed the university, plain and simple. Go Gators, but we don’t need to look like idiots who will put up with boorish behavior. In this case, Meyer was wrong, and he needs to take the high road and apologize for his ugliness.

  4. I might argue that Thompson isn’t a big-name player, but I agree with the rest of the post. The guy heard a good story and ran with it without thinking of the consequences. I think Meyer was in his rights to confront the man. He was just lucky all he got was a stern talk, I might of banned him on top of all of that.

  5. why doesn’t the orlando Sentinel say I’m sorry for talking to a football player. Why doesn’t the football player say I’m sorry for talking to a newspaper reporter. Why doesn’t Urban meyer say I’m sorry for getting stern with a newspaper reporter why doesn’;t the UF Student Body president say he is sorry to SNAP and the UPD. Why doesn’t SNAP say we are sorry we can’t drive off campus. Why doesn’t the State Senate in Tallahassee say we are sorry we can’t vote to say UF is an elite state school

  6. I think these so called journalist should keep in mind that these kid’s dads and other family members actually do attend practices as well. So Meyer’s statement about “Going at it” might have just been a friendly warning.

  7. I really fail to see what Urban was upset about. Did anything that was printed detract from either quarterback at all? Or was it an honest comparison of two styles. On the other hand, was Meyer upset that the reporter put Thompson in a tough spot with the two QB’s and or their fans.

    In any case, Meyer drew more attention to the comments than they would have ever had otherwise. It would have been better if he had had a quiet moment with the writer. Bad form.

  8. Read the Orlando Sentinel and look behind the issues. First one writer says Urban Meyer owes her an “explanation” about his recent career. Another twists a story for “headlines”. Still another says Urban Meyer is basically “unstable” today. Add that to the fact that the Orlando Sentinel is in financial trouble and you get the answer. They are trying to sell paper at the Gators expense.

  9. I Disagree. I don’t see a positive in this from a recruiting standpoint or otherwise. If recruits gather anything from Urban Meyer’s outburst it will most likely be that he needs to take some more time off to “regroup”. He was way out of line by going after the reporter who simply quoted Thompson. Fowler didn’t add any “spin”. It is evident from Thompson’s sound bite that he is thrilled to have a pocket passer type quarterback in the backfield – and that’s what the reporter conveyed. If Meyer has a problem with the quote, he should approach his player. Meyer should apologize.

  10. Ed, that’s the way the man feels. He got riled up because he loves players who do it right. And you’re right, some members of the high and mighty media and of course rival fans won’t like it, but future Gators will…

  11. Few had heard of Jeremy Fowler before this incident. It had the desired effect. I think the entire interview and exchange with Urban should have been analyzed (including Fowler questioning Urban’s daughter when he was ill). Goodness, it even made the evening news in Greenville, SC.

  12. Fowler should have sought clarification instead of simply wondering what it all meant in his report. Basic journalism. You make the calls, do the follow-up. And if you can’t get it, you tell the readers you tried. That said, Meyer looked like a jerk.

  13. Being a successful head football coach of the Gators is not a license to show a lack of civility–boorish behavior is not part of love–besides his bodies health is not responding well(as his health history shows) to his ready rage behavior.

  14. If it is so horrific that a member of the media acted unprofessionally in doing his job, why is it OK for a head coach of a major university and representative of the State of Florida to act completely unprofessionally? I don’t understand the double standard unless you are an unthinking fan of UF football.

  15. Ed, is Fowler ever going to come clean about why he added to his original blog that started this whole thing? Seems to me he is trying to cover up his tracks because he knew what he did was messed up?

    BTW, keep up the good work, Ed, hope to see you at the Spring game.

  16. Ed,
    You *should* defend what Meyer did. Freedom of speech, just like Fowler’s. Fowler makes Thompson look bad, *completely* undeserved, and he should be called out for it. Guys in the know like you need to be calling out the national media for their misrepresentation of the story. What’s the matter, to much fraternity in the biz to speak some truth? C’Mon man. We need you here.

  17. lol you people are ridiculous. If Meyer put that much passion into running a team properly we wouldn’t have the amount of arrests and lack of control. Congrats we are the new “Thug U” exemplified by a coach who doesn’t know how to act, much like his players

  18. I have to disagree with the premise of the blog. Meyer showed complete lack of self control. He’s showing his players that anger and threats are the way to respond to a perceived problem. No way that sets a good example for the young men in his charge. Too bad he’s getting credit for showing his players that thuggery wins out.

  19. Urban Meyer stands up for his players and they are like family to him. Naturally He will defend them. Who knows what the reporter said and how he may have said it to Meyer when this happened. I do know personally how pushy the media can be when looking for a story. So lets not judge untill we know all the facts. ( At least his players support him.)

  20. Nonsense, Urban Myer was clearly and simply behaving like a bully. He was totally out of line and needs to apologize to Fowler and the Gator community. He is first a representative of a major teaching and research university, then a football coach. As a teacher of young men, he is supposed to be a roll model for appropriate behavior; he didn’t do his charges any favors by what he did and how he did it. He failed in this responsibility. If undue stress is behind his reaction, it is his responsibility to do whatever is necessary to get control of himself.

  21. Listen, Meyer doesn’t give a rats ass about what anyone thinks of him except his family, his players, his university, and his God. I don’t know out of the four of them may be the most upset, but I think he believes what he did was right. Also, the genius in this is that he has now brought a talented, but very young team closer together and has elevated some of his critical players confidence. I would play for him any day.

  22. The media wants to dictate how a coach should handle things. They want to criticize when one of his players gets in trouble; however, he’s not responsible for defending his players. Get out of here. You guys can’t have it your way. Just like the national media with Obama. They want to orchestrate things. Well, not so fast! Coach Meyer had all the right in the world to do what he did and I, for one, am proud of him. Plus, I too, could care less what the media says. After Obama, I lost what little respect I did have.

    Peace

  23. I think what Meyer did was awsome. I haved coached for
    many years,and I would have done the same thing. I feel
    that you have to stand by your players 100%. I could
    care less about the media,they are just trying to get
    a story… Good job Urban you are a great coach

  24. With his actions I guess we shouldn’t be surprised by the rap sheets the team players have accumulated among themselves. The coach is showing us that it is ok to get mad and threaten someone if they say something you don’t like.

  25. why does it matter that he is a reporter? and why are they off limits when it comes to confronting someone for things they’ve said or done?

    besides…he wasn’t threatened or attacked. people are being such babies about this whole stupid thing.