Divided team in 2013?


All those injuries apparently were not the only debilitating issue the 4-8 Florida Gators were coping with in 2013. Based on some comments made by former center Jon Harrison to an NFL beat writer in Wisconsin, the Gators were a team divided last fall.

In an interview with Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Harrison reveals some inside stuff that paints a pretty ugly picture of what went on at times last season, including a shoving match between a backup offensive player and an unnamed defensive lineman in the locker room after the loss to Georgia Southern. Coaches broke up the two players before blows were exchanged.

“We were falling apart, crumbling as a team,” Harrison said.

According to those who were in the locker room after the Georgia Southern loss, Harrison, one of the team’s leaders, was addressing the team when a reserve offensive player interjected some comments that drew the ire of a defensive player. The two went at each other, but were quickly separated by teammates.

Harrison told Dunne that there was a lot of finger-pointing among the players as the losses mounted, with some players blaming the coaches for all the problems the Gators were experiencing on the field.

“We had a lot of individuals on the team,” Harrison said. “Having individuals on your team kind of kills your team. We had people who thought they were entitled because of the school that they went to. … There was always someone to blame. No one wanted to take it on themselves.”

Harrison also told Dunne that some players did not take games seriously, including sneaking girls into the team hotel or sneaking out themselves the night before games.

“How serious can you take this game if that’s what you’re focused on 24-48 hours before the game?” Harrison said.

(UPDATE) According to UF sources, there was only one incident where a player tried to sneak a girl into his hotel room, but she was stopped by team security. The player, who was injured and not scheduled to play, was sent home on a bus the next day.

Harrison’s comments are further evidence the Gators may have lacked senior leadership last season, and that any good chemistry developed during preseason camp in August was long gone by the middle of the disastrous season.