Silence is not golden


Will Muschamp and I are just going to have to disagree on this.

He doesn’t allow his freshmen players to talk to the media. That means if Jeff Driskel throws for 400 yards on Saturday and Florida upsets the No. 1 team in the country you won’t know what he was thinking.

Which is silly.

I’ve dealt with coaches before who wouldn’t let freshmen talk until they played in a game, which is fine. It’s not ideal, but it’s understandable.

I just don’t see how a kid who has been on campus since January is any less capable of talking to the media than a kid who came on campus five months earlier.

Maybe you disagree. Maybe you feel like whatever the coach wants to do is fine with you. Maybe you feel like this is a sportswriter whining.

Or maybe you’d like to know what Driskel thinks of playing in Tiger Stadium.

Your thoughts?


  1. Right now… Id rather they focus on preparing for LSU and whoever else they need to be ready to face… and not have to worry about how to deal with the media… Young players need a very narrow focus.. they can learn to deal with the media once they have gotten their feet wet and understand how to play the game the way its supposed to be played.

  2. I think we should let the coach determine who has earned the privilege of speaking with the media. If he feels freshmen are not ready or haven’t earned the privilege, then so be it…stop your whining.

  3. Pat;

    Back in the 90s UF had just beaten UT something like 35-3 in Knoxville. The UT radio station interviewed Peyton Manning, who was a freshman at the time and had played extensively. Manning said “the best team didn’t win.” That is the reason they don’t let freshman give media statements-they want to protect them from saying something that is terminally stupid.

  4. Dooley whining and Vladimir Putin Muschamp are equally annoying.

    Sportswriters and football coaches have become way too impressed with themselves.

    Come on dude, look at your picks record, what gives you credibility. And quit lecturing everyone with your “I go way back before SOS was coach” schtick.

    I attended my first game in 1963, and unlike sportswriters, have paid to go ever since. But you know what, it’s not a big deal.

  5. I think this is a perfect example of the double standard that exists. These coaches are paid millions of dollars by the university to run a program, not just coach. That includes PR whether they like it or not. I guarantee they would be the first ones knocking on your door if the poor little freshman was falsely accused of, say, smokin a doobie and needed to put out a positive spin on it.

  6. The rule isn’t that crazy. 18 year olds have enough to think about much less saying something stupid that could motivate an opponent or anger your coach.

    But if I were a journalist, I’d be miffed with the policy as well.

    Pat – considering your tenure in Gainesville and quality of writting, my humble opinion is that you should be granted “special access.” You should get to go to practices too.

  7. Is it me or was The Orlando Sentinel reporter the catalyst for more secrecy and protection of players from media? Even if players do speak to the media they seem to have the same “you guys are dumb and annoying” attitude that Muschamp seems to have. I like Mushchamp and I am sure it is a hard part of the job, but sometimes it seems like he needs tone down his defensiveness. As well, the players that do speak to the media might as well be robots. What they say is so so controlled and predictable, it might as well be Steve Adazio speaking. I really hope they bring back access to practice by the bowl season. Perhaps the reporter (Jeremy Fowler?) changed all of this with his irresponsible spin on Thompson’s remarks in 2010.

  8. Will has done a great job for the Gators-but being too much of a control freak could ultimately hurt the team. Will also needs to cool off some of those temper tantrums on the sidelines…seems like he is out of control and sends a panic message to his players and fans.

  9. I think TALKING TO THE MEDIA could ONLY HELP the YOUNG STUDENT-ATHELETES…At a time when so many are choosing to go into Media after college (Palmer, Herbstreet,etc…) the contact with MEDIA could only help provide a better foundation for them in THEIR FUTURE!!! Could you IMAGINED a DEON, EMMIT, or even THE BOZ being SILENCED AS A FRESHMAN!?! I couldn’t…STILL MISS YOUR PERSPECTIVE IN ‘SPORTS RADIO”, PAT!!! TAKE CARE!!!

  10. The coaching staff’s never ending need for secrecy is just another example of the athletic department distancing themselves from the fans.

    We don’t see the coaches anymore at area booster meetings, booster fees and ticket prices go up and up, yet we hear less and less from UAA both in person and through the media. Of course we’re getting our nifty mouse pad every year and a license plate, and a chance to see Furman and FAU come to the swamp, but frankly that’s just not cutting it.

    I’ve been a member of Gator Boosters and a season ticket holder for almost 35 years, but I’m just about over my desire to come see the gators at the swamp. If you would have asked me ten years ago if I would consider dropping my season tickets I would have said you were crazy. The last couple of years I have seriously considered spending the money I spend with UAA and traveling to/from Gator games, doing something else with my family. My days as a member of Gator Boosters and season ticket holder are numbered.

    I’m tired of hearing about coaches who are paid multi-millions of dollars who can’t (won’t) reach out to the fans because they want to spend more time with their families (sound familiar). Having the head coach say he doesn’t know the medical condition of his starting QB the day after the game is just a lie and another example of the university’s lack of interest in communicating with fans. There is no competitive disadvantage created by the coach’s silence on a player’s medical condition 6 days before the next game.

    If you’re going to make that kind of money, sacrifices need to be made and the people who are footing the bill need to be reached out to both directly and through the media.

    The goose that lays the golden college football egg is about to start laying rotten eggs if something at UAA doesn’t change soon.

  11. Some of you media whiners need to just shut up. When we are down you are the first to kick us and when we are up you are the first toask for an interview. you guys are worst than the paparazzi. Especially you Dooley….you have been critical of this team for years. you can make the excuse as writing it as you see it, but don’t whine when you don’t get an interview. The audasity. i wouldn’t let you interview Albert or Alberta. Then you want to pblish this article with the LSU players saying they want to rattle this KID…Get outta Here!!! I’m sure you’ll say it’s the coaches job to tell the players not to read clippings so remember it is also the coaches job to keep his players from people like you.

  12. I don’t think it will matter. If the Gators upset LSU and JD throws for over 400 yds, he will be speechless!! The best situation would be a Gator win without JD throwing for 400 yds, then we won’t care what he has to say.

  13. I wouldn’t let freshman speak until they’ve lettered a yr. Some of these kids just are not that gifted to speak to the media. This gives coaches enough time to have these kids be taught how to speak to these media bloodsuckers who are looking for a story to twist. look at how Deonte Thompsons comments were taking out of context and used against them last year. Why don’t you wanna talk to Matt Elam, Easley or Rainey they are the ones having stellar years? This kid hadn’t played a complete game yet. Again…sounds like you are searching for something to twist.

  14. Although after you proved in your last blog by ranking Americas teams the way you did, that you absolutely have no clue about football and you seem to copy the “pop” version of football…. I certainly understand your argument on this topic. I am one of the supporters that think college football players should receive a salary (based on performance of course). When these kids play football at a big time college program, they should expect to deal with the media.

    But that being said, I also think all players should be off limits until they are payed a salary.

    Look at how much the university made off of Tim Tebow when he played here and is continuing to make off him…


  15. Could not agree with you more. The chronic and perpetual distancing of college football – players, coaches, athletic department – from the media and the public is a mistake. Jeremy has tremendous insight but he’s missing the boat on this one. Moreover, he needs to have his PR staff “coach up” the coach on how to deal with the media. It’s funny now; won’t be when things are tough.

  16. 18-year-olds are adults. Treat them as such. Plus, Will and Co. are emphasizing their NFL pedigrees, well, talking to the press is a big part of that gig. Coach ’em how to sidestep pesky hacks like Dooley. Also, teach ’em how to handle finances and adoring babes.

  17. Great points OnecoGuy. Seriously, the distance the UAA is creating seems like decisions made in a vacuum that no one has access to or can speak into. Lets make sure these guys don’t burn out. Reality is, the burn out is not coming from speaking engagements. It is coming from recruiting. An early signing period could seriously help this.

  18. Agreed 76gator, when these players sign with agents pre draft one of the first things the agent does is get them some trainging on how to speak to the media and side step em. I still suggest holding them from reporters until after the first yr. There is just no time betweeen fall camp and game day to get them trained up.

  19. Pat, you and Robbie appear to agree with Muschamp on one thing: not saying much in the media. Both the quantity, and quality, of the football writing seems to have decreased noticably this season.
    Muschamp has a policy, you and Robbie seem to be slumping.

  20. Mr. Dooley, I appreciate you’re dilemma. It’s your job to deliver to me the things I’m curious about concerning the Gators and I seek answers to my insatiable curiousity about the Gators every day. I’m a third generation Gator and I’ve always been passionate about getting info. before game day, as are you. No doubt. I know I don’t NEED to know what Driskel is thinking, (it should be obvious) and that’ll change as he matures so why waste time on that when it’s idle curiousity and Gator passion vs. the need to manage a young man’s work load. Take the Weiss approach, take what they give you and score with that…It’s not silly to not know what Driskel would be thinking after an upset…it should be obvious and we’ll all know soon enough. I’ll keep reading your stuff and cheering for the Gators and the coaches. Seriously, “In all kinds of weather, we all stick together” so why pander to the name-calling knuckleheads who think a big pay check requires someone to reach out…it’s footbal. We’ll all be OK

  21. Yep. I just watched The Pat Dooley Show, season 3 episode 6 and I learned some things that will ease the burden of misplaced expectations and over-zealous school spirit and guess what…never was there a mention of what Freshman players were thinking nor a report from observations of a practice…didn’t need it. I learned a lot from the show and now I can enjoy the season a little more…approaching each game day like it’s a surprise gift and not a “hey the commercial said we’d get this and instead we got…” Pat, I think too much information is detrimental to the joys of game day. You asked if the Swamp has lost its magic and I remember my 1st trip to the Swamp when the Gators were 0-10-1 and I had no expections that day and the Swamp was magic and I couldn’t wait to be a full time, 3rd gen. Gator student there. Magic? It disappears when there’s no surprise and false expectations from over-reporting and over-saturation. Feed the entertainment beast. We’re all just a little too curious, heck that’s why I’m reading and watching your every published thought. But I’m fine with what you’ve got to report on and it’s better than those reaching, manipulative, say-what questions that come from the interviews that the players are already exposed too.

  22. I think it is quite funny that all you gator fans have this vision that they are going to beat LSU…then to actually dream that this kid, who sadly has taken a back seat, is going to throw for 400 yards…hahaha. Florida has a history of making the entire team about one player….Tebow, Grossmen, Leak, Palmer, Weurffel, etc…then they graduate and go where??? Not very far…which altough sad for each one of those guys that was made out to believe they were some sort of God here in Gainesville…I think it is smart of the coach to not put so much focus on him…Seriously quit putting so much faith in one player…football is a TEAM sport. Get a grip gator fans…you aren’t perfect, your players are not untouchable and it is suppose to be a TEAM….allow them to be.

    Oh and BTW….Go Tigers…I hope they walk all over your little lizards.

  23. Coach Muschamp is our Coach and I support his decisions. If he doesn’t feel that it’s appropriate for freshmen to talk to the media what’s wrong with that. I’ll have to agree that most of them have not been “seasoned” in college sports. And the Gators played with emotion in the loss to Alabama. Nothing to be ashamed of and the no quit attitude will win the growing Gators many games.

  24. Dooley…you should really be working on how your going to rephrase the question to the coach regarding Brantley’s injury status before Monday. Maybe the coach will give in with an answer after being asked for the umpteenth time. Does your media colleagues have difficulty understanding English?

  25. What is it with some of you half-wits who turn your anger away from the gator performances to a sports writer, who really writes well in an interesting style. I look foward to reading Pat’s articles. Why? Besides being informative, I like the fact that he takes the team and coaches to task when neither performs as they should. Would you feel better if writers became rubber stamps for coaches and administrator’s lies? Doesn’t college try to get you to think for yourself? Grow up guys!!!

  26. I agree with ancient gator: I ENJOY reading Pat Dooley’s informative articles…keep up the good work Pat!

    I really don’t particularly care how accurate Pat’s picks are for the week… but I am most pleased with his accurate articles regarding “game play” issues and facts.

    SO I too say: DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER, that is, Pat for the high degree of secretcy and I too feel the media should be allowed to view the practice sessions. Hell, to be truthful, I think they should be open to the public period! Let’s facce it gators, either we have it or we don’t and closed practice sessions is not going to improve a damn thing if you ask me! There again, I’m not a ‘pro’ like many of you wise and noble arm chair coaches!