Saturday, March 27, 2010

Urban Meyer Apologizes to Fowler, While Some Gators Praise His Conduct

Given the viral nature of the news that Urban Meyer recently had a temper tantrum, I am not surprised that he has apologized.  The story started when Meyer expressed anger towards Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeremy Fowler. Fowler quoted Deonte Thompson, who, when comparing Tim Tebow and John Brantley, described Brantley as a "real quarterback." Thompson meant to imply that Brantley was a more conventional quarterback, but Fowler's article did not give the quote such a gloss. Fellow Gators pressured Thompson, and when Fowler showed up at a Gator practice, Meyer let him have it (see video below).

Meyer's anger sparked a flurry of articles, most of which demanded that he apologize. Some articles also foolishly opined that he was mentally ill -- a conclusion that was even more over-the-top than Meyer's rant. Given the negative coverage, Meyer's apology comes as no surprise.

Although Meyer has apologized, according to ESPN, several Gator players are proud to have a coach that stands up for them:
Florida quarterback John Brantley and several teammates applauded coach Urban Meyer's recent outburst Friday, saying it's nice to see him come to receiver Deonte Thompson's defense.

"Coach has our back," Brantley said. "That's what you want to see out of your coaches. We trust our coaches and they trust us, and that's what we want to see. . . ."

"He got our back and we got his back," center Mike Pouncey said.

Defensive backs coach Chuck Heater called the whole situation "real positive."

"Urban's a real passionate guy about his players, as we all are, so yeah, I think it's real positive from that standpoint," Heater said. "Everybody sees it and everybody gets it."
Although I believe that Meyer was too headstrong, I agree with the sentiment his players expressed.  I also believe that the media coverage of this issue has been overblown.  Reporters ridiculously speculated that Meyer was mentally unfit. This was too melodramatic and did not represent appropriate analysis of the situation.  Meyer's apology, however, should lay this story to rest.

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