As noted in the post directly below this one, Urban Meyer went bats— crazy on a reporter following Florida’s spring practice session this afternoon/evening.
The reporter was Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel, whose only “crime” in our eyes was quoting wide receiver Deonte Thompson accurately when it came to the differences between Tim Tebow and John Brantley. In Meyer’s eyes, however, Fowler was a straight-up puppy kicker.
Here’s part of Fowler’s account of the day’s “festivities”:
Players were not available after practice, but instead of coming to field questions about the workout, Meyer singled me out.
He was coming to defend Thompson.
He was coming to tell me I’m a “bad guy.”
“You’ll be out of practice — you understand that? — if you do that again,” Meyer said. “I told you five years ago: Don’t mess with our players. Don’t do it. You did it. You do it one more time and the Orlando Sentinel’s not welcome here ever again. Is that clear? It’s yes or no.” (finger pointing toward the face)
“Urban, come on. Don’t make any threats,” I said. “That’s fine. I’ll play by rules. But all I was doing is quoting the guy. I don’t think I was the only one.”
“You’re a bad guy, man,” Meyer said. “You’re a bad guy.”
After Meyer then made the comment about what he would do if Thompson was his son, he walked away and embraced his daughter, Nicki, about 20 yards away before they both turned in our direction and Meyer pointed toward me.
This story is already out there, so I just figured I’d present my side. Coaches get mad, so they approach reporters about it. I get that. A reporter’s probably not doing his or her job without getting blasted once in awhile.
But maybe Meyer felt like making a statement. Considering a guy who is trying to suppress his stress level, his doctors probably would have frowned on today’s incident.
(Joe Tait on Fowler’s last sentence in that clip? “Wham with the right hand!!!“)
Incidentally, there is reportedly video of the exchange, but we’ve yet to get our hands/eyes on it. Needless to say, that clip will go into the Mike Gundy Wing of the Jim Mora/Denny Green Coaching Outburst Hall of Fame.
And if anyone finds it, feel free to shoot it our way. Immediately. Like, yesterday.
As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.
From the university:
The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits. During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle. In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles. He later corrected his account and since apologized.
As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.
Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”
The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.
Hope he’s been practicing.
Say it ain’t so, Steve.
According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.
Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.
He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.
But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.
Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:
Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.