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.