Even if you’re a Gator hater, there is no joy in Meyer’s departure

It’s a tough business. I get that. And over the course of six seasons a head football coach in the SEC can rub a lot of people the wrong way, especially the people he beats.

But if you’re a Bulldog or a Volunteer for a Gamecock or a member of the Crimson Tide Nation, you really shouldn’t be celebrating today over the news that Urban Meyer is leaving as the head coach at Florida.

I’ve had my own issues Meyer.

 He was flat wrong when he suspended linebacker Brandon Spikes for only one-half game after Spikes clearly tried to hurt Georgia’s Washaun Ealey (sticking his fingers in the facemask). Only after the public outcry did Spikes “suddenly” decide that his suspension should be for one game.

He was wrong when he dressed down a reporter in practice in front of cell phone cameras. If he had an issue with the reporter, then there is a right way–a professional way–to address the concern. He chose the wrong way. I don’t know if Meyer was trying to put on a show for his players but it was unprofessional behavior. You don’t use people as props because you want to win football games.

He was flat wrong when he allowed Chris Rainey to return to the team and I said so. There are certain lines in life that you do not cross and threats against women is one of those lines. The rationalizations about who Rainey was and his background, etc., may have all been true. But all that pales in comparison to a text message that said “Time to die, ——-.”

The more success Meyer and the Florida program had, the more withdrawn and insular it became. They became like rock stars who once basked in the attention that brought them fame and fortune but ultimately found it suffocating and just tried to block it all out.

But instead of managing the media  and managing the very high expectations,  which successful people do every day, Meyer chose to throw up walls and pull in the ranks and adopt this silly “us agains the world” mentality. Coaches do that because it’s easy and the players will easily buy into it. It’s much easier for a coach to tell a player “they are all out to get us” instead of “dealing with the media–good and bad–is part of growing up. If you want to play at the next level you need to learn how to deal with these people and be smart about it. We will teach you how to do that.” But that takes work and, in some coaches’ narrow view of the world, it has nothing to do with winning and losing and so it should simply be eliminated as a factor. It is short sighted but if you win enough games, being short sighted eventually becomes a virtue.

Having said all that, Meyer is/was a helluva coach and the record certainly proves that. He won two national championships in three seasons (2006, 2008) and was certainly good enough in 2009 to win a third but for Alabama. For five years at Florida his star burned as brightly as any I’ve ever seen. But on Wednesday he announced, in so many words, that he was burned out.

I know you love your school but most of you I hear from also love your conference and college football as a whole. And so there is no reason to celebrate when the sport burns out a talented coach. You would rather he stay so that when you finally beat him it is all the more sweet.

Florida will find another talented coach. Frankly, I’m going to be surprised if its not Dan Mullen. Whoever it is will be very successful. Steve Spurrier forever changed Florida’s football program in his 12 years (1990-2001) at the school. Before Spurrier arrived Florida had never won 10 games in a season and had never won an SEC championship. Spurrier raised the bar and so Florida will never go back for more than a year or two.

And for Urban Meyer? I predict that he will be out of coaching for only one year and will surface again. This year he got caught in the perfect storm of talent losses and coaching losses and the inability to summon up the fire in the belly that had burned white hot for five seasons. We were all guilty of thinking that Florida could just reload after four years of Tim Tebow. The Florida program took a dip as all programs do (see Texas). The Gators will be back sooner rather than later but Urban Meyer will no longer be their coach.

If you love the game, there is no reason to celebrate that.

 And one last thing: If Urban Meyer goes to the Denver Broncos in the next two months, I take it all back.

Please follow me on Twitter:

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621 comments Add your comment

LakeDawg

December 9th, 2010
4:52 pm

Your right, no joy. I was hoping he would hang around a few more years and pull the gators even further down. Now UF will find a coach who knows how to use a passing QB and UF will be really dangerous.

Delbert D.

December 9th, 2010
4:55 pm

“They are railing at a meaningless system that has eight teams playing in four major bowls that mean absolutely nothing, and other programs consigned to one endless Piggly Wiggly Bowl.”

George Vecsey

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/sports/ncaafootball/10vecsey.html?ref=sports

Say it. Death to the BCS. Pass it on.

BAMA dude

December 9th, 2010
5:00 pm

Delbert he went too far making fun of Piggly Wiggly. There’s nothing wrong with discount greceries. Nosiree, Bob.

BAMA dude

December 9th, 2010
5:00 pm

HeHateMe

December 9th, 2010
5:05 pm

So long scumbag. Classless, almost as bad a Crybaby Spurrier.

Delbert D.

December 9th, 2010
5:06 pm

BAMA dude -Well, that’s New Yorkers for ya.

For the Bulldog Whiners

December 9th, 2010
5:11 pm

Hey Thuga fans,

Just thought you might want to know that your friend Nick Fairley won the 2010 Lombardi Award!

Keep the whining going. The rest of the country is enjoying your pathetic attitude. Hey, at least you beat that powerful Idaho State!

BILLY JACK

December 9th, 2010
5:14 pm

In my humble opinion Fairley should be in jail next to Chris Rainey.

Delbert D.

December 9th, 2010
5:16 pm

I wonder if Dave Wannstedt is on Florida’s list.

doggoneit

December 9th, 2010
5:18 pm

You’re right. He’s one hellava coach. One day, however, when the likes of Meyer, Spurrier and Chizik are old and no one remembers or cares about them except their immediate families, they may want to check in with Mark Richt and discover who the real winners are in this life. We all write our funerals every day, and I do believe, in the end, that character is important than how many football games and championships you may have won 20 or 30 years ago. Perhaps Urban realized he was right about his priorities last year, and decided it was time to get it right this time.

No Longer Skeptical

December 9th, 2010
5:19 pm

@Delbert D.

Why would he be? I doubt if he’s even on Vandy’s list.

Danny Mullen

December 9th, 2010
5:19 pm

Ten million over 5 years, a house in South Beach, a new BMW for me and the wife, and a Shetland Pony. That should just about do it.

No Longer Skeptical

December 9th, 2010
5:20 pm

If losing equals character, then Richt is working on Sainthood.

Urvain Meyer

December 9th, 2010
5:21 pm

I got to get right with the Lord.

Realist

December 9th, 2010
5:25 pm

If Paul Johnson stinks it up next year, I see him as GT’s next coach.

okayforgetthe$

December 9th, 2010
5:27 pm

Just tell me how this kid got into College? Mercy!

doggoneit

December 9th, 2010
5:36 pm

Do you have any idea what Richt’s winning percentage is? He didn’t come to Georgia just two years ago. Look at his body of work since he’s been at Georgia, but don’t let facts cloud your judgment. You do have a good point, however. Winning football games is a high, but not the top priority in Richt’s life. I think that’s what Urban says he now realizes.

Buckeye

December 9th, 2010
5:40 pm

Thank God for Jim Tressel. Class, through and through, win or lose. I’d rather have The Vest than any of the SEC Prima Donnas – and “Quit in the middle of the season” Pertrino is at the bottom of that list. At least Urban is seeing it through the Bowl Game.

Speaking of Bowl Games, the Liberty is creating a lost of buzz ( no pun) this year! NOT.

OBucks

December 9th, 2010
5:51 pm

Yes Sir,That Jim Tressel is one outstanding young man.

Delbert D.

December 9th, 2010
5:51 pm

Wannstedt’s got work somewhere. Nice mustache for TV.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

December 9th, 2010
5:52 pm

No excuse in Richt not winning the East next year

@Delbert D.

December 9th, 2010
6:06 pm

agree.Kinda got that 80’s cop look. Coins ahead for him 4 sure :)

irish dawg

December 9th, 2010
6:17 pm

LOVE MY DAWGS!!!!! GA ALL THE WAY!!!lol

James

December 9th, 2010
6:20 pm

Hard to respect a guy who quits on his team for the 8th time.

I question WHY he quit this time.

I think he knew he wouldn’t win without his lucky charms Strong, Mullen, Tebow & Harvin.

Was he a great coach? We will never know.

Again, if he did this once, show the love.

But quitting on 8 different teams?

Mr. Red

December 9th, 2010
6:21 pm

No joy in mudville – Now UF will get another bright young coach and kick MR’s behind for another 6 to 10 years! Maybe win another NC or two or three, while UGA is continues to be a bottom dweller has been in the SEC!

TrishaDishaWarEagle

December 9th, 2010
6:30 pm

As a wise man once said, “Wherever you go, there you are.”

Urban Brady

jack bull

December 9th, 2010
6:49 pm

Urban will end up in Denver, with his love child/boyfriend in 2012, right after the NFLPA comes off strike. Just enough time for him to rejuvenate his motor.

Cam says he did it ‘the right way’. i guess so, if going to UF, getting pulled over 13 times, stealing a laptop, cheating on tests, moving on to a JUCO, then making his father a mere 200k. wow, and UGA throws 19 year old kids out of school for having a drink. there’s our problem, we’re not doing it the ‘right way’….

Cobb Dawg

December 9th, 2010
6:49 pm

$cam overheard rehearsing his Heisman speech (the second Heisman giveback ever!):
“Dad taught me to never accept anything less than fair market value … er, the best from myself, just as he always wanted what was best for me—and was willing to accept it in three easy payments in large, unmarked bills.”

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1179676/1/index.htm#ixzz17f4Irf00

Newton

December 9th, 2010
6:53 pm

Yes, I already admitted Daddy was going to pick the program I would play for and he picked Auburn because the money was to great. Thanks to Dad other super recruits can try and shake down a program like Miss St., Vandy or a Southern Miss for 200 grand and if they don’t want to pay for play super recruits can just go to the top programs like Bamma, UGA , Florida or AUburn for free but the celler dweller programs have pay.

Monkey Has A Short Memory....

December 9th, 2010
7:05 pm

UGA’s A.J. Green out due to ongoing NCAA probe

Posted by Chip Patterson

North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alabama have all had to sideline top playmakers because of agent-related NCAA investigations. Now we can add Georgia to the list.

Earlier in the week, Mark Richt refused to speak on the issue of A.J. Green’s eligibility, but on Saturday morning the university released a statement confirming Green’s absence from the lineup against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Georgia released a statement barely two hours before game time, saying Green “will miss Saturday’s game … pursuant to UGA Athletic Association policy and pending a ruling from the NCAA clarifying his status.”
Georgia had hoped to receive word from the NCAA before Saturday’s kickoff, but similarly to the other agent-related situations there has yet to be a ruling. If Georgia had played Green and he was later deemed ineligible, the Bulldogs would be forced to vacate any potential victory. The NCAA first informed Georgia of their investigation on July 21, Green has still been listed as the first-string receiver on the depth chart, although the coaching staff has acknowledged the possibility of playing without him.

Running back Washaun Ealey, wide receiver Tavarres King and safety Alec Ogletree will also be sidelined for Saturday’s game, all due to recent arrests.

JOY TO THE WORLD

December 9th, 2010
7:06 pm

Enter your comments here

slippery slope

December 9th, 2010
7:11 pm

In this tough economy,
the Heisman awards committee should recycle
and give Cam Newton the trophy that Reggie Bush returned

Joe

December 9th, 2010
7:14 pm

He goes out a loser

Monkey The Clown

December 9th, 2010
7:15 pm

monkey says

December 9th, 2010
4:32 pm
You got to love these Helmet Heads who change their handle to include anothers handle in a name when they know they are losing every argument…that is what happens when the truth is not on their side….

Or they know you are a lying knucklehead with nothing better to do than spread lies about Auburn!! Desperate trash from a misinformed blowhard….

righton MTC

December 9th, 2010
7:21 pm

All the backwoods trash from UGA know how to do is tell lies and drive drunk.

Urban Meyer

December 9th, 2010
7:22 pm

@slippery slope

Best idea I’ve heard yet. A tainted Heisman* for a tainted player.

:-)

BJohnDawg

December 9th, 2010
7:27 pm

If kelly does not get the job done at Notre Dame. Look for meyer to move in there.
Kelly has one more year , maybe two more and he better produce. If not the Urban ” Spread em” Meyer offense is in South Bend.

UGASlobberknockerI

December 9th, 2010
7:37 pm

As a service to my Auburn buds I have done some research to answer some questions we all have about those Quackheads.

1-What is green, yellow and goes 100 mph? A Duck in a blender.

2-What do the Oregon Ducks and weed have in common? They both get smoked in a bowl.

3-The Seven Dwarfs are in a cave when the roof collapses. Snow White runs to the entrance and yells into the darkness, “Somebody, say something!”

A distant voice responds, “Oregon will win the BCS Championship!”

Snow White sighs, “Oh, thank goodness! At least, Dopey is still alive!”

4- What do you have when you have a 100 Duck fans covered up to their necks in sand?
Not enough sand.

Hey, I do what I can

bamaguy

December 9th, 2010
7:47 pm

I’ll be very surprised if Mullen doesn’t “pull a Kiffin” and return to Florida.

JASon

December 9th, 2010
8:19 pm

Actually, mr. college football, there is plenty of joy in Meyer’s departure. Coaches have been screwed over for way too long after having one or two bad seasons and getting fired. There is no loyalty or honesty from these programs, and I love to see that get thrown right back in their faces.

Fan of the Game

December 9th, 2010
8:21 pm

I am know Urban Meyer fan, but this is about more than family here. You can see it in his face. He is tired of having to deal with many of today’s athletes. Arrests, players threatening to boycott a tough practice and many other things. You can look at the Cam Newton fiasco and the Meyer situation and see that there are many things wrong with college athletics, particularly football and basketball. Nobody is willing to clamp down on things because there is so much money involved now. Coaches have to put up with so much more now that has nothing to do with x and o’s.

Dawg Tired

December 9th, 2010
8:29 pm

Retirement Count: Farve – 5 retirements; Meyer – 2 retirements, but closing fast.

I think Farve also cries more convincingly.

Dawg Tired

December 9th, 2010
8:35 pm

It is somewhat amusing to see a Bama fan describe a coach as “pulling a Kiffin” when Saban invented the whole “leave without adequate notice to go somewhere else for the money” thing. Amusing? Well, actually downright hilarious.

War Eagle

December 9th, 2010
8:43 pm

The great coaches of SEC Bryant, Jordan, Vaught, Neyland, Dooley, Dodd, Spurrier, and Fulmer won 100 plus games and more important a National Championships.Coach Richt has failed to win the BIG GAMES.
Coach Bryant played soft schedules, but was the most successful which started the SEC to power it is today.I played against Coach Bryant first team in 1958 and was like playing against “Drill SGT.”,, unbelievable quickiness, but manage to win 13-8 after a 42-0 shellacking previous year.

Fan of the Game

December 9th, 2010
8:46 pm

War Eagle – The truth is coming!

robert trifiletti

December 9th, 2010
8:58 pm

Hey, thanks for being very critical of arguably one of the top 5 all time coaches in SEC history – you obviously take a very high road … a couple of hundred Gator football players love the guy, know he has compassion and integrity, I guess they must be all wrong. Urban Meyer will be missed at UF – sure the wins and championships are cool, but he will be missed because he is a good man. I guess you didn’t get all of that….Cheers Tony.

Tide Rising

December 9th, 2010
9:00 pm

Dawg Tired

December 9th, 2010
8:35 pm
“It is somewhat amusing to see a Bama fan describe a coach as “pulling a Kiffin” when Saban invented the whole “leave without adequate notice to go somewhere else for the money” thing. Amusing? Well, actually downright hilarious.”

Dawg tired,

Looks like you’re long on hyperbole and short on facts. Saban went to Dolphins owner Wayne Hiezuenga who made a counter offer to keep Saban there. Saban kept him apprised of the situation and after a couple of days of mulling over the offer decided to take the Bama job. Wayne Hiezuenga and Saban remain friends to this day- a fact ignored by the media and fools like yourself- and in Wayne’s own words he stated that Saban left on good terms. Idiots like yourself just spout nonsense when you have no clue what the hell you are talking about.

Atlanta Gator

December 9th, 2010
9:01 pm

There was a lot of crap thrown at Urban Meyer on this blog today, including questioning the sincerity with which he treated his Gators football players. Most of the comments were made by grown men who should know better. I just came across a story about the Pouncey twins, and their head coach, which I thought to share with you. Excerpt and link follow:

“As he lay on the ground, his right leg gone, Webster [the Pouncey twins' step-father] tried to fashion a tourniquet with his belt, unthreading it from the loops of his pants when a train mechanic found him. Together Webster and the mechanic wrapped the belt around the stub of Webster’s knee, halting the flow of blood. That was when the dread suddenly swept through Webster’s body.

“Florida was playing Florida State that weekend. The Gators needed to win to keep their national championship hopes alive and now everyone’s going to be distracted by The Pouncey Twins’ father getting into an accident.

“Then he went to the hospital and lost consciousness for two days.

“It was Michael who Lisa Webster [the twins' mother] called that morning. She was crying and screaming into the phone. At first the twins, who were heading to class, thought she was playing a joke. Lisa Webster often did such things, making weeping phone calls to her sons, making them believe something horrible had happened until bursting into laughter. Ha. Ha. Gotcha. Only this time she didn’t laugh. They raced to Lakeland.

“As Robert Webster lay in his hospital bed a pall did indeed descend over the Florida Gators. Coach Urban Meyer, defensive coordinator Charlie Strong and offensive line coach Steve Addazio flew down to check on the family. When Webster finally awoke on the Wednesday before the Florida State game, his boys looked down, terrified.

“’I’m glad you came,’ their father said. ‘You have a team to go play. Y’all got a game to play this weekend.’

“And with that, the Pouncey twins were sent back to Gainesville to prepare for Florida State. Three days later, Florida beat Florida State as Webster watched from the hospital. Meyer had old-fashioned sweatbands specially made with the initials “RW” printed on the front. A little more than a month later, Webster was in Miami where the Gators won the national title he always dreamed for his boys.”

That guy Meyer sure is a real, no-character, win-at-all-costs prick.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=lc-pounceytwins120210

Dawg Tired

December 9th, 2010
9:02 pm

I’m sure Rainey and Spikes think he is a great guy.

Tide Rising

December 9th, 2010
9:05 pm

Atlanta Gator,

I agree. A lot of ignorant and childish comments made about Meyer. One idiot earlier stated that a guy who won 2 national titles in 6 years is not a great coach.

Personally I consider Meyer a great coach. Great in terms of overall winning %, national championships, success at different programs- he was a winner not only at UF but highly successful at Utah and Bowling Green also. Can’t understand the haters who feel otherwise.