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The more success Meyer and the Florida program had, the more withdrawn and insular it became.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.

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621 comments Add your comment

BAMA dude

December 9th, 2010
12:53 pm

Maybe, Murph, but Petrino is the better name and more accomplished. Of course, he has all kinds of baggage too. My opinion on him has been well established.

MURPHY

December 9th, 2010
12:54 pm

AR dawg,

I dont think Zook could have got them to a National Championship but he would have won a SEC Championship.He doesnt appear to me as being a coach that can get you to the top.He is a Richt type in my opinion.

how2fish

December 9th, 2010
12:55 pm

BAMA dude really between Petrino and Mullen…its sort of like trusting the woman you stole from your best friend with Petrino isn’t it…he slipped out of town on the Falcons when things got tough..you’d have to always be wondering if he would to the same to you..

MURPHY

December 9th, 2010
12:55 pm

BAMA dude,

Yeah,alot of arguments you can make against Petrino but you cant deny is collge success rate.

the real Old Gold

December 9th, 2010
12:55 pm

Meyer to Tech next year!

MURPHY

December 9th, 2010
12:56 pm

how2fish,

If he went to Florida that would be what? The 3rd or 4th time he has left a team hanging? (Arkansas)

BAMA dude

December 9th, 2010
12:56 pm

how2fish, I’m a huge Falcons fan and despise the man. I just wonder if Florida would want him.

ARdawg

December 9th, 2010
12:56 pm

MURPH

We’ll never know now but Gator fans were too spoiled to give him half a chance. The fireZook websites were immediate after his first loss. Thats the attitude that left a bad taste in Spurrier’s mouth

Straight Jacket

December 9th, 2010
12:57 pm

Paul Johnson would be awesome at Florida!

Jeff

December 9th, 2010
12:57 pm

I agree, I have had issues with Urban- most noteably, the Brandon thing….but rivals aside- he is a class guy under it all. More class in his pinky than in the entire Auburn nation……

MURPHY

December 9th, 2010
12:58 pm

Meyer to Tech

That’s hillarious! Yeah I guess low stress at Tech,cause you dont have to win much.Fan’s dont really care as much as the SEC Fans

ARdawg

December 9th, 2010
12:58 pm

BAMA dude

I don’t think Florida would even consider him. I’m not so sure he’d even consider leaving to go to FL. He’s doing pretty good where he is. I don’t care for the guy but, I still say his rep is undeserved

MURPHY

December 9th, 2010
12:59 pm

Paul Johnson at UF,

Please-he would get chewed up in the SEC-even if he had UF talent. Gimmicks dont work in the SEC guys.

Honky Talkin'

December 9th, 2010
1:01 pm

If Meyer goes to the Denver Broncos, it’s only to lick Tebow’s sack.

Darius

December 9th, 2010
1:02 pm

Tony – You need to retire. You have simply become a horrible hack over the last several years. It has been sad to watch.

BAMA dude

December 9th, 2010
1:02 pm

Not going there again ARDawg. We’ll definitely agree to disagree regarding Petrino’s status as a dirtbag. I do think you’re in the minority on that one though.

BAMA dude

December 9th, 2010
1:03 pm

Hey, Meyer’s daughter plays volleyball so she can probably jump. Field goal block team maybe?

FloridaAlum

December 9th, 2010
1:03 pm

I find it remarkable that this reporter has such a huge ego that he takes to task a coach for saying what he thinks of a reporter in front of cameras? Who do you think you are? Crying a lack of professionalism is just that, crying. Grow a pair why don’t you? As far as Spikes and Rainey are concerned I seriously doubt any of us has the entire story so I’d refrain from criticizing if I were you. Urban was a good coach for Florida and I, as a fan, wish him well.

poopdawg

December 9th, 2010
1:03 pm

I got a little joy

chainz

December 9th, 2010
1:03 pm

He should see if Petrino needs a quarterbacks coach…lol

Atlanta Gator

December 9th, 2010
1:05 pm

MURPHY—-

Zook is a player’s coach, and had significant trouble disciplining his players. Most of the internal problems never hit the media. One of my long-time friends is another one of the Gators’ national championship-winning coaches, and my friend says that virtually every other Gator coach thought Zook was as dumb as a rock. He put his foot wrong with the university administration, and then he lost Foley’s backing after an on-campus incident at a fraternity house where Zook was directly involved in a shouting match with students. It was only a matter of days thereafter, that Machen and Foley fired him mid-season. Zook was in the middle of his third season, and the program was still going in reverse. It’s the one and only time Foley has ever pulled the plug on a coach mid-season, and he was almost certainly ordered to do it by the university president because Zook was an embarrassment, not on the field, but off it.

Unlike Auburn and Tuscaloosa, the football coach answers directly to the athletic director, who in turn answers directly to the president and the university board of trustees. The president, with the backing of the board, still runs the show. There is a separate board of directors for the University Athletic Association, but they are responsible mainly for the financial aspects of the athletic program. Major policy still comes from the president and the university trustees, as it should.

chainz

December 9th, 2010
1:07 pm

And were do you come up with he’s a class guy…..REALLY…Classless yes….

Gatorman

December 9th, 2010
1:07 pm

I’m not a happy man today, but what’s different about today. Most of us felt his heart wasn’t in coaching this year anyway, and it showed in the performance of the team. I only hope they don’t hire a new coach just because they coached here, although Ron Zook has proven to be a solid coach, he couldn’t coach with the elite coaches of the country.

chainz

December 9th, 2010
1:08 pm

Spurrier on line one……..lmao

how2fish

December 9th, 2010
1:09 pm

Bama dude I really can’t see the UF AD taking that chance…he has a lot of really good options to try out first.

Flag on ATL Gator

December 9th, 2010
1:15 pm

Atlanta Gator

December 9th, 2010
10:55 am
God, I hate conspiracy freaks. Yeah, Meyer made Cam Newton steal and/or accept a stolen laptop? Meyer leaked Newton’s academic record? Wait, was that Meyer on the Grassy Knoll in Dallas?

The story was reported on a sports blog on November 5, 2010. That was over a month ago. What have we heard since? Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Thanks for playing.

Give it a rest.

Why is he now resigning then? The timing of this is just coincedental? That “conspiracy theory” may have hit close to home huh?

Mike Smith

December 9th, 2010
1:18 pm

Come on, Tony. Its not like he was Joe Pa or Bobby Bowden here. Meyer is one of those coaches that blows in, wins early, and then leaves before he has to go through the pain of addressing attrition in his program. Add to that, he has a serious ego, and as you pointed out, had a variety of questionable decisions.

All I have to say is, Dawg fans calling for Richts head should be ashamed. Meyer’s program fell off a cliff in his 6th year. Richt? It was year 9 thanks to Stafford and Moreno leaving early for the NFL. Meyer’s program could not sustain the departure of Tebow and Co. Richt’s program won the SEC the year after Green and Pollack left. Meyer’s program showed immediately the loss of Strong and Mullen. Richt’s offense is still doing pretty well under Bobo after 4-5 years, and it took Martinez’s 4th season for the defense to fall off.

Up next? Watch Nick Saban. His program took a step back this year. He loses McElroy and likely Ingram, Richardson, and Julio Jones. Lets see if he decides to stick it out for the rebuild.

Atlanta Gator

December 9th, 2010
1:20 pm

Flag—-

The first sign of a conspiracy nut is that no matter what the evidence is, no matter how contradictory it is to any evidence previously presented, it somehow always reinforces the nut’s imagined conspiracy.

Keep your flag. I’ll call for an instant replay from the other bloggers.

LEROY

December 9th, 2010
1:20 pm

CMR is also burned out!!!!!!!!!!!!

Flag on ATL Gator

December 9th, 2010
1:24 pm

Yes, in many ways, Urban Meyer was the perfect coach for Florida. He was a family man who treated his players like they were an extended family, some times to his own detriment. His players went to class, or they rode the pine. There was no pay-for-play hanky-panky. His teams were disciplined on the field, and when a player got in trouble off the field, Meyer imposed appropriately measured punishment (Tony’s comments notwithstanding).

What planet are you living on man? “Appropriated measured punishment”? Aggravated stalking & armed robbery I believe here’s the link of all players arrested during UM’s tenure. Quite a rap sheet.

Starting in 2009, the Orlando Sentinel compiled a list of Florida football players arrested or charged with a crime since coach Urban Meyer took over six years ago

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2010-09-17/sports/os-florida-gators-arrests-list-20100915_1_frankie-hammond-second-degree-misdemeanor-charge-misdemeanor-possession

BAMA dude

December 9th, 2010
1:26 pm

Up next? Watch Nick Saban. His program took a step back this year. He loses McElroy and likely Ingram, Richardson, and Julio Jones. Lets see if he decides to stick it out for the rebuild.

Ha. Richardson replaces Ingram and we have two studs to battle it out for the QB spot. Bama has at LEAST seven players from the All-SEC first or second teams returning next season, and that number assumes that Jones, Ingram, and Dareus all leave. combine that with another top five recruiting class and I don’t think there will be much to rebuild.

Mrs. Urban Meyer

December 9th, 2010
1:26 pm

Who in the hell said that I wanted that narcissistic SOB to spend more time with his family? We were perfectly happy when he was not at home. Now, we are going to have to put up with the same crap that the college football world has had to put up with but we have to actually share our home with him. Things were so much better when he was sleeping with the home-schooled mama’s boy.

Flag on ATL Gator

December 9th, 2010
1:27 pm

ARdawg

December 9th, 2010
1:29 pm

BAMA dude

LOL…fair enough

Gatorhater

December 9th, 2010
1:30 pm

Tony, if he does end up coaching again in a year doesn’t that mean he’s just making an excuse or flat-out lying now. I believe a lot of teams benefit from his leaving, if only in the short run. No one can know who will take his place and what that program will evolve into. It could be another Ron Zook or another Steve Spurrier. I love college football but, am in no way sorry he is leaving. I think college football is better off without him for many of the same reasons other bloggers have already noted. Hopefully, Foley will bring in someone with integrity who competes without the diry play, cheating, lying and whining.

ATLTechFan

December 9th, 2010
1:33 pm

I have disliked Meyer since his days at Utah. He’s a j e r k and I’m glad he’s gone.

Kenny Powers

December 9th, 2010
1:34 pm

In two years the SEC loses Urban Meyer and Lane Kiffin

“there’s a tear in my beer…..”

Flag on ATL Gator

December 9th, 2010
1:35 pm

Atlanta Gator

December 9th, 2010
1:20 pm
Flag—-

The first sign of a conspiracy nut is that no matter what the evidence is, no matter how contradictory it is to any evidence previously presented, it somehow always reinforces the nut’s imagined conspiracy.

Since you know so much where did the leak of Newton’s records come from then? It was either Meyer or someone on his staff that would have had to have known about Cam’s academic record at UF. Are you asserting the conversation between Mullen & Meyer never took place? It’s funny how you left this part of the post out LoL

In the story, Marshall talks of a three-way phone conversation between Meyer, Miss State coach Dan Mullen and former Bulldog quarterback John Bond, who made news yesterday in a story for ESPN.com.

According to Marshall, Bond is quoted as saying that he and Mullen agreed that the Newton matter was closed after submitting all of their documentation to SEC Headquarters.

Meyer disagreed and told the two that he thought it needed to be reported to The New York Times and he was going to make the call. Pete Thamel, who wrote the Times piece is close friends with Meyer.

The story goes on to say that Bond agreed to be interviewed by ESPN.com only after it became apparent the story was going to break. Marshall writes that Bond “is distressed about the reaction, particularly the attacks on Newton’s character.”

Bond is quoted as saying, “(Meyer) is behind the whole thing.”

Flag on ATL Gator

December 9th, 2010
1:40 pm

The story clearly says Mullen & Bond agreed the Newton matter was closed, then Urban kept pushing to the NYT. Even going as far as to call them & talk to his “good friend” Pete Thamel. Who also just so happened to have wrote the NYT piece, which clearly documents the phone call took place. Doesn’t sound like a conspiracy theory to me…..

Atlanta Gator

December 9th, 2010
1:41 pm

Mike Smith—-

Time flies, but Urban Meyer was the Gators head coach for six full seasons. Only four coaches have stayed in Gainesville longer—-Spurrier (12), Ray Graves (10), Bob Woodruff (10) and Doug Dickey (9). As a six-year coach, it’s tough to understand how you can say that he didn’t have to manage his own recruits. Tim Tebow? Percy Harvin? Both recruited by Meyer. He’s also had top-5 recruiting classes four out of six years (twice, No. 1), and had top-10 or top-15 classes the other two years. Tough to see how he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain.

droopydawg

December 9th, 2010
1:41 pm

Not true. There is great joy to me in Meyer’s departure because I hate that freaking guy. I was happy when he quit briefly last year and I am ecstatic that he has not rescinded this one yet.

BG

December 9th, 2010
1:44 pm

Urban Meyer seems like a confused and weird man. I think he will be back in football in the next 12 to 18 months. Meyer knows that Tebow was a player that comes around every 20 or 30 years. Meyer quit because he knew he could never get UF back to the Tebow days.

TMZ on at 7:30 comcast channel 804

December 9th, 2010
1:44 pm

Speak for yourself Tony, not everyone has to agree with you.

TMZ on at 7:30 comcast channel 804

December 9th, 2010
1:45 pm

Urban had a thing for Tebow. It was just weird.

Flag on ATL Gator

December 9th, 2010
1:49 pm

It’s funny how “Atlanta Gator” convieniently left out the most important part of the story regarding the 3-way phone call between Bond, Mullen, and Meyer. I’m willing to bet that may be the REAL reason behind his resignation. When the NCAA gets to the bottom of the Cam Newton saga, there may be a jealous little “Urban Crier” crying wolf to save his own skin….

Gary

December 9th, 2010
1:52 pm

Timeout, Timeout, Game over… No class coach, he will not be missed.

Atlanta Gator

December 9th, 2010
1:52 pm

“Since you know so much where did the leak of Newton’s records come from then? It was either Meyer or someone on his staff that would have had to have known about Cam’s academic record at UF. Are you asserting the conversation between Mullen & Meyer never took place? It’s funny how you left this part of the post out LoL”

Flag—-

Again, with the conspiracy? Who leaked Cam Newton’s Florida academic records? I don’t know that anyone leaked his Florida academic records. We haven’t had confirmation of any of those rumors of academic misconduct. You, however, have just accused Urban Meyer, albeit anonymously, of committing a federal felony under the student records privacy laws. Got anything to back that up? Otherwise, let me introduce you to two other legal concepts . . . libel and slander. In fact, if the rumors about Newton’s academics are untrue, you may have just libeled and/or slandered both Newton and Meyer. Hmmm.

Remember the snarky female blogger in New York who accused an acquaintance of sleeping around? She was sued, and settled, after she was identified by her IP address. I’m not saying either of these gentlemen would feel the need to sue you, but . . . .

Georgia Peach

December 9th, 2010
1:54 pm

@Mike Smith

You go ahead and keep your eye on Nick Saban. You’ll probably still be watching him at Alabama when he becomes the senior coach in the entire SEC. :-)

Atlanta Gator

December 9th, 2010
1:55 pm

Flag—-

Talk to the hand. I’ve made the mistake of engaging with a member of the Tin Foil Hat Brigade. I won’t make the mistake twice.

Later, ‘gator.

dawgfacedboy

December 9th, 2010
1:56 pm

UF might be down for a year but I doubt it will be longer than that.

Tony- if the Broncos hire Meyer it will be an even bigger mistake than letting McDaniels trade 3 picks for Tebow. I’d love to see Meyer and Tebow bring the spread to the NFL. He wouldn’t last a season.