Strained friendship between Urban Meyer and Florida high school coach


Urban Meyer (AP)

Urban Meyer has won two BCS titles at Florida (AP photo)

A Florida high school football coach says his friendship is a little strained with Urban Meyer these days. It has everything to do with recruiting.

Robert Weiner directs Tampa’s Plant High, the Florida powerhouse which has won two out of the last three state championships. Plant High also boasts two prospects ranked among the nation’s top 100, quarterback Aaron Murray and tight end Orson Charles. Both are headed across the state line for college ball, which isn’t sitting too well with fans of the reigning BCS champions. Weiner counts Urban Meyer as a friend.

“I’m sure, at least for a short period of time, there will be strained relations with Urban and the Florida coaches,” Weiner told the AJC on Wednesday. “But eventually we’ll be back to business. I’ll have other players that the University of Florida will want in future years, and I’d love to get players to the University of Florida. Anytime you have two players so highly recruited, things can get pretty intense. But in the end, there are no hard feelings. Everything will be OK.”

These days, however, Weiner is feeling the heat from all directions. In forming an unlikely alliance with the Gators, some Florida State and Miami fans are also disappointed to see two elite recruits depart the Sunshine State. However, the Gators carry the most powerful voice because they are the reigning champs.

“There’s some history there,” Weiner said. “The University of Florida lost Aaron Murray to Georgia. Orson eliminated Florida State first, and then Florida. When you lose one of the top recruits in the state, and then lose another kid [Charles] who decides to go somewhere else, I can see how they need someone to point back at. You know, ‘Hey coach, there’s some consistency there with your top two players leaving Florida. What’s going on?’”

Aaron Murray (Tampa Tribune)

Aaron Murray signed with UGA (Tampa Tribune)

“I know some people are thinking ‘That high school coach must not like Florida. He must not like Urban Meyer.’ That’s not true. I love the University of Florida. Urban Meyer is one of the greatest coaches I’ve met in my life. He’s a great person, a tremendous leader, and his job excellence speaks for itself with two national championships … However, my only agenda right now is for the kids at Plant High. It’s about the kids. I support whatever they do with their college decisions. Business is business with recruiting, and I’m sure everything else will take care of itself in time.”

Charles trimmed Florida from his list on Wednesday, and is deciding between Southern Cal, Georgia and Tennessee. He will reveal his college choice on March 6.

Click here and bookmark this page to follow the AJC’s recruiting coverage

48 comments Add your comment


March 11th, 2010
7:00 am

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[...] unknown posted a noteworthy aricle today onHere’s a small snippetanything, but this slightly bizarre item from the Atlanta Journal Constitution indicates that the relationship between Urban Meyer and Tampa Plant head coach Robert Weiner is becoming/is already strained. Even after several reads of the … [...]

Swamp Fan

March 3rd, 2009
11:54 am

Maybethiskid….. sounds just like a fan who pulls for a team that has not done much in the last 29 years… no MNC, no Heismans, just a bunch of wins before he was born to hang his hat on.. good job!!

Maybe this Kid...........

March 1st, 2009
10:16 pm

liked The University of Georgia better? Plenty of good players have left Georgia for other programs, and probably should have. Plenty have liked UF better. UF is a fine school and there is nothing wrong with that. The difference is that Georgia doesn’t have a coach who refers to himself in the third person to complain of “strained relationships”.

Let’s get a few basic things out of the way…….

First of all, THERE IS NO NATIONAL CHAMPION in D1A college football and there never has been. The NCAA does not award them. Notre Dame, UGA, UF, Michigan, Alabama, LSU, etc all have the same number, which is ZERO, because it’s not sanctioned or recognized by the NCAA. The AP poll, and the cutey pie BCS are a nice destraction, but they’re a fraud. National Championships don’t exist in college football.

Secondly, the heisman is a fraud and it’s always been a fraud. There is no consistency or credibility to the award. You can’t cheer when a guy from a 9-4 team wins the heisman because of inflated stats, and then complain the next year when he doesn’t win because his stats weren’t up to par. It’s either one way or the other.

And further, Florida has had a great run since 1990, but catch up…………….47-38-4 (on the field), 12-8 SECC (on the field), and then talk.

Too Easy

February 28th, 2009
8:45 am

William: Do come back, but with way fewer words.

Dawg fan

February 28th, 2009
7:17 am

NCAA announced 5 scholarship penalty for New Mexico academic cheating violation involving 3 football players. Florida State had cheating involving 20 to 30 some players and no announced penalties by NCAA. Could the NCAA be laying off FSU so Bowden doesn’t get penalized his last year of coaching? That many players cheating sure sounds like an ‘out of control’ program. What gives?

Michael Carvell

February 28th, 2009
6:12 am

William: That’s deep. That might be post of the year. Please come back and post again.

Marvin Walker

February 28th, 2009
1:26 am

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