Spikes shows he has more of a conscience than Meyer

Brandon Spikes decided his coach's half-game suspension wasn't enough.

Florida's Brandon Spikes decided his coach's half-game suspension wasn't enough.

Brandon Spikes deserves some credit. He just righted a wrong by his own coach.

Spikes was suspended by Florida coach Urban Meyer for only the first half of Saturday’s Vanderbilt game after television cameras in last week’s Georgia-Florida caught him trying to eye-gouge Bulldogs running back Washaun Ealey. But the firestorm of negative publicity and resulting pressure led Spikes to announce Wednesday he is going to sit out the whole game.

“I really don’t want to be a distraction to the team,” Spikes told Florida reporters after practice Wednesday. “I want the guys to prepare without any negative things going on. I feel like if I was playing it would be a big thing. … I’m just trying to stay out of the way and motivate the guys. I’m pretty sure the staff has got may back and my teammates really support me on this decision.”

Basically, Spikes is doing what Meyer wouldn’t: He is accepting responsibility, doing the right thing and putting his team first. Fact is, this also should go a long way with NFL scouts who might have wondered about Spikes’ character after the play. It will diminish any potential criticism of the NFL team that drafts him. (I’ve looked at a few 2010 mock drafts and Spikes is projected as a late first-round pick.)

Meyer said Spikes, “came to see us [Tuesday] night,  [defensive coordiantor Charlie] Strong and myself. A lot of the negative things out there are really weighing heavy on [Spikes'] heart right now. As a group we decided it would be in the best interest of the team not to play him Saturday.”

Question: Why is Meyer suggesting he had any role in this decision when Spikes is the one who stepped up and asked for it?

It’s worth repeating: Meyer was not going to suspend Spikes at all. He only looked into the incident after both his wife and Strong said something to him about it. Spikes deserves all the credit here.

257 comments Add your comment

mmgtfan

November 4th, 2009
10:53 pm

Gator Nation

November 4th, 2009
10:56 pm

Bottom line is that Meyer missed an opportunity to walk the walk he preaches. He should have suspended Spikes for at least one full game from the beginning. It is a mistake I hope he learns from.

Brian

November 4th, 2009
10:58 pm

The groin injury must have flared up again.

gatorzz

November 4th, 2009
11:02 pm

To answer your question honestly, I would have to answer it with another question. So here it is.

Does it really matter what Meyer did, you, like many hacks in the media wouldn’t have accepted any action that he has taken. If he gave Spikes 1 game, you would have called for 2. Had he given him 2 games, you would have called for more. There is no winning with “some writers”, and you are one of those “some writers”.

Go Dawgs

Gary S.

November 4th, 2009
11:06 pm

I think the fallout was so great that Spike realized what he done was wrong. I have to hand it to Spikes for sitting out the game. He does have character. I also admire Washaun Ealy who said it was all part of the game and that Spikes didn’t actually gauge him. I admire both men for what they did!

mt airy dawg

November 4th, 2009
11:07 pm

KUDOS to Spikes.Maybe I was wrong about him.Meyer is still an A**.

Ohio State fan

November 4th, 2009
11:13 pm

You AJC writers are a bunch of hacks, with the apparent mantra of ‘attack anything Florida, regardless of whether we actually believe it.’ Seriously, I read stuff from all over the country and you guys have taken a turn for the worse.

It’s sad, really. Another example of newspapers trying to get internet traffic and manufacture interest as opposed to reporting what has happened in a non-biased, factual and common-sense approach.

RIP newspaper industry, but you’ve done nothing to help your cause.

Jeff Schultz

November 4th, 2009
11:13 pm

Gatorzz — I can’t speak for other “hacks” — just me. If Meyer had suspended him 1 game, I would not have had a problem with that. A half-game just looked dumb and disingenuous.

Dawg Fan from Grayson

November 4th, 2009
11:21 pm

Brian is probably right about his groin, but I give Spikes for trying to do what is right since his coach could not.

By the way…..Spikes would look pretty good in a Falcons uni next year.

Paul ( You doesn't have to call me Johnson)

November 4th, 2009
11:22 pm

Wow! What’s not to like about Brandon Spikes. He really makes me feel all warm and fuzzy now.
I’ll bet Vanderbilt is breathing a heavy sigh of relief and all the Florida fans are proud of this heartwarming youngster.

Rick

November 4th, 2009
11:28 pm

Meyer and Foley somewhat remind me of corporate execs these days. It’s all about winning and money.

If you can’t beat me in a legal environment, I will do whatever I wish to do.

If I am successful, all will be forgotten. I essentially have accountibility no noone as I long as I please the people that matter. Values are for losers and those value type people are losers, you know.

Is that the new “American way”?

It has worked for Meyer so far but just like the American economy and corporate environment, that day will come soon enough.

Meyers day will come.

Gator Al

November 4th, 2009
11:33 pm

Brandon is just showing what kind of stand up man he is. Like I said before, he is just misunderstood and a real fine man. You Dog fans would be lucky to have anyone of his moral caliber on your team.

KJ

November 4th, 2009
11:46 pm

“You Dog fans would be lucky to have anyone of his moral caliber on your team.”

LOLZ

Yeah, I’m gonna go out on a limb and posit that if the next game were against Alabama, Spikes’ “conscience” might not have gotten the better of him.

Ryder

November 4th, 2009
11:47 pm

Gator Al you make a good point. A lot of stuff happens in the bottom of a pile and he just made a decision out of emotion, much like what Blount did at Oregon. I still think they deserved to be suspended though.

That said, I don’t know why anyone is making a big deal about Meyer. He’s not hired to make sure those guys are upstanding young men, he’s hired to win championships, plain and simple. Until Richt understands that, UGA will always look up to Florida in the standings.

GatorX

November 4th, 2009
11:51 pm

Good for Spikes. At least he showed some sound judgement. Meyer is probably a bit embarressed by this in hindsight. He was attacked ruthlessly for his judgement by the national media. Even the ones who usually pander to him.

Meyer didn’t think it was a big deal or else he would have taken immediate action and done the right thing. His 1/2 game suspension decision was taken only after he was prompted to take action by others…including the SEC office. Only then did he act….and with the lightest punishment that he could issue while still seeming to have done the appropriate thing.

Good for Spikes. He is redeemed. Bad for Meyer. He lost some credibility.

rocksteadyfreddie

November 4th, 2009
11:55 pm

UF is still going to beat Vandy on Saturday, with our without Brandon Spikes. If this had happened in the Kentucky Miss. State game, no one would know or care about it. Spikes was wrong, and should sit for a game, but this thing is getting blown out of proportion IMO.

secondguesser

November 5th, 2009
12:07 am

Tell you what, you guys just keep whining and we’ll keep winning, o.k.?

Pot meet Kettle

November 5th, 2009
12:08 am

Enter your comments here

Tampa2

November 5th, 2009
12:16 am

How in the hell does Schultz know who actually made this decision? It could have been Foley or Strong or Meyer’s idea to tell Spikes to make this statement.

ray

November 5th, 2009
12:19 am

This years FL/GA game was one of e nastiest, by both teams, I’ve ever seen in person, and that’s over 250 games. Not trying to defend what Spikes did, but in the context of that game, it was not as outrageous as people are making it. Y’all do realize that the Youtube video was doctored, don’t you? They took something that took place in a fraction of a second, and looped it over several times so that it looked like he was raking his eyes. If they had done that to the Blount punch, it would have looked like he pouched him several times in rapid succession.

Tampa Gator

November 5th, 2009
12:31 am

Jeff, Meyer did not know anything about the incident until he was notified about it by his wife (after she saw the video) and also by Strong once he heard about it. Meyer then said he was going to speak to Spikes personally about it. After that, he suspended him one half game based on discussion with Spikes and his coaches. It was a teamwork decision which was agreed upon my the commissioner of the SEC (who I guess also has not class). I believe Meyer had his hands full with all the after the game media responsiblities to focus on something he knew nothing about. Your continued personal attacks on a great football coach is borderline libel in my opinion. But you and all the Dawg fans just want to attack the character of Gator players and coaches since you have nothing good about Georgia, its coaches, or its players (who are the most thug oriented, undisciplined group of “players” I have ever witnessed on a football field. Just coninue with your personal attacks. It just reveals your shady character and lack of professionalism as a writer for the AJC. Don’t you have anything more positive to write about? Oh, I forgot, you write about the Georgia Bulldogs. My apologies. Continue with your witch hunt of anything related to the Florida Gators. SEE WHAT THAT GETS YOU. Gator fans know what Spikes did was out of character for him, and I can guarantee you that Meyer IS a man of high character…that coming from a man who is well known for high character….Tim Tebow. But you and your fans want to make slanderous comments about his character as well. Not surprisingly. And you wonder why the Georgia program is in such shambles. Wonder why Florida’s program isn’t? Think about that. You people can’t beat the Gators on the field or on the practice fields, so you are going to try to slander a good program with crap articles like this one. You should be ashamed of yourself. This entire after the game week has caused me to highly dislike a team that used to be my second favorite them…Georgia. And that includes its coaches and the media that covers them. What a complete bunch of classless thugs that hand in and around Athens and in Atlanta. Now, my second favorite team is anyone who plays Georgia. I hope the Dawgs lose every game they play this year. It would serve them right. Cover that.

Tampa Gator

November 5th, 2009
12:37 am

Also…Georgia would be lucky to have the team character that Meyer has worked hard to build at Florida. When he arrived, the team had no character or discipline. That has changed (except for a few fools who no longer play for the team). Now, they are a “team” of high character and they are champions. Something Georgia and its fans (and its sports writers) can only dream about. So shut the – - – - up!!!! And remember, 17 out of the last 20 years and still counting. Florida and its coaches have more class in their big toe than Georgia has on its entire team.

jason

November 5th, 2009
12:53 am

Jeff, I find it amazing that Monday, the online sports section for the paper in Atlanta had this story screaming all over the place. However on Tuesday, when Washaun Ealey came out and said he didn’t think Spikes should be suspended, there wasn’t nearly the sensationalized coverage.

Sort of deflated the high and mighty position the AJC was plastering when Ealey said that, didn’t it? Were you guys afraid that the Governor was going to send another nasty letter if you didn’t paint Florida in as negative a light as possible? Heaven forbid the financially struggling paper (that isn’t even based in Atlanta anymore any day now) get “put in its place” by the lame duck Governor.

pollywannacracker

November 5th, 2009
12:54 am

Tampa Gator, hit some weed and chill out, it’s not that serious folks. Personally it doesn’t matter if you like UGA or not, but all these kids on both teams (matter fact on most SEC teams) grew up playing each other, in big time intra & interstate games and many have similiar backgrounds, there are no thugs on either team, that’s just you white folks way of taking shots at kids when they make a mistake. The UGA people jumping on Spikes probably would jump on their own players if they weren’t playing for UGA (hell they’re jumping on some of our players now), me I just want to see these guys develop into young men who will make something more of themselves, more than what you football fans have for them. That’s including Spikes. Keep your head folks, learn from your mistakes and move on.

Brandon Spikes (and gouges)

November 5th, 2009
12:56 am

dass rite, i dit a goot thang. jes ax corch myers.

ReptilesRule

November 5th, 2009
1:17 am

Schultz, why not write an article about all the cheap shots UGA players took on Spikes, Tebow (who recently suffered a concussion) and Brandon James. And dont give me that crap that it was during the course of the game because that cheap shot on Tebow was L A T E and was clearly done with intent to induce damage, i.e. to take him out. I don’t see any of these dirty Dawgs sitting out, even though they were not whistled but caught clearly on film, just like Spikes. You all need to come of that glass house you’re living in!!!

lifelongfan

November 5th, 2009
1:18 am

I want to know why the officiating crew refused to call a penalty on the play. Spikes’ eye-gouging was the single most flagrant and malicious personal foul (and criminal act) I have ever seen on a football field. Given that the act did not occur at the bottom of a pile, that it was fully exposed to view, that it was committed against the ball carrier just after he was tackled (this is the very moment of every play that nearly every game official is looking directly at the ball carrier) and other players saw the attack, it is simply not believable that no member of the officiating crew saw Spikes’ assault. If that is the position of the SEC, I would why these officials are not watching the game. Truly, it is impossible for this assault not to have been seen by anyone on the officiating crew.

archangeladidas

November 5th, 2009
1:22 am

Jeff i have a ? for you. Do you plan on bringing to light any of the dirty play by uga? You are going about this as if ga players did nothing wrong at all. So its ok for ga players to play dirty, just not UF. Please get real! Come up with something to help these losers win some games. 5-7 is not out of hte question you know. 41-17! 17 out of 20! GO GATORS!!!

archangeladidas

November 5th, 2009
1:33 am

To lifelongfan…………..were you in a coma when haynesworth steped on a players head without his helment on? Let me guess, it was ok because he wasn’t a GATOR. 41-17! 17 out of 20! GO GATORS!!!

Larry

November 5th, 2009
1:50 am

Jeff, Surely you’re not that naive? Spikes is a senior having a down year due to injuries and by “punishing himself” in the media this thug is simply trying to salvage the highest possible pick in next years draft.

He’s perfect for the Oakland Raiders!

ReptilesRule

November 5th, 2009
1:59 am

How about an article about what the hell has happened to Georgia Football??? There was no shame in losing to the Mighty Gators in Jax but that slobberknocker in Knoxville set UGA back 20 years!!! Keep on focusing on Refs and conspiracy theories and Brandon Spikes though, and you will continue the freefall…

To All The Gators

November 5th, 2009
2:14 am

Time to leave the big city… go back to that bug-infested, white trash of a town called Gainesville, FL. I swear… south of Macon and north of Orlando should be annexed into it’s own confederate white trash state. We will have to keep Savannah and the GA coast… you losers get to keep J’ville Beach and the Redneck Riviera. Gainesville is Starkville but w/ access to a Stuckey’s off of 75!

To All The Gators

November 5th, 2009
2:18 am

Just to ensure that you have somewhere to sport the JORTS on vacation, we will throw in Ybor City.

Rick

November 5th, 2009
4:04 am

Coach,

Dis eye thang might hurt my NFL draft status, don’t you thank dat at least a one game suspension, you know.. for PR porposes, would help the situation?

Meyer.. Brandon you did nothing wrong.. An eye gouge every now and then never hurt anyone, especially a UGA player.

But if you insist.

Doyle, Winder

November 5th, 2009
4:34 am

Look, both players did the RIGHT thing in how they handled it. So, now that all that crap is over, can we PLEASE just focus on just WYH we lost yet again to those idiot LIZARDS?!?!?!?

Doyle, Winder

November 5th, 2009
4:37 am

Gator fans–no offense intended…

Doyle, Winder

November 5th, 2009
4:38 am

Edward Bernays

November 5th, 2009
5:19 am

I thought the “heavy heart” line was a nice touch.

Bill

November 5th, 2009
5:46 am

I hope Spikes moves to Fla because he has no future in Ga.

When has he apologized? Not the first Gaytor player, coach, nor fan has apologized.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

November 5th, 2009
6:13 am

Here is how this goes..

1) Spikes gets suspended the first half only against Vandy

2) The media picks up on this and creates the controversy

3) Meyer trying to sweep this under the rug brings up the late hit that the officials missed on St. Tebow, but he can’t publicly critize the officials.

4) Meyer pleads w/ Spikes to take himself out of the Vandy game thus giving this story yet another Spin.

5) Meyer made Spikes do this to create another story, thus taking away the comments he made publicly about the officials. This in an attempt to distance the story by giving the whole episode yet another new leg.

Amazing the lengths Meyer will go to isn’t it…..

kelly

November 5th, 2009
6:15 am

Assult charges, anyone? At least, the SEC needs to step up and insist on a harsher penatly. Spikes is a PUNK, pure and simple. Ealy is a PUNK and a freshman PUNK at that. Ealy has earned ZERO right to jaw back at a team that is soundly beating them on the field not to mention to respect FLA has earned as a National Champion. 1980, Dogs, still appears to still as a “one and done”

dagnabit

November 5th, 2009
6:21 am

Amazing is the fit that Jawja fans are pitching.

Tampa Gator

November 5th, 2009
6:25 am

Bill…what were you drinking this morning. “I hope Spikes moves to Florida because he has no future in Ga”….Dude, Spikes lives in Florida now and he has never lived in Georgia. He is from North Carolina. His family now lives in Florida. I don’t think he has any interest in living in Georgia!!! Also, dude, learn how to read. Spikes apologized publicly on Monday. He also expressed a direct apology to Ealey. Ealey then said he didn’t think Spikes had anything to apologize or be suspended for. Meyer also said their was no place or Florida acceptance for Spikes actions (that is not an apology, but was Meyer thinking and opinion on the matter). He also suspended the player after consulting with Spikes, the other coaches, and with the SEC commissioner, who agreed that he thought the 1/2 game suspension was appropriate. Spikes has since told the coaches, after meeting with them again, that he did not want to be a distraction to the team during the Vandy game and will not dress for the game. What else do you want Florida and Spikes to do? Cut their wrists??? Your player, Williams, has absolutely no regret about his illegal hit (even your coach said it was) on Tebow. “It is just football” he said. Yeah, right. Spikes actions were beyond football and so was the actions of Williams. The difference: Spikes was suspended by his coach and Williams was not. I know which coach has more credibility and it isn’t Richt.

"Chef" Tim Dix

November 5th, 2009
6:29 am

Deserves credit Jeff? He proves that he doesn’t want to play as this week’s marked man.

A going-no-where senior O lineman at some point this season will give him a receipt.

Had this incident happened on sunday, judgement would have been passed before he could leave the field of “play”.

Tampa Gator

November 5th, 2009
6:29 am

Lowcountry…you are a complete idiot and a typical Georgia fan…dislusional in their thinking.

Tampa Gator

November 5th, 2009
6:31 am

Doyle, Winder…I hope 41 points to your 17 and 17 out of 20 is no OFFENSE to you!

Tampa Gator

November 5th, 2009
6:42 am

Brandon Spikes in his four years at Florida has been and remains a class act, a great leader, and a fine student. Take as many low shots as you want on Spikes (I am sure many racially motivated), but he is a great person who made a mistake for which he has both apologized and has done the right thing by sitting himself out of the total Vandy game. You want to know how Spikes is viewed as a person, then ask Tim Tebow, ask his professors, ask any Gator player who has his back, or ask any person who has met (I have) and knows him personally (I don’t). He is a top notch person and will be a top notch person in the NFL no matter which team drafts him. Slander him all you want. It will not change who Spikes really is, but will only continue to reflect on who many Georgia fans are…haters and losers. Go Gators. Go Spikes. Go Meyer. Go Tebow. 17 out of 20 and counting!!!! 41-17 and still scoring on Georgia dispite constant late hits and other acts of thuggery for which you were repeatedly penalized.

King Gator

November 5th, 2009
6:44 am

Dawgs are bitter because they suck, Spikes made a terrible mistake and is trying to make amends; Meyer does walk the walk, he’s paid to win and he does that year in and year out. Only sorry for the Georgia fans that didn’t have Spikes to gauge thier eyes out so they wouldn’d have to see the 2nd half of the game Saturday or really what the Dawgs have become, 2nd rate.

Alabama Jack

November 5th, 2009
6:45 am

So now what is St. Mark going to do about the late hit on Tebow?

Smirk?

Spikes was wrong but so is former UGA great Heinz Ward, proud of the fact he has been voted dirtiest player in the NFL. What comes around goes around, sanctimonious dawgs.

Spike

November 5th, 2009
6:47 am

Tampa Gator.. Any shot at Spikes is “racially motivated”? Oh, please. That is about the most absurd thing I have read her in a long time.