The Georgia Bulldogs haven’t had the sunniest of offseasons — and there’s still a whole summer to go! — but Matt Hayes of Sporting News offers a bit of reading guaranteed to warm the Red & Black heart. It’s about Urban Meyer and Florida, and if you happen to hate the Gators this will serve as the feel-good story of the spring.
It commences with a killer anecdotal lead (or lede, as we say in the trade): The Urban Crier, who’s now coaching Ohio State, tells the family of recruit Stephon Diggs he wouldn’t let his son go to Florida because of “character issues in the locker room.”
Writes Hayes: “[Those] character issues … we now know were fueled by a culture Meyer created.”
And then Hayes has at it, detailing — mostly via unnamed sources, we should note — just how the Urbanator created a two-tier system in Gainesville: Either you were a star and a member of his “Circle of Trust,” or you weren’t. (Meyer to Hayes: “I’ve never heard of Circle of Trust before in my life.”)
Hayes reports that Meyer pushed aside an injured player to clear scholarship room and that Florida covered up one-game suspensions for failed drug tests by having stars — Percy Harvin and that Georgia fan favorite Brandon Spikes among them — feign injury. The charming Harvin, Hayes recounts, once threw receivers coach Billy Gonzales to the ground. (Meyer to Hayes: “Something did happen and something was handled. I don’t think it’s fair to Percy Harvin or Billy Gonzales to talk about it.”)
Enough with the teasers. (I’m sorry. Here’s just one more: A former player calls Meyer a “great coach” but “a bad person.”) Just go read the story. It’s a dandy.
By Mark Bradley