Add University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer to an ever growing list of coaches who thought they could get away with something in private and end up being a YouTube sensation. On Monday, Meyer confronted Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeremy Fowler over a quote made by wide receiver Deonte Thompson when comparing the difference between former Gator star and quarterback Tim Tebow and new UF quarterback John Brantley. Brantley, by all accounts, will be the starter in the upcoming season.
“Things are going to get better here in the future,” Thompson said. “Any receiver would be happy. You have a guy like (John) Brantley throwing the ball, spreading it around to everybody. … You never know with Tim. You can bolt, you think he’s running but he’ll come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready at all times. With Brantley, everything’s with rhythm, time. You know what I mean, a real quarterback.”
This prompted Meyer to do this:
There is a growing trend of coaches who have resorted to bullying and controlling the media around them. Just because you are the biggest attraction in Gainesville, doesn’t give you the authority to treat the local media like crap, while the national media kisses your ring and throw flowers at your feet.
Jeremy Fowler asked Deonte Thompson a question, Thompson answered it, and Fowler printed it. Fowler didn’t “misquote” the statement, twist it around, or made it a big issue. Thompson was honest when he said that the difference between Tebow and Brantley is that no one knew what Tebow was going to do to after the ball was snapped to him. Brantley is a more traditional quarterback.
It bothers me when coaches resort to threatening local beat reporters, yanking the credentials of the school paper, and yet be treated with royalty by the national media to feed their control-freakish egos.