Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer is looking to put a stop to the seemingly never-ending black eyes being placed on his program with each subsequent arrest of a University of Florida football player. With 28 legal issues under his tenure to-date, Meyer and his coaches held an emergency meeting with the players on Monday, a source close to the team told OGGOA.
The coaching staff took turns verbally lambasting the team and letting it be known how, more than ever, accountability and responsibility were important to the program this offseason. Then, as former Florida football player Brady Ackerman first disclosed via Twitter on Monday, they stressed that – from this point going forward – the team would be held accountable as a group for any individual missteps.
As OGGOA‘s source put it, the Gators are adopting an “if one falls, all fall” mentality that was taught in practical application immediately after the impassioned meeting.
Director of strength and conditioning Mickey Mariotti, who leads the players during the summer when coaches cannot run practices, worked the team hard with a number of extensive drills (including “stadiums” and “snakes”) Monday evening. The tough workout was just the beginning of an indefinite period of disciplinary action, according to the source. The players were already enraged and none-to-happy with their teammate’s actions after the meeting, and the point appeared to be hammered in with gusto.
Meyer, who makes all punishment-related decisions alongside athletic director Jeremy Foley and school president Bernie Machen, may use redshirt sophomore wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr.‘s DUI arrest to set an example for the rest of the team.
Ackerman said late Monday that he was “hearing Hammond will be dismissed from the Florida football team,” but Meyer could be putting him on a probationary period similar to what Oregon did with running back LeGarrette Blount last season.
Then again, if Meyer decides to stay consistent with his punishment and treat this like similar situations in the past, the school will likely wait until the legal process has run its course before making a final decision on Hammond’s future.
For what it’s worth, OGGOA‘s source called Hammond a “good kid who has done everything right up until this point.” His grades are high, his behavior was consummate with what the team expected and he also completed plenty of community service work.
Hammond has already been placed on an indefinite suspension from team activities.