FOUR BITS: Hodge, Hurt, Parsons, Meyer

By Adam Silverstein
July 24, 2014

1 » Former Florida Gators guard Walter Hodge was named Most Valuable Player of the Puerto Rican Baloncesto Superior Nacional league on Wednesday. Hodge, playing for Captanes de Arecibo, easily won by picking up 70 votes, 32 more than second-place finisher Mike Harris. One-time Gators G David Huertas finished fourth with 33 votes. Hodge received 11-of-31 first-place votes and appeared in 19-of-31 ballots. “I’m happy with the award and I thank God for keeping me healthy throughout the year. [This was] always a dream,” he said. “I have achieved several goals and now lack the greatest with the championship.” Hodge averaged 16.9 points per game while leading the league in assists (6.9) and steals (1.8) per contest. Also playing in BSN is former Florida G Mike Rosario, who is teammates with Huertas on the Ponce Lions.

2 » The best way for bottom-of-the-roster football players to prove to new coaches that they deserve to keep their spot is to report to training camp in shape and ready to learn. Former Florida offensive lineman Maurice Hurt apparently did the opposite and will start camp with the Washington football team on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list simply because he reported “out of shape,” according to new head coach Jay Gruden. The No. 217 overall pick in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Hurt started all eight games he played as a rookie but just one of 13 contests in 2012. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery ahead of the 2013 season, which he started on the PUP list before eventually being moved to injured reserve when he was evaluated in practice and not deemed capable of playing.


3 » As OnlyGators.com first reported prior to his signing, former Gators forward Chandler Parsons feels that he has a strong relationship with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. It was one of the main reasons – aside from the maximum contract, of course – that Parsons hoped to ultimately wind up in Dallas after his restricted free agent process. During an appearance on KESN 103.3 FM out of Dallas, Texas, Parsons explained why he feels close to Cuban. “I’ve developed a relationship with him throughout the years. I truly think he’s the best owner in sports,” he said. “It’s comforting playing for a team and an owner that you know they’re never going to let you be bad; they’re always going to look for ways to improve the team. I just have a special relationship with him. I trust him. The way he pitched me in that system … was too good to turn down.”

4 » In an interview with Bucknuts.com, Shelley Meyer, the wife of Ohio State and former Florida head coach Urban Meyer, provided her perspective on the Gators, their fans and her time in Gainesville, Florida. Below are some choice quotes from the interview, which can be read in full by clicking here.

On the perception from UF fans that her husband “faked a heart attack,” a term used by interviewer Dave Biddle, to get out of his contract and go to OSU:

“Well, what I learned was that Florida fans, there’s a lot of them and people want to brag on their team. … Now, when we first went down there and we were winning and we were winning those national championships, Urban was the best thing ever. But when it’s not going good or something doesn’t go the way they want, they will turn in a second. Now, to be fair, there’s a lot of fans across the country that are like that – and I’m sure there’s some Ohio State people that could do that, too. But, here is my perception [about Florida fans]: I think they feel like they were kind of left at the altar.

“They feel a betrayal, even though they were so mad at him about how our last season [2010] went. You can’t please them. You can’t please all fans anywhere; you can’t. And I’ve just accepted that and I love when our fans are behind us and support us and I love that they love their team, but we can’t take it personally. Because, not one person that is close to us [from Florida] has ever come up and said anything bad. ‘Why did you leave? You faked it. You weren’t sick. You had this Ohio State thing lined up the entire time.’ I would hear that all the time and I was like ‘Uh, no.’ Because I was not coming here. So, trust me -that was not planned.

“So, the people who are critical of us, it’s not the people who know us. It’s the people who aren’t even around the program. They just want their team to win and whoever can get their team to win, that’s who they’re for. And if you can’t do it or if you left them, then they’ll hate you. …

“However, I will say that I love the Gators and always will. Urban worked really hard there and won two national championships. It hurts to hear some fans and media criticize him personally and make him out to be a bad guy. I still go to Gainesville a lot and hang out with our old friends, go to our favorite restaurants and I go to my old gym.”

On the 2006 national championship game between Florida and Ohio State: “Urban is an Ohio State guy. He had a buckeye in his pocket during that game. So did I. I also had a Florida coin, so I had both.”

On Urban Meyer’s multiple “dream job” comments: “Absolutely. Ohio State was No. 1, then Notre Dame and then, believe it or not, [Michigan]. … People get on Urban because he said ‘This is my dream job’ and ‘This is my dream job.’ Well, Florida was a dream job. It is a dream job. The dream job was this one and always has been this one. Always. But people see different jobs that they would all consider a dream job. Notre Dame was a dream job and he could have taken that job and almost did take that job.”

34 Comments

  1. SW FL Joe says:

    Too bad Biddle didn’t ask her how she spent UF’s $1 million retention bonus that Urbs got 3 months after he quit.

  2. ga8or22 says:

    A big rampant rumor in hog town was that Urban had the fear of God put into him because he was playing hanky panky with some of the lady assistants.

  3. ECFIVESTER says:

    Buckeye in the pocket thing is hard to believe, because it is really convenient to say now that they are there. I am grateful for the Meyers and their contributions to the University of Florida. I hope Shelly is telling a true story there and not just a recruiting pitch of a “Buckeye man”.

    God bless the Meyer family.

  4. Ken (CA) says:

    she really doesn’t get it. She shouldn’t have said anything at all rather than be so far out of touch. Why would anyone thing the OSU thing was already lined up, the big trouble didn’t come down until after he was gone. Maybe a few fringe people, but not the general fan base. It wasn’t even the poor 2010 season. The reason people are jaded on him is the WAY it came down and the timing and the “not going to coach again for a long time” comments.

  5. W2 says:

    We’ll Meyer did Florida and the fans a great service. He’s gone and let’s move on.

  6. Oldflyer says:

    Ok.

    It just isn’t fair for Gator fans to have hard feeling about the way Urban played the Gators, and then went to his “dream job”. Anyone would do the same would they not?

  7. Dave Massey says:

    I don’t believe Urban faked a heart attack. I do believe he had a real health “issue”. My problem with the Urbanator is that he wasn’t truthful, and that is not usually the word I use to describe him. I do believe he was suffering from burnout because of the rigorous schedule the Gators play. One of the toughest in the nation year in and year out. I’m sure he is real happy now in Columbus playing one or two decent to good teams a year. The other issue I have with him is he has one of the filthiest mouths I have ever heard. There are a lot of other things he did that I didn’t like but nobody is perfect. The bottom line is that he is the one who burnt the bridge here, not the other way around.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      I agree with you except we should have seen it coming. He played Utah the same way. We just have such a high opinion of our program being one of the best 5 in the country, it is difficult if not impossible to believe someone would leave willingly after such a short time. The fan hatred and expectations I think were the excuse to leave, the OSU job was fortuitous to open at just the right time. I believe he probably didn’t have plans to coach again so soon, but he couldn’t pass up that opportunity which has the benefits you mentioned with regards to schedule. I also agree the heart issue was very real although a bit overplayed. He knew it wasn’t major and how to manage diet and stress before he quit that would cause it to go away. It is just the drama of the last 2 years he was here that disgust me and blaming it mainly on the “fair-weather” fans. On top of that while it was fortuitous for him that the OSU job opened, fans feel really burned by less than a year later he was their head coach.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        And I meant to mention that the “fan hatred and expectations” were a fringe element and that 95% were extremely supportive, especially when the potential health issues were revealed. Everything I read at the time everyone was very worried for him and supportive. It is only the way it turned out after that had a lot second guessing what really might have been happening.

        • Dave Massey says:

          I definitely agree with you. With the way Meyer acted his last year it didn’t surprise me at all when he resigned. He was definitely lacking the same fire and determination that year. I wonder how Florida fans would have felt about him had Foley not talked him out of resigning that first time and got him to take a leave of absence. Oh, and btw, I still think OSU will bet whipped every time they play an SEC team in a bowl game!

  8. wrpgator says:

    So Mo Hurt arrives out of shape. And he is a member of the “Washington football team”. So Adam, Only Gators subscribes to that rarefied politically correct class that declares off limits any mention of the team name “Redskins”? Or is this a recent posture affected in order to conform to and comply with the new standards of speech and thought? Had not “Redskins” been used for years without a thought to whom it might offend? Had anyone really been offended before the self-appointed PC rule makers mandated that “Redskins” in word or print be abolished from the sports world–and the language–to “protect” the victims of this recently discovered affront?

    Mo Hurt is a member of the Washington Redskins until such time as the Washington Redskins football team taps him on the shoulder and asks him to pack his bag and park his outsized fanny on next the bus south.

    • I believe it has been a few months now since the term has been used on this website. It’s been about 18 months that I considered no longer using it.

      I was contacted by and asked to give a 30-minute forum to someone who hoped to convince me to no longer use the term on this site. I granted that forum and was convinced.

      The decision was not made to conform or follow some trend. It was rather made after heavy thought and consideration. Additionally, I never took a public stand either way and did not make a big deal about it.

      It is an editorial decision, and it is mine to make.

    • gatorboi352 says:

      Take your racism elsewhere. Thanks.

      • 305Gator says:

        Like Adam said, the editorial decision was his and he made it.
        But to call wrpgator a “racist” for expressing his opinion is cowardly at best. It is the thought police in action, the PC crowd at its best and very dangerous for our liberties and freedom. Another example of how those who claim to be on the side of tolerance are extremely intolerant with what they disagree with.
        I did not notice the omission of REDSKINS when I first read the piece so it was very subtle. Now that wprgator mentioned it I did notice and I respect Adams decision as much as I disagree with it.
        Guess in your book I’m another racist or bigot. Sad day for America when the tought police tries to assasinate the character of those who respectfully disagree with the PC crap of the day.

        • gatorboi352 says:

          Ok 305, I’ll play this game.

          What if they had been called the Washington Blackskins this whole time?

          It’s ok, I’ll wait.

          • gatorboi352 says:

            Actually, allow me to drive this point home even further. Below is a quote directly from wrpgator, with every instance of “Redskins” replaced with “Blackskins”.

            “Had not “Blackskins” been used for years without a thought to whom it might offend? Had anyone really been offended before the self-appointed PC rule makers mandated that “Blackskins” in word or print be abolished from the sports world–and the language–to “protect” the victims of this recently discovered affront?”

            Sounds pretty damned racist now, doesn’t it? Well guess what, it was just as racist before too.

        • Razzlegator says:

          The name of the Washington D.C. NFL team is a racial slur. Plain and simple. You want to show your non PC ass, why not toss some of these about. I’m sure Adam won’t mind (look up the word facetious). http://www.rsdb.org/race/jews

  9. Champ Supporter says:

    Why is it so necessary to continue to bash a coach who brought two national championships to Gainesville? Coaches take other jobs. Whether his heart situation was legit or not, he still brought a lot of excitement to Florida football and brought in some great players. Now granted some of those players were straight up thugs, but hey it was fun. It just wasn’t an ideal ending for Florida fans.

    With all of that said, I still can’t stand Ohio State! Lol

    Go Gators!

    • uf_84 says:

      I have to agree with you on this one CS. I guess I can understand why some fans may be upset over the way he left, but I’m not one of them. To me the good times I had watching the teams he put on the field and the two crystal footballs we have in our trophy case far outweigh any bitterness over the way he left. I believe we would have repeated in 09 if not for Jermaine Cunningham’s DUI arrest screwing up the mindset of the team just before the SEC championship game but that’s something we’ll never know. Like you said there were a lot of thugs on his teams which I suppose is another reason for the fan hatred.

      Bottom line is, whether you like him or not it would be hard to argue with the fact that he’s one of the two best coaches we’ve ever had at UF. And although I’ve been as critical as anyone of our current HBC I truly hope he can get things turned around starting this year and get in that conversation himself.

      Can’t wait for the season to start. Go Gators!!

      • Dave Massey says:

        I don’t think Florida wins that game with Cunningham. The team and Meyer were under tremendous pressure all year with the No. 1 ranking and everyone expecting them to go undefeated and that team was ready to crack. There were a lot of fans that year complaining that Florida wasn’t winning by large enough margins and was winning sloppy. The media was also being critical of the Gators for the same reason. Give Bama credit, with or without Cunningham they flat out laid the wood to us. Funny how that team could go through the regular season undefeated and be so heavily criticized and not be having fun. I think the whole season did leave a bitter taste in Meyer’s mouth and was a large factor in his decision to leave. Hence, the noise in the system comments. I appreciate the two NC’s he won and don’t have a problem with him leaving. It’s the way he did it and the comments he made all along the way. I’m sure if he had to do it all over again he would have done things different. Also, don’t forget this guy has a gigantic ego, just like most successful football coaches, and you knew he wasn’t going to be able to stay off the sidelines long. There aren’t many who walk away from coaching and never come back at such a young age once they have tasted the ultimate success.

        • 1. Emmitt 2. Percy 3. Tebow says:

          I was at the SEC championship in ’09 and we were hurting on offense without Percy (I know we beat ‘Bama without him in ’08 but we needed him much more in ’09). Everyone overlooked how different our team was without him that year because we went undefeated in the regular season. Say what you want about his injuries and off the field issues, Percy helped lead us to 2 national championships and padded Tebow’s passing stats which put him well ahead of McFadden in the ’07 Heisman voting. He is one of the best players to ever play at UF without a doubt in my book. Losing Dunlap definitely gave McElroy more time in that game and had a huge impact on the way our front seven played which led to Ingram’s monster performance. But ultimately our defense as whole was playing flat most of the game. I remember early in the 3rd quarter when it was still a one possession game players had their hands on their hips and not once did Haden or Spikes pump up the crowd or get their teammates riled up (this is the SEC championship people!). I think the pressure had a lot to do with it but mostly the lack of discipline under Urban eventually caught up to the wealth of talent we had during the Meyer era. Also, we had only 4 rushing attempts outside of Tebow’s 10, it wasn’t enough to put up points on a stout Saban defense. Pressure + Lack of discipline + No Percy + No Dunlap + No running game other than Tebow + Playing from behind the whole game = Not enough for a return trip to the big dance. We would have crushed Texas in the Natl Championship game and Urban would instead be the “Saban” of the last decade and most likely still be at Florida. That game was the turning point of our program in recent history and it is going to take a big year from Muschamp and the boys to put us back in the conversation of “Top 5 program in the country”. Hoping for the best this season! Go Gators!

      • 305Gator says:

        It was Carlos Dunlap. By that time I think our players were overconfident and had a sense of entitlement. Saban came in with a much more disciplined team and hungrier too.

        • uf_84 says:

          Thanks for clearing that up 305. Not sure how I got them mixed up but you’re absolutly right it was Dunlap. My apologies to Cunningham.

  10. Brian says:

    Here is one prime example of why Gator fans have a problem with Meyer leaving:
    “It would be a travesty, it would be ridiculous to all of a sudden come back and get the feeling back, get the health back, feel good again and then all of a sudden go throw some other colors on my shirt and go coach. I don’t want to do that. I have too much love for this university and these players and for what we’ve built.”

    Quoted from a previous post on this website:
    Read more: http://www.onlygators.com/11/29/2011/the-silver-lining-a-look-at-urban-meyer-to-osu/#ixzz38RJRrlnK
    ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive

    According to Urban, his own actions are “a travesty” and “ridiculous”. I couldn’t agree more!

    • Steven says:

      Circumstances change. If he didn’t take the Ohio St job when he had the chance then he might never have gotten the chance again.

      I think he meant those words when he said them and wouldn’t have returned to coaching so soon had the Ohio St job not opened up.

  11. Fatback says:

    It’s ironic the wife of a chameleon cannot appreciate the fickle nature of allegiances in college football. Fan is short for fanatic. Fanatics will be overbearing at times…. and unrealistic most times. College coaches get paid millions of dollars to deal with it. The difference is fans are devoted to a team, devoted to a cause, not one person. I appreciate what Urban did for UF and it was a fun time but I have no respect for a man that crawfishes after publicly pledging allegiance.… no matter how many championships he won. Spurrier was brutally honest and gators still love him…and he is the coach of our SEC East competition. Gator or not, you respect honesty, you respect men of their word. Had Urban been honest we’d respect him too.

    My only question is what Urban told those kids in the 2010 recruiting class …to convince them to pledge their allegiance to a cause that he was clearly not committed to?

  12. G2 says:

    Anytime Meyer is mentioned, opinions flow! There was a time i would have said Urbs was born under a lucky star, kind of like OJ Simpson. But now OJ is doing hard time so never mind.

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