Was Smith’s omission purposeful or an accident?

By Adam Silverstein
August 8, 2010

When running back Emmitt Smith was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Florida Gators fans across the country tuned in to cheer on only the second player in school history to receive such an honor. Many were disappointed after the speech concluded and Smith failed to utter a single word of appreciation for the University of Florida, his college coaches, teammates or even the fans.

Plenty has already been written about the situation here from an editorial standpoint, but SPORTSbyBROOKS dived further into the issue Sunday and has concluded that “Smith purposely snubbed Florida and the [2007] Ring of Honor ceremony for one reason. His relationship with Steve Spurrier.”

Spurrier was hired as head coach of the Gators following Smith’s junior year in Gainesville in December, 1989. It was widely reported at the time that Spurrier made only a token attempt to ask Smith to complete his final season of eligibility with the team.

Smith has never forgiven Spurrier for that lack of interest.

From what I’ve been told, that’s also what led to Smith not show for the 2007 UF Ring of Honor ceremony, as Spurrier was also an inductee.

This has long been known as a cause of Smith’s rocky relationship with Florida; however, SPORTSbyBROOKS cites “multiple sources […] including Florida athletic dept. officials” claiming that this is the exact reasoning for Smith’s purposeful omission.

Countering that argument, however, is former Gator Brady Ackerman, who has been told that Smith not mentioning UF was just an accident. “I just talked to one of my ex-teammates who is with Emmitt. He got off his script and just plain out forgot to mention Florida,” Ackerman wrote via Twitter. “I can guarantee you Emmitt feels bad about it. He will address it tonight in his TV interview.”

Photo Credit: University of Florida

6 Comments

  1. Mr2Bits says:

    Its sounds like is a whiny child that needs to grow up and act like a freaking adult. All the speculation about the “they don’t invite me here” and coach never begged me to stay for my last season crap. His actions yesterday were completely juvenile which now looks as to be no surprise for those who knew him.

  2. dwlgator says:

    How can you start off a speech by mentioning Jesus…..and yet fail to get over a petty grudge? I call BS on Emmitt. Thats a lame excuse (if its true) for not sticking by your fellow Gators.

  3. Daniel M. says:

    The classic sour grapes. Never knew this about him blowing off the Ring of Honor unveiling but it adds up.

    I was called arrogant on the other thread by some troll who moderates his vitriol because he knows otherwise it won’t get posted here. So Emmitt blows off his the RoH unveiling but I’m arrogant? I realize now that Emmitt started acting like a tool earlier than I thought.

  4. g8ter27 says:

    correct me if I am wrong here Adam but I thought Emmitt was on the set of Dancing with the Stars during the Ring of Honor induction.

  5. Todd says:

    Emmitt wouldn’t be the first or last Gator that didn’t get along with SOS.

    He was on the sidelines for many a game and seems to have a great relationship with Meyer.

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