Concluding the Florida Gators‘ first day of fall practice for the 2010-11 season, head coach Urban Meyer sat with reporters for quite some time to discuss a number of topics including his outlook on the team, players leaving the program and why exactly camp has been closed to both the media and fans. OGGOA has compiled some of the key points:
» Meyer announced that seniors center Mike Pouncey and defensive end Justin Trattou are the team’s two fall captains. Senior safety Ahmad Black and redshirt senior defensive tackle Lawrence Marsh may be added to the group at a later date.
» Doing some housekeeping, Meyer told reporters that redshirt sophomroe wide receiver T.J. Lawrence and the team mutually agreed to part ways. More on this here.
» He also explained that redshirt freshman tight end Desmond Parks will likely be out 2-3 weeks after previously injuring his wrist and undergoing a procedure to fix the issue.
» Meyer noted that five-star linebacker transfer Chris Martin is already working with the team in camp even though he must sit out a year due to NCAA transfer eligibility rules.
» Explaining to reporters that his motivation for closing practice was not about restricting their access but rather curbing the distractions that agents and autograph hounds cause his players every day, Meyer touched on two subjects in particular…
On the growing concern regarding agents: “With all that agent [stuff], and I’m hearing about parties and all this, my gosh. We just want to do the best job we can. We’re going to have a lot of discussions around here and continue non-stop education because it’s an epidemic. You hear people talking about this school and this school. That’s nuts. The good thing is the other side of it [the agents] wants to help. When I say they really want to help, there are going to be some positive things come out of this. Real positive.”
On others trying to take advantage of the players’ generosity: “We’ve had a great discussion with a group of us that got together and we’re trying to make some changes. Anything from signing balls to getting them sold on the Internet to practice, where people are showing up. In the fall, we’re going to shut it down. There are people showing up, ‘Why are you here?’ We can’t control our players’ lives, but we certainly can do the best we can. You should have the right as a player to walk from here to there without being bothered. That’s my fault for five years. That’s crazy. I tell that to my colleagues, people just mauling you and bothering you and Internet people grabbing helmets and signing this and all this, and we don’t have security saying, ‘Get the heck out of here.’ You’ll see a lot of ‘get the heck out of here’ from now on and let the kids go practice and concentrate on football. Big-time rules. I’m concerned about stuff where you get NCAA violations and scumbags that are involved that shouldn’t be involved. One way to control it is, get out.”
» On the team’s goal for the 2010-11 season: “This is a year of accountability and development. If that happens, we’ll have a good team.”
» When told about redshirt junior running back Chris Rainey‘s “prima donna” comments in the morning, Meyer quipped that it was the team’s “fault for letting him speak” while noting that Rainey’s comments were “absolutely wrong.” “Rainey said that? Chris Rainey won’t speak to the media again this year,” Meyer added in a joke-serious tone.
“I can name some other things he said to the media that were absolutely inappropriate, and that goes in the same category, believe it or not. So, take that for nothing. Inappropriate, wrong, non-thought out, which he does quite often. I love Chris Rainey, but when I ask him a question, I give him a whole day to think about it and write it down 100 times.”