Gator Bites for Tuesday, December 15th

By Adam Silverstein
December 15, 2009

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share with our readers. In those instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.

» An article published Tuesday by the Gainesville Sun brings Florida Gators fans numerous clarifications from head coach Urban Meyer about some of the most recent incidents and rumors swirling around the football program. It is important to remember that just because Meyer says something does not make it true as coaches cannot always be honest with the media and public. OGGOA will tackle Meyer’s statements one-by-one based on their appearance in the article.

(Did Billy Gonzales’ knowledge about a birthday party attended by Carlos Dunlap lead to his dismissal?) “That’s absolutely not true,” Meyer said. “In fact, that’s the first I’ve heard of that one. Billy left because he was passed up last year for the offensive coordinator’s job. It was about the title.”

(Then why did they hire Zach Azzanni so quickly as his replacement?) “We had to act quickly on that because of recruiting and because we have a bowl game coming up,” Meyer said. “I knew the guy and we moved fast on that.”

(Ole Miss Rebels defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix was offered the job at Florida and turned it down, right?) “I talked to Tyrone. I’ve known Tyrone for a long time,” Meyer said. “But we would have had to change our whole defense if we hired him. We would have had to change everything our players are doing, and we didn’t want to do that.”

(Will Dunlap play in the 2010 Sugar Bowl?) “It’s close to being finalized,” he said. “It’ll be done pretty soon.” Meyer also indicated he will sit down with athletic director Jeremy Foley and UF president Bernie Machen before making the decision.

Three more Gator Bites are waiting for your eyes after the jump!

» Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese was a guest on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning on Tuesday and was asked directly about Florida senior quarterback Tim Tebow’s future in the NFL. Griese answered “Yes” without hesitation twice when asked first if Tebow could play QB in the NFL and then if he would tailor his team’s offense around him. Griese went on to say that Tebow will not be a Peyton Manning, but he can win his own way.

» On the subject of radio appearances, new Louisville Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong was a guest on Jim Rome‘s show and spoke about his remaining commitment to the University of Florida. “There are a lot of guys at [UF] that I recruited. I want to go finish my job. Being here at Louisville, being a head coach and being on that sideline, I know that I can get some notoriety for this university. The dead period starts in recruiting, so you can only make phone calls. So either I can be sitting at home doing nothing making a phone call or I can be working taking care of a situation. I made a commitment that I would go back there.”

» Strong also spoke about Tebow. “The amazing thing about Tim Tebow is how he carries himself [and] what he stands for. He has changed college football. You don’t see a guy who is able to handle the visibility he has and never changes himself. He has always been the same. Tim Tebow will always be Tim Tebow. He wears his religion on his sleeve. He don’t mind professing who he is. It’s amazing what he’s done for college athletics. I’ve never come across a guy quite like that. And I don’t know if we will ever come across another guy like that. It is amazing to watch him operate and how true to his faith he is. The person he is. You can say so many things about him, and it’s all true. He speaks and what he says is true – he upholds his beliefs. I think he will [have a similar impact in the NFL]. It is amazing how when you get a young man like that on your team or in your organization how some people start listening to him and then they start changing. He just has that affect on people’s lives.”


  1. O-town Gator says:

    I wish some of these bozos in the media would learn what the letters “SID” stand for and get correct information before they publish anything – they, and others before they start spreading all these false rumors around. IMHO, I think Coach Meyer’s a little pissed off with all this stuff going around, and I’m sure he’s reading between the lines and seeing that others are trying to both discredit his football program and sabotage his recruiting efforts. If others think Meyer’s either naive or stupid, they’re sadly mistaken.

  2. O-town, I think you are being a little too hard on the media and believing Meyer a little too much. As I stated early in the post, “It is important to remember that just because Meyer says something does not make it true as coaches cannot always be honest with the media and public.” Do you really think Meyer is going to say that one of his coaches knew about a party where underage players were drinking and did nothing about it? Would a coach really want to admit that a DC from a lesser school turned down his offer? I am NOT saying that Meyer is lying. But I AM saying that you cannot 100% trust what ANY football coach says, be it Meyer, Nick Saban, Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, etc. In addition to protecting himself, the coach has to protect his players, the program and the school or organization.

    For example, UF denied OGGOA’s report earlier this year about the severity of Jenkins’ injury and the reported facts that he was seeking a medical redshirt and was out indefinitely. Meyer was asked about it after practice and said they expected him to return soon. What happened? EVERYTHING we reported exactly as we reported it. There are probably reasons they did not release that information, possibly because of medical privacy for Jenkins or maybe because he’s not in the media spotlight. Either way, I hope you see where I am coming from on this.

  3. ReptilesRule says:

    Great to hear Coach Meyer even if it’s just a written interview and know he’s getting back into the swing of things.

  4. O-town Gator says:

    I an, and always will be, very skeptical and untrusting of the media. I’m not begrudging them their First Amendment rights, but they too lie – pardon me if I’m preaching to the choir, but knowing their penchant for twisting the facts and exaggerating stories, I’ll never completely trust anything they may say or print.

    In the Internet age, rumors and innuendo get spread around in a matter of seconds, and this too at times creates unpleasant and uncomfortable situations – case in point all this Notre Dame nonsense we were forced to deal with until last week when there was finally some much-welcome closure following the Brian Kelly hire.

    If indeed that was true about assistant coaches knowing about a party where underage drinking was involved, situations like that are likely to be handled internally by the staff unless something takes place that becomes part of the public record – which is what happened when Carlos Dunlap was arrested for DUI.

    That being said, you’re right about Meyer wanting to protect his program. He’s just as leery of the media for all the same reasons.

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