Florida Gators head coach embarrasses organization
March 31, 2010
Urban Meyer, the coach of the Florida Gators’ football team, put Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeremy Fowler in a hairy predicament after calling him out at a team spring practice for doing his job.
Fowler was in “hot water” with Meyer after he quoted one of the Gator players; wide receiver Deonte Thompson, who said that former superstar Tim Tebow was not a “real quarterback.”
Meyer approached the reporter at the Gators practice facility after March 24, and had a heated discussion. He called Fowler a “bad guy,” and also said that if Thompson was “his son, we would be going at it right now.”
Meyer’s rant on the reporter was extremely unjust, especially considering that Fowler was simply doing his job. Reporting a quote that is accurately taken from the spoken word is a constitutional right that those in the business like to call freedom of the press.
Journalists enjoy this freedom, and use this as their job. Would you approach a school teacher and threaten them after teaching children how to read?
Meyer not only brought on a problem with sports journalism, but also the responsibility of young adults as well.
He said that if Fowler would have reported a quote from his children in similar fashion, that he would have attempted to fight him over the issue.
This reminds me of a couple of parents arguing at a little league game.
Thompson is not a little leaguer, however, he is a collegiate football player at arguably the most prestigious program in the nation.
Not only that, but he is a lot older than a youth baseball player as well.
Thompson is a red shirt freshman, who was born Feb 14, 1989.
This makes him older than me, yet according to Meyer’s actions, he should not be held accountable for what he said. In that case, who is giving me the right to this column?
After the rant by Meyer, media across the country began the speculation about the hidden meaning behind the incident.
Was he really trying to protect the sophomore wide receiver, or was he attempting to protect the beloved Tim Tebow, who has now left the program for the NFL.
Either way, any of these issues are not just enough to go after a reporter who has written a column that is about a quarterback change.
What Meyer did was embarrassing to the players involved, him, and his program. For someone who has been the coach of a large program for five years, you think that he would be used to the media limelight.
Two days after the incident, Meyer apologized to the reporter, though the details of the 20-minute conversation between the two were not released.
Perhaps Fowler was informing him that freedom of press exists in the United States, and if he wants to control the media, they may play football in North Korea.
Blaze Fugina is a student at UW-River Falls.