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Florida coach Urban Meyer threatens reporter over Tebow quotes

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Thumbnail image for urban-meyer-resign.JPGA video making the rounds this morning shows Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer confronting Jeremy Fowler, a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, after Fowler wrote an article about how the SEC powerhouse was moving on after Tim Tebow.

In the video, Meyer threatens Fowler's access because he -- wait for it -- correctly quoted one of Meyer's players.

On Monday, Fowler had spoken with wide receiver Deonte Thompson on the differences between the departed Tebow and the man who will fill his role, John Brantley.

"You never know with Tim," Thompson said. "You can bolt, you think he's running but he'll come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready at all times. With Brantley, everything's with rhythm, time. You know what I mean, a real quarterback."

Meyer, apparently, was not a fan.



"You'll be out of practice -- you understand that? -- if you do that again," he said to Fowler.  "I told you five years ago: Don't mess with our players. Don't do it. You did it. You do it one more time and the Orlando Sentinel's not welcome here ever again. Is that clear? It's yes or no."

He didn't stop there, threatening hypothetical violence.

"If that was my son, we'd be going rounds,'' Meyer said.

You'll remember that Urban Meyer intended to resign after the Gators' appearance in the Sugar Bowl last season, then decided instead to take a leave of absence in an effort to keep his stress levels down.

Just a thought, but berating a reporter probably isn't the best way to do that.

Admittedly, we don't have the total history here, but at first glance, Meyer comes off looking a little silly going after a reporter for reporting things correctly.

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20 Comments

Like watching a train wreck, Urban Meyer is losing it. Take another two day sabbatical.

And sometimes reporters are just assholes, Kyle

MR.meyer,Do all college football fans a favor and leave,retire,and don't show your face again!When a reporter can't report the truth coming out of a players mouth because a coach thinks he is bigger than the game it is time for him to leave!!!!

That's strange, a reporter defending the press from a coach when the coach has already told them to stay away from the players. Fowler obviously tweeted the quote immediately out of context and caused a huge stir in what is already a big deal (Tebow's legitimacy as a QB in the NFL). It's just more of the usual from reporters, tossing out quotes out of context to get ratings, then backtracking and putting it back into context after they get the attention. You know what they say, "those who can't... write about those who can". It's a shame that this was such a big deal since the focus at the Florida Gators practice should be on the current team and that includes Brantley. If Fowler had any ethics he would have taken that quote and ran the other way with it, talking about how good Brantley is as a drop back QB instead of using it to create a stir about a former player.

Whatever.

Another over eager, young reporter who probably failed at t-ball, trying for the big GOTCHA moment!

urban and all coaches need to give these reporters all the heat they can muster. the reporters cross the line frequently in sports and all other areas. this guy should not have even been on the field. even if meyer was a little over the top, the reporters and the papers need to know that the time has come for coaches and players to quit taking their sh--. and that goes for the media in all areas of american lives. reporters, turn it down a notch and pay attention. you are feeding off the bottom, spinning your interviews and stories and, particularly in the sports world, have no impact on humanity in the total scheme of life. not many of us anymore respect you or even believe what you say or write.

The only snap I want to make is against the Those who can't... write about those who can. Did it ever occur to you that this is how people make a living for themselves, by reporting on what a team is doing? Did it also occur to you that perhaps some people don't like playing football for a living? Don't judge journalists unless you're willing to face the wrath of a coach every now and again. This happens everywhere, not just in Florida. Urban's name is what makes this a big deal.

If the University allowed the Sentinel to talk to players, and if the quote was made accurately in a proper context to the subject matter in an article (avoiding false light) then Mr. Fowler maintained his journalistic and professional integrity.

I think that Urban likes his team so much that any published item that could possibly be considered negative is taken as personal by Mr. Meyer. Coaches generally feel the local press should be a positive PR machine for the team and struggle when local outlets see possible holes in the system. That's how I interpret the "altercation" if it could be called that.

What a dick..why is the NFL so suspicious of Tebow if not for the exact reasons in the comments..come on..what a dick!

The Orland Sentinel is notoriously anti-Gator. Meyer has taken enough from them already. Ban them!

DT can take a walk. He's pissed because Tebow didn't throw to him enough, despite dropping half the passes sent his way. I wouldn't have thrown to you either, DT!

Brantly's the man now, and if DT keeps dropping passes, he won't be getting balls thrown his way again. Then who'll he blame?

Wow, look at all the college football rubes on this site! I especially love the "those that can't, write" comments. As if 90% of Division 1 football players can read beyond a 3rd grade level.

Look, all the quote means is Tebow wasn't a "traditional" QB. Not exactly juicy stuff. This makes it obvious Meyer needs to take another, indefinitel leave. The guy has major mental health issues.

As a UF alum and a Tebow fan I cannot understand the controversy. I too want to see what Brantly can do. He was recruited by pretty much every college and came here to Florida. He is reported to have a better arm than Tebow. I am sure that he has learned alot from him, but now it is his turn. Trust me, if Florida wins a BCS with Brantly, he will be hailed as a great QB!

I LOVE what Coach Meyer did.. These reporters ALWAYS try to stir things up.. I believe he was Right to protect his players.. GREAT Job Coach Meyer!!

Reporters are not stenographers. If the press agreed not to quote players, the reporters should not have made such an agreement. If UF wants to ban the press from spring practice, fine, do so. But if the university allows reporters to cover the practice, they should be allowed to talk to all participants. If a player doesn't wish to comment, he doesn't have to talk to the press. But the player voluntarily talks, the reporter accurately quotes him, then coach is completely wrong here.

Meyer is completely out of line here! The original article was not damaging to the player in any way. Meyer's crack about the reporter having to talk to that kids family now, and that's he's always been a good kid makes it sound as if the reporter called the guy a murdering perv. Florida LIVES for the press and media bucks they bring in every year, so they are all well-versed about what can and can't be said to reporters. Meyer needs to take issue with the kid who dared to say the holy Tebow is not perfect.

I am a D1 college football athlete, and I understand that what I say is going to be heard, read, and transitioned into a message that I may not have been sending, however, it is a crying shame that I have to watch what I say post game because these reporters, "trying to make a living" want to make a quick buck writing what I did say, into what I did not mean. I hate the cameras, hate the questions, and hate the media.


Coaches are here to protect us from most of the adversity that we student athletes meet, though they cannot protect us from it all....
That being said, Coach Meyer did his job, aside from the fact he confronted him in front of a camera....

Kyle that is the problem with reporters...If there is no story to be had they make up sh1t or take things out of context to make things seem differently then they really are and then somnetime a douchebag ike you comes along and pushes the same out of context line and blame the good guys for challenging the douchebag that purposely sensationalied something just because either he is a bigot(like most liberal reporters are) or he is just a lying sack of sh1t piece of crap like you. Deonte clearly didn't mean it like Fowler portrayed it.You are scum and should be in Politics or on MSNBC where your kind of journalism would fit well in with the bigots,hatemogerers,and intolerant bastards again just like you!!!

Very similar to your liberal lying sacks of sh1t bretheren in the MEDIA that says all these Democrats are getting threatening calls from "cray people" but you purposely leave out that Republicans have not only got Hateful calls by liberals they also SHOT at one of the Republican Represenative office.....Who is worse?Someone ranting over Power Hungry Mad Politicans that use every dirty trick under the sun to Push legislation that most Americans know is terrible and a big money grab by crooks or someone getting shot at because they are bigots like you? I am sure the calers that cussed out the Demoncraps wil have the ghestapo harrassing them and hauling them to prision but the guys that shot up offices will get OFF totally because they are good little Obama minions... Obama is the most corrupt person ever to be in Politics...I am sure he has killed or had killed more people then Clinton ever dreamed of doing let alone the few he had murdered to cover up his illegal activities.

The quote was accurate, out of context or not. Urban Meyer protected a past player. What's the big deal? Urban Meyer isn't perfect, and nobody ever said he was. I'm a student at FSU and a lifelong FSU fan (not just because of Bobby Bowden either), but I still think Urban was acting as any normal person would if they felt someone was threatening the image of someone they respected (in this case, Tebow). I don't think anyone was really in the wrong here (except possibly Fowler, for focusing on the past).

Also, I think one of the main points of this story was to point out that Urban Meyer threatened Fowler, but you quoted him wrong. xD If you listened to the recording, you'd hear "If that was my son, we'd be going at it right now."

I cannot believe some of you are attacking the reporter in this. If you would read the quote the player never said Tebow was a bad quaterback just that it is easier to play for one you know is going to throw on passing routes and not take off running. Or start to run then throw you the ball. Meyer was way out of line and all those Florida and Tebow fans need to calm down. There is no taking it out of context it is just what it is. And what the receiver said is just what a lot of NFL people are saying about Tebow. He is not a traditional style quarterback and he isn't. No one said that he wouldn't make it in the NFL it is just he will need the right coaching and environment to grow. And Mr. Monroe what a Hissyfit you threw, relax dude.

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on March 25, 2010 7:40 AM.

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