Florida Gators coach Will Muschamp met with a few reporters in a hotel room here in the moments before the start of SEC Media Days, and he wasted no time in firing a salvo at the man who used to sit in his chair: Urban Meyer.
It’s been reported that Meyer, now at Ohio State, turned in his old school for two secondary recruiting violations. Meyer denied it; Muschamp confirmed it:
“In both situations we were turned in by Ohio,” he said. “We didn’t do anything wrong. The University of Florida didn’t do anything wrong. And so we appreciated our friends from Ohio making sure we’re compliant with NCAA rules. They certainly know a little bit about that subject.”
It’s not just on the field issues.
Meyer seemed to flee responsibility earlier this month when he was asked about Hernandez. “I’m not going to talk about that,” he said. Meyer later spoke more about Hernandez and his efforts to help him (which were not insignificant), but by then the list of scofflaws he coached in Gainesville had been pinged around social media for days. Nobody in Gator Country has rushed to Meyer’s defense.
“You can’t stick your head in the sand and pretend everything’s OK,” Muschamp said Tuesday. He didn’t say Meyer stuck his head in the sand, but the insinuation is clear: the spiral of misbehavior only got worse until Muschamp showed up and altered the culture.
Halapio said Tuesday that team rules are more or less the same under “Coach Boom.” He listed “no stealing,” “no hitting girls,” and “being respectful to everybody” as themes Muschamp has reinforced. He even said Muschamp tells players to look everyone in the eye when shaking their hand. It’s not fair or appropriate to say Meyer paid no attention to off-the-field behavior, yet more than one Gator commented to Yahoo! Sports last year about how things started to slide during the waning months of Meyer’s tenure at Florida.
“Toward the end of Coach Meyer’s time here, a lot of guys were out for themselves,” defensive lineman Omar Hunter said. “Not buying into the team concept. He was out for himself, so they thought the same thing.
“A lot of things were sliding. Guys were showing up late to practice and workouts. Guys were supposed to be back on Sunday and didn’t get back until Monday. There was no discipline.”