The Gator coach had words — and almost more — with an Orlando Sentinel reporter over what he thought was unfair treatment of Tim Tebow. For a man with stress-related health problems, this was not a good moment for Meyer.
Jeremy Fowler wrote this column Monday, in which he spoke to WR Deonte Thompson about starting the season with a new quarterback.
Thompson said, and we (and Fowler) quote:
You never know with Tim. 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."
Fowler then used actual, objective statistics to show that Thompson hadn't gotten the ball much under Tebow.
Apparently Meyer considers facts and quotes a reporter taking an unfair swipe at Tebow. He got in Fowler's face at practice today, telling him "If that was my son, we'd be going at it right now."
You'll be out of practice - you understand that? - if you do that again," said Meyer, while a couple of spectators still sat in the stands. "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." (finger pointing toward the face)
"Urban, come on. Don't make any threats," I said. "That's fine. I'll play by rules. But all I was doing is quoting the guy. I don't think I was the only one."
"You're a bad guy, man," Meyer said. "You're a bad guy."
After practice, Meyer left through the back exit, avoiding the media. The coach/reporter relationship is a symbiotic one. And today, Meyer savaged a reporter for doing his job, while he failed to do his own.
(UPDATE: For reference, here's video of Thompson's interview. Judge for yourself if he was taken out of context.)
Jeremy Fowler: Why Urban Meyer says I'm a "bad guy" [Orlando Sentinel]