First it was Lane Kiffin, who has spread his own personal brand of oral diarrhea so far over the South that there's a back order of Shop-Vacs. Now, not to be outdone by his BFF at Tennessee, Urban Meyer decides that he too can make himself look just as foolish by openly lambasting former Gator QB Shane Matthews. Here's the backstory, courtesy of ESPN:
Shane Matthews played quarterback at Florida in the early 1990s, and says he supports the Gators and coach Urban Meyer.
But when Matthews criticized Meyer's game strategy during Florida's upset loss to Mississippi on his radio show last fall, Meyer was not happy. And though he didn't mention Matthews by name in a recent Gator Club appearance, it seemed that his comments about ex-players pledging allegiance to the orange and blue were made with Matthews in mind, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
"If you want to be critical of a player on our team or a coach on our team you can buy a ticket for seat 37F, you're not welcome back in the football office," Meyer said, according to the report. "You're either a Gator or you're not a Gator."
Shane Matthews had a legitimate comment about an in-game coaching strategy. He didn't take any low road; he didn't call out any players. He simply questioned decision-making by the leader of a program that, might I add, is very well compensated for doing that leading. And what comment got Urban so bent out of shape?
"When I watched the Ole Miss game and Ole Miss played our wide receivers about 90 percent man-to-man, it was a slap in the face to our wide receivers and passing game. I can't understand why we didn't take advantage of that," Matthews said at the time, according to the report.
You have to be kidding me.
Urban Meyer is not above the game. Neither is Lane Kiffin, or any other coach in the SEC or nation, for that matter. But it seems, in this day and age, extremely rich and prosperous coaches across the country, who are those two things solely from coaching, decide they are above criticism and comment. We saw the exact same thing at West Virginia with Rich Rodriguez. After the Pitt loss, Rodriguez was so ornery that you barely could get through a press conference without him blowing up at someone.
This is a plague in college football. At some point, there must be some movement to take down these coaches and their massive egos. Though, with ever-raising salaries and increased control given at every turn, I don't see how that's imminently possible.
It's clear, though, that something has to change, because this is getting out of hand.
[photo via coacheshotseat.com]