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Meyer Rips NCAA And Outlaw Coaches

Last week, former Florida coach Urban Meyer sounded off on the NCAA, the lack of ethics in college football, and outlaw coaches in a radio interview.  Now off the sideline, Meyer’s comments spewed forth like he’d just popped the cork on his inner monologue.  And it’s made national news.

“I’m probably going to get criticized for saying a few things, but I’m good.  I’m no longer a football coach and that had a part to do with why I stepped away.

“I’m not the lone wolf here, there are some great football coaches that are still coaching.  They have to be very careful, politically correct, say all the right things and do all the right things and deep down their hearts (are) getting ripped out because they’re at a competitive disadvantage and that’s just not right.

“But at the end of the day the people that pay the worst price is the 19-year-old young man knows that’s it’s wrong but still deals with agents when he’s not supposed to, taking things from agents and getting recruited illegally.  At the end of the day that’s going to affect that young man for the rest of his life because a precedent has been set in his mind that taking a shortcut is okay.”

Strong words from a man who no longer has to play the game.  Except… what in the above statement could Meyer not have said while coaching?  That agents are bad?  That some coaches cheat?  If he felt so strongly about things, what stopped him from speaking out while he still ran a program?

That point aside, it’s interesting that Meyer is going down the “competitive disadvantage” path.  Apparently he did not cheat in any way while at Florida.  I find it hard to believe that a coach in this day and age could avoid breaking every single rule in the NCAA’s overstuffed rulebook, but, let’s give him that one.  (Even though he once called a recruit’s athlete girlfriend who was also considering Florida, which is an NCAA violation.)  Still, couldn’t a coach like Randy Shannon talk about the “competitive disadvantage” that he faced thanks to coaches who gave actual outlaws chance after chance after chance following their run-ins with the law?  Couldn’t Shannon — whose Miami program had fewer arrests during his tenure than just about any other BCS program — throw some stones at guys like Meyer and his ilk for watching over (and I use that term loosely) a program that saw 30 players arrested in a short span?
Meyer also fired shots at the NCAA for not enforcing its own bylaws.  Think he might have had the Cam Newton situation in mind?  But what of a coach who supposedly told quarterback prospect Jevan Snead that he was recruiting Tim Tebow to play linebacker.  Repeat after me: “Your ethical lapses are unforgivable, my ethical lapses are small and can be explained.”

Meyer continued his rant and let his feelings bubble through regarding Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl.

“What I’ve seen the last five years is a complete turn in the integrity of the college coaching profession.  It’s completely turned the other way.  Right now, it’s not good because the risk-reward is ‘have at it, do what you’ve got to do (to) get the great player, go win games and at the end of the day we’ll find out what happens down the road.

“You tell me how a young man who is a wide receiver and he lied to the NCAA and they took away his eligibility and he was never allowed to play again.  And then there’s violations in other areas of the country and that doesn’t happen.”

Dan Dakich who was conducting the radio interview pointed out the obvious fact that Pearl “sat out eight games, lost a little money and he’s back coaching right now.”

“And Dez Bryant is out of the profession, I mean college football. …

“I actually put one together last year, a recommendation and sent it to a good chunk of athletic directors and presidents and commissioners.  You can have group committees, group hugs, group discussions.  You can have whatever you wants, at the end of the day, if you enforce the law people will have an opportunity to break that rule less. 

“If there’s a law and it’s an unenforceable law, and deep down they don’t want to enforce it, you are officially in the wild, wild west and anything goes.  We need to revamp this thing.”

There’s danger in Meyer’s words, of course.  It’s possible that a few more stories — like the one about Snead’s recruitment and the one about Meyer’s phone call to a UF gymnastics recruit will come to light.

And if/when Meyer returns to coaching — say when Brian Kelly washes out at Notre Dame — you can trust he’ll be under some double-secret scrutiny from his fellow coaches. 

His comments leave us wondering about Pearl (who Billy Donovan has actually defended on a personal level), the Auburn staff, the Mississippi State staff and ex-aide Dan Mullen (who were alll involved in Newton’s recruitment), Newton himself, and the entire SEC coaching fraternity since that’s who Meyer recruited against.  That’s a lot of besmirching.

In response, others may just wonder publicly how a man can act holier-than-thou when it comes to NCAA rules violations… while captaining a ship filled with many young men who broke the actual rules of society?

Apparently, rule-breaking is a bad thing because it hurt Meyer’s chances of winning.  Law-breaking, well, that’s excusable because kids will be kids.  And because his look-the-other-way attitude actually helped Meyer’s chances of winning.

I’m a believer in second chances.  But if I were a coach who handed out dozens of them over a six-year span, I’d probably not pop off to loudly about the ethics violations of others.  Lest they call my own liberal discipline into question.



Meyer did plenty for Florida, but he is out of football because the stress of trying to stay on top took its toll on him, not to mention getting beat soundly toward the end. He did not leave over agents and recruiting although recruiting is a stressful part of the job. Meyer is trying to portray himself as some saint and protector of NCAA FB integrity. This is what the writer is calling him on the carpet for and rightly so. He is not saying Meyer cheated, but when he throws stones at other schools he better make sure his own house is in order. Given Meyer can justify all the player run ins with the law many will wonder what else can this guy justify that MIGHT be against NCAA rules. This is a legit question. He knows popping off as an X-HC his competitors are less motivated to probe and possibly expose his activities.

War Eagle !


Meyer comments on Pearl are off base. The NCAA has not ruled on pearl yet. How does a former coach not know the differents in a SEC ruling and a NCAA ruling?


Hostesses? Strippers? Money, cars, clothes? Promising or catering anything material? If calling a recruits girlfriend is the most extreme violation you can come up with than I will have to praise Meyer for keeping his "leg up" recruiting far below the median. If these comments were looked at objectively, knowing what we know about Meyers views, it would seem as though he resents the fact that such actions are even necessary to maintain elite recruiting status. Other coaches go as far as catering material and sexual influence in their process. I also believe that a call to a recruits girlfriend in an attempt to sway the recruit to a school where they will have an exceptional opportunity to prepare for their future is admirable in comparison to student athletes falling victim to negatively life altering scandal. For example, ruled ineligible for accepting money, speaking to agents, etc. These are instances Meyer is talking about because it cuts an athletes career short, leaving their future in question. Also, the unknowing school is held liable if a player consults an agent before playing, while the agent and player go unscathed and makes millions in the NFL,
Urban Meyer is a disciplinarian. Anyone who payed close attention to the program throughout his era knows that about him. The most lenient punishment Meyer ever served was the NCAA minimum per the specific incident. People overlook actions he took such as kicking the dominant anchor of the defensive line, Marcus Thomas, off of the championship team for smoking weed. He didn't have to expel him from the team, but he felt it was what was necessary. There are rules in place that prevent the head coach of engaging the team beyond a limit, depending on the time of year. These coaches can only do so much to control the behavior of an entire roster of young kids. You can only try your hardest to mold kids and implement good decision making skills, but in the end it all comes down to the individuals decision. And when that individual makes a bad decision it is up to you (one of a few that know the entire situation... not some media name) to dole out a proper punishment that you truly see fits.

There are many programs that work hand in hand with law enforcement to "protect the interest of the hometown football team". I can imagine that skews the numbers. This is obviously not the case in Gainesville, FL!

By all of the above standards, Urban Meyer was a poster child... but, damn, he has a lot of haters!


BTW, where did Meyer claim that he never broke any rules? Come on, you sounded so sure of it in this article! Idiot!


You sideways "journalist" throw a quote at people and then tell us what it means (usually in a malicious way, like this article) and then use the cop out "all we did was quote the guy". If all you did was quote Meyer than this article would be NOTHING BUT QUOTES, azz!! Congratulations, you came up with two examples of minor violations. Can you show me where any money was involved? Ever? Didn't think so. You crooked "journalists" need to just shut the hell up and leave good people like Meyer alone! Just like you all made a huge deal about Meyer defending his player from a journalist that "just quoted what he said". Oh yeah, and then continued to explain to everyone what he meant by what he said in a malicious way toward the player, turning his comments into a shot at his own team. That makes no sense. All because the guy that Urban had beef with was a fellow "journalist". You people are f'n ridiculous.


I also like how you used meyer's quotes out of order to make him seem bitter or whatever the hell you were going for, good job. your a joke

MSU Dawg Alum
MSU Dawg Alum

I really see the comparison between the "breaking the law" student athletes, and the breaking the rules argument. Personally I love what he is talking about. The cheating on the recruiting front is the only thing the coaches can control and with that the NCAA. These 18-23 year olds could choose to break the law, regardless of what the coaches/NCAA does. The coaches breaking the rules are paramount in this discussion. They control that, every aspect of it. The NCAA is a joke, along with Slive and the SEC. I don't even see Auburn as the national champion. Thats the point. Other coaches are told to shut up and take it. I hope more step up like Meyer. They are going to be yelled at like Dan Mullen, and all he has had to take on because of Cam Newton, but I have heard the negativity on ESPN about our program, when we did everything right. That is what the good coaches have to deal with.


Thanks to the above poster. Perfect response. No wonder Meyer kept his mouth shut while he was coaching. Responses like Pennington's are just over the top and out of place. Address the issue not the messenger. At least Meyer is man enough to say something.


Way to go. Ad hominem attacks on Meyer are much better than addressing the point of contention of possible rampant rule breaking in college football and the SEC. I feel much better now after your attempt to deflect the actual issue of NCAA violations by comparing them to campus arrests. Those are the same thing aren't they? Comparing individual transgressions of college students is the same thing as a systemic culture of rule-breaking and cheating by 30-50 year old highly paid University employees for a competitive advantage is spot on. Apples and apples. Your defense of cheating in college athletics is to be commended. You'd make an excellent attorney.

Its hard to imagine where the rest of the country gets the impression that cheating is an accepted way of life in the SEC when we have an SEC-only website like this one attacking the whistleblower. A guy who has no credibility. Meyer only has an 82% winning percentage, went 7-1 in bowl games, 3-0 in BCS bowls, won 4 conference championships (2 SEC), was the first coach to ever take a non BCS school to a BCS bowl and won 2 National Championships. What a hack, what the hell would he know about college football. Sheesh, he's nothing but a sore winner.


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