At least he's not pointing at the previous coach and making excuses like the barn still blaming Tubbs
File this one under: What’s he supposed to say?
At a Gator booster club gathering last night, Florida football coach Will Muschamp took up for the man who preceded him in Gainesville. When a UF fan asked him about The Sporting News’ recent hit job on Urban Meyer — a Matt Hayes-penned piece claiming the coach lost control of the program, allowed drug use to take place, and played favorites when it came to discipline – the current Gator coach said of the former Gator coach:
“I think Urban Meyer did a great job at the University of Florida. He won two conference championships. He won two national championships. And I don’t know how you can do that without discipline. That’s my opinion. I wasn’t here at that time, but I know that I am very proud to be part of a program that he was a part of, and he did a great job at Florida.”
Muschamp has said the right things about Meyer before. Last year at SEC Media Days he said that Meyer had been “first class” and that he’d listened to his predecessor’s advice “more than anyone else.”
The closest he’s come to really saying anything that could even be slightly construed as negative toward Meyer’s regime was last October when he said UF lacked the players to install a power running game.
Facts, however, are facts. Muschamp can talk all he likes about UF having discipline under Meyer, but when he booted star corner Janoris Jenkins after two quick pot arrests last spring, the player said he’d still be on the team if his old coach were still around.
So if Meyer had discipline, it’s safe to say — based on Jenkins’ comments — that Muschamp is trying to instill even more into the Florida program.
And while discipline issues can indeed destroy a team that needs a mix of chemistry and talent to win, an uber-talented team can win with thugs, miscreants and rule-breakers on the roster. See: Miami Hurricanes, 1980-90s. Many wins and titles. Many arrests and embarrassments.
Florida had a once-in-a-generation talent in Tim Tebow surrounded by a fleet of 4- and 5-star prospects for four of Meyer’s six years in Gainesville. But the success he had on the field with that player and that roster don’t prove by any stretch that the coach actually maintained discipline off the football field.