Boy, did he. Earlier in the week, former Belle Glade receiver Deonte Thompson was interviewed after a Gators practice by writers including the Orlando Sentinel's Jeremy Fowler, and was asked if things were different for Thompson this spring with quarterback John Brantly running the offense. (Thompson, you may remember, spent much of his Tebow years wide open downfield waving his arms wildly, only to see Tebow be Tebow -- not that there's anything wrong with that.)
"You never know with Tim," Thompson said. "He can bolt. You think he's running but he'll come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready. With Brantley, everything's with rhythm, with time. You know, a real quarterback."
It's pretty clear from the context and from Thompson's other comments that what he meant by "real" was "traditional" or "conventional," something Fowler noted. In other words, the man was just doing his job running the quote, even if running it accurately somewhat twisted the player's intended meaning.
But Urban Meyer would prefer journalists not print things his players say. In fact, HE HATES THE FIRST AMENDMENT! Yesterday during practice the coach singled out Fowler, and, in front of a group of tape recorder-armed journalists seconds from peeing their pants in giddy witness-hood, put a finger in Fowler's face (later, three whole fingers), threatened him with physical violence and banishment, and went to town.
"You’ll be out of practice — you understand that? — if you do that again," Meyer said. "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)
Meyer also told Fowler that if Thompson were his son, "we'd be going at it right now."
Which is clearly not the right response.
But is anyone surprised at how this went down? Meyer is the same guy who, last year, suggested actual former Gators quarterback Shane Matthews "wasn't a Gator" and should "buy a ticket for 37F" after Matthews dared suggest a reason Florida lost to Ole Miss while at work as a Gators radio analyst. Meyer's wound so tight he wound up in the hospital after a loss. He is literally monitored day and night by a nurse. He can't quit coaching.
Senior members of the media have come out swinging at Meyer, suggesting he needs to appologize to Fowler. They're right, of course; they'll just sooner see him actually ruling his own socialist republic. (Considering his record, that might not be so far off.)