GAINESVILLE -- In case you haven't noticed, Miami fans are pretty upset about a story I wrote today in The Miami Herald. The story is about the art of persuasion and how Florida coach Urban Meyer has built a reputation as an expert of this art.
What better way to explain this than to offer the example of a Matt Patchan, a talented offensive lineman who committed to Florida. Patchan's father, Matt Patchan III, played for Miami. Patchan, the son, grew up a Hurricanes fan but chose to play for Florida. This background offered a perfect example of Meyer's ability as a recruiter. And since I work for The Miami Herald, obviously, I wrote it. Miami fans took great offense to this example and have lashed out at Matt Patchan's father for not steering his son to Miami. Hurricanes fans have also lashed out at me for writing it but, frankly, I don't care. What I do care about, however, is the reputation of Patchan III. For the record: Patchan III is a good man, a great father and a loyal former Miami Hurricane.
I have spoken with Mr. Patchan III today and he is upset about the article and thinks it portrays him as some sort of traitor to the University of Miami. This couldn't be further from the truth. Matt Patchan III is a "Cane for life" and loves the Miami Hurricanes. (I didn't write this in the article because that's not what the article was about. As I've already state, the article was about Florida. Also, I don't write headlines.) Patchan III says he is friends with Miami head coach Randy Shannon. While Patchan III loves Miami, he also loves his son. He is a good father and wanted his son to make his own decisions during the recruiting process. Patchan III removed himself from the recruiting equation and his son chose Florida.
Patchan's choice had nothing to do with his father, Randy Shannon or the University of Miami. Florida began recruiting Patchan when he was a sophomore (long before Shannon was the head coach at Miami). Patchan III should be commended for being a good father and not letting his convictions interfere with his son's decisions. While Patchan is now a Gator, his father remains a "Cane for life."