GAINESVILLE -- University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer spoke at a booster club and alumni association meeting on Saturday in Orlando. Folks, he shot from the hip.
“There’s going to be a time when you don’t win every game you play. There’s going to be a time when someone makes a mistake. If you’re a person who’s going to criticize, we don’t need you around.
“I’m also going to talk about loyalty with our former athletes. Some are welcome, some aren’t. …We want former Gators to come back, but loyalty’s a two-way street. 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.
"You’re either a Gator or you’re not a Gator. It’s real simple. For those who are not Gators keep buying tickets, critique, but if you’re a real Gator, get to know our players. Let’s enjoy the greatest era ... of Gator athletics.”
Anybody got a clue who Meyer might be talking about?
I remember last season when former UF quarterback Shane Matthews (a local radio talk show host in Gainesville) was critical of the Gators' offense. Other than Matthews, I can't think of any former Gators who have been critical of the football team. The whole Matthews thing didn't seem like a big deal to me, but maybe Meyer is sensitive about club members publicly criticizing a fellow member the club? Of course, that didn't stop Meyer from criticizing folks in the NFL on Saturday.
“With all our players, the NFL seems to blame people," Meyer said. "In college, you don’t blame players, you have to coach them. The coaches that blame get fired. In the NFL they blame quarterbacks. You take a quarterback and put him on a lousy team and it’s all of a sudden the quarterback’s fault.
"Alex Smith -- [the San Francisco 49ers] were terrible, worst offense, worst defense in the NFL and it’s the quarterback’s fault. My biggest wish is that these guys go to good places with good coaches, good players, because they’re used to winning."