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Ed Berliner: Urban legends, and the resignation of Gators Head Coach Meyer.

December 30th, 2009, 04:12 am admin Leave a comment Go to comments

The best thing for the University of Florida football team would be for Urban Meyer to make his “retirement” completely official and leave the program as soon as possible.

Hold your breath on that one. We’ll come back to it.

Let’s begin with the media mad dash to be the very first with the scoop on why Meyer decided to take the exit. Within minutes of his departure the “blog-o-sphere”, also known by it’s acronym, “BS”, was sizzling with everything from Dengue fever to the heartbreak of psoriasis.

But the most egregious and blatant misuse of media power goes to a TV station in Orlando, Florida, where the Sports Director was conveniently mentioned by name as the one reporting Meyer had suffered a heart attack. Naturally, the usual “source” was quoted for this “breaking news”.

Of course, Meyer did not suffer a heart attack, but what the doctors called “heart issues”. For the uninitiated, the difference between the two is comparing severe gas thanks to several large burritos with something that needs electric paddles and people yelling “CLEAR!”

So if you follow the bouncing blunder here, Meyer would have lost the SEC game, met the media and friends the next day, appeared at his weekly press conference, talked with more than a few people and be seen around the University, all while suffering a heart attack and then apparently being let out onto the pavement after being treated and released with the wave of a magic wand.

Or at the behest of Tim Tebow. Same thing.

Then again this incorrect, badly researched and reported ego goof did finish a very close first to the rumor I heard about Meyer suffering a brain tumor and being rushed to the hospital.

All this was followed by the rampant speculation on who would fill the alligator sideline shoes at “The Swamp”. Names such as Jon Gruden (not likely with a cushy gig sitting in the ESPN broadcast booth taking shots at old foes), Mike Shanahan, (just listen to the bloodcurdling screams of people in Denver, that should be plenty to wipe that thought out), and Chris Petersen from Boise State were tossed about in the race to fill the rumor vacuum radio talk shows abhor.

Not only is Petersen young and bright enough to captivate Gators fans and recruits, but you might get him for short cash after reminding him the alternative is continued retina damage staring into that blue field for another season.

And now, back to that initial statement.

There will never be a more opportune and correct time for Urban Meyer to back up, one more time, and announce he will not return under any circumstances next season.

Allow me to request Gator Nation remove the sharp objects from the Ed Berliner pincushion for a moment and look at this with a little less passion.

This in no way minimizes Meyer’s accomplishments and obvious football intelligence. The man has proven himself to be, without one single doubt from anyone, including those in-State and SEC opponents seething with jealousy, to be one of the very best college football coaches anywhere.

But Meyer and UF Athletic hierarchy has stumbled and bumbled badly in this affair. It’s difficult to imagine that someone above Meyer and in a position of authority wasn’t well forewarned before his initial announcement. This could then lead one to believe they tried to talk him out of it and were unsuccessful. Logic follows then UF agreed to the separation as being unavoidable.

Meyer’s mind was made up.

Why Meyer decided to pull a “Billy Donovan” is unclear, and we’ll likely never know the real reason. But in the monster-dollar world of college football, where coaches and recruiters have often sold more than their souls for a prized recruit, there is nothing worse than indecision and seeming weakness.

Plenty of recruits will still choose UF over Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss and plenty of other schools around the Nation.

But what of those 1 or 2 who can change a program overnight? Those suddenly aware that there’s the slightest chance they will play for a coach who already found a way out and could do it again, meaning their future pro careers and paycheck amounts could be sizably lessened in a different attitude with a different Head Coach.

Several recruitment analysts have already told me that, to no surprise, teams from every conference are already whispering in the ear of recruits and their families about the lack of commitment they perceive at Florida. The long-term damage can indeed be significant.

There is blood in the water and the sharks are feeding already. There is only one way to solve what has become an embarrassment and a nightmare of bad decisions and announcements.

Urban Meyer won’t be there forever. The Tim Tebow era is over. A level of rebuilding begins immediately.

And in light of events over the past week, it needs to begin with a new, permanent and dedicated Head Coach.


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