Urban Meyer: Did His Rant Earn Him More Respect with His Players?

James Walker@BRJamesWalkerAnalyst IIMarch 26, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 01:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators stands on the field before the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats at the Louisana Superdome on January 1, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Don't think for one minute that Urban Meyer didn't know what he was doing when he lit up that reporter from the Orlando Sentinel .

By now, you've at least heard—if not seen the video—about Florida's head coach going off on reporter Jeremy Fowler about the article he wrote that quoted WR Deonte Thompson claiming current starting QB John Brantley was a "real" QB, compared with former QB Tim Tebow.

Some believe that Meyer was way out of line with the way he acted toward Fowler. 

Others see it as Meyer coming to the defense of Thompson.

Meyer saw it as an opportunity for a few reasons.

First, Meyer will back his players to the bitter end.  As a leader, Meyer understands the mind-set of today's college athlete—and a coach cannot simply demand performance from his players.  Motivation is key, and earning the respect and loyalty of the players is one key to success.

Second, Meyer has mastered the art of publicity.  I think he is taking a page from the Ole Ball Coach's media playbook—and he knows that there is no such thing as bad press.  If his and UF's names are in the press, it's keeping the program in the spotlight.  Now that Tebow is gone, now more than ever, Meyer will find ways to keep Florida in the public eye.

Third, Meyer is a relentless recruiter.  High school players who are looking at choices for their collegiate careers see Meyer backing his players—and don't think that isn't important in their decision-making process.  Meyer knows it, too.

Coach 'em up, Urban, and keep earning the respect of those you lead.  Perhaps one day, others will wake up and learn the importance of motivation—but for now, Gator Nation loves your ways and hopes you never change.