Urban Meyer made big news last week over a diatribe aimed at a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel. I think it was on purpose.
You know how basketball coaches will get a technical on purpose, even though it seems contrary to the best interest of the team? Sometimes this is to galvanize the team with an us against the world mentality. But sometimes, it's supposed to change the subject.
I think both are in play here. Apparently, one of the players made the remark that the new QB at Florida was more of a "real" quarterback than Tebow. Most readers know that means "typical" or "traditional."
But a big deal was being made and his teammates were questioning him and, in some cases, turning on him. The kid was being treated unfairly over a poor choice of words rather than a real belief that he held.
So Meyer basically picks a fight with the reporter. The team then sees Meyer as defending the team (which galvanizes them since they had so many seniors leave last year) and sees the kid as the victim (which gets him off the hook for what he said) and sees the reporter as the bad guy.
This won't linger because these kids love seeing their names in the paper so they will not see the press as the enemy for long but it is serving a short term purpose with no long term ill effects.
Frankly, I'm not a huge fan of Meyers but I have to call this brilliant. Meyer is already in the spotlight so making himself the story is a no harm and no foul situation. Those that hate him are going to see this tirade as another validation of why they don't like him...but they would probably see whatever he did as a bad thing.
Those that think he can do no wrong will think he's coming to the aid of the player. But just in case, Meyer apologizes to smooth things over.
This also furthers the "mad genius" persona he may have been crafting from his episode in late December where he retired, then unretired, then took a leave of absence. If someone could rival Les "The Hat" Miles in this department but yet field a more consistent team, his legend would indeed be cemented even more than it currently is.