Florida Gators Football

Urban Meyer Criticizes in Public, Apologizes in Private

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 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
tre wellsCorrespondent IMarch 28, 2010

Do I live in the Bizarro world?

What happened to “every moment is a teaching moment?”

University of Florida coach Urban Meyer apologized Saturday after practice to the Orlando Sentinel's Jeremy Fowler in a private meeting on the practice field.

Wednesday, Meyer verbally attacked the reporter in front of cameras for quoting receiver Deonte Thompson too accurately.

Meyer to the rescue.

Some of the greatest coaches in any sport will tell you they try to praise in public and criticize in private.

It’s simply done out of respect. Respect for the individual, respect for the human being, respect for the person trying to do their job.

It can make good leaders great, and great leaders legendary.

Not every coach follows this philosophy, but you rarely see one invert the philosophy and apply it as such.

No, that would take a narcissistic personality. That’s a special kind of self-imposed.

When someone purposely criticizes and berates another in public, then apologizes in private, it reeks of being a coward.

It’s not that this isn’t common in the world. It’s just that it certainly isn’t common when dealing with a man that leads as many young men as a coach does.

At this point, to have not apologized at all would have made Meyer seem more like a man.

Why apologize in private?

It's not as if Meyer was “caught” on tape threatening the reporter. He walked right up to a contingency of reporters holding cameras and recorders and confronted Fowler. He challenged Fowler's manhood in front of a group of his peers.

He walked away and came back time and time again with snippets, much like a girl does describing a fight with her mother.

He threatened Fowler‘s access, challenged his character, and even insinuated violence.

He was on show and he knew it. He wanted to be a stud in front of his players like a bully does in school by picking a freshman nerd and slamming him into a locker.

Later as all the popular kids dispersed, he would grab the nerd and whisper…"Hey…sorry about that man. We’re cool right?”

According to Fowler, Meyer said his primary concern was for “protecting” his players.

Then why the privacy in your apology?

If Meyer truly believes he was right, and he was protecting his players, why not demand the same stage he typically does?

Meyer should be disciplined or fined somewhat for this. It’s simply unacceptable behavior.

My guess is the apology was to keep that from happening. My guess is that is why it was private.

My guess is that every moment actually is a teaching moment.

I just learned something else about Meyer.

Where can I comment?

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