Florida's Meyer Quiet About Suspension

FAYETTEVILLE -- Tight-lipped as usual, Florida coach Urban Meyer wouldn't divulge any information on Wednesday's SEC football coaches teleconference regarding Gators defensive end Jarvis Moss.

Local media outlets in Gainesville reported Tuesday that Meyer hinted the fourth-year junior could be suspended for Florida's game Saturday against Western Carolina.

"We're dealing with something right now," Meyer said of Moss.

But Meyer didn't specify the "something," which would keep out the player who salvaged Florida's one-point victory Saturday against South Carolina by blocking an extra point and a field goal.

Meyer has gone through a bevy of "somethings" throughout his career as a coach at Utah and Florida. When dealing with academic and off-the-field issues, Meyer always has stressed a commitment to sticking by his players.

Sure, Meyer may hand down suspesions. And sure, he may even boot a player off his team for the rest of a season. But he never absolutely gives up on a player.

That's why he took offense to a question posed to him Wednesday about his suspension policies, inferring Meyer had a history of being quick to dismiss players.

"I've never been known for zero tolerance," Meyer said. "I had a problem at the University of Utah where a guy had several DUIs, and I was the only person who wanted to stick by the guy.

Our job at the university is to correct issues, not dismiss the guy. You don't see faculty doing it, you shouldn't see coaches doing it. Zero tolerance has never been associated with any program I've been a part of. We try to fix issues."

Praising D-Mac

Two seasons ago, Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville enjoyed the same situation Arkansas coach Houston Nutt is now appreciating.

Tuberville had running backs Ronnie Brown and Carnell "Cadillac" Williams (both starters now in the National Football League) as a ball-carrying duo, much like Nutt has with sophomores Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.

So, Tuberville is quite the authority on quality running backs. And, he didn't mince words Wednesday when asked about McFadden.

"(McFadden's) as good as we've seen in our league in a while --maybe across the country," Tuberville said. "He's a special running back. He's got the size, the speed and the quicks.

If you go back and look at Ronnie Brown and Carnell (Williams) -- two great football players -- but neither one had the burst after five yards that this kid has got. I mean, he's got the total package."

Georgia coach Mark Richt considered himself lucky that the Bulldogs didn't find Arkansas on the schedule this season.

"McFadden's been off the charts in my book," Richt said. "There aren't many guys that can dominate the way he's dominated. Most guys when they're in the process of making someone miss, it slows their momentum.

"This guy makes people miss so cleanly. I saw him catch the ball for what should've been a one yard gain and he took it to the house. (He's) fantastic."

No Easier

Conventional wisdom would lead one to believe that Tennessee's coaches and players breathed a big, collective sigh of relief when they noticed Vanderbilt on the schedule for Saturday.

Not so, Volunteers coach Phillip Fulmer said. Bouncing back from a heartbreaking four-point loss to LSU and a 17-point pounding at Arkansas will not be easy against the Commodores, Fulmer said.

Mainly, he said, preparing for Vanderbilt's sophomore tandem of quarterback Chris Nickson and wide receiver Earl Bennett would pose problems. Nickson has 23 combined touchdowns (14 passing, nine rushing), and Bennett is averaging 102.7 receiving yards per game.

"I think both of them have done a great job," Fulmer said. "As sophomores, they're way ahead of the curve in terms of development. Bennett is a dynamic receiver, and Nickson is well on nis way to being a dynamic quarterback. They're hard to manage, and we'll have to do a good job on both of them."

With Honors

Southeastern Conference Player of the Week awards went to Kentucky quarterback Andre' Woodson (offensive), Georgia rover Tra Battle (defensive) and Florida's Moss (special teams).

Woodson completed 29-of-42 passes for 450 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in the Wildcats' 38-26 victory over Vanderbilt. The Wildcats entered the fourth quarter trailing the Commodores, but Woods directed Kentucky on three straight touchdown drives.

Battle tied a school record with three interceptions in Georgia's 37-15 victory at Auburn.

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