Meyer Clarifies "Zook" Comments

There's been a lot of conversation in the last 24 hours or so that categorized Florida Coach Urban Meyer's comments about the divided culture in the Florida locker room when he first arrived as criticism of former Gator Coach Ron Zook and his staff. Meyer took time Saturday morning to try and clarify those remarks:

"Some people said that they thought that was criticism of Coach Zook and it absolutely was not it was about the locker room and the way the locker room set up was. Our staff's never been critical of another staff. I just said that we had fights here a lot (in 2005) because of the way the locker room (and) the way they had it in the past. It's not that way anymore, because the locker room has been changed."

Meyer set off the widespread discussion with post-practice comments Friday when he was asked about handling fights that can take place within the team. Here is part of what he said:

"When we first got here five years ago they had freshmen in a separate locker room and they were in a bunch of little tin lockers. This is a big time college football program and we had fights and stuff because they treat the freshmen like non-people. It took as a while to change to break the great culture we had here. You don't win many games but you have beaten up freshmen and shaved eyebrows."


It's easy to construe those remarks as a criticism of the previous regime, but I take Meyer at his word that it was a criticism of a culture that existed within the team when he arrived. Some may say that's splitting hairs and that's a legitimate reaction. However as someone who has criticized a lot of players, coaches and administrators through the years I can appreciate the subtle difference between criticizing someone and criticizing his/her decisions and/or results. I've never called anyone stupid, but I have called their strategies, play balls, policies and such stupid. You may not think there's much of a difference, and that's fine. I do.

Fightin Gators Top Stories