Of course, when you stand out from the crowd it's easier to get noticed – especially if you do something that can be called into question by your rivals.
Meyer is facing significant scrutiny for his recruiting lately, particularly the recruitment of Sierra (
Depending on whom you want to believe, Meyer either recruited Smith for the
On Jan. 17, Smith told the
"It was weird. But I really didn't know anything about college football anyway, so it was like I was talking to any other person. Then I started watching TV and I'd see him and I'd say, 'I just talked to him on the phone an hour ago.'"
Smith is now on a gymnastics scholarship at
Then last week Smith changed her story, telling the Independent Florida Alligator she and Meyer had "never had real phone conversations. I never even had a conversation with him. I mean, he sounds like a nice guy, saying, 'Hi,' and, 'Bye,' but that's all I really know."
Then Meyer told various media reports that he had been cleared of any transgression, even telling the Orlando Sentinel, "No problems with that. We're fine."
However, last week several media outlets reported
"We are in information-gathering mode," UF senior associate athletics director for compliance Jamie McCloskey told the Orlando Sentinel. "And we're going to see where that takes us."
In addition to the case with Moore and Smith, Florida officials are also looking into whether or not Meyer committed an NCAA rule violation at the Heisman Trophy ceremony when he involved quarterback Tim Tebow in a phone call to Moore.
According to a report in the Sacramento Bee,
Meyer's decision to involve Tebow appears to be a possible violation of an NCAA rule that states college athletes are not allowed to speak to recruits by telephone when directed to by their coaches. It would not be a violation, however, if Tebow called
The one thing Meyer did not do, however, was send highly-ranked receiver Julio Jones of
Jones has been reticent to offer any hints of where he is headed and his coach, Todd Watson, has consistently said throughout the process he has no idea where Jones is headed. That has given way to widespread speculation about his academic status, his character and his final destination.
According to Watson, who has done his best to clarify these rumors, Jones is already eligible (both ACT and grades) and was suspended from the Foley basketball team for missing a shoot-around that can be attributed to his hectic schedule, and Jones did not get sent home from Florida after recruiting for Oklahoma.
"People have blown it out of proportion and said he's a thug," Watson told the Birmingham News. "It's nothing like that. I've coached him (in football) for three years and he's never missed a practice. He's been a model citizen."
It turns out the original report was not based on fact and the
Richard Scott is a Birmingham-based sports writer, author and Tiger Rag's SEC expert. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.