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Gator Report

Antonya English

Meyer's comments put him in Auburn's doghouse

It seems Urban Meyer has gotten himself caught in a jam over comments he made about some of Auburn's recruiting tactics.

By simply responding to a reporter's question, which turned out to have incorrect facts, Meyer ended up infuriating Auburn fans, and becoming the target of a controversial comment about the type of players he recruits.

 Auburnlimo Last week, some Auburn assistants rented a white stretch limo, decorated it with Auburn decals on the side and went to several high schools in the Mobile, Ala. area to check out some potential recruits. In this age of youth who are all about the bling, it was probably a way to drum up some attention.

But when Meyer was asked by Gainesville Sun columnist Pat Dooley about the subject, Meyer was mistakenly responding to the idea that Auburn coaches were hauling players around in the limo. So, Meyer responded to that question by saying this: "I think it should," when asked if the NCAA will get involved. "We're trying to sell graduation rates and academics and trying the sing and dance routine.''

But then Meyer took it one step further. 

"The Florida coaching staff will not be riding around in limos or ripping off our shirts,'' he said.

Okay, the latter one had nothing to do with Auburn. The shirt comment was seemingly a reference to previous reports about some Tennessee assistants ripping off their shirts in front of recruits.

His comments didn't go over well with Aburn supporters.

Jay Coulter, of Track Em Tigers.com, said this about the situation:

"There's no question that Meyer is one of the top coaches in America. There's little doubt his program is among the top five nationally. But to say, "We're trying to sell graduation rates and academics" is like Nick Saban saying he can't find Gadsden on a map. It just doesn't fly.

"I talked to a recruit who attended the Florida-South Carolina game last year and he said he actually put his wallet in his front pocket because of the recruits who were there visiting. He said they were cast straight from the streets of Miami. The only thing Urban Meyer is trying to do is win football games. Don't give us this crap about graduation rates and academics.''

The "streets of Miami'' comment isn't going over well with Gator fans. Or probably Miami fans, for that matter.

It should be noted that Dooley has acknowledged his mistake. In a column on Monday, he wrote: "Ah, the World Wide Interweb (another movie reference). When you make a mistake, you're going to hear it. Last week I had a Dooley Noted item about Auburn coaches parading recruits around in limos. I obviously misread the story because it was Auburn coaches in the limos going from school to school. War Eagle fans have corrected me with dozens of e-mails. My bad. Now calm down.''

The SEC coaches will gather in Destin at the end of the month for their annual spring meetings. What's the chance Meyer, Gene Chizik and Lane Kiffin will all shake hands and be friends?

[Photo: espn.com]

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:57pm]

    

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