Saturday, March 27, 2010

Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer apologizes to Orlando Sentinel writer Jeremy Fowler in 'constructive' talk - ESPN

Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer apologizes to Orlando Sentinel writer Jeremy Fowler in 'constructive' talk - ESPN

As a former Florida Gators beat reporter, I've been chuckling as I follow this one from afar.

And in my new role, following and leveraging social media, I have to chuckle some more.

Some quick observations:


  1. As hard as athletic departments try to "coach up" players on talking to the media, some just aren't very good at it, and feed the quote machine by saying stuff that sounds tantalizing in print, but when you're their, it's just a conversation.

  2. I worked along side Jeremy Fowler, the reporter in question, he's a good guy. But, in this case, I think he did owe it to Deonte Thompson to paraphrase that quote. Fowler had to know what Thompson meant and also knew that the quote would be taken pretty harshly. The quote wasn't near the lead, but I would have paraphrased. Or asked Thompson for clarification.

  3. This is a classic case of old media meets new media. The video of the Meyer "incident" was captured by a local television station (where I also used to work). The video combined with the social media spread of the video led to the story exploding.

  4. Meyer was subdued. I covered the team when Ron Zook was coach, and he would scream at reporters. Forget making veiled threats. Zook pushed me up against a wall underneath the stadium and we had to be separated by a security guard. Big deal. It's a contentious relationship. Journalists want free flow of info. Coaches do not, and I understand why.



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