GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Urban
Meyer apologized Saturday to the reporter he berated earlier this week
for publishing a quote by one of his players.
Meyer spent more than 20 minutes with the
Orlando Sentinel's Jeremy Fowler following spring practice. Fowler
declined to divulge details of the discussion, but called it a
"constructive" conversation and said he accepted Meyer's apology.
Meyer did not speak with reporters.
Meyer lashed out at Fowler on Wednesday,
calling him a "bad guy" and threatening to ban the newspaper for
publishing a quote in which receiver Deonte Thompson called John
Brantley a "real quarterback." Thompson meant to say that Brantley was a
more conventional or prototypical passer than Tim Tebow.
Thompson's quote quickly spread across the
country thanks to Twitter and the Internet, and the receiver was crushed
when friends and teammates asked him why he ripped Tebow. Thompson
expressed his frustration to Meyer, who unleashed on Fowler during an
exchange caught on camera and witnessed by colleagues and fans.
"If that was my son, we'd be going at it right
now," Meyer said.
Meyer requested a meeting with Fowler on
Saturday and they spoke in private on the practice field. Fowler said
Meyer's primary concern was defending his player.
"If he feels like one of his players gets
wounded emotionally or physically or in any way, he wants to support
that," Fowler said.
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