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Arrests were rampant in Gainesville under Urban Meyer

Jenkins Getty Images

Yes, it would have been better if Urban Meyer had left the can of worms closed.

Now that Meyer has defended himself and the University of Florida football program in connection with the background and history of Aaron Hernandez, Meyer has invited increased scrutiny of the players he recruited.  As pointed out by Greg Bishop of the New York Times, at least 31 players were arrested during Meyer’s run from 2005 through 2010 as the Gators’ head coach.

The types of alleged crimes extended far beyond the garden-variety hell-raising stuff, with one player accused of making 70 charges on a credit card belonging to a woman who had died in a motorcycle accident, and another  player stealing a laptop and throwing the computer out the window when police arrived.  (Yep, that guy currently plays quarterback for the Panthers.)

The Hernandez situation, which has shed new light on an unsolved shooting from 2007, highlights a bigger question:  How many players avoided arrest, thanks to local law-enforcement officials who didn’t want to undermine the football program?

A spokesman for the Gainesville Police Department told Bishop that Gators players did not receive special treatment under Meyer.

“Any time an athlete is arrested, it makes the news,” Ben Tobias told Bishop via email. “We recognize that and understand that.”

Tobias is right; and if the arrest can be avoided, news is never made.

All indications are that, arrests or not, Meyer didn’t care, as long as the team was successful.  It’s a reality that Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who was tolerated by Meyer but kicked out of school by his successor, Will Muschamp, astutely recognized in 2011.

“If Coach Meyer were still coaching, I’d still be playing for the Gators,” Jenkins said at the time. “Coach Meyer knows what it takes to win.”

The Gators indeed won.  But the program and its former coach are now losing, and it feels like it’s quickly getting worse.

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57 Responses to “Arrests were rampant in Gainesville under Urban Meyer”
  1. nygiantstones says: Jul 6, 2013 8:15 PM

    6 arrests per year in a major Florida program? Big deal. How many players are on a college roster?

  2. tigers182 says: Jul 6, 2013 8:16 PM

    Meyer could care less about his players. Just cares about his w/l record. I have no idea how players still commit to him. Disgusting human being.

  3. bucrightoff says: Jul 6, 2013 8:17 PM

    He was prepping young men for genpop just as much as the NFL

  4. kegmen7 says: Jul 6, 2013 8:17 PM

    Good thing he was brought in to clean up after Tressle…

  5. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Jul 6, 2013 8:30 PM

    If I had to paint a picture of today. It would be of Urban Meyer standing on top of a pole with a hell dog running around at the bottom. The dog being Mike Florio.

    I’m sure Meyer has seen what you said today. Everyone checks this website. As seen on hard knocks with the jets. Better watch out Florio i’m sure he’s pissed.

  6. bjonsmick69 says: Jul 6, 2013 8:30 PM

    urban meyer sounds like pete carroll on steroids, neither one could win without cheating

  7. hotlantalaw says: Jul 6, 2013 8:32 PM

    Urban is a sad excuse for a disciplinarian. Whatever it takes means a slap on the hand to that man. Ask his alleged coed girlfriend.

  8. onbucky96 says: Jul 6, 2013 8:33 PM

    Urb’s wife n daughter take issue with this article. He only averaged 6 arrests a year, that proves prayer sessions work.

  9. carolinajimbo says: Jul 6, 2013 8:34 PM

    Sports-The Moral Wreck we keep watching.

  10. darkglobe1 says: Jul 6, 2013 8:34 PM

    yeah, he’s a p.o.s. as are the majority of coaches at these big programs. One of the biggest reasons I hate college football….hypocrisy knows no limits in that game

  11. scmems07 says: Jul 6, 2013 8:35 PM

    In the police report for the laptop incident, the officers state the laptop was overthrown by 5 yards from its intended target.

  12. tfbuckfutter says: Jul 6, 2013 8:35 PM

    I find it hard to believe that daily Bible sessions didn’t tame these miscreants and ruffians.

  13. thompgk says: Jul 6, 2013 8:38 PM

    Cam Newton bought a stolen laptop. Probably knew it was hot but he didn’t steal it himself. Not even the police agree with that sentence

  14. melikefootball says: Jul 6, 2013 8:40 PM

    People in Florida have known these activities in Gainesville have gone on for years. No secret there.

  15. vikesindividual says: Jul 6, 2013 8:47 PM

    In what way is “the program now losing”?

    Hernandez in jail. Cam Newton’s an NFL QB. UF has two national titles under Meyer.

    In what way is UF losing? Did they misplace the national titles and all the attention they brought to the program? What about all the high quality athletes that signed up in the ensuing years? Do they just get erased?

  16. hedleykow says: Jul 6, 2013 8:48 PM

    Seems to me that the police dept might have been way over the line of criminal activity, itself.

  17. bmoreravens1012013 says: Jul 6, 2013 8:49 PM

    my ,my , how the cookie crumbles…..

  18. nyyjetsknicks says: Jul 6, 2013 8:52 PM

    Was Urban Meyers’s daughter consulted before this was posted?

  19. notoriousjebus says: Jul 6, 2013 8:55 PM

    Oh my! Say it isn’t so, athletes get special treatment, how can this be!!! This has been going on forever, like since the early days of baseball, forever.

    In fact I am pretty sure the fact that the police are less likely to turn a blind eye then they were 20 or more years ago is why there has been such a sharp increase in athlete arrests in recent years. Of course I could be wrong, and there’s a chance that a police officer never let Lawrence Taylor or Michael Irvin off when the got caught with cocaine back in the day.

  20. milehigh53 says: Jul 6, 2013 9:01 PM

    Can y’all please leave Meyer the hell alone? He’s a winner. #PointBlankPeriod. He’ll always be remembered as a National Champion despite how hard you guys try to knock him. These arrests are old news and if they were that significant, they would have been brought up a long time ago. It’s a shame a human had to die in order for you to attack another. #GoBroncos #RollTide #SECisTheBest

  21. cobrala2 says: Jul 6, 2013 9:02 PM

    Someone please link us to any article online praising Urban Meyer as a man/human being.

  22. lbijake says: Jul 6, 2013 9:05 PM

    OSU got what it deserves.

  23. mikeheruki says: Jul 6, 2013 9:13 PM

    And people call me nuts when I accept Purdue’s 5 wins because it is higher than their arrest total.

  24. carlsbadboltfan says: Jul 6, 2013 9:13 PM

    Decades before this, The University of Miami was dubbed “Florida’s newest penitentiary”. The Gators beat that record MANY times over.

  25. citizenstrange says: Jul 6, 2013 9:17 PM

    The mind reels at how many MILLIONS of incidents were kept between Bobby Bowden and the local sheriff.

  26. bengalbuck says: Jul 6, 2013 9:17 PM

    Sounds like Coach Meyer was just keeping up with the Jones’ to me.

  27. dietrich43 says: Jul 6, 2013 9:19 PM

    Six arrests a year? What is the big deal? Its not like he covered up for a pedophile.

  28. skybox22blog says: Jul 6, 2013 9:25 PM

    It’s the SEC, NCAA will do nothing. Guaranteed

  29. irishking says: Jul 6, 2013 9:31 PM

    Sounds like it was a very interesting football program. There was much learning going on and not in a scholarly type of way.

  30. buddybowl69 says: Jul 6, 2013 9:34 PM

    Where was Meyer recruiting from? Juvie-Hall?

  31. shackdelrio says: Jul 6, 2013 9:38 PM

    Meyer is clearly one of the biggest frauds in college sports. He once said “I’m only going to recruit the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent. And it’s all about discipline and integrity and players being good role models — on and off the field.” While at the same time he was selling his soul to the devil to win football games.

    The biggest example if Avery Atkins, star recuit/drug addict. Urban only kicked him off the team after his second arrest for beating up a woman. Atkins later died of a drug overdose. At the time Atkins died, Meyer helped him get re-enrolled at Florida and was working to get him reinstated to the football team.

    The man has no conscience.

  32. packerbackernj says: Jul 6, 2013 9:38 PM

    Teeeeeeeeeeeeebow

  33. vnailer22 says: Jul 6, 2013 9:44 PM

    How many of those players arrested belonged to the previous regime? Never mind, let’s not be fair.

  34. phlyingphucks says: Jul 6, 2013 9:45 PM

    FYI… this is not a UF football or corch Mayas issue…. This is a Gainesville issue. 2011-2 UF basketball players and a team manager arrested in St Augustine caught on tape saying, “This isn’t Gainesville, we’re *screwed.” ie, if it’s gainesville, “boys will be boys.”
    http://www.firstcoastnews.com/video/902109443001/0/Breaking-Down-the-UF-Basketball-Players-Arrest-Audio

  35. romosmicrodongs says: Jul 6, 2013 9:48 PM

    us fsu fans knew this already. when we beat them on national tv when urban was back the vandalized our visitor locker rooms and caused over ten grand in damage.

    I heard a rumor though when we went back last year a fan scrawled ‘urban cryer’ on their stadium. get what ya give!

  36. elosopoderoso99 says: Jul 6, 2013 9:51 PM

    Yes I’m sure the players are still getting arrested in Florida even without any connection to Meyer whatsoever is still somehow his fault.

  37. thelastpieceofcheese says: Jul 6, 2013 9:59 PM

    The Gainesville police has to be commended.

    Unlike the homer yokel local police at Tallahassee, Miami, Auburn, Tuscaloosa, etc., that cover up the football players’ misdeeds, they did their job.

  38. cuda1234 says: Jul 6, 2013 10:03 PM

    Maybe Urb and Gruden should get together and write a book. They could call it something like Move To Florida, Take Over A Great Program, Win a Championship With Someone Else’s Players, Then Run It Into The Ground And Leave A Mess For Someone Else to Clean Up. But Take Credit For the Championship and Turn That Into a High-Paying TV GiG!

  39. milkcan44 says: Jul 6, 2013 10:13 PM

    Urban never told his wife and daughter about the arrests……so it never happened. Crooked coaches need crooked women in their lives.

  40. vibesid says: Jul 6, 2013 10:14 PM

    Meyer and his wife and daughter need to quit whining and start addressing the issues up front. Look in the mirror and ask who is trying to avoid personal responsibility for his actions.

  41. doggeatdogg says: Jul 6, 2013 10:16 PM

    Checking on Twitter for Mrs. Urban’s and daughter’s take on this shocking revelation.

  42. rickyspanish24 says: Jul 6, 2013 10:21 PM

    Hate to rag on a guy who brought us two national titles, but he was running the program into the ground. Jenkins is half right, but things changed when some of the assistants took off and the non unruly players graduated.
    Muschamp came in and started running off high end talent. No one complained – it needed to be done.
    I don’t wish OSU bad luck, but I’d be surprised if in 4 years the house isn’t ablaze with Urban walking out the front door carrying an empty gas can.

  43. wfmulder says: Jul 6, 2013 10:22 PM

    Shaadup you bunch of whining insignificant maggots. My God what has happened to this place. What has happened to your country? All you people do now is cry instead of do, like you used to.

    Who cares how many guys got arrested, this is a top flight program. HIS LIVELIHOOD DEPENDS ON GAMES WON. You want to blame someone (though I have no idea why, unless the majority of you get off on moral chest thumping) blame the administration above him who dictate to him that if you don’t win, you’re gone. 98% of the whiners on here would do the exact same thing, Florio included.

    This isn’t minor football folks. It’s the big time. Just take a look at the stands the next college game, see how many people care about how many guys were arrested.

    Get out of your houses, stop CRYING over EVERYTHING and enjoy YOUR life, instead of trying to live it through someone else and preaching your holier than thou nonsense.

  44. puckthefatriots says: Jul 6, 2013 10:38 PM

    The Jenkins comment should be chiseled onto Urban’s headstone when he dies.

  45. thegonz13 says: Jul 6, 2013 10:49 PM

    Meyer and UF are the 2.0 version of Oklahoma in the 80′s. For those of you old enough to remember, Barry Switzer kept on winning with a bunch of convicts.

  46. sonvar says: Jul 6, 2013 10:52 PM

    How is this news? This was the main reason I was against hiring Meyer after Tressel as Meyer didn’t exactly have a clean record at Florida. However, when you get hired at bigger programs the main care is that you win and don’t cause the program trouble with sanctions or bans. Meyer did that at Florida and if not for his need to leave for health issues he probably would still be there. Doesn’t make it right but it is the reality of it.

  47. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 6, 2013 11:11 PM

    The NCAA is in bed with ESPN and with the money rolling, they weren’t going to treat it like they do in the ACC for example.

    You can’t handle the truth.

  48. buckifan4life says: Jul 6, 2013 11:25 PM

    College coaches aren’t babysitters. These over 18 year old men have to take responsibility like everyone else does who isn’t a football player. To conclude that Urban Meyer is at fault for what AH has done (allegedly), is pathetic reasoning.

  49. thejuddstir says: Jul 6, 2013 11:47 PM

    If Urban Meyer’s wife knows so little about her husband……..she certainly can’t be the sharpest pencil in the box.

  50. jziii says: Jul 6, 2013 11:55 PM

    While I have no doubt that the Florida football program was and is plenty dirty, I find it amusing the way the words of Janoris “Everybody’s Daddy” Jenkins are suddenly being taken as something akin to gospel. Just because this dope-smokin’ moron said Meyer wouldn’t have kicked him off the team doesn’t mean it’s true. C’mon, Mike. You can do better.

  51. kevinbnyc says: Jul 7, 2013 12:24 AM

    How is it a football coach’s responsibility to make sure hooligans don’t act like hooligans. If Meyer didn’t win games, he wouldn’t have had a job. He took chances on highly talented athletes with questionable character, just like the NFL does. Hernandez’s behavior is just as much on the Patriots as it is on Meyer.

  52. thebrownrelease says: Jul 7, 2013 2:29 AM

    I’m not even a fan of Urban Meyer but I have to say that it’s sure is easy for reporters to be a Monday morning quarterback after things like this happen

  53. rizzof57 says: Jul 7, 2013 9:08 AM

    these are the ones that we know of, there could have been cover ups that will never come to the light of day. Urban Meyer is a urban tale when it comes to coaching.

  54. vader7176 says: Jul 7, 2013 6:03 PM

    31 arrests? Really? Oh, by the way have you met my QB from J’ville–I think you’ll Like him Tim Tebow.

    Could that be why many in the media missed the 31( that we know about)

  55. 2011dsdad says: Jul 8, 2013 10:49 AM

    If the police weren’t protecting UF athletes, there would have been many more arrests. And, if the state attorney wasn’t looking out for the ones arrested by the cops who refused to look the other way you’d see a lot of felonies instead misdemeanors to go along with the inordinate number of deferred prosecutions.

    But also – why no outrage with Urban’s boss or his boss? They get a pass for looking the other way at a rogue program?

  56. footballchic777 says: Jul 8, 2013 2:00 PM

    Big name programs are targets for exploitation of problems, especially when issues like Hernandez come up, then everyone goes on a witch hunt. You set up that same hunt at any school and you will find the same thing. The reason that doesn’t happen……..it doesn’t sell airspace, type print, sound bites. Money talks.

  57. granadafan says: Jul 8, 2013 2:39 PM

    The students of OSU and the good citizens of Columbus, Ohio better watch themselves and their property. Now that Urban Meyer is running the police, er team, arrests will skyrocket with very few convictions. You’ll see many apologies from poor beat cops just doing their jobs for daring to arrest that out of control gangbanger only to find out he’s one of Urban’s players. OSU coaches better watch their back too or they’ll become the victims of assault ala Percy Harvin.

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