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.