Rather than send Urban Meyer a thank-you note, Florida coach Will Muschamp delivered his message at SEC Media Days.
Shortly after arriving in Alabama for the event, Muschamp took aim at Ohio State for reporting the Gators to the NCAA for potential recruiting violations. Both accusations were minor, and Florida was cleared of any wrongdoing.
“It’s really a dead issue with me,” Muschamp said. “In both situations we were turned in by Ohio, and we didn’t do anything wrong.
“We appreciate our friends from Ohio making sure we were compliant with NCAA rules. They certainly know a little bit about NCAA rules.”
That jab surely struck a sensitive area for the Buckeyes, who lost former coach Jim Tressel in the wake of a 2010 scandal and bristle at being called “Ohio.” Michigan coach Brady Hoke often refers to Ohio State by that name to agitate its fan base.
Meyer, who coached the Gators from 2005 through ’10, said he initially was unaware of his compliance department reporting UF. An ESPN report later stated that he knew about the move and supported it.
The Buckeyes alleged that Florida running backs coach Brian White contacted a recruit during a period in which he was not allowed to do so and that a Gators prospect rode to a campus visit with a friend who was on the team at that time. The NCAA and SEC determined those were not recruiting violations.
When asked if it was strange for a coach to turn in his former team, Muschamp answered, “Big Ten Media Days are next week. You’ll have to ask him.”
Morrison punishment undetermined: Sophomore Antonio Morrison is supposed to be a substantial piece of the Gators’ defense this season, but could lose playing time following an off-season arrest.
Muschamp said Morrison, almost certainly a starting linebacker, already is being disciplined within the program and has a list of requirements to fulfill if he wants to play. Muschamp has yet to decide whether the punishment will include a suspension.
The Gainesville Police Department arrested Morrison on June 16 and charged him with a misdemeanor count of battery. A nightclub bouncer told police that Morrison punched him in the head after he was denied a discount on admission around 2 a.m.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed, No. 1, for him being in that situation that late at night and, No. 2, making a poor decision,” Muschamp said. “You educate the student-athlete about making a better decision the next time around. I haven’t made any decision as far as playing time.
“My track record speaks for itself as far as disciplined is concerned. You need to meet these things before you can play. If guys don’t meet those things, they’re not part of our program anymore.”
Florida opens the season Aug. 31 at home against Toledo, followed by a trip to Miami the next week.
Morrison agreed to deferred prosecution earlier this month and must pay $100 in prosecution costs. He also has to pay an additional $150 or serve 12 hours of community service. If he meets all the stipulations in his agreement, the charge will be dismissed.
Unfamiliar territory: Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley caused a stir when he revealed he had never heard of legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant. When a reporter referenced Bryant in a question, Easley asked if that was a cartoon.
He later apologized for not knowing Bryant and potentially offending Crimson Tide fans.
“I’m sorry, Alabama fans,” he said. “I’m from New York and didn’t watch football growing up.”