Urban Renewal In Gainesville?

Urban Meyer may be the next head coach of the Florida Gators.

With good reason have many of the usual suspects anointed the 40-year-old head coach of the University of Utah. He’s been highly successful at Utah and prior to that as head coach at Bowling Green. Known as a hard-driving innovator, Meyer loves a spread out, high-octane offense. And he’s tight with first year UF President Bernie Machen, who hired Meyer at Utah.

But here’s one variable that could be a double-edged sword. He’s a strict disciplinarian. Very strict. And that includes the deportment department.

No boorish, “look at me” antics euphemized as unbridled enthusiasm. No “trash talk” explained away as cultural gamesmanship. Players scoring touchdowns are expected to toss the football back to the referee as if they’ve done it before. No choreography. No showboating. Don’t embarrass your team, your coach, your school or yourself. Show some class or be shown the door.

Frankly, that’s refreshing. Many coaches make a deal with the devil to bring in blue-chip players with cow-chip characters. It’s the trade-off to win games, fill stadiums, get on TV, go to bowl games, appease the alumni and keep their jobs. Miami, Florida State and Florida are not exceptions to this rule.

But Utah is. What it is not is Florida. Not in its highly prized, highly praised high school recruiting base. Not in its take-no-prisoners alumni. Not in the pressure to win the Southeastern Conference and compete for a national championship every year.

Frankly, Meyer may be a better philosophical fit at Penn State, but, well, never mind.

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