Unhappy Days for Gator Nation

Posted: August 21, 2012 in College teams, Florida Gators, Florida Gators

Florida football fans have seen better days.

For 20 years – dating back to the arrival of Steve Spurrier and lasting until the departure of Urban Meyer – the Gators were the kingpins of the SEC. Now they are battling to stay relevant not just in the conference but in their own division. The Gators are fighting to catch up with Georgia and South Carolina and stay ahead of Tennessee. I won’t even mention how far they’ve fallen behind SEC West powers Alabama, LSU and, yes, Arkansas.

The Gators are not only struggling on the field, but in receiving media coverage as well. They’ve become an afterthought for the national media. To add insult to injury, the Gators are even suffering on the home front. Have you noticed the lack of coverage the Gators – for years the top priority of radio, TV and newspaper sports department through out the state — are getting from the local media?

Apparently Coach Will Muschamp likes it that way because he makes covering the Gators next to impossible. It’s easier getting top secret information from the Pentagon than it is any information from the Florida football program.

Muschamp has the right to run the program as he sees fit, but his closed doors policies of closed practices and ultra limited availability to coaches and players make it difficult for the media to provide fans with news and even human interest stories.

Muschamp isn’t the only coach with such policies. It is a trend that started a decade ago and grown rapidly ever since. Coaches want total control of what information gets out. The media is partly to blame. Journalism isn’t what it used to be. Taking information out of context, blowing out of proportion every comment and sensationalism has become the norm in the age of social media.

At the same time, coaches such as Muschamp have become control freaks and, perhaps, a bit paranoid. They see spies behind every tree. They see “enemies of the program” every where. They see every bit of information getting out as putting their teams at a competitive disadvantage.

I’m not complaining. I’m not whining. I’m not making excuses for the media. I’m simply giving fans the reason for the lack of coverage of their beloved teams. Nowhere is it more obvious than in Gator Nation.

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