Florida Football Investigation: Sporting News Story Traces Downfall Of Program Under Urban Meyer

GAINESVILLE FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators directs his team while taking on the Kentucky Wildcats at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 25 2010 in Gainesville Florida. Florida defeated Kentucky 48-14 for Meyer's 100th career victory. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

The Sporting News has published an investigation on the Florida Gators football team while under former head coach Urban Meyer. What problems were found with the team under the former coach?

An investigation by the Sporting News' Matt Hayes into the Florida Gators football program revealed massive problems with the team culture all stemming back to then-head coach Urban Meyer. The investigation discovered there were many problems including drug use and preferential treatment of star players just to name a few.

One example given was when a group of elite players including Percy Harvin, Brandon Spikes and Aaron Hernandez were announced to be out with injuries in a season opening game against Hawaii. In reality, those players all failed drug tests for marijuana and were sitting out due to the university's punishment. Meyer never announced the suspensions.

There's even one incident reported where Harvin attacked former receivers coach Billy Gonzales.

At one point during the 2008 season, multiple sources confirmed that Harvin, now a prominent member of the Minnesota Vikings, physically attacked wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales, grabbing him by the neck and throwing him to the ground. Harvin had to be pulled off Gonzales by two assistant coaches-but was never disciplined.

Meyer, who is now the head coach at Ohio State, denies everything in the Sporting News investigation. Current head coach Will Muschamp is trying to improve the culture at Florida and hold the players more accountable. The team had one of its worst seasons in recent memory but still defeated Ohio State in the Gator Bowl in January.

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