Former Florida center Jonotthan Harrison made headlines this week in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Harrison painted an even more negative picture of Florida’s 4-8 record in which he described a crumbling locker room and a culture with which some might not want to be associated. The writer said Florida wasn’t focused, and younger players tried sneaking a girl into a hotel room prior to a game.
Here’s a portion of Harrison’s description, noting one locker room incident:
Pads were still on. Tempers were flaring. Head coach Will Muschamp ordered a player to talk to the team. Anyone. So, being a fifth-year senior, center Jonotthan Harrison stepped into the middle of the mayhem.
And then one defensive lineman — Harrison won’t use names — yanked him out and shoved a freshman linebacker to the center. The two shouted at each other with coaches grabbing Harrison and pulling him out of the locker room before punches were thrown.
“We were falling apart,” Harrison said, “crumbling as a team.”
However, after receiving negative feedback, calls, texts and tweets, Harrison spoke to the Orlando Sentinel and said his comments were taken out of context and defended Will Muschamp, although he never said he was misquoted.
“I believe that my interview is being read out of context,” Harrison told the paper. “I have the utmost respect for Coach Muschamp and the coaching staff that was there during my years. He’s a phenomenal coach and he did everything a great coach would do when it came to disciplining his players.”
Will Muschamp broke his silence about the situation and spoke to the Orlando Sentinel to defend his program.
“When we won 11 games (two years ago), my energy and passion were my strength,” Muschamp told the paper. “Now that we went 4-8, we’re out of control.
“When you’re 4-8, people are going to take shots at your program. I understand that.”
And what did Muschamp do about the player who tried to sneak a female into his hotel room? He sent him home immediately.
“I put his butt on a bus in Columbia, South Carolina (on Saturday morning) and sent him home to Gainesville,” Muschamp said.
Should Harrison have kept everything in-house and not opened up publicly about these specific situations? Probably. When teams end the season on seven-game losing streaks and have one of the worst seasons in a storied tradition, tempers will flare and testosterone-filled young men get heated. Even during a great season, tempers still flare, fights still happen and locker room disagreements occur.
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