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  • Will Muschamp defended his decision to lift three suspensions this week against Eastern Michigan / Photo by David Bowie

Will Muschamp
defendes disciplinary actions

Written by Nick de la Torre, September 3, 2014, 8 Comments,
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Three hours before Florida was set to kick off against Idaho, Will Muschamp announced that Jay-nard Bostwick, Darious Cummings and Demarcus Robinson would miss the first game of the season due to suspension.

Weather didn’t permit a game but Muschamp felt that the players had served out their suspensions and reinstated them to play this week against Eastern Michigan.

“We did have Darious Cummings and Jay-nard Bostwick suspended for the first game for a violation of team rules. They will be back this week with us,” Muschamp said on Monday. “Not just as far as the suspension of a game, but they’ve handled a lot of other things for me, as well as Demarcus Robinson, who had a university sanction that’s been resolved.”

Muschamp drew the ire of the sporting world for the decision. Denver Post columnist and ESPN television personality Woody Paige called the move “the biggest, lamest thing I’ve heard ever” on ESPN’s Around the Horn.

Kevin Sumlin faced a similar situation two years ago. Sumlin — in his first year as the head coach at Texas A&M — reinstated the players after a hurricane postponed the first game of the season.

Muschamp was asked on the SEC teleconference Wednesday what went into that decision and the head ball coach took exception to people questioning his reasoning.

“It’s not just about suspending players for games, OK?” Muschamp said, his tone starting to turn. “There are a lot of things that go into discipline.”

In the past, Muschamp has kept a lot of the discipline that goes into a suspension in-house. He’s not so concerned about players missing games — that may be a tool he uses to caution against bad behavior but it isn’t the end goal when it comes to players getting in trouble.

“It’s about altering and changing behavior which we’ve done here. I think our discipline speaks for itself and how we’ve handled our football team, OK?” said Muschamp. “So it’s not just about missing games, if it was just about suspensions, you never have an issue, right? So I mean at the end of the day it’s more than that and there are a lot of things that go into those situations, a lot more than people know.”

Latroy Pittman was suspended last season. He served out his suspension. Despite having earned a suspension from his head coach, Pittman thinks Muschamp is more than fair in the way he handles his football team.

“When we’re about business we’re about business. He also can also cut back and have fun it’s not all like military style and all that,” he said. “He’s the kind of coach that you want to make plays for and one you don’t want to disappoint. I can tell you that.”

Pittman has bounced back from his suspension and a disappointing season in 2013 to earn a starting role in the new offense.

To his credit, the Florida program has been much cleaner under Muschamp than in the past. The Gators have had just one incident that was recorded in the past 409 days.

“It’s very frustrating for me as a coach or any coach to have someone being critical and you don’t even have all the information,” Muschamp said. “So at the end of the day I make the decisions in this program I handle the discipline in this program and it’s been handled very well.”

Nick de la Torre

About Nick de la Torre

A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC

  1. snowprintSeptember 3, 2014, 4:01 pm

    Why should Muschamp have to defend his actions in the first place? It’s because he doesn’t grasp what it means to be a head coach yet, in my opinion. Didn’t he realize that people would take shots at him for lifting a suspension that wasn’t carried out? I don’t think he grasps the concept of “perception” very well. Perception, whether it’s true or not, becomes reality and is just as important as what actually happens. He could have avoided having to defend his actions by doing the obvious thing, keeping the players from playing Eastern Michigan. It isn’t going to make any difference on the field when you’re playing a vastly inferior team. So why open yourself to criticism, which has some validity, you’ve proven that to be true by responding to it. I think he should have been fired last year and, to me, this is just another example of why he’s not ready to be a head coach. He’s Foley’s boy though, and he’s not going anywhere soon because it would be proof that Foley didn’t know what he was doing when he hired him. But, as long as he’s here, can he please stop doing stupid stuff like this?

    • gatorjb11September 3, 2014, 5:05 pm

      Muschamp doesn’t need to defend his decision to lift the suspensions, despite a game not being played. The suspensions were internal and the players have obviously done what they needed to do in order to regain their playing status for this week. Muschamp has brought discipline to an undisciplined program…………..he is a leader, and all signs indicate that his players love playing for him. Best of luck this season Coach Boom! Go Gators!

    • gator_n_scSeptember 3, 2014, 6:24 pm

      Snowprint, so by your logic coach Sumlin isn’t ready to be a head coach either? He did the same exact thing his first year at a&m. Oh wait it was different because he was reinstating his players so they would be available for the loss WE handed them right?

      Besides being a double standard, why suspend for the second game (on the schedule) ONLY because it’s EMU and “we won’t need them anyways” and not if it was a much more important game ? I mean that would be making a bad example of discipline. Just looks at champs arrests over the last year, oh yeah wait you have to go back further to find one of those. Not to shabby considering meyer avg. 1 arrest every 6 months for the entire 6 seasons he was here. But I guess he too wasn’t ready to be a HC either huh? Obviously whatever punishments and/or suspensions meyer handed out didn’t work and whatever champ is doing is obviously resonating with his players because we have gone from the worst in the sec in arrest to one of only 2 teams in sec that hasn’t had any arrest this year.

    • snowprint80September 3, 2014, 7:40 pm

      Gator_N_SC-
      The situations with Muschamp and what Sumlin did are obviously different. The main difference is that I had no idea Sumlin did this, one because I didn’t read the full article and two because I really didn’t pay attention the year Muschamp went 11-2 because that would handicap any argument I make against him every being a good coach, so I choose to ignore that season completely. When you couple that with the fact that I was was too busy chomping at the bit to bash Muschamp for something new, and he hasn’t given me anything real lately I felt this was the best option. The other difference is that Sumlin is obviously a good coach and Muschamp is obviously terrible, so by that logic anything Sumlin does is good and any decision Muschamp makes is a bad one. Basically, we can ignore anything silly Sumlin might have done because we now know he is good. Muschamp on the other hand will never be a good coach, so we can’t ignore this. Sumlin was well within his rights to defend his decision because he is good. How could you have missed something so obvious? As, always I am a Gator fan, and I hope I am wrong about Muschamp.

  2. IndianaStewSeptember 4, 2014, 12:59 am

    Can you guys get rid of the comment after an article option and only allow us to comment in the forums?
    I just get sick of seeing snow print comment negatively after every article.
    Thanks in advance.
    And sorry snowy, nothing personal. I don’t know you. Just seem like Debbie downer’s cousin.

  3. snowprintSeptember 4, 2014, 8:28 am

    It’s not valid to say it’s O.K. what Muuschamp did because Sumlin did the same thing. I don’t know if any of you have children, but if you do, one lesson always given is “because some one else does something, that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.” Sumlin was wrong to do what he did, and he didn’t get a free pass, he was criticized for it, and rightly so. Les Miles didn’t even suspend Jalen Mills, and he’s accused of a violent crime. Les Miles is wrong also. The point is that it was another self-inflicted wound that, unnecessarily, drew unfavorable coverage of Florida. Like I said before, perception is reality sometimes, and now Muschamp has to defend his actions because he made another stupid decision. By the way, UF has had a player arrested. Jalen Tabor was busted for pot. We learned about it from a reporter a couple of months after it happened because here wasn’t a peep from the administration or Muschamp. Just like the nonsense they handed out about Joker Phillips being dismissed, it’s amazing that someone or everyone, thinks the truth won’t come out. For those of you defending Muschamp, Tabor was not suspended from anything. For those of you who are complaining about me, I’m sorry , but I can’t avoid commenting about something I see as another example of the stupidity of Will Muschamp. I’m sure he’s a smart guy, but it doesn’t take much insight to know that he was opening himself up to criticism when he said a player was going to be suspended for a game and then says that isn’t the case anymore because of them already being disciplined. If that’s true, why were they suspended in the first place if they had already been disciplined? You can’t have it both ways, hence the ridicule he received is probably justified.

    • gatorjb11September 4, 2014, 9:34 am

      The Tabor incident happened in May and despite there being no official game suspension, I’m certain that Muschamp and staff has handled the matter internally these past 3 months. This isn’t the NFL…..these are 18 – 22 year old kids. You may disagree with Muschamp’s approach, and the way he takes care of business……..but at the end of the day, his focus is on player development; not just on the football field, but for the rest of their lives outside of the game. Muschamp didn’t cast UF in a negative spotlight, he simply answered a question asked of him by a reporter. Everyone has an opinion…..I get it, but its clear at this point that your negative bias toward Muschamp has clouded your “perception” of the good he is actually accomplishing with these players and this team. I for one choose to support this staff, and look forward to a great year……….Go Gators!

    • OaktownGatorSeptember 5, 2014, 1:48 pm

      Muschamp’s mistake here was announcing the suspensions.

      It was an in house matter. Keep it in house. If somebody asks after the fact about why a player didn’t play, say it was part of an in house discipline issue.

      The fact that they are not suspended for the next game doesn’t mean they haven’t been disciplined. This is not a difficult concept to grasp.

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Three hours before Florida was set to kick off against Idaho, Will Muschamp announced that Jay-nard Bostwick, Darious Cummings and Demarcus Robinson would miss the first game of the season due to suspension.

Weather didn’t permit a game but Muschamp felt that the players had served out their suspensions and reinstated them to play this week against Eastern Michigan.

“We did have Darious Cummings and Jay-nard Bostwick suspended for the first game for a violation of team rules. They will be back this week with us,” Muschamp said on Monday. “Not just as far as the suspension of a game, but they’ve handled a lot of other things for me, as well as Demarcus Robinson, who had a university sanction that’s been resolved.”

Muschamp drew the ire of the sporting world for the decision. Denver Post columnist and ESPN television personality Woody Paige called the move “the biggest, lamest thing I’ve heard ever” on ESPN’s Around the Horn.

Kevin Sumlin faced a similar situation two years ago. Sumlin — in his first year as the head coach at Texas A&M — reinstated the players after a hurricane postponed the first game of the season.

Muschamp was asked on the SEC teleconference Wednesday what went into that decision and the head ball coach took exception to people questioning his reasoning.

“It’s not just about suspending players for games, OK?” Muschamp said, his tone starting to turn. “There are a lot of things that go into discipline.”

In the past, Muschamp has kept a lot of the discipline that goes into a suspension in-house. He’s not so concerned about players missing games — that may be a tool he uses to caution against bad behavior but it isn’t the end goal when it comes to players getting in trouble.

“It’s about altering and changing behavior which we’ve done here. I think our discipline speaks for itself and how we’ve handled our football team, OK?” said Muschamp. “So it’s not just about missing games, if it was just about suspensions, you never have an issue, right? So I mean at the end of the day it’s more than that and there are a lot of things that go into those situations, a lot more than people know.”

Latroy Pittman was suspended last season. He served out his suspension. Despite having earned a suspension from his head coach, Pittman thinks Muschamp is more than fair in the way he handles his football team.

“When we’re about business we’re about business. He also can also cut back and have fun it’s not all like military style and all that,” he said. “He’s the kind of coach that you want to make plays for and one you don’t want to disappoint. I can tell you that.”

Pittman has bounced back from his suspension and a disappointing season in 2013 to earn a starting role in the new offense.

To his credit, the Florida program has been much cleaner under Muschamp than in the past. The Gators have had just one incident that was recorded in the past 409 days.

“It’s very frustrating for me as a coach or any coach to have someone being critical and you don’t even have all the information,” Muschamp said. “So at the end of the day I make the decisions in this program I handle the discipline in this program and it’s been handled very well.”

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