Former Florida Gators center Jonotthan Harrison recently ignited a media storm that he likely wasn’t prepared for. Harrison discussed the 2013 UF football team with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where he painted a picture of disarray among the players and coaches. Harrison has now clarified his statements with Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel, saying that they’ve been taken out of context.
“I believe that my interview is being read out of context,” Harrison said. “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.”
“But I do firmly believe that off-the-field actions carried to the on-the-field results. And I believe some of that may have been hindering the success of the team.”
From the sounds of it, Harrison didn’t intend to disrespect his former coaches or teammates, but rather provide insight into why the team could never recover from last season’s downward spiral.
The team’s anger last season is completely understandable – players were staring at Florida football’s worst year in their lifetimes. Where fans may scratch their heads, however, is why Muschamp couldn’t pull the players together, even despite a rash of injuries.
To that point, Harrison acknowledged that Muschamp did discipline players who needed it. He also apologized to his former coach for the negative attention.
“I told him, I apologize from the bottom of my heart,” Harrison said. “I did not mean to disrespect him or any of his staff.
“ I’ve heard there is a lot of heat going back to the University of Florida right now/ They don’t deserve any of that heat or need any of that heat right now.”
“My phone was blowing up non-stop today. I didn’t mean to hurt anybody. I would never want to purposely hurt anybody.”
“They were asking me if I was all right, why did I seem angry? And I was like, I wasn’t angry, I don’t know why everyone is asking me this. I read through the interview again and realized how it came off.”
The one assured way for Muschamp and the Gators move past this latest unwanted headline is to carry their renewed energy from the spring right into August.