Leave it to the one and only Tim Tebow to give rise to yet another hot-button debate for the college football world.
With all the talk about Tebow's ballyhooed transition to pro football quarterback, a faction is growing that wants to blame Urban Meyer, the Florida Gators' on-again, off-again head coach, for the Heisman winner's supposed mechanical flaws. According to this bunch, Meyer somehow failed Tebow by not refining the young signal caller's "loopy" delivery.
Maybe some people are looking for a scapegoat to pin the injustice of the wholesome Tebow's sliding draft status on. Maybe others just detest Meyer's success at Florida. Whatever the motivation, the only thing more ridiculous than people dogging the coach's handling of the Heisman winner is the hot air being blown by Meyer's sycophants regarding his alleged efforts to tinker with Tebow.
(Senator Blutarsky has summed up the different viewpoints quite nicely.)
The Meyer apologists who contend he did all he could to help Tebow get ready for the NFL can save their breath. No need to fire up the spin machine. It's a moot point.
Coaches like Meyer get paid to bring home championships. Sure, they're expected to uphold some standards when it comes to graduation rates, off-the-field scandals and whatnot. However, in their job descriptions, "putting a winning team on the field" would be the chief objective.
In that respect, what Meyer does to prepare players for the NFL should fall under the heading of what economists call "positive externalities" -- indirect benefits accrued by other parties as a result of an individual's actions. In other words, he uses his limited time and resources to recruit and instruct players with the goal of winning games; potentially improving their chances of playing in the pros is simply a nice byproduct.
Of course, some programs -- USC comes to mind -- have used the allure of playing on Sundays as an effective recruiting tool. Trojan man Pete Carroll could point to a track record of spitting out first-round draft picks year after year to attract the best young talent in the country.
Look back at Southern Cal prior to Carroll's arrival, though, and you'll still find an impressive number of guys taken highly in the NFL draft, from Junior Seau to Keyshawn Johnson to Darrell Russell. Clearly, predecessors like Paul Hackett and Larry Smith weren't struggling to produce pro-caliber players.
Yet, prior to Carroll, all that supposed "training" for the NFL that the Trojans were receiving didn't make the win-loss column look any prettier.
Tebow might have been tossing wounded ducks out there at The Swamp. You might have been able to fry an egg in the time it took him to release the ball. However, it's pretty tough to argue with the success he had running the Gators' funky offensive system.
Fooling with a quarterback's mechanics during the kind of four-year run Tebow had in Gainesville is akin to talking to your pitcher in the ninth inning of a perfect game.
And Florida's not paying Meyer to run a passing camp.