NCAA Football: Muschamp apologizes for rant
By Mark Long
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Will Muschamp is cleaning up his act.
Well, at least his language.
Muschamp apologized Tuesday for his colorful words that were caught by television cameras during his team’s 17-6 loss at Auburn last week. But the emotional first-year coach said he has no plans to temper his sideline antics.
“Just the language,” Muschamp said. “It’s hard when you’ve got a 6-year-old and a 10-year-old at home and you’ve got to go home and explain to them what you said. So that’s not good and that’s not how we’re going to run our program. That’s it. Again, as far as the sideline stuff’s concerned, we’re going to be who we are. I’m just apologizing for the language, nothing else.”
Muschamp lost his temper several times during the game — all season really — and at least two rants were picked up clearly by sideline microphones.
The most notable one came when running back Chris Rainey muffed a punt in the first quarter. Replays seemed to show an Auburn player interfering with Rainey just before the catch. Muschamp screamed at officials, had to be restrained by an assistant and even called timeout to yell some more.
Cameras stayed on him throughout his salty tirade.
“That’s not something that’s going to be tolerated here at the University of Florida, first of all, by me and our program,” Muschamp said. “That’s certainly not representative of what this program and this university is about.”
Muschamp is as fiery as any coach in the country. Nicknamed “Coach Boom” while he was defensive coordinator at Auburn, Muschamp brings as much energy to the sideline as anyone in uniform.
He jumps up and down with every big play, exchanges hugs, high-fives and chest bumps, and hasn’t been shy about sharing his opinion with officials. If he were a basketball or baseball coach, he already would have been ejected this season.
His emotions are as visible as Florida’s bright orange helmets. The guys in pinstripes aren’t the only ones to feel his wrath, either.
Muschamp barks at his players and assistant coaches. He was caught on camera having words with special teams coordinator D.J. Durkin two weeks ago at LSU after the Gators allowed a first down on a fake punt.
Even though many of Florida’s players were never yelled at as high school stars, they insist they enjoy seeing Muschamp’s passionate outbursts, red-faced screams and emphatic celebrations.
Muschamp said he doesn’t believe his demeanor has any negative impact on the team.
“I don’t think it hurts anything, I can tell you that,” Muschamp said. “That’s going to be who I am. That’s what I said from the beginning.”
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