As former Florida center Jonotthan Harrison details it, the players on Florida's 2013 team didn't know how to appropriately handle the Gators' tumultuous season.
Harrison, speaking with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, said Florida was "crumbling as a team" after Florida's November 23 loss to Georgia Southern.
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."
After Florida beat Arkansas 30-10, the Gators were 4-1. In the Arkansas game, Harrison was ejected after he made contact with an offical. He said he accidentally bumped into the offical while reporting racial language that an Arkansas player was using towards him.
The winning record lasted for three weeks. Florida lost its last seven games of the season and finished 4-8. The loss to Georgia Southern officially eliminated Florida from bowl eligibility. In that game, Harrison engaged a teammate in a block.
Harrison also said that Florida was full of individuals and not a team. Given the Gators had a myriad of injuries all season, a lack of team play indictment may be more damning than normal. But at the same time, we must admit that it's commonly used as an explanation for a team's struggles.
"We had a lot of individuals on the team," Harrison said. "Having individuals on your team kind of kills your team. We had people who thought they were entitled because of the school that they went to....There was always someone to blame. No one wanted to take it on themselves."
The losing and dysfunction were big reasons why there were questions about Muschamp's job status towards the end of the season. Muschamp retained his job for 2014, but if what Harrison talked about happens again in 2014, the chances of a new regime in 2015 seem quite likely.
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