October 29, 2007
Commissioner Mike Slive
2201 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North
Birmingham, AL 35203-1103
Dear Commissioner Slive:
As a followup to our telephone discussion earlier today, I do want to apologize in writing for what transpired after the first score of the Georgia/Florida game this past Saturday when our entire team left the bench area to celebrate the score. If you would again allow me to explain my thought process, I would appreciate it.
Two weeks ago when our preparation began for the Florida game I told the team that we have got to have more energy and enthusiasm in this ballgame or we are going to get whipped pretty good. I said, as a matter of fact, when we score our first touchdown, I expect you guys to celebrate to the point where the official will throw a flag for excessive celebration. I admit this was inappropriate. What I had envisioned was for the eleven guys on the field to celebrate the score. On the day of the game I re-emphasized to the team that this was not going to be an individual celebration, but a team celebration. Again, I was expecting the eleven players on the field to be doing the celebrating, not for the bench to clear as it did. I understand that the entire team running on the field created the potential for an altercation and that excessive celebration is not in compliance with the Southeastern Conference sportsmanship policies and expected standards. My only intention was to create enthusiasm.
I apologize that I put everyone in that situation and specifically apologize to you, the Southeastern Conference, and the University of Florida. You can be assured I will not ask our team to do this type of thing again.
Head Football Coach