The Florida Gators, specifically the football program, have been burned by On3 twice in the past few months when they’ve either leaked information early or released fully false reports about Gators’ recruits.
A few months ago it was Jaden Rashada, and they reported that he was asking for a release of his scholarship before that news was official. It made the whole situation a wreck and left a bad image of Billy Napier and the Gators.
Now, we see it all happening again, but perhaps it’s even worse.
On3 reported that Gators 2025 commit Austin Simmons would be reclassifying to 2023 and joining the Gators over the summer. As a fan site without insider intel and direct sources, when I see an On3 report, that’s generally how I get breaking news to write about here.
So naturally, I wrote a piece about Simmons’ reclassification and what that meant for the Gators, and it took off.
Then all of a sudden we hear that Simmons’ family is disputing the claim that he’s reclassifying, and today we find out that he flipped to Ole Miss and will reclassify to 2023, just days after one of the biggest media outlets in college sports said otherwise.
As a result, my work covering Simmons’ coming to Florida early was proven false, which makes me feel horrible.
As an aspiring sports writer and media personality, the idea that I’m spreading false reports to thousands of readers makes me feel awful.
When we found out that his family disputed the claims, I immediately revised my original article and retweeted my original post explaining that circumstances changed.
On3 deleted their video and said nothing.
Let me tell you, it is not hard to edit your work to show what’s really happening. And I’d argue it’s even easier to not report fake news in the first place.
I do it every day. Very easy.
So in this piece, I want to first apologize for the article that Simmons’ was reclassifying. I should have waited until the news was verified by Florida insiders before making the post about it.
But I also want to ask when On3 will stop getting away with spreading false information and leaking it before the recruit is ready.
And why has this happened twice to the Gators?
I believe that On3 is a good company and they have lots of great people who work there. But when stuff like this happens, it puts a blemish on everybody.
So when will they really be held accountable?