No one is perfect. That was the message Florida coach Urban Meyer tried to convey Thursday as he addressed the 24 legal incidents involving Gators players since 2005.
Meyer said he's disappointed with the incidents but he and his staff are determined to educate his players and by and large they are "a pretty good group."
However, the legal problems are taking some of the luster from Meyer's program, which will attempt to win a third national title in four years this season.
Starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins was the latest Gator to have a run-in with the law when he was arrested in late May and charged with fighting and resisting arrest without violence.
"This group of players we have now are by and large a pretty good group. They are 18-to-22 years old and, like most young people, they are trying to find their way," Meyer said in a statement.
"It is a continual part of our program to mentor and guide our players and it is not an exact process. Although we have been very successful with most, we are by no means perfect. We are disappointed when we encounter some issues along the way, but we are going to continue to educate and teach our players."
ESPN college football analyst Jesse Palmer, who played quarterback at Florida from 1997 until 2000, defended Meyer in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel.
"[Urban] can't be out at the clubs at 1 a.m. monitoring these guys," Palmer told the Sentinel. "I think it's an internal accountability issue where these players might think they are invincible after the national title. Everybody's patting them on the back and you feel like you can do anything."