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Florida Football 100 For 100, No. 70: Will Muschamp's Silence Spawns Noise In The System

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There are 18 days until Florida's September 1 opener with Bowling Green. There are 70 entries left in the 100 For 100 series. So it's four entries per day from here on out.

Near the end of his time in Gainesville, Ron Zook was tired of the "noise in the system." Zook used that to mean the negativity he heard from everyone around the Gators while trying to successfully succeed Steve Spurrier, but it was true of the patter from the entirety of Gator Nation that never took off then, and it is no less true now. Zook was warning Will Muschamp about all that in 2011, too.

The "noise in the system" has only gotten louder since. Muschamp's attempt to maintain one voice, and the silence that often comes with it, isn't helping.

It's Muschamp's interest in running a tight ship that produces things like GatorZone's use of Scott Carter and Chris Harry as journalists with muzzles that snap shut at the least opportune times, "embedded" within the team for practice on the day the biggest injury news of fall camp breaks and yet unable to report it.

It's Muschamp's interest in keeping things quiet that brings things like the posting of a tortuous official UF statement that is seemingly not from Muschamp with six one-sentence paragraphs and no injury details.

It's Muschamp's interest in controlling as much information about his Gators as possible that will make the hunger among fans for even the least important tidbit an insatiable beast that even good, ethical, hard-working journalists will struggle to feed adequately. And that will eventually exasperate both the people who are on his and Florida's side and the people whose duties are to the truth and readers, if it hasn't already.

One cliche about journalism that has always been true: Picking fights with people who buy ink by the barrel is a bad idea. Now, there's no ink necessary for a blog post, a tweet, or a Facebook status, and there's a much lower barrier to entry for the critic who wants to fire salvo after salvo at a public figure. Muschamp can try to fight the "noise in the system" with silence, surely a better tactic than threatening reporters.

But I don't think it's a winning one, either.