I have no idea where this perception comes from.
Anyway, here's the back story from the Athens Banner-Herald:
Not until that tape, which is affixed to every freshman's helmet, is removed is that player accepted by Florida coaches and players as a member of the team. It's a tradition that Gators second-year coach Urban Meyer began last season, and it has become as sacred among the players as the fans singing "We Are the Boys" at the start of the fourth quarter.Sorry to disappoint, but I actually think this makes sense.
"You aren't a Florida Gator until you get that black stripe taken off the helmet," Meyer said. "You're just a guy eating free food, getting your ankles taped every once in awhile, and you may stand on the sidelines.
Realistically, Meyer's biggest strength has been team building and run defense. Otherwise, all the hype and hyperbole just doesn't fit him. Last year, his offense got dramatically worse vs. the Zook offense, and his pass defense was pretty stagnant.
Meyer's no offensive guru. That's for sure.
The Gators improved because they dramatically improved their run D, and were better conditioned for the 4th quarter. Sometimes that's enough to win 2 more games per year.
In some ways, this gimmick doesn't really sound all that different than UGA's "Hot Seat."
Interestingly, there was no word on what sort of program he has in place for recognizing the first time a Gator player discharges a semi-automatic rifle at a campus dorm. But I'm sure that article is just around the corner.