With evidence reported that Urban Meyer allegedly knew of former wide receivers coach Zach Smith’s history of alleged domestic abuse, what now?
Daily Cavalcade of Whimsy
Sorry if this take sucks, it’s not my fault …
I didn’t know anyone was actually paying attention at Big Ten media days.
Any other head coach would be gone. Now.
And you’re mad at Jim Harbaugh because he’s struggling to beat Michigan State?
In 2011, legendary Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel was suspended, and ultimately fired, for failing to properly report how a few of his players traded sports memorabilia for tattoos. There was more to it than that, but the main aspect of the controversy was ridiculous – especially through the 2018 lens.
To this day, there’s still a blank space where the listing of the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner should be.
Reggie Bush vacated his Heisman, and USC was ultimately cut off at the knees for the better part of a decade, sparked because the guy worked with a sports marketing company while he was still in college.
But there are silly NCAA-rule controversies, and there’s what Brett McMurphy is reporting with this …
And now Meyer has been placed on “administrative leave” as Ohio State tries to figure this thing out.
I was there at Big Ten media days when several reporters tried to ask Urban Meyer about the issues regarding the domestic abuse allegations against wide receivers coach Zach Smith, and the subsequent firing after being charged for criminal trespassing. For some reason, he tried to answer.
Instead of punting and saying that it was a university matter/he wasn’t at liberty to talk about it/on the advice of legal counsel he’s not going to comment further/ANYTHING to not discuss the matter – which, as annoying as it would’ve been, would’ve been perfectly acceptable – he denied that he knew about the allegations back in 2015.
And now, McMurphy blew the lid off of that.
This has nothing to do with the #metoo movement, and it’s not because we’re living in different times. This isn’t okay for any era, and for right now, if this covering up of domestic abuse allegations was charged against almost any other head football coach, that would be it. At least 100 other head coaches would be gone by early this afternoon, or at the very least, suspended and fined for a significant length of time while he undergoes “sensitivity training.”
In a perverted sort of way, if what’s being alleged here was thrown at a pro coach, it might be a wee bit different. But as the main figurehead of a massive public institution, this is really, really bad …
But Urban Meyer is Urban Meyer.
It’s sad and wrong that a 73-8 record at Ohio State with a national championship, two Big Ten titles, two College Football Playoff appearances and annual dominance over archival Michigan are all factors in the discussion and what’s about to ensue over the next several days and weeks leading up to the season. But because of all of that, as always in these types of cases, there will be deniers, apologists, and those who’ll do everything possible to protect the legendary head coach and discredit the alleged victim.
Best guess? Meyer will be suspended for the first several games of the season – the Buckeyes start out against Oregon State, Rutgers, and at TCU – but the uproar won’t stop. And that’s where the current political and social climate really will make a difference.
If an Ohio State coaching legend – who, despite Tressel’s several flaws, was almost universally well-liked – could get launched in 2011, how does what’s being thrown at Meyer right now possibly die down?
Check out the photos and texts McMurphy posted on his Facebook page. Good luck trying to argue against that.
If Meyer is suspended, or ultimately canned, what does Ohio State possibly do? Turn to defensive coordinator Greg Schiano to take over? How’s that Tennessee head coaching gig going?
Or, does it turn to offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson? Uhhhhh, a few former Indiana football players might have something to say about that.
No, the cover-up – in this case – isn’t nearly as bad as the alleged crime, but it’s bad enough to potentially change the landscape of the Big Ten and college football as we know it.
Happy August, everyone.