Tainted Coach Gives Ohio State Buckeyes Another Black Eye
When he left Florida, he left behind a trail of arrests but also two National Championships.
The latter is more than Steve Spurrier could deliver.
When he moved to Ohio State, Urban Meyer seemed to have – to borrow a line from a Jimmy Buffett song – stayed “one step ahead of the jailor.” In other words, he had escaped the wrath of someone who placed winning ahead of morals.
That morals character flaw has, however, resurfaced in the wake of the Zach Smith controversy. And no matter what morals Ohio State has in deciding its head coach’s fate – it should send him packing but may not have the backbone to do so – Meyer’s reputation is forever sullied.
If Meyer is retained or if he is fired, he will never again be regarded as someone of high moral integrity or character. He can’t go into an interview and say, as he did at Big 10 media days, “once again, there’s nothing — once again, I don’t know who creates a story like that.”
He can’t sit in a recruit’s living room, look the mother in the eye and say “I’ll look after your son” without expecting to get raised eyebrows and questions.
Besides whether or not he allowed an abuser to remain on his staff, what this scandal does is remind everyone of his issues at Florida. That was pretty much forgotten in his “quiet” years at Ohio State. Now, tho, it’s boiling to the surface like Cincinnati chilly ready to come off the stove.
Like Jim Tressel before him, who hid behind those studious-looking Euro glasses and red vest, Urban Meyer proves he’s not the father-like figure he has presented himself to be as Ohio State’s head football coach.
The Buckeyes have another black eye and neither the program or Meyer will be able to recover quickly from this one.