Buckeyes Will Suffer The Pain Of Ongoing Controversy
Ohio State wimped out – did the “PR thing” and fumbled it at that – kept Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes are a national title contender in 2018.
Meyer gets to keep his job, Ohio State could very well win a National Championship and all that “mess” in Columbus will be all forgotten by the end of September when OSU travels to Penn State.
And all may be fine this year, but but by not doing the right thing, Ohio State has set itself up for failure in the future. And mark my word, this thing is not over yet, by not firing Meyer it will linger and it will come back to bite the Buckeyes right in their buck-eye.
Things like this do not fade away like sunsets. They continue to burn like barbecued ribs that have been left for too long on the grill.
You want proof? I’m writing this a week after the bungled press conference announcement and it’s still the biggest story in college football. Meyer tried to do damage control two days after the press conference and only added more fuel to the fire.
What is going to be the big story of Ohio State football the entire month of September? Meyer suspended, Meyer’s impact on coaching practice but not the game, Meyer is coming back, it’s Penn State week and Meyer is back coaching the Buckeyes. And on and an on it will go the entire season.
This continued distraction will continue to drag on Ohio State’s program until Meyer is eventually be fired (or, more likely, he “resigns”), leading several people within the program and those die-hard fans outside of it to say “well, we should have let him go the first time.”
In a situation like this, you have to solve the problem. You can’t put a PR Band-Aid on it. And that’s just what Ohio State did; I do PR and Crisis Communications and it seems to me the outcome was pre-determined and the “investigate” committee spent as much time figuring out how they would position things as they did “investigating.”
They went into it knowing they would not fire Meyer and came out of it coming up with a PR solution. “Well let’s see, a one game suspension is not enough to satisfy the critics,” I can almost imagine them saying in a meeting. “An entire season is too long – after all, we’ve got a good team and could win the thing! What’s a good comprise?”
Three games, with a week against a weak team before Penn State seemed to satisfy their objectives. And it may work. For now.
But it won’t go away and when they look back on it, they will realize – in hindsight – that it would have been better to cut the bait rather than to keep fishing.