Shocking news out of Columbus, Ohio over night that Head Coach Urban Meyer knew of the domestic abuse allegations being made against his ex assistant Zach Smith from as far back as 2015. This despite Meyer denying he knew anything of these allegations as recently as last week at the Big Ten media day.
Following his very successful stint as Florida Head Coach, where he admits the winning at all costs mentality got in the way of morale behaviours, Meyer has been a one man crusade against the violence seen in schools across America, both domestic and sexual. However that is all looking a little shallow following the allegations made by Smith’s wife, Courtney.
Meyer is no stranger to this and his tenure at Florida was littered with players arrested on a seemingly regular basis. The most notorious of these being Aaron Hernandez, who was later to become a Patriot until he became involved in a gang shooting.
But Meyer didn’t commit these crimes, the players did. However when Meyer left Florida he admitted the programme was broken. Tales of players having taken over the team were rife. It was a win at all costs mentality with star players being given special dispensations which ensured a terrible over privileged, self important culture. At last count 25 Florida players were arrested during Myers tenure at Florida (2005-2009). He was the man at the helm.
Without demeaning the reason behind his suspension (more of this below) the fact that Urban Meyer was suspended by Ohio State on the day that students returned to college and only four weeks before the start to the season has sent shockwaves across the NCAA.
To put this in to context it is like Arsene Wenger or Alex Ferguson being put on gardening leave on the eve of the Premiership kick off. It is as huge as it is shocking.
But that is demeaning what has happened. It is becoming an all too regular feature across college campuses. Art Briles at Baylor was sacked after the covering up of a series of on campus sexual attacks, which sadly was only one of a number of cover ups seen across schools.
The issue? Football means money. Money means bigger and better schools. Bigger and better schools means more students and more money. The circle goes on.
As is likely that Meyer breached Ohio States Article IX (any violations of the schools discrimination policy must be reported), then it is likely his contract will be terminated. Ohio State has a record of this having sacked previous coach Jim Tressel following an investigation in to improper benefits violations.
The School’s reputation is on the line. The win at all costs mentality is just too high a price to pay.
But Ohio State starting their year without their star Head Coach, well we didn’t see that one coming.
Watch this space. I suspect more will come out of the woodwork in the next week.
Photo credit: CNN.com