Many who cover college football call the newly-named Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer a gentleman and a class act. And since I don’t know him, I can’t debate that, so I won’t. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt there. Why wouldn’t I? But over the last couple years, if there has been a prominent sports figure who has spoken out of both sides of his mouth more, who has been more wishy washy that isn’t named Brett Favre, please inform me.
We go back to December 26, 2009 when Meyer was the head coach of the Florida Gators. It was revealed that he was admitted to a Florida hospital with chest pains and dehydration on December 6. He says that he will resign from his position following the Gators Sugar Bowl appearance on New Year’s Day. The very next day, December 27th, Meyer changed his tone and announced that he would take a leave of absence instead of resigning. We were critical of him then and not much has changed now. Were his health concerns thrown out the window? Did he have some massive revelation the previous night? Was it a conversation with his agent concerning the validity of his recently-signed $24 million extension depending on whether he resigned or took a leave of absence? We’ll never know.
Florida, coached by Meyer, won that Sugar Bowl. Meyer took some time off after that, but after a whole three and a half months later (March 17), Meyer was back coaching the Gators full time. Nine months later, December 8, 2010 to be exact, Meyer, citing the same health reasons as before and a desire to spend time with his family, declared that he would actually retire this time. I won’t rip the guy for wanting to spend more time with his wife and two college-aged daughters whom he hadn’t seen a whole lot after coaching college football for decades.
But as expected, Meyer couldn’t keep his word. On January 31, 2011 – 54 days after “retiring” – Meyer was named as a member of ESPN’s college football coverage team, covering one game per week and working as a studio analyst. Yes, covering football is a lot less stressful and a lot less time consuming than coaching, but it also means a lot less family time.
Yesterday Urban Meyer accepted the head coaching position at Ohio State University. So the same guy who claimed that he needed family time is leaving the South where he has a daughters playing volleyball at Florida Gulf Coast University and Georgia Tech. The Georgia Tech daughter, Niki, said back in April that her father would not be accepting the OSU job. My how times have changed.
During yesterday’s presser in Columbus, if you go over his transcript, Meyer gave more examples of his wishy-washyness (google it). He said that part of the reason he left his Florida job is because he didn’t like what was going on in college football. So less than two years later, he joins the most-publicly corrupted program (save Jerry Sandusky and Penn State) of 2011. OSU only had ten-plus players suspended for either selling memorabilia for tattoos or accepting improper benefits. So if you don’t like the nature of the corruption that litters college football, why would you go to the 2011 epicenter? Meyer said that he thought about coaching in the Ivy League or for one of the service academies because of the lack of politics and corruption. So why didn’t he do that? The Buckeyes gave him 24 million reasons not to. They don’t put a dollar in O$U for nothing.
Meyer also reportedly signed a contract with his family that he would take better care of himself and be more involved at home. This after saying that the coaching profession is a 24 hour/7 days a week job after stepping down at Florida.
The guy may be classy, but he’s a walking contradiction. Meyer said a lot of things that Buckeyes wanted to hear yesterday. He’s in-tune to the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry. He was excited to meet freshman quarterback Braxton Miller. Current head coach Luke Fickell will remain on staff as the defensive coordinator.
But in the midst of all the fluff was just more nonsense. I’m not exactly sure why all of it is so glaring to me. He’ll go into high schoolers’ living rooms and talk the talk (as if OSU couldn’t recruit itself) and he’ll probably win a Big Ten title or two. Meyer is a good coach. But as obvious as it is that he is a good coach, he’s also a liar.
And you know what might be the weirdest thing about this rant. I’m not even a Michigan fan.
Category: College Football