Has Karma Finally Caught up to Urban Meyer?
Is the end near for now suspended Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer? Should we have seen this coming??
In case you've been offline the last 24-hours or so: Meyer is in a boatload of trouble after a bombshell report by Brett McMurphy surfaced stating Meyer knew about the abusive relationship between longtime assistant Zach Smith and his now ex-wife Courtney and did nothing about it.
It would be one thing if this was a "He Said, she said" argument---but Courtney Smith showed McMurphy text messages between her and Meyer's wife Shelley which referenced talking to the Head Coach about what was going on.
When the latest issues with the Smith's surfaced recently---Zach Smith allegedly violated a restraining order his ex-wife had taken out, Meyer denied knowing about it. The Smith's issues date back to 2009--when Zach was a Graduate Assistant under Meyer at the University of Florida and included Assault Charges then and in 2015.
Urban claimed he was made aware of what happened in 2009 and he and Shelley tried to help counsel the young couple. The 2015 incident (Reported to Police) Urban claimed he knew nothing about.
Which---um, has come back to haunt him.
Meyer, after several hours on Wednesday was announced as "Suspended With Pay" while the University looks into what happened.
Here's the problem (and it's a big one): It appears...very directly not only Urban Meyer...but Shelley Meyer (also an employee at Ohio St.) directly violated Title IX rules which state very clearly if you know about incidents such as what happened with the Smith's....they must be reported and documented. Said rule is also a part of a University Employee's job contract according to multiple reports.
This is not even close to the first time Urban Meyer has looked the other way with problems. Well documented are the problems surrounding his time coaching at the University of Florida where 31-playerrs were arrested in 6-years. The most high profile being the way former Gators TE Aaron Hernandez was enabled during his time in Gainesville.
A great athlete, Hernandez had a multitude of serious and telling issues with law enforcement during his stay...all of which were dealt with lightly at best by Meyer and raising the question about how such things were handled with "Star Athletes".
As Meyer's time at Florida drew to a close---he claimed "Health Issues" among other things as reasons to step away from coaching. Which lasted one season when he resurfaced in Columbus.
For the most part---his tenure at Ohio State hasn't been quite as checkered as his stay in Gainesville. There have been only a few players involved with legal issues. Bigger questions arose surrounding the staff which included Smith (until this week), former Indiana Head Coach Kevin Wilson---who had allegations of mistreating players and others.
To the people in Ohio, this appears to be much ado about nothing. To Meyer---at least as this was developing, it is something blown out of proportion by sensationalistic reporters. Both are wrong. Painfully wrong.
All credit goes to McMurphy for doing the digging, finding the old, buried arrest records surrounding the Smith's and tracking Courtney Smith down only to find out she desperately wanted to share her story.
Meyer's status is shaky here at best and I'm really wondering what Ohio State is going to do. Speculation has already begun Meyer will step down, that he and the school are working on a "Separation Agreement". Which may be what's happening.
Forgive me if I'm a bit skeptical of that as Ohio State has never demonstrated in the past it cares much about anything other than winning games. And for all his faults---all his misguided belief that he can fix people with problems, Urban Meyer is very, very good at one thing.
Winning College Football games....