Ohio State University’s head football coach Urban Meyer may have saved his job, but he lost his legacy.
Over a nine-year period, Meyer protected an assistant coach Zach Smith through multiple domestic violence allegations. He protected Smith after he was cited for a DUI and he protected Smith after he violated multiple HR university policies.
Smith was only fired a few weeks ago when a reporter started asking questions.
The 2 ½ week investigation of Meyer’s program — conducted by the Ohio State University and adjudicated by the board of trustees and President of the Ohio State University (I’m not making this up) — decided to suspend Coach Meyer for three games.
Wednesday night, Meyer had his chance to address Smith’s ex-wife — the woman who alleges years of abuse. What did he finally say after weeks of contemplation and reflection?
“Well, I have a message for everyone involved in this: I’m sorry that we’re in this situation, and, I’m just sorry we’re in this situation.”
What the hell does that even mean?
My friend and ESPN TV/Radio host, Paul Finebaum stated: “I believe his biggest failing was not personally apologizing to the victim in all of this, Courtney Smith. Instead, he acted like he was the victim and that is extremely troubling.”
Chris Dufresne of the L.A. Times tweeted the whole episode succinctly:“Ohio State commission report would make great soap opera. Selective amnesia, flashbacks, restraining orders, drugs, affair with office secretary, sex toys, bad-boy grandson: “These Are the Days of Our Lies.”
Obviously, Meyer’s pathetic press conference wasn’t well received and has become one of the top PR disasters of this year.
What could Urban Meyer have done differently?
There are three outrageously easy steps Meyer should have followed that would have avoided this entire tragedy…