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Tom Herman isn’t commenting on Urban Meyer or Ohio State, but I am

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NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Day Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

During a well-attended press conference to open Fall camp, Texas head coach Tom Herman was asked for comment about the allegations of Ohio State WR coach Zach Smith’s repeated alleged spousal abuse, Urban Meyer’s subsequently blatant obfuscation concerning what he knew back in 2015 (and prior), and the general fallout that will probably end with Ohio State firing a Top 3 college football coach; a multiple national championship winner who has doggedly sought to forge a PR reputation built on character and faith (see this amusingly titled hagiography on Amazon - currently ranked behind Thinking Texas Football, for the record), but whose coaching wake is fraught with devil’s bargains, self-serving rhetoric, and a Florida program mired in scandal and hypocrisy.

Herman’s answer:

“I left the (Ohio State) program after the 2014 season. The things that occurred to my knowledge happened in late 2015. I really don’t think it’d be fair or comment on a situation at another program that happened while I wasn’t there.”

He reiterated the same answer on a follow up.

The Texas reporters did their job in asking those questions. Texas fans bridling at them even being asked are simply wrong. That’s their job and, if they honor proper context and objectivity, their sworn duty. It’s also a lively contrast to a servile Columbus and Ohio home town press that needed national reporter Brett McMurphy (recently fired by ESPN in their sweep of reporters in favor of more noise from people with viewer median IQs) to break the Meyer/Smith story on his Facebook page. A story that many in and near the program purportedly knew for many years.

And Herman did his job answering. It’s a truthful response, if not also the tactically correct one. Though one wonders if Herman has more expansive private thoughts after his former boss put him on blast last year after a stunning Maryland upset to score some opportunistic points on the recruiting trail. I made the point a year ago that Meyer was no friend or mentor to Tom Herman, just his former employer. I think that still holds.

Urban Meyer has always been the consummate opportunist; eventually the scandal and self-promotion accumulates sufficiently such that even ardent denialists can no longer stomach the cognitive dissonance. This time, there will be no cleansing leave of absence or career rewrite after a eminence grise turn on a college football studio show.

I suspect we’ll see more as more details come out. And they will be coming soon.

If you’ll forgive my own mercenary considerations, putting aside the dishonor of what Zach Smith allegedly did or how Urban Meyer’s hubris sought to conceal it, there are larger implications for Texas. A severe blow dealt to an Ohio State program built on out-of-state recruiting in Texas and other fertile locales (Meyer recruited 80% of his classes from out of state) is significant. Meyer repeatedly poached the bluest of blue chip talent in the state of Texas: Garrett Wilson, Baron Browning, JK Dobbins, Jeffrey Okudah to name a few; all players who would be significant difference makers in Austin. That level of incursion is simply over with. For now, at least.

Whether or not Tom Herman can comment.


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