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Urban Meyer statement: “I took appropriate action” means he lied at Big Ten media day

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NCAA Football: Big Ten Football Media Day Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

A statement from Urban Meyer:

Quick thoughts:

  • Urban Meyer and Ohio State are now pot committed.
  • This statement (repeatedly) says that he reported concerns about assistant WR coach Zach Smith and domestic violence in 2015 “up the proper channels.” Since he also cites his time at Florida here as well as behaving properly with respect to reporting coaches or athletes, that also opens up some interesting areas of inquiry.
  • So he admits here that he did know. About all of the incidents. When asked about it by Brett McMurphy and others, he lied. Repeatedly. In as bald-faced a manner as one can.

He claims that’s because he was unprepared to deal with the question and this led to his lie. A more cynical person might argue it was based more on selfish expediency.

  • Ohio State wants to keep him. He can’t send out a Tweet like that without approval. And university lawyering. If he did it on his own as a power play to rally Ohio State fans, look out. Unlikely. If that happened, we’ll find out who runs Ohio State soon enough.
  • This is now binary. He either did or did not report the issue and had subsequent discussions concerning and, likely with, Zach Smith. This will engender some very specific questions, record requests and a broadening of inquiry.
  • Who did he report it to? To what effect? Was there an investigation?
  • “I deeply regret if I failed in my words” is an awesome euphemism for lying and I encourage all of you to adopt it going forward.
  • Meyer claims his values have never wavered.
  • They certainly have wavered before - it doesn’t require much investigative reporting to dredge up his record at Florida, where he fled a poisonous locker room that he created and excused for far too long.
  • On the other hand, if Urban Meyer did report dutifully, counseled Smith, and the broader allegations of abuse are even contextualized or discredited, this was a rush to judgement and Meyer’s lies, while not laudable, can be positioned plausibly as a man caught off guard who panicked to preserve the program and avoid messy embarrassment. Not a firing offense.
  • The idea that the aforementioned happened and that Meyer then fired Smith when the story broke publicly simply as self-preservation reconfirms Meyer’s reputation as a calculating mercenary who has trouble finding true north on his moral compass. It also doesn’t pass some very basic logic tests, does it?

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