So it turns out former Ohio State University football player Marcus Williamson was telling the truth about the team’s use of a Trayvon Martin photo to emphasize it’s “no hoodie” policy. Urban Meyer did some backtracking, claiming he wasn’t aware until speaking with former player Tyvis Powell.
“I didn’t know about it until one hour ago, until after talking to (Powell),” Meyer said Tuesday. “I wasn’t there (in the meeting). None of the coaches were present. It was a support staffer who was in error and apologized.”
This doesn’t diminish anything Williamson said in his Twitter thread, nor does it absolve Meyer from any responsibility.
The head football coach at a Power five school like The Ohio State University is the most powerful man on campus and possibly in the state. That’s not hyperbole when you consider the revenue generated. The head coach is also the highest paid state employee.
There is a certain amount of power Meyer had when he was at the helm in Columbus. Nothing could go on that involved his program without at a minimum his tacit approval.
We have no idea whether he saw the presentation prior to. If we take Meyer at his word, which is an issue, he nor any of the other coaches were present for this meeting. Are we to seriously believe a support staffer made an entire presentation to go over rules, regulation and conduct and not one coach saw it?
A support staffer created a PowerPoint deck on their own, didn’t email it to anyone in authority before showing it to the entire team?
Ok, fine. Let’s say we believe that is exactly what happened.
Meyer is still not absolved from this situation. He was the head coach. The buck literally stopped with him. He was responsible for the entire program. That includes: coaches, athletes, support staff, etc. Anything that had to do with Ohio State football during his tenure was ultimately his responsibility.
Meyer’s track record is obviously a factor when looking at this situation.
There is the well-documented history of domestic abuse by Zach Smith, friend an assistant coach to Meyer during his Ohio State tenure. Meyer knew about the abuse and didn’t report it and mishandled every part of the situation.
There was of course his recent stint as head coach of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars which didn’t even last a full season. Meyer came on board and immediately made missteps. Hiring disgraced former University of Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle, who was accused of making racist and abusive remarks to athletes. His detrimental conduct towards Jaguars players and the incident with a woman in Ohio that wasn’t his wife.
This man has a pattern of detrimental behavior. It does not matter if he says he and the other coaches were not present at the meeting. It is something that occurred in your program. You’re responsible.
Meyer may escape this one feigning ignorance, but the laundry list of misdeeds is too long to afford him any more benefit of the doubt.
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