Fandom is an ugly thing when used to defend even the most heinous acts.
While Urban Meyer’son paid administrative leave for not being the most truthful with his knowledge of the domestic violence allegations involving his former assistant coach, the entire college football community is looking on in disbelief.
Part of that disbelief is understandably aimed toward Meyer. Whether he was purposefully trying to be deceptive or not, going on record with inaccurate information is an extremely bad look.
Recent allegations surrounding alleged negligence by Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is scorching the airwaves, and rightfully so. On Tuesday, it was announced that he allegedly had prior knowledge of former assistant coach Zach Smith abusing his wife while on staff.
An even worse look is how OSU Nation appears to have no problem showing their support for Meyer, who won a National Championship for OSU in 2014. More than 30,000 people signed an online petition calling for Ohio State to keep Urban Meyer from being wrongfully terminated.
Jeff “Tennessee” Hamms is a prominent OSU fan who drove in from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to lead a demonstration in support of Urban Meyer in front of Ohio Stadium. A little over 100 presumed Buckeye fans gathered at the stadium Monday evening in an effort to show support of Meyer.
“We’re here to support head football coach Urban Meyer,” Hamms said. “I don’t condone what our ex-wide receiver coach did.”
The story was first broke by veteran college football reporter Brett McMurphy, who interviewed Zach Smith’s ex-wife Courtney Smith. The exchange took place a week after Meyer told reporters he was unaware of any issues between the Smiths dating back to 2015. He also said he “never had a conversation” about the alleged incident.
Meyer backtracked last week in a written statement in which he said he actually followed proper protocol in reporting the 2015 incident. He apologized and said he was “not adequately prepared to discuss these sensitive personnel issues with the media” when he denied any knowledge of the 2015 incident.
Stacy Elliott, the father of former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, attended Monday’s rally in support of Urban Meyer at Ohio Stadium. More Ohio State coverage: https://www.elevenwarriors.com
This statement came out just as Zach Smith himself was in the middle of one of the most uncomfortable to watch, domestic violence-denying interviews seen in recent memory. Smith told ESPN that Meyer pulled him out of a practice in October 2015 to ask about the incident.
Among the pro-Meyer attendees were Stacy Elliot, father of former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliot. Another bad look. Why? Because his son served a six-game suspension over domestic violence claims. The elder Elliot said he attended because he loves Meyer and that he teaches respect for women. (Okay, Pops. Whatever you say.)
“[Urban] handled it for what his job required him to do,” Elliott said. “He wasn’t the first person to know it happened. His boss knew before he knew.”