Urban Meyer is either guilty, or he’s not

Published 3:49 pm Friday, August 24, 2018

The verdict came in late Wednesday night: Urban Meyer is suspended for three games.

It took a couple of weeks for Ohio State University to investigate the alleged criminal activity of one of its former assistant coaches, whose ex-wife accused him of domestic abuse. Meyer fired him in July.

But the biggest question wasn’t whether Zach Smith should’ve been fired. It was whether or not, and when, Meyer knew.

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Along the way, he made statements that seemed to contradict each other on how much he knew. He was found to not be proactive enough in reporting the alleged domestic abuse to higher ups. But still, OSU does not believe its football coach intentionally covered up the criminal activity.

“The discipline reflects our collective judgment based on the findings of the investigative report and the independent committee. The board fully supports this conclusion,” OSU President Michael V. Drake said in a statement. “We made this decision today based on the facts and our values as a university. We value the truth, and this independent team thoroughly and faithfully sought the truth. We value consensus, and today’s decision represents the collective wisdom of the board and the leadership of our university.”

Folks, as expected, are throwing their trash at OSU and calling the whole thing a farce. Everyone is quick to throw Meyer under the bus. The Buckeyes are very much a love ‘em or hate ‘em kind of program, with very little in between. Of course people want to see the program suffer.

I’ll admit, all the arrows point to Meyer getting fired. If he was a coach with less of a winning history, he might have been. But college football is a cut throat, win-at-all-costs world. We’ve seen the dark, nasty side of that mentality at other programs in recent years.

Meyer is either guilty of failing to do his job as a coach and role model for Ohio State by not reporting his assistant’s criminal activity in a sufficient manner, or he is not. This three game suspension just feels like hollow appeasement and a slap on the wrist. If you’re going to suspend him for just three games, don’t bother suspending him at all.

Meyer will be able to coach during the week’s leading up to the games, but will be suspended without pay during Ohio State’s games against Oregon State, Rutgers and TCU.