Urban Meyer and the Mess in Columbus

Ohio State has some explaining to do. You know the story, it’s been front and center for a couple weeks now. The final result leaves us with more questions than answers. I’m still somewhat shocked that a more severe punishment wasn’t handed down. But then again, it’s Ohio State. Football takes precedence over morality and decency in Columbus. Wins mean more than people. And if you’re a player or coach playing a key role in these wins, you’re untouchable; you’re a god, of sorts.

Courtney Smith, in 2015, was being abused by her husband, Zach Smith. Urban Meyer knew of this via texts sent to his wife. These texts included pictures of the bruises administered by Zach Smith. Urban Meyer swept this under the rug. According to Mrs Smith, the abuse was an ongoing thing in their marriage. She claimed she had endured years of domestic abuse and violence. Urban knew. Ohio State knew. But this was just mistake #1 for Urban.

Fast forward to Big Ten Media Day. When asked about the events from 2015, Urban claimed he had no idea; that he had just found out ‘last night’. Last night, 3 years ago, same thing, right? The entire country knew he was lying. Imagine being Courtney Smith watching him lie when she, of all people, knew full well the extent of the lies that were unfolding in front of her. Urban knew.

For 2 weeks, the sports world was speculating whether or not Meyer would be fired. Most of us were pretty sure he was done in Columbus. There was no way, in 2018, that any school could let this pass. Ohio State, a university already with a shady past, would have no choice but to fire Meyer. Right? Wrong. As it went on, it was becoming clear that OSU was not going to fire Meyer. Urban knew.

This brings us to Wednesday night, when Ohio State University explained to the world that Urban Meyer was going to be suspended for 3 games. That’s it, 3 games. That’s the punishment for harboring an abuser in 2018. Three games against powerhouse Oregon State, powerhouse Rutgers, and TCU. Urban Meyer got a vacation, not a suspension.

On Wednesday, Urban apologized to the university, he apologized to the football team, he apologized to the faculty, and he apologized to Buckeye Nation. I hope Courtney Smith isn’t holding her breath waiting for her apology. I don’t think it’s coming. Courtney Smith is clearly the victim, Ohio State is telling us she doesn’t matter. Let’s just keep winning football games, guys.

Urban Meyer is no stranger to controversy. He has covered for his players in the past, whether it be arrests, drug use, weapons……..just keep playing well. There’s no doubt that Urban Meyer is a great coach, he possesses a great football mentality. But as fans, don’t we have a line? Don’t we have that point where we believe that the game isn’t everything? If not, let’s raise our standards. I love when my teams win, but I’m not a ‘win at all costs’ guy. There are more important things. People; people matter. Ohio State told us they don’t.

We’re in the midst of a movement that is exposing guys who are basically garbage. Sexual misconduct, abuse towards women, chauvinistic mentality. This is being forced front and center, and it’s about time. The #MeToo movement has raised awareness and people are listening. Ohio State just delivered a proverbial slap in the face to all the progress that has been made so far. Ohio State just told women that it’s ok for them to be abused if said abuser is winning games. Ohio State continued to drop the ball when in came down to simple decency.

It would be hard for me to continue following a team that did this, be it college or pro. I can’t imagine what OSU fans are feeling. I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around what the female fans are thinking. “Hey, you don’t matter, but come support us anyway” seems to be the underlying message coming out of Columbus. They’ll still pack their stadium, they’ll still make money, they’ll still win games. One day, that Teflon coating on the entire program is going to fall off. It always does. When that happens, we’ll be nodding our collective heads in an “I told you so” kind of way.

But we can’t sit here and be mad about it, that won’t fix anything. Who you support and how you support them speaks volumes. Let your wallet speak out. There is no positive spin to put on this either. Ohio State made a decision, we can’t change that. What we can do is to continue being decent human beings. Treat people well, help those in need, smile, and just be nice. And call your mother.


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