Here We Go Again

National Championship - Oregon v Ohio State

There is no end to this.

From Penn State to Baylor, Michigan State to Ohio State, there is always going to be another school that sells its soul for national relevancy. And apologies for using the singular as per my statement, but really . . one school at a time. Because we do understand the plurality of this scourge is a slow drip that will take us to some other school and involve who knows what in who knows where. And the details will be different, but the mandate will remain the same for the next school that gets caught in the cross-hairs.

Win. At all costs.

Because winning is all that really matters. Sure, academics will be preached and graduation rates for players will be talked about and the ‘student athlete experience’ will be lauded and even when outsiders do uncover all the shit the program pushed aside or swept away, school officials will have their prepared speeches and PR firms on the scene. They will be ‘inconvenienced’ for a while, after which they will re-brand, with promises to do better. And those promises will be so paper thin as to be see-through. Because so long as the embattled program stands by its win at all costs mantra, nothing will change.

Urban Meyer is just the latest big name football coach to come under fire for this win at all costs mentality that pervades his sport. Meyer is really fucking good at what he does. To the tune of a 73-8 record and a National Championship. And he has run a clean program. Well, clean compared to his last stop at Florida University where in his six years as field boss, thirty one football players were arrested. Thirty one.

Those thirty one arrests ranged from misdemeanor assault, felony domestic assault to felony theft and domestic battery. When his star running back Chris Rainey was charged with aggravated stalking for texting his girlfriend that it was “Time to die, bitch!”, he wasn’t kicked out of school. He didn’t lose his scholarship. He was suspended. For four games. Meyer told reporters it was in Rainey’s best interests to keep playing football. He never did expand on what that girl’s best interests were.

Aaron Hernandez was a part of those championship Florida teams. The same Aaron Hernandez who was convicted years later of murdering Odin Lloyd. Which wasn’t Urban’s problem by then seeing as how Hernandez was a member of the New England Patriots when he committed that crime. And never mind that Hernandez was involved in multiple run-ins with the law while at Florida, or that he was a person of interest in several homicides during that time and after. But seriously, Urban did all he could. It wasn’t his fault that Bible study sessions with Aaron at the Meyer household didn’t keep.

Aaron Hernandez

In spite of all his successes at Florida, which included a couple national titles, Meyer stepped down after the 2010 season for ‘personal reasons’ which included health concerns and a need to spend more time with his family- according to Meyer. This was a year after an intern on his staff, Zach Smith, had been charged with felony assault for beating on his pregnant wife. Smith’s wife Courtney was pressured by Florida officials not to pursue charges, and we have to assume they asked her nicely.

With a clean bill of health and all that family business out of his system, Meyer returned to the game after a one year hiatus. In his second year as field boss, he hired Zach Smith. So with a clean slate in a new place, Meyer went right back to being an enabler. In the name of winning, at all costs.

No less a college football authority than Paul Finebaum bemoaned the arrogance of the latest college football icon who is busy dying on his own sword. And then Finebaum told the absolute truth of this matter, and too many like it. “This is what big time coaches do . . they enable.

Urban Meyer not only chose a monster to lead young men, he enabled him. Time after time after time. Unless you actually believe Meyer didn’t know about the brutal beat down on Courtney Smith back in 2009. Unless you take Meyer’s word for it, that he had ‘no idea’ his coach kept right on beating her through his tenure as assistant coach at Ohio State, which ended last month. Unless you believe the boss was in the dark while every single member of his coaching staff knew exactly what was going on. Unless you believe that Urban’s wife Shelley- the woman Urban calls his ‘confidante’ because she shares everything with him- didn’t share what she knew about Smith as far back as 2015. Meyer’s standing line reads like so many other big name coaches: I knew nothing, I know nothing . . I’m trying to win games here.

Courtney Smith

So with all the nuanced language that will dominate this story to its end; with the countless times we will be barraged with the term alleged, and with the cursory observations that will look to engage readers and viewers without actually condemning this football icon, you won’t hear the truest description.

Urban Meyer is a bad guy.

How else to describe someone who values wins and legacy over the safety and well being of women? And why should we believe one word he says at this point?

Urban Meyer, as great as he is and as young as he still is, should never be allowed to step foot on a football field. Ever again. He should never be allowed to lead young men, ever again. Short of criminal prosecution being an option, which it isn’t, we punish Urban Meyer by sending him into retirement for good. He can take his remaining thirty eight million dollars from Ohio State. He can take his wins and his legacy, for whatever that’s worth. He can leave and never come back. As far as I’m concerned, he gets off way too easy.

They all do.

 

 

 

 

34 thoughts on “Here We Go Again”

    1. Eilene,
      Amen to that! But so long as big time sports continues to be a money machine, these things will be the norm, unfortunately.
      It’s just so damn infuriating that schools, funded by taxpayers allow this to happen in the name of enrollment. Because that is ALL it’s about to the administration. A big name coach makes a name for the school, national prominence follows, tuition fees rise.
      At what cost though? At the cost of a woman’s safety and well being? At the cost of the safety and well being of those students who are actually on campus to further their education?
      Talk about warped priorities.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I find it abhorrent and I do think criminal charges should be lodged against these officials and coaches for aiding and abetting a known abuser. When a big name coach gets arrested for such behavior, maybe things will start changing. Maybe.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear B,

    These stories make me so angry, I could spit. We have had this discussion before and you know I feel just like you do. I can’t help but wonder how many parents of these supposed (and I used “supposed”, not to denigrate their obvious talent on the field or court, but to say that as a good human being, the whole person must be taken into consideration) “star players” truly feel it is okay to turn a blind eye on their own sons or even accept this behaviour as the norm.if the boy is a good ball player.

    Gimme “The Blind Side” stories instead. Now, I can’t help wonder if there is any ugliness hidden in those other feel-good movies such as “We Are Marshall”… And I loathe that this now crosses my mind.

    Peace, changing attitudes, not accepting this shit, and much harsher penalties

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Q,
      It was meant to get whoever read it, angry. So good, because we HAVE to be angry and we have to hold these schools ever more accountable. I was tossing with adding a link to this post so that anyone reading would be able to send an email directly to the Ohio State President calling for Urban Meyer to be gone. But the ‘process’ that we must abide by would have negated this and made it look foolish.
      But you’re right, do these parents think about it? They must! And what about all the parents of all the kids who go to school for an education? My daughter also goes to a state school, and I know I would be pissed if I learned of this kind of thing. And the likely truth is we simply do not know.
      Extreme measures need to be taken. What is it going to take before this changes? Because if assault, rape and murder do not change it, what in the hell will?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You have succeeded. And it does feel futile, at times. Process. That in itself burns my ass.
        They have to. Damn, imagine YOUR son being the abuser? I imagine mine and I can’t imagine the shame, the anger, the disappointment I’d feel towards them. I can’t speak because I thankfully haven’t experience it, but I truly don’t believe I would accept it. Again, not there, so I don’t know and it;s so easy to say: “I would not…” or “I would…” at large.
        Yes, what about the non-jocks and their education?
        I don’t know what it would take, quite frankly… just about every possible nasty thing has already taken place and still goes on…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think of my kids and how they busted their asses to get an education. Why should be they concerned for their safety and well being on a college campus? Ever? Why are criminals allowed to be on that campus?
        Like I told Monika, this is criminal behavior from the highest levels, and it should be treated as such by the taxpayers. Go after these guys, hard.
        Will it happen? Not likely. We need our sports too much.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. So not fair for the honest, hard-working kids. And having to worry about their safety? Not acceptable.
        Why are they indeed?
        It should be treated as the crime it is and punished accordingly. Not with a slap on the wrist (when they actually get one).
        “Need” being the key word…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I wonder if we are seen as the irrational ones? The radicals whose ideals are naive and not in keeping with the times . . .
        If that’s the case? Then I’ll be a radical, and fuck anyone who doesn’t agree!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’ll join you in the radical camp, thank you very much. I don’t EVER want to find myself nodding my head in agreement that this is okay… EVER.

        Like

  2. Same song and dance as other schools. The administration turns a blind eye so long as the wins keep coming. Blah, blah, blah. Until this culture shifts in its mind set, it’ll be like you said, another repeat. 😕 Does anyone care? Only if it’s their kid who was personally affected/assaulted I suspect.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Monika,

      Exactly! It only matters when it becomes personal. All the Penn State apologists were plenty fine defending Paterno because it wasn’t their loved one involved. Same with Baylor. Same with Michigan State. Same with the next school, and there will be a next school.
      Arrest these guys, throw class action suits at them for aiding and abetting criminal behavior on a college campus and thereby endangering countless lives in so doing. Go after Urban hard. Go after Nick Saban now. Do what really, truly needs to be done.
      Because it’s gonna happen again.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ABSOLUTELY! YES!
        The very top, on down. Let them all know that we no longer trust their vision, we no longer play the fools to their warped priorities. Our kids are too important.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. My wife and I were strong Baylor supporters. We were concerned that Baylor continued to overlook the animal cruelty demonstrated by Ishmael Zamoria. My wife wrote the Athletic Director explaining our concern. He in as much told us that the man had learned his lesson and was on the road to redemption. It was more BS handed out by the Baylor BS department. (This was after all the coverup attempts of the felonious behavior of the players by the coaches and administration.) Yeah, we are still mad and know how you feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. John,
      You guys actually know even better than I do, based on this incident alone, what too many schools perpetrate on a daily basis.
      Baylor has been through the wringer, and you know what? It’s NOT the school. It’s people in authority who gamble with the reputation of the school for their own interests. I know the connection you and your family have to Baylor, and I think it’s special. Which makes me even angrier, to think that the people at the schools who SHOULD know better, don’t.
      As with the Penn State scandal, this isn’t about slamming the entire university of course. It’s about holding those responsible accountable and cleaning house. I’m not asking for college football to ever go away. But guys like Meyer, who CAN win without pulling this crap? Yes, they can go away.

      Here’s to you and yours. The fans who count, and always should.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Not only selling their souls for national relevancy, don’t forget to include lining their bank accounts with millions! Meanwhile, I’m waiting to see how it plays out. Someone will take the fall, I’m not sure it will be Meyer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cincy,

      Meyer released a statement yesterday basically saying his lie at media days last week, wasn’t a lie, even though it was a total lie. So really, his next stop should be Congress. And yes, I sense that he is angling for that thirty eight million dollars still due him by blaming everyone short of the Russians.
      The sad truth is, even if Meyer is out at Ohio State, he is going to end up at another program before long. He’s too young and too talented for some school not to take a chance on.

      Like

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