Urban Meyer is a joke.
He’s a football coach who’s won a lot of games and some national championships.
He must be a brilliant manager and terrific with players.
He may possess eyes so sharp, he can spot video on a screen from 30 feet away out of the corner of one and shuffle through a scouting report with the other, yet still glean more from the screen than the assistant coach who’s only job in that moment is to be watching it.
He may be a gridiron savant.
Also, he’s a fraud, not fit to coach, not fit to be the face of a football program which, let’s face it, is the face of his university, Ohio State.
Bad enough that he claimed not to know about a domestic violence investigation into wide receivers coach Zach Smith in 2015, or of Smith’s domestic abuse generally, when Smith’s estranged wife and Meyer’s wife were in contact about it and Meyer, it turns out, was alerted to the investigation, anyway.
Bad enough that he kept Smith on staff until only a few weeks ago despite Smith having taken high school coaches to a strip club, having had an affair with a football office staffer or entering rehab for a 10-day initial assessment in the summer of 2015 only to leave after four days and not return.
Bad enough that at no time did Meyer impose some sort of probation on a man he clearly didn’t want to fire, out of personal loyalty, maybe, or because Smith was just so gosh darn good at coaching wide receivers.
Bad enough that not only did Meyer lie about it or purposefully bury his head in the sand or, even if you take the insipid and non-sensical findings of Ohio State’s internal investigation at face value — that Meyer did not “deliberately lie” at Big 10 media days last month when asked about Smith’s abuse — but that he did nothing to get in the way of the dangerous runaway freight train Smith had become. Bad enough all of that.
Still, none of it is what makes Meyer so horrendously unfit to carry on with the Buckeyes, or any college football program for the foreseeable future.
It’s that he doesn’t get it.
It’s that while others were trying to figure out all the damage Smith had wrought, Meyer was trying to spin it.
It’s that in the midst of the investigation that eventually and cowardly settled on suspending him from coaching the first three games of the season, and with Ohio State facing a Freedom of Information request from its campus newspaper to get Meyer’s 2015 text messages, Meyer looked into how he might delete texts more than a year old and, voila, investigators found no text messages on his phone more than a year old.
It’s that on the day his suspension was decided, last Wednesday, Meyer attended the meeting of Ohio State’s board of trustees attempting to dissuade it from meting out even the scant punishment it ultimately meted out.
It’s that late that same Wednesday, after that 12-hour board meeting finally concluded, when asked if he had a message for Courtney Smith, Zach Smith’s victim, these were Meyer’s words.
“I have a message for everyone involved in this,” he said. “I’m sorry we’re in this situation.”
He could have gone with “My bad” and offered no less substance.
Meyer’s judgment has proven horrible, his lack of accountability conceivably criminal and his cognitive dissonance laughable.
Still, once found out, once under investigation, once realizing he didn’t really deserve his job any longer but he might well keep it if he got with the program, Meyer could have offered contrition and ownership and few would have been furious that he’d managed to hang on.
Yet, he never got with the program, offered no contrition beyond a sad face — "I'm sorry we're in this situation" — and failed to own a thing.
So here’s hoping for his unmerciful mocking and unending ridicule. Not in a dangerous or even profane way, just one equal to his obliviousness.
Also, just maybe, before that fourth game arrives or before next season arrives, what’s clear as day will at last be clear in Columbus.
Meyer’s a fraud and a joke, not fit to be the face of anything beyond the lies he tells to himself.