Urban Meyer will be suspended for the first three games of Ohio State’s football season after mismanaging former assistant Zach Smith in the wake of domestic abuse allegations, a punishment pretty much everyone on the outside views as light, given the circumstances.
Meyer, though, clearly thinks the media is out of line with such opinions, releasing a lengthy statement on Twitter Friday morning in an effort to refute various reporting he finds out of line. It’s really something.
— Urban Meyer (@CoachUrbanMeyer) August 31, 2018
The entire statement would be hilarious if it weren’t for the very real trauma at the heart of the situation. Meyer’s entire assertion is that anyone saying anything different than what was in Ohio State’s own report means the media is lying. For example, Meyer doesn’t like when people say he lied at Big Ten media days, when he said he wasn’t aware of allegations against Smith in 2015. Meyer was aware of that. The report itself, which Meyer cites in bold, mentions multiple times that his words were inaccurate, and rather than say he didn’t lie, says he didn’t “deliberately lie”.
Meyer also points out that he doesn’t like reporting stating that Meyer was suspended for condoning domestic abuse, pointing to the report saying Meyer upheld the program’s commitment to the program’s “Respect for Women” core value. This coming from the guy who just had to issue a further apology to Courtney Smith after failing to even that at the initial press conference. Then, in the end, Meyer notes that the reason he was actually suspended was for being too lenient with Zach Smith (who, again, was on staff until July 2018).
Meyer’s continued attempt to split that from condoning domestic abuse or mistreatment of women is remarkable in its shamelessness; that he’s attempting to lecture the media on how they’ve been covering this story is surreal. Some college coaches are so used to having complete control and authority they struggle when confronted with a reality they can’t govern.
It’s hard to see how this plays well for Meyer. Maybe he’ll come out later with an apology that blames some new medication.