Urban Meyer is back in the news with yet another controversy.
When we last discussed Meyer in these pages he was coaching football at Ohio State. A scandal involving himself covering up inexcusable behavior of an assistant coach led to what most felt like was a forced resignation from the Buckeyes program.
Meyer resurfaced in the NFL this season as the head coach for the now 0-4 Jacksonville Jaguars and his most recent transgression went viral over the weekend.
A video of Meyer partying with multiple women who were not his wife made its way through social media. The video involved a young adult female dancing on his lap at an Ohio bar that Meyer owns.
Shad Khan, owner of the Jaguars, called the behavior ‘inexcusable’ and spoke of Meyer having to earn trust back with him and the franchise’s players.
Earning trust with the players could be a tall task. Even before the incident, there were reports coming out of Jacksonville that Meyers’ players were not fond of his ‘college-like’ approach to coaching at the professional level. Now there are further reports that players joked and mocked their coach after his attempts to apologize to the team for being a “distraction.”
Here is a quick recap of Meyer distractions at the college level.
Meyer drew national fame while leading Florida to two national championships. While his teams obviously won a lot of games, they also gained media attention for having players appear in the police blotter for criminal offenses.
After the 2010 season, during which Florida went a disappointing 8–5, he resigned, citing a desire for family times. That lasted a year and Meyer landed at Ohio State. Florida, meanwhile, fell into a period of mediocrity that followers, to this day, blame on Meyer creating a culture in which top players went unpunished for marijuana use, bad behavior at practice, and violence related arrests.
Meyer won another national title at Ohio State, but the end of his tenure was again marred by off-field issues. The problem this time was an assistant coach named Zach Smith, whom Meyer retained on his staff at both Florida and Ohio State year after year despite knowing of on-going domestic violence incidents between Smith and his wife.
Ohio State commissioned an investigation of its own and the report stated that “Coach Meyer has sometimes had significant memory issues in other situations where he had prior extensive knowledge of events.”
Rumors are now flying around that another forced resignation may occur and that Meyer will end up back in the college game, more specifically at the newly opened head coach position at the University of Southern California.
History tells us there is a chance Meyer may resign soon from Jacksonville, announcing that he regrets becoming a “distraction” to his team and needs to focus on his family relationships, and that he is then going to be hired in early December as the next head coach at USC.