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With the recent news of Ohio State coach, Urban Meyer, being placed on paid administrative leave, it brings some questions to mind. The leave comes after reports surfacing about Meyer knowing about spousal abuse allegations involving a former coach back in 2015. With this in mind, is it time for Meyer to go? While he’s been one of the most successful coaches in NCAA football history, he’s also been one of the most controversial as well; prioritizing winning over teaching and preparing for life.
The major controversy began in 2007 and 2008, with future NFL Most Valuable Player, Cam Newton. While he was still attending the University of Florida in there were three separate instances of Newton cheating. It was alleged that one of the instances included putting his name on another student’s paper without their consent. The information didn’t come out until after he transferred to Auburn in 2010. Newton also was arrested in 2008 for purchasing a stole computer. To some, this was seen as the precursor to the fall of Meyer’s run with Florida.
In 2009 Meyer suspended linebacker Brandon Spikes for gouging Georgia half back Washaun Ealey’s eyes. The event happened during the annual rivalry game between Georgia and Florida on October 31st, 2009. Meyer would go on to suspend Spikes for the first half of a game against a Vanderbilt team that would finish the season with two wins. Spikes even volunteered to sit out the entire game, but Meyer opted to go with the shorter punishment.
However the biggest controversy came in the form of his former tight end, Aaron Hernandez. The Hernandez saga began in 2007 with a bar fight when an under age Hernandez consumed two alcoholic drinks and refused to pay the bill. As he was being escorted out of the building, Hernandez punched an employee and ruptured his ear drum. Later that year, still attending the university of Florida, Hernandez was involved with a shooting that saw five gunshots fired into a car. No one was killed in that incident but it was later determined Hernandez played a role in the 2013 murder trial of Odin Lloyd.
Meyer would leave Florida in 2010, citing health reasons. However, given the controversies surrounding him, it wouldn’t be surprising if he left to preserve his legacy.
A few years later, he would sign on to coach Ohio State and enjoyed some years of quiet.
That would change with the announcement of Meyer being placed on administrative leave. He was placed on leave when it was reported that his former assistant coach, Zach Smith, had a domestic violence case in 2015. Smith was fired on July 23rd. Smith’s wife took Facebook, claiming that Meyer knew. It would be Smith’s second reported case of domestic violence.
While this could be seen as an overreaction, in today’s day and age, it wouldn’t be farfetched. This is the same program that saw rival Penn State lose a legendary figure due to a sex scandal cover up. If this is indeed a cover up on the part of Meyer, it wouldn’t be shocking to see a similar fate.