Is It Time To Audit Urban Meyer’s Legacy?

Eric Urbanowicz
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Head coach Urban Meyer has been fired from the Jacksonville Jaguars. After being hired in January of 2020, one of college football’s most successful coaches finds himself out of a job.

Unlike his previous jobs at the Universities of Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State, he didn’t depart by his own volition.

Normally when a coach is let go, it comes down to their overall success off the team. With Jacksonville, he went 2-11. However, they’re also in the middle of a rebuild, something that Meyer has alluded to and that team owner Shahid Kahn has seemingly accepted.

So if not the lack of success, then why was Meyer fired?

That’s where it gets interesting, since his initial hire, he’s had multiple incidences on and off the field. From violating practice rules during organized team activities to a video of him acting inappropriately to a young woman (that was not his wife) surfacing to making critical comments towards coaches and players, including calling them losers and challenging their resumes.

The kicker to all of this came from a kicker. During an interview, former Jacksonville kicker Josh Lambo publicly accused his former head coach of kicking his leg during warm ups before the team’s final preseason game. According to Lambo, after telling Meyer “don’t you ever {expletive} again,” he responded, “I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the {expletive} I want.”

Meyer was soon fired, tying him with former Atlanta Falcons coach Bobby Petrino for shortest NFL head coaching tenure by a non-interim coach at 13 games.

While that may seem all well and good, it opens up another question: is there more to this?

While his experience in the NFL has been well documented, it may be time to dig deeper into his college career. While a few blemishes have decorated his career (Meyer lying about abuse allegations towards his assistant, his alleged “Circle of Trust” which awarded select players “special privileges,” having 30 players be arrested during his six seasons at Florida), with the recent happenings, it may be time to audit him.

After incidents like the Baylor University sexual assault scandal, the Penn State child sex abuse scandal and the 2011 Miami Hurricanes athletics scandal, the NCAA has seen some of their top tier programs be punished for illegal activity. Given what happened during Meyer’s run at Florida and prior to his tenure at Ohio State, what’s to say that it stops there?

It may sound harsh but with the hits that college football had taken over the last decade, accountability needs to be taken and due diligence must be made. It’s no longer a case of a coach teaching discipline or players “not being the way they used to be.” It’s now a case of something happened, following other things that happened and there may be more out there.

Three years ago, we ran article called “Is It Time For Urban Meyer To Go?” that went into detail about some of the stuff that’s happened since he first became a head coach.

While the scandals in this article doesn’t compare to the ones from former Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, the second something felt off, there was an investigation. The results of that investigation ultimately lead to the termination of Pitino’s contract and his legacy to an extent.

Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire, and as documented in our piece from three years ago, there’s definitely at least some smoke. In closing, we’ll leave you with the following question: is it time to ultimately audit Urban Meyer’s career legacy? If it is, what will we ultimately find? If it’s not, then what happens if more comes out down the road?

Eric Urbanowicz

Connecticut

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