Since the rumors about Urban Meyer going to Nebraska keep swirling and since I recently posted on social media that said rumors are the ultimate cure for writer’s block, I figured I’d throw out some thoughts on the possibility of a man, who was once considered the greatest young football coach in America, now disgraced, returning to the game he loves.
What could possibly go wrong?
When we last left the football coach Jim Rome calls “Pervin’ Liar,” he was getting booted out of Jacksonville for kicking his kicker or doing something otherwise fire-worthy. He was also caught with his hands on a woman, that wasn’t his wife, at some bar he used to frequent up in Ohio. Not the best look for a guy with a record of such behavior, allegedly.
It was overall a creepy situation from a guy who has been racking them up. This is a man who, in a matter of years, went from putting Bowling Green and Utah football on the map, to winning multiple national titles at Florida and another at Ohio State, to landing an NFL gig, to being out of the game entirely. What a difference a grope makes.
Long has it been since we’ve fawned over Urban Meyer, for it was eventually uncovered that he overlooked plenty of misdeeds while at Florida, the Aaron Hernandez drama being the most prevalent. A reported 31 football players were arrested under Meyer’s watch, and this was in a college town where cops let things slide thanks to a healthy dose of booster juice. Then there was press conference of the alleged heart attack, prompting him to leave that school, for coaching there was simply too stressful. With his condition miraculously cured, Meyer found himself at another high-profile school a year later. At Ohio State, the chicanery continued with Meyer pledging allegiance to a coach of his who had been beating his wife behind closed doors. Meyer, allegedly, swept it under the rug. Once again, citing health issues, probably from the darkening of his soul, Meyer left Columbus only to find himself coaching in the NFL two years later. Those heart doctors of his were doing tremendous work. In Jacksonville, he coached thirteen games, winning two of them, before getting run out of town. This time no health reasons for cited, his mental health admittedly never tested.
I’ll be the first to admit that dunking another poor soul into the cauldron of cancel culture has gone too far (Robert Sarver and Brett Favre this week’s contestants) but if there was ever a man to be justifiably caught up in its whirlwind, it’s Coach Meyer.
Meyer hasn’t sniffed a coaching gig since he left Jacksonville disgraced. With his track record, who would want to touch the guy? Knowing what we know, would you want your teenager around this guy as a role model? A jaguar doesn’t change his spots. Any program that would even remotely consider Meyer would have to set aside its morals, sell its soul to the devil, and shelve whatever image hiring him would undoubtedly blemish.
I don’t know how much truth there is to the Meyer-Nebraska talk but where there’s smoke there’s fire and as far as I know, Nebraska has yet to come out and say they’re not interested.
Urban Meyer’s still relatively young. He’s not even 60 years old and looks pretty good for a guy who has had multiple heart attacks, again, allegedly. If you put his coaching resume in a vacuum, it’s one of the most impressive we’ve ever seen. The only problem is, you can’t do that, because it’s covered in slime. You can’t remove the man from the mess and a mess is what Meyer has continuously built over the years without a hint of remorse.
If I were a Nebraska fan, and thank goodness I’m not, I’d have to second guess (if I didn’t immediately decline) whether I want Meyer anywhere near my campus. I know the program is in shambles but why throw dirt on an already lowering coffin? Those that think it’s a fit, probably need to have their moral thermometer checked, both rectally and sideways. How far has a program, specifically Nebraska’s, fallen if they’re even considering a Meyer hire? It’s a sure sign of desperation. Are there no better options? Wasn’t this a school that was once perennially in the national championship conversation? Perhaps joining the Big Ten wasn’t the brightest idea. Since joining the conference 12 years ago, they’ve only won 44 games.
I don’t know who’s making the decisions at Nebraska, but they haven’t been good ones. The program is in shambles, hence the Meyer talk. They haven’t had a 10-win season since 2012. Last year they went 1-8 in conference play. This is a program that won no less than nine games a season from 2008-2014 and once upon a time had players invited to the annual Heisman ceremony, if not win the thing outright.
Corrupt institutions are comprised of corrupt individuals. We’d be delusional to expect any institution of higher learning to demand more from its leaders, to come out and publicly state they are not interested in a man of Meyer’s caliber. Something like that would never happen but it sure would be a step in the right direction.