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Urban Meyer responds to Sporting News report

Ohio State Introduces Urban Meyer Getty Images

If you missed it from our Monday one-liners, Matt Hayes of The Sporting News just torched Ohio State coach Urban Meyer in an investigative report that accuses Meyer of giving preferential treatment to players, turning a blind eye to an out-of-control drug problem and allowing a “Circle of Trust” straight out of “Meet the Parents” — all during Meyer’s tenure at Florida.

Suffice to say, it’s all rather unflattering.

Speaking on a teleconference today, Meyer was asked about Hayes’ report, to which he gave the following responses:

“My family and I love Florida, we still do and we always will. I’m not sure where a three-month investigation show up. I’m extremely proud of what our players and coaches accomplished. We were hired to graduate players and we did that. We were a top three every year in the SEC in graduation and APR. We’re hired to win games, we did that and followed the rules and we did that and recruit great classes and we finished in the top five every year.”

“So, I’m not sure other than he said preferential treatment from the players. That’s probably a correct statement. We did do that. We do that here. We did it at Bowling Green and Utah. If you go to class, if you are a warrior, you do thing the right way off and on the field and you are completely committed to helping us win, you are going to get treated really good. You’re going to get nice gear, you are going to get to move off campus if you like. You are going to get treated really good. Guys that don’t go real hard and aren’t committed, yeah, it’s real difficult. So, you can’t please everyone and I know the interviewed a guy that really didn’t play for us.

“So, I am not real sure of the intent other than extremely proud of what we did and throwing great players under the bus like that … I don’t get the intent. I’ll fight for those guys. Those guys did a lot of great things for the University of Florida. To sit there and call them out four and five years later, I’m not sure what the intent is and I will fight for those guys.

“There are things like Circle of Trust that … once again, I don’t know the intent. That didn’t happen and a bunch of former players called me and a bunch of former coaches … we have five coaches off that staff that are now head coaches … and I talked to most of them and they are like, ‘What is this?’

“And then anytime you mention the NCAA, I’m going to say this real clear, there is no violation that we had as far as that whole conversation. I’m not sure why that keeps coming up. So, if you would bold that for me and underline it, that there is not an NCAA violation. There is not one turned in and there’s a pretty good track record there with compliance with the NCAA. So, those are just disappointing and once again, not sure of the intent.”

I have zero clue about how Meyer runs his football program, and frankly I don’t care as long as he’s not breaking NCAA rules or hiring his mistress quid pro quo while giving her $20,000. Investigations like the one with Meyer only serve as invitations to the readers who want to see how the sausage is made.

(Hat tip: Orlando Sentinel) 

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39 Responses to “Urban Meyer responds to Sporting News report”
  1. goblue714 says: Apr 11, 2012 4:16 PM

    Well duh what else would he say???

  2. brewcrewfan54 says: Apr 11, 2012 4:37 PM

    All the no comments and short lets move on type answers from the other coaches involved tell me that everything in that article is likely true.

  3. alligatorsnapper says: Apr 11, 2012 4:40 PM

    Ben: “Investigations like the one with Meyer only serve as invitations to the readers who want to see how the sausage is made.” Good line. I don’t know how ordinary sausage is made but I have watched southernpatriots’ family make Cajun boudin, tasso, and andoille and that is a great experience since they only put the best parts of the meat in, but I get your gist.

    Know some folks up in Ohio and have not heard the rumors detailed by Matt Hayes. Will ask others via email, but no confirmation of his allegations so far. Who are Matt’s sources?

  4. florida727 says: Apr 11, 2012 4:47 PM

    I can answer that for you “alligatorsnapper”. Matt Hayes DOESN’T HAVE ANY “sources”. This is the best he can come up with for his, albeit brief, fifteen minutes of fame. Seriously, has anyone ever heard of Matt Hayes before this? By tomorrow, he’ll go back to being irrelevant… where he belongs.

  5. lethimplaycoach says: Apr 11, 2012 4:51 PM

    Saying that “Matt Hayes of The Sporting News just torched Ohio State coach Urban” is an insult to all media members who do hard work, find scandals, and torch their subjects. Matt Hayes has a problem with Ohio State that has transferred to Urban Meyer.

    I live in Ohio and no one cares about this piece of drivel. A three month investigation and that is the best he came up with?

    He should have spent his time at Oregon or one of the other crooked programs in the sights of the NCAA.

  6. Ben Kercheval says: Apr 11, 2012 4:58 PM

    “Saying that “Matt Hayes of The Sporting News just torched Ohio State coach Urban” is an insult to all media members who do hard work, find scandals, and torch their subjects.”

    No it isn’t. Hayes torches Meyer. Whether justified or not is up to you to decide, which clearly you have.

    (And for the record, I’m more inclined to agree with you on it)

  7. Deb says: Apr 11, 2012 5:08 PM

    I’ve never really cared that much for Urban, but what’s the deal here? Like he says, there’s no evidence that was a dirty program, so why did it warrant any kind of “investigative report”–especially after the guy has gone to another program? And what did this so-called investigation turn up? That Meyer favored some players over others? I’m sure most coaches have their favorites–and as he said, they’re probably the guys who put in the most effort.

    Whatever else you think about the guy, he produced while he was at Florida. If there was a problem with the way he produced, someone should have mentioned it at the time. This just sounds vindictive.

    As an aside, if my team were in the Big 10, the photograph with this article would make me very nervous. That is the picture of one confident-looking man.

  8. dkhhuey says: Apr 11, 2012 5:42 PM

    Good for Matt – I’m sure if we looked at his past journalistic endeavors you will probably find articles about how Urban only won with Zook’s recruits and he left the cupboard bare for his successor. Yawn.

  9. halbert53 says: Apr 11, 2012 5:44 PM

    Wonder why the reporter wasted time trying to dig up dirt on Meyer when there was a mountain at Arkansas where everybody in the country knew Petrino was a sleaze bag.

  10. bozosforall says: Apr 11, 2012 5:50 PM

    Meyer is a POS. Just like Petrino.

  11. rpmcanes says: Apr 11, 2012 5:58 PM

    Being top 3 in the SEC in graduation and APR itself is not very flattering.

  12. rsmeans says: Apr 11, 2012 6:01 PM

    Matt Hayes did an article that confirmed what most of us in the SEC believed. That the Florida program was out of control and that Urban Meyer showed favortism towards certain players and overlooked transgressions from many favorite players. Many of us felt that it was the Meyer staff particularly Mullen who was responsible for the football success of the program at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida. After they left Meyer literally fell apart both emotionally and in his coaching. However, I am impressed with his response to the favortism allegation which really makes a lot of sense. Still I feel very sorry for the OSU program which Meyer will as he did in Florida totally dismantle.

  13. normtide says: Apr 11, 2012 6:31 PM

    The irony is, a year ago OSU fans would have loved this article. Meyer was the devil, untill he became their coach. SEC recruiting was sour, till he brought SEC recruiting north. I say good for OSU, if the B1G wants to get back to their former glory, first step is to stop turning up their noses. Best of luck to OSU, they prefer winning to excuses.

  14. florida727 says: Apr 11, 2012 7:10 PM

    bozosforall says:
    Apr 11, 2012 5:50 PM
    Meyer is a POS. Just like Petrino.


    One significant difference between Meyer and Petrino: the number 2. That’s the number of national championships Urban has. Oh wait, there is one other significant difference: Meyer wasn’t screwing a 25-year old former university co-ed that caused him to get fired.

    And for the record, “bozo”, I think you’re a POS.

  15. cburmester85 says: Apr 11, 2012 7:29 PM

    Urban Meyer a scumbag? No I just can’t believe it. All of those arrests and players behaving like animals is not his fault. Have fun Ohio State and if you have any questions about how to handle coaches with no morals give Arkansas a call…

  16. thraiderskin says: Apr 11, 2012 8:26 PM

    I guess I don’t understand what the point of the investigation was… I will agree, that as a Buckeye fan, I would have been more open minded to the article a year ago, but I still don’t know what this Matt Hayes guy was giong for. Personally, I don’t want anymore programs getting hurt by these stupid violations, I mean, did the whole USC scandal really help them to be successful? It was over just one guy, when you really look at it. Was what OSU did really that bad, other than the attempted coverup, how bad was it for those kids to sell their stuff. Outside of paying playerS to come to your school, I really don’t even care anymore.

  17. thraiderskin says: Apr 11, 2012 8:30 PM

    cburmester85, we appreciate the advice, but then again, didn’t Arkansas hire the guy in the first place when everyone else in America was screaming what a dirtball he is? Its not like Meyer ever actually did anything for people to have such assumptions about his character. I know I don’t like his attitude, but that doesn’t make him crooked.

  18. edweird0 says: Apr 11, 2012 8:40 PM

    So you’re ok with all the dirty crap this guy does in the realm of college football but you can’t stand the thought of what a man does on his own time?

  19. Deb says: Apr 11, 2012 8:52 PM

    rpmcanes says:

    Being top 3 in the SEC in graduation and APR itself is not very flattering.
    The University of Florida is the 19th-ranked public university in the nation. Ohio State is ranked 17th. Woo-hoo … big prestigious jump there.

    You one-track bigoted jackasses need a new schtick.

  20. surly1n1nd1anapol1s says: Apr 11, 2012 9:41 PM

    Hey Coach Asshat, unless your player is ROTC he is not a warrior.

  21. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Apr 11, 2012 10:51 PM

    Same writer, different outlook….someone’s bitter…​entertainment/sports/​football/​college-footballs-top-coach​es

  22. thraiderskin says: Apr 11, 2012 11:15 PM

    Geez Deb, I thought the guy commenting was a CANES fan. I don’t understand why you’re lashing out at OSU.

  23. getsome99 says: Apr 11, 2012 11:36 PM

    The reason why SEC fans tdon’t care about grad rates and only care about winning football games is the slave master mentality. It’s in their blood. Top players are brought are there to play football and make the school and coaches money. There will be no wasted efforts in trying to educate these kids and prepare them for success in the real world. People like Deb are the true bigoted jack asses. They just don’t realize it because that’s how they do it down in Dixie. Yee haw!

  24. pfitz2 says: Apr 12, 2012 12:00 PM

    So you’re ok with all the dirty crap this guy does in the realm of college football but you can’t stand the thought of what a man does on his own time?

    Petrino used the schools equipment to carry on his sordid little affair; cell phone (texts, calls) and computer. He also hired his girlfriend. None of it was on his own time.

  25. Deb says: Apr 12, 2012 12:25 PM

    @theraiderskin …

    I didn’t think of that as lashing out at Ohio State; the point was that both Florida and Ohio State are high-ranking schools. So his ridiculous assumption that SEC schools are inferior makes him a bigoted jackass.

    Meanwhile …

    getsome99, you’re simply an ass. Why would you assume that SEC fans don’t care about graduation rates? Vanderbilt is one of the best schools in the country, and the other major SEC schools have been persistently improving their academic rankins for years. Our conference is having football success and fans of other conferences–like you–are choking on it. Since you haven’t got the stones to match us in a football conversation, you defer to academics thinking that makes you Big Men. It doesn’t. It makes you bad sports. Nothing more.

  26. cdolan13 says: Apr 12, 2012 3:22 PM

    Has everyone forgotten this issue?

    All I’m saying is; where there’s smoke there’s fire.

    And, the NCAA clearly exhibits a double-standard.

  27. cdolan13 says: Apr 12, 2012 3:26 PM

    What it all comes down to with supporters is National Championships – at any cost.

    You people (fans) who support a program like this are quite simply delusional because you have your ‘bragging rights’.

    So, instead of commenting on my comments which are probably inciting please tell me what your opinions are of the articles I attached in my previous comment?

    I am dying to read the fallout.

  28. Deb says: Apr 12, 2012 6:52 PM

    @cdolan13 …

    I’m not a Florida fan, but am defending the school’s excellent academic reputation. And I’m slamming those who call SEC players stupid just to make themselves feel better about the our recent football dominance. That’s childish and unsportsmanlike, whether or not they want to admit it.

    As I said in my first comment here, I’ve never cared for Urban, and was well-aware of the high arrest record among his players. I’m not sure how much of that can you lay on him, though. It’s one thing if a kid had a record prior to being recruited, but even then, does that mean a kid shouldn’t get a second chance? And if he didn’t have a prior record, how could you expect the coach to know he’ll get in trouble?

    Yes, maybe certain coaches cut slack to bad apples who are good players. But to me, having an undisciplined team actually hurts your chances of building a championship program. Arrests happen in every school, and if Urban cut anyone slack, there’s no evidence he ever did it to the Tressel level.

  29. dkhhuey says: Apr 13, 2012 12:00 PM

    Even the greatest of coaches cannot control these kids when they are set on f@#$ing up. No way, no how, it isn’t going to happen. That is totally out of the coaches hands. They can absolutely scream at the top of their lungs on an hourly basis about the damage these kids can do to their career, education, and future but in the end, it still rests on the shoulders of those kids. What is important is how that coach deals with the situation once all of the facts are known and/or the case is adjudicated. That is how you define a coach in this arena.

  30. cdolan13 says: Apr 13, 2012 12:33 PM

    @deb and @dkhhuey,

    I agree with all your points on the limitations of influence a coach has on the outside ‘personal’ lives of his football players; however, it IS Meyer’s fault for continuing to allow those individuals to stay on the team – with no repercussions. Once charged, NO WAY should a member of a college football team be allowed to play until he goes through the legal process and wins his way back on the field (re: Michael Floyd). It is a black mark over those good kids who continue to walk the straight and narrow (with a few swerves, of course-they are kids in college, after all) and get good grades.

    So I AM damning Meyer’s continuing to ‘allow’ and ‘validate’ this type of behavior within his programs; and, to think that he won’t continue to allow Ohio State athletes free reign over their conduct off the field by showing a history of allowing law-breakers to stay in the program is simply delusional.

    So, I give all the credit to those kids who were able to roll with the punches and win National Championships. It is a total testament to them for overcoming their teammates’ lack of self control as well as their coaches inability to discipline that they were able to stay together as a team.

    And, Deb? To say that law-breakers hurt your chances at winning National Championships? See Maurice Clarett with OSU, as well as SMU (which came close from the mid ’70’s to the mid-80’s), Oklahoma in the mid-late 80’s, THE U in the 80’s, to name just a few.

  31. Deb says: Apr 13, 2012 8:46 PM

    @cdolan13 …

    The problem with removing players from the team once they’re charged and requiring them to win their way back is that you’re judging them guilty until proved innocent. Sorry, I can’t go along with that. I’m the sister/sis-in-law of criminal defense attorneys and a strong advocate of the presumption of innocence. Unless NCAA rules require you to sit those players, I can’t condone punishing people for alleged criminal behavior that hasn’t yet been proved in a court of law. However, if the kid has broken team rules, you can discipline on that basis.

    It’s just my personal belief that players who are getting into a lot of trouble off-field would make for an undisciplined team, which would hinder success. I don’t have any stats to back up that assertion. However, for every undisciplined team like the U that’s been successful, you can find a lot more disciplined teams among NCAA champs and Super Bowl winners. Florida lost it’s grip on the top ranking during Tebow’s senior year–maybe that stuff caught up with them.

  32. baddorange says: Apr 13, 2012 9:35 PM

    I can’t stand the big 10,11,12, especially Ohio State and Michigan. I certainly hope Urban the durban phucks up Brutus.

  33. pfitz2 says: Apr 14, 2012 9:46 AM

    And, Deb? To say that law-breakers hurt your chances at winning National Championships? See Maurice Clarett with OSU..

    Mo C. came to tOSU with no criminal, academic or legal issues. His arrests and subsequent prison time came 4 years after he he left school.

  34. cdolan13 says: Apr 15, 2012 8:22 PM

    Actually, you are wrong. Maurice Clarett had many problems at OSU, on the field and off. He was dismissed from the team in 2003 for filing a false police report. He may not have served jail time until after college; but he was not scandal-free for the university.

  35. dkhhuey says: Apr 16, 2012 12:41 PM

    Up until the Fiesta Bowl game – Machine Gun Mo had little or no problems at OSU. It was hear in Tempe when he began to bad mouth the university when they refused to fly him home to attend a funeral of a close friend. It was after the game when all of the trouble started. Even after he was suspended for filing a false police report and insurance claim, OSU tried to get him to lay low, go to class, stay out of trouble, they left the door open for him to come back. Tressel did everything possible to get him to straighten up, obviously to no avail. He continued to get into trouble and led the university to kick him out of school entirely. We all know the downward spiral that occurred after that! Luckily, for Mo, it appears he has finally started to grow up and become a responsible member of society – I can only hope he continues to do so!

  36. pfitz2 says: Apr 16, 2012 12:58 PM

    Actually, you are wrong. Maurice Clarett had many problems at OSU, on the field and off. He was dismissed from the team in 2003 for filing a false police report. He may not have served jail time until after college; but he was not scandal-free for the university.

    Actually, no I am not. You said won a NC with a criminal.

  37. pfitz2 says: Apr 16, 2012 1:08 PM

    Also, Mo wasn’t dismissed from the team. He was suspended for a year but chose not to return.

  38. dkhhuey says: Apr 16, 2012 1:12 PM

    @cd – I would have to say that it is never a cut and dry, one size fits all, type of situation to delve out the ‘you’re automatically out’. I will absolutely agree that there are certain felony offenses that deserve an immediate suspension until adjudicated and if guilty, deserve the harshest penalty. However, there are many that fall into the ‘stupidity of youth’ category that may/may not warrant a second chance. There are a ton of stories about athletes that messed up, where given a second chance to redeem themselves and have stepped up to do so. Troy Smith from OSU is a great example of a coach giving a kid a second chance that resulted in a fantastic turnaround for Troy! Urban talked about that in great length when he first took the job – he absolutely believes in trying to reach out and help kids in that situation. You can’t save them all but you most certainly can’t stop trying!

  39. dkhhuey says: Apr 16, 2012 1:13 PM

    What an idiot – I meant ‘here’ instead of ‘hear’ in my above post! Didn’t want to get the grammar police after me.

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