Even with a new season kicking off Saturday, the cloud that’s hung over Columbus for the last month continues to linger.
In an interview with the New York Times, Jeffrey Wadsworth revealed that he has resigned as one of the 20 members of Ohio State’s Board of Trustees. Wadsworth stated that his resignation stemmed from being “embarrassed” by the media’s coverage over what he considered to be a lenient punishment meted out to Urban Meyer by the university.
Earlier this month, a two-week investigation into the head football coach‘s handling of domestic abuse allegations came to an end and resulted in the head coach’s three-game suspension. Not only did Wadsworth, who left the board’s marathon Aug. 22 meeting with the investigative committee after several hours and never returned, have an issue with the length of the suspension, but also the fact that all other forms of punishment — presumably dismissal being one of them — were seemingly off the table and never really an option.
From the Times‘ report:
It became clear to me where we were, discussing penalties, and I wasn’t ready to do that,” he said, explaining his early departure. “I was in a different place.”
He “had larger concerns,” he said: “I felt that getting into a limited number of games that was a suspension missed the point of a bigger cultural concern about ‘What message were we sending?’ ”
Although there was a sense that there was a “range of options, from doing nothing to firing” Mr. Meyer, Mr. Wadsworth said, “that is different than deliberating it,” and the board quickly settled on a discussion of a suspension.
Wadsworth claimed to the Times that he served as the “lone voice” of dissent during the meeting that helped determine the coach’s future at the school, but was rebuffed when it came to discussing a harsher punishment for Meyer. The now-former trustee declined to discuss with the newspaper what he had proposed in the form of punishment.
Per Wadsworth, he emailed a letter of resignation to the university’s president an hour or so after Meyer’s punishment was made public on the night of Aug. 22. Wadsworth’s term as a member of the board was set to expire next year.