Urban Meyer to retire as Ohio State’s head coach

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And the biggest domino of the 2018-18 college coaching carousel has fallen.

Late last month, it was reported that Urban Meyer would address his coaching future following the Big Ten championship game.  While that report suggested Meyer would coach the 2019 season before stepping down, that won’t be the case as Ohio State confirmed Tuesday morning that the 54-year-old Meyer will retire from coaching following the Buckeyes’ appearance in this season’s Rose Bowl game New Year’s Day.

Additionally, the football program announced that Ryan Day, who served as acting head coach for the first three games of the 2018 season while Meyer was suspended, will be named as OSU’s next head football coach.

Meyer, Day and athletic director Gene Smith will conduct a 2 p.m. press conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the developments.

It had been reported in late October that there was “friction” between Meyer/the football staff “and athletics leadership as well as within the program itself”; the head coach subsequently attempted to knock down that report, for what it’s worth. CFT had caught wind of speculation that it wouldn’t be surprising at all if Meyer were not the Buckeyes’ head coach next season, whispers that grew a little louder given the embarrassing loss in West Lafayette this and what some have described as Meyer’s “anguished… emotional… erratic” sideline demeanor.  And then there is the arachnoid cyst that puts pressure on the coach’s brain and sometimes causes the kind of headaches that dropped him to one knee on the sidelines during the Indiana game earlier this season.

Add all of that to the battering Meyer’s reputation took nationally over the Zach Smith situation and the coach’s response to allegations of domestic abuse, and a growing number of observers wondered aloud how much longer Meyer will remain as The Head Coach at The Ohio State.

It has been previously reported that OSU was discussing making the 39-year-old Day, who drew near-universal praise for his handling of the Buckeyes during Meyer’s suspension, a de facto head coach-in-waiting; Smith subsequently addressed the situation without really addressing it.

In nearly seven full seasons as the head coach of the Buckeyes, Meyer has gone 82-9, winning 10 or more games in each of his first six seasons; the Buckeyes are 9-1 with Meyer as the head coach in 2018 and can get a 10th win by beating Washington in the Granddaddy of Them All next month.  OSU has won outright or shared seven division titles, three Big Ten championships and one national championship.  And, of course, Meyer beat hated rival Michigan all seven times he faced them, including the last three with Jim Harbaugh as head coach.

An Ohio native who played his college football at Cincinnati, Meyer’s first coaching job at the collegiate level came as a graduate assistant on Earle Bruce‘s OSU staff in 1986-87.  He was the wide receivers coach at Notre Dame from 1996-2000 before moving on to his first head-coaching job, directing Bowling Green from 2001-02 before leaving for the same post at Utah.

After two years with the Utes, Meyer moved on to Florida for the next six seasons.  After winning a pair of national championships in Gainesville, Meyer informed his family in December of 2009 that he was stepping down as the head coach of the Florida Gators; less than 24 hours later, he had stepped back up as the head coach of the Florida Gators.  A year after that flurry of events, and amidst health concerns, Meyer stepped down for good, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.

In late November of 2011, after spending that season as a college football analyst at ESPN, Meyer was officially announced as the 24th head coach in Ohio State history.

Assuming he actually is through with coaching this time around, Meyer’s Hall of Fame career will end with a 186-32 record.  His .853 winning percentage is the highest all-time for coaches with at least 200 games on their résumé; only a pair of Notre Dame head coaches — Knute Rockne (105-12-5, .881) and Frank Leahy (107-13-9, .864) — had a higher winning percentage after coaching 100-plus games.

Mother’s death forces Purdue RB Evan Anderson to leave team

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Purdue running back Evan Anderson has left the team, head coach Jeff Brohm told Gold and Black.

A member of Purdue’s 2018 signing class, Anderson redshirted last season, then had a proverbial bomb go off in his life that took precedence over football and school.

“His mother passed away,” said Brohm told the site. “That set him back, that hurt him. It hurt all of us. It was a bad situation. We felt for him. He missed a lot of school, he missed a lot of practice. I don’t want to put words into his mouth, but his family situation was important to him. It was a rough, rough semester on him–and understandably so.”

A 3-star recruit, Anderson is a native of Suwanee, Ga. Should he desire to continue his college football career, he figures to be a shoe-in for an NCAA hardship waiver if he transfers closer to home.

In less important matters, Anderson’s departure leaves a hole on Purdue’s running back depth chart. The Boilermakers’ top two running backs were seniors, and their third-leading rusher was wide receiver Rondale Moore. The Boilers’ leading returning rusher is sophomore Alexander Horvath, who carried all of nine times in 2018. Six runners, including two incoming freshmen, will fight for carries in fall camp, but Anderson will not be one of them.

Brock Huard leaving ESPN for Fox

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After 12 years at ESPN, Brock Huard is leaving to become the No. 2 college football analyst for Fox.

The news was first reported by the New York Post, then confirmed by Huard himself on his radio show in Seattle.

“I’m leaving there and getting an opportunity, a huge opportunity, and as big of a bummer as it is leaving ESPN, it’s as huge of a gift and an opportunity to join Fox on their college football broadcasts and join Joe Davis, who I worked with way back when on one of his first games when he filled in for Mark Jones,” Huard said, via Awful Announcing. “And I knew then this dude is talented, really good, they’ve got an incredible crew.”

Huard (right) will replace Brady Quinn, who join’s Fox’s revamped pre-game show, which now features Reggie Bush and Urban Meyer alongside Rob Stone and Matt Leinart, in addition to Quinn.

The former Washington quarterback worked alongside play-by-play man Bob Wischusen and sideline reporter Allison Williams on ESPN’s No. 5 crew. Florida’s win over Michigan in the Peach Bowl will now mark Huard’s final game at ESPN.

Fox revealed at its upfront presentation to advertisers that it will put its top games in the noon ET window, a clear attempt to build off its beefed-up pre-game show and to avoid fierce competition with CBS’s SEC package at 3:30 ET and ABC’s Saturday Night Football at 6:30 ET. This means Fox’s No. 1 crew of Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt will spend most, if not all, of their time in Big Ten and Big 12 country, so it stands to reason Huard will spend much of his fall on his native West Coast doing Pac-12 games later in the day.

Auburn adds graduate transfer WR from FCS ranks

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Auburn has bolstered its 2019 class with an intriguing prospect. The nature of college sports doesn’t typically allow players to earn the title of journeyman, but if one did it would be the newest Tiger, Zach Farrar.

A product of powerhouse Southlake Carroll High School in Texas, Farrar signed with Oklahoma as part of the Sooners’ class of 2016. He lasted one season in Norman, a redshirt year, then spent the 2017 campaign at Gulf Coast Community College in Mississippi, where he snagged 11 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns on the season. That led him to Youngstown State, where as a redshirt sophomore he caught 20 balls for 303 yards and one touchdown. Farrar showed out against the best competition he faced, hauling in six balls for 135 yards in a 52-17 loss to West Virginia last season.

Now he’s on the move again, to his fourth college in as many years. This time, Farrar thinks he’ll stick around.

“I really like how the coaches drew everything up for me,” Farrar told Auburn Sports. “They showed me where I would fit in and how they have an immediate need at that position.”

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Farrar figures to work in the mix immediately at outside receiver. He’ll work to replace the 35 catches Darius Slayton left behind when he declared for the NFL draft.

Farrar will have two seasons to play immediately for the Tigers.

Attorney: Dozens of former Buckeye football players among ex-Ohio State team physician’s victims

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An attorney preparing a lawsuit against Ohio State says that most of his 50 clients victimized by former Buckeye team Dr. Richard Strauss were former Buckeye football players.

Dayton-based attorney Michael Wright told the Associated Press some of his clients, all of whom remain anonymous at this time, went on to play in the NFL. “Clearly they had good relationships with the university, and they believe the university will either retaliate or significantly distance themselves from these athletes,” Wright said.

Strauss’ abuse of Ohio State athletes has been in the news lately, but his actions have been primarily focused on the Buckeyes’ wrestling program. Former wrestler Mike DiSabato met with Ohio State in March 2018 to discuss the abuse he says he and other athletes suffered at Strauss’ hands, prompting the school to hire the Seattle-based Perkins Coie law firm. That firm released a 232-page report on Friday that found Strauss abused at least 177 male students; the report made one specific reference to football, and said three former football players were interviewed.

“We find that University personnel had knowledge of Strauss’ sexually abusive treatment of male student-patients as early as 1979, but the complaints about Strauss’ conduct were not elevated beyond the Athletics Department of Student Health until 1996,” the report stated.

Strauss worked for Ohio State from 1979 through 1998. He committed suicide in 2005.

“Although a weight has been lifted off my back, I am deeply saddened to hear and relive the stories of so many others who suffered similar abuse by Dr. Strauss while Ohio State turned a blind eye,” DiSabato’s said in a statement.

Part of the reason the public discourse has centered on Ohio State’s wrestling program is because Jim Jordan, a U.S. Representative from Ohio’s fourth district, served as an assistant coach for the Buckeyes’ wrestling team from 1987 through ’95. Jordan maintains he knew nothing of Strauss’ actions.

But Wright’s lawsuit could broaden the scope and discussion of Strauss’ abuse and Ohio State’s knowledge therein, particularly if any of the victims come forward. Wright told the AP he plans to file his lawsuit late next week.