Urban Meyer

USA Today

Urb's 3rd Retirement

This dude is done coaching at Ohio State. But he’s not done coaching.

December 05, 2018 - 9:38 am

Urban Meyer met with the media yesterday to explain his decision to step down after the Rose Bowl. I could play you some clips from it, but let’s be honest, there’s really only one question that matters. Nobody is really interested in why he’s stepping down, because you know you probably aren’t going to get a straight answer on that one.

The only question that matters is: will he coach again?

And it’s a fair question. Because yesterday was his third retirement since 2009. That’s a helluva lot of retirements. If you get fired three times in less than a decade, that’s a problem. If you retire three times in less than a decade, that’s a…well, I have no idea what that is, because that just happened: Most people don’t drive three different cars in less than a decade and this guy rolling through retirements like they’re leased. 

And while it’s a fair question, given Urban’s past, you knew there wasn’t much of a chance that you’d get a good answer. Urban Meyer has an interesting relationship with the truth. Let’s just say that it’s a strained relationship that he likes the characterize as “misstatements” and failed memories. 

And he thinks he’s getting over when he does that. And for some people, maybe he does. But when you look at the track record, when you know how he operates, it’s pretty hilarious. Or it would be, if it didn’t involve so much denying and covering for some allegedly heinous acts.

So that’s why this exchange was so classic Urban Meyer.

Reporter: “Is this truly it for your football career?” 

Urban Meyer: “It’s a complicated question…”

Let me jump in right there. No, it’s not. It’s actually a real simple yes or no question. One that you had to know was going to come up at this press conference and still you start with “It’s a complicated question…”

The “ehhhh, let’s not get into that yet” 911 caller couldn’t believe how ill-prepared he was for that question.

Again, if Urban Meyer was the guy who Urban Meyer proclaims himself to be, this would be sad. Because it would be the departure of a guy who was an excellent football coach, but is also a moral leader, a pillar of the community who is being cut down by his own health. If Urban Meyer was the Urban Meyer he thinks he is, he has the brain to be the best football coach in the country and a brain cyst that won’t let him compete at the level that he wants. The tragic irony there would be so thick that it’s almost Shakespearean.

But Urban Meyer is not the Urban Meyer he thinks he is or wants you to think he is. So that’s why this whole thing feels like a joke. 

And speaking of jokes, let’s get back to the rest of his answer:

“It’s a complicated question, and I’ll try to answer it the best I can. This is home. This is where I grew up. It isn’t healthy but I came to work every day with fear of letting people like Archie Griffith and the our great state of Ohio down because this is home. I’m a graduate of Ohio State. We have the best fans in the land, and I didn’t want to let them down.”

Right. So, that means you’re going to coach, again right? Because you didn’t say you weren’t. And no one is buying the crap you’re slinging right now. Answer the damn the question. Because it was asked again. Will you coach again; this time he said?

"I believe I will not coach again."

And then asked if he was certain, he responded: “Fairly certain, yes.” 

So your three answers include:

-        Muddying the waters with “it’s a complicated question…”

-        Hedging with “I believe I will not coach again”

-        And then hedging even more with being “fairly certain” about it


There’s so much wiggle room there, you could drive a truck through it. C’mon, man, you didn’t even bother to trying to sound authentic with it. The longer that press conference went, the less convinced he was that he was done. Hell, but the end of it, I thought he was going to announce he had been hired to coach USC.  Like if someone asked him one more time, he’d just rip out a USC hat and yell “Fight on!”

This dude is done coaching at Ohio State. But he’s not done coaching. He knows it; that’s why he wouldn’t answer the question. This dude can’t stay away. His body, his brain, actually, may be telling him that he can’t keep coaching. But his ego won’t let him stop.  So he can sign another one of those family contracts where he pledges to take care of himself and be present with his loved ones. And he will. For a little while. Until the next great opportunity comes along and he’ll be bounce again. Because this is what this dude does: he wins a lot games, crosses a helluva lot lines to do it, lies about it, errrr misrepresents it, wears out his welcome after building yet another renegade program, and then retires. Only to come right back. In other words, he doesn’t retire. He quits. And then comes back. And he will again. He always does.

So if someone is offering me a line or an opportunity to bet whether Urb coaches again, I’m going to hit that thing hard. Because there’s no way this guy is done. You know it. I know it and most of all he knows it: or he would have owned that retirement yesterday. But he didn’t. He never does. And if you can’t answer the easiest question ever: are you done coaching? Then you know it’s just a matter of time before he does it again

And how are you feeling if you’re in the Ohio State administration today? You stuck your neck out and shamed yourselves to keep Urban Meyer. And what did you get for your troubles? The distinct possibility that he will coach some other program in the very near future. 

Ryan Day seems like a hell of a coach. Everyone who’s been around him, raves about him. He might be the next Lincoln Riley and maybe they’ll come out of this okay from a football standpoint, but they stuck by a guy who brought scandal to the school and then he ducks out the back door a few months later. 

But that’s what you get when you deal with Urban. This is who is he. He wins football games. He burns hot. Makes up a bunch of crap about how he’s there to mold young men, and treat women with respect. Then lets his players and coaches do whatever the hell they want. And then he leaves early. And he leaves destruction in his wake. And the next school that hires him better know that.