Will Urban Meyer be fired?
From outside the investigation, it looks like a coin toss of either being fired or being suspended.
In the next couple weeks, the independent group assigned to investigate the Urban Meyer situation by Ohio State’s Board of Trustees will answer this hot-button question. The group’s findings and verdict will affect Urban Meyer, Ohio State—the football program and university as a whole—as well as the #MeToo movement.
College football fans and non-college football fans alike await this hotly-debated decision.
It doesn’t feel right to name or place Urban Meyer alongside the most infamous individuals who have defined the #MeToo movement, especially given that Meyer did not assault anyone. Having said that, Meyer potentially failed to report domestic abuse allegations back in 2015, which is very serious.
As a result, the “will he be fired?” debate concerning Urban has national resonance beyond college football in this era of heightened accountability.
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If he is fired—which is possible—then it will expand the #MeToo movement into punishing someone who (reportedly) failed to report an incident of abuse according to university or company protocol and/or new societal norms.
Wherever you fall on this critical debate, it will be the larger impact of Ohio State’s decision, and the final details of the investigation are necessary before passing final judgement.
Let’s examine this situation from 10,000 feet.
Shelley Meyer likely told her husband about Courtney Smith disclosing details of abuse by then-husband Zach Smith back in 2015. We are waiting on definitive proof. At the 2018 B1G Ten Media Day, Meyer publicly lied about knowing of these allegations from 2015, which was challenged with enough information by former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy for Ohio State to place Urban on paid administrative leave while an investigation occurs.
Last Friday, Urban Meyer spoke out via a typed letter posted on his Twitter page. In the letter, he said he believes he followed university protocols in 2015, he apologized for lying at B1G Ten Media Day and that he is confident in the truth regarding this situation.
News broke yesterday from Courtney Smith’s lawyer that Ohio State did not contact her concerning the domestic abuse by Zach Smith from 2015. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the investigation’s findings.
Say, for example, the investigation ends, OSU wins this year’s national title and you watch Urban Meyer lift the trophy as golden confetti rains down on him.
How would you feel?