Ohio State coach Urban Meyer announced earlier this month that he will retire following the Buckeyes’ matchup against Washington in the Rose Bowl.
He isn’t, though, planning to completely walk away from the university once his responsibilities with the football team come to a close.
In an interview with CBS 10TV on Thursday, Meyer said he will be co-teaching a “character and leadership” course at Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business next year. He also said he plans to work with athletic director Gene Smith “in some capacity” after he officially retires.
Now, Meyer is one of the best college football coaches in the country in recent history — something that generally qualifies someone to teach a “character and leadership” class. He led Utah to a Fiesta Bowl win in 2004, won two BCS titles at Florida and lost just nine games in seven seasons at Ohio State while leading them to a national title in 2014. Undoubtedly, he has changed the college football landscape forever.
However after this past season — which was riddled with scandal that rocked the program and the university as a whole — the move to have the man who was at the center of that scandal teach young adults about character and leadership just months later seems rather strange.
Meyer, remember, was suspended at the start of the season after an investigation into Meyer’s knowledge of repeated domestic violence allegations that came to light against his former assistant Zach Smith — who he had employed both at Florida and Ohio State. Meyer had initially denied knowing about allegations against Smith before he later admitted that he lied to reporters.
Both Meyer and Smith were suspended following the investigation, which found that they both “failed to take sufficient management action relating to Zach Smith’s misconduct and retained an Assistant Coach who was not performing as an appropriate role model for OSU student-athletes.”
The “character and leadership” that Meyer showed throughout the scandal was questionable at best. While he certainly has the experience and qualifications necessary to teach the course, the timing of it — not even a year after the allegations first came to light — certainly makes for a bad look.
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