Plenty of people were appalled by Urban Meyer’s response to the query as to whether he had a message for Courtney Smith — the only time her name was mentioned at last night’s presser was by a reporter — but I thought it was the only honest moment of the evening.
The rest of the time was simply wave after wave of arrant nonsense requiring every rational human being listening to suspend their attitude of disbelief simply to make it through. Otherwise, how to accept that Gene Smith didn’t tell Urban Meyer about Zach Smith, Urban Meyer didn’t tell Gene Smith about Zach Smith and Shelley Meyer didn’t tell Urban Meyer about Zach Smith? It’s not possible otherwise.
The investigative report itself brings more of the same. Check out this doozie:
ii) Upon seeing [McMurphy’s Aug. 1] report when it first came out (at about 10:17 a.m.), Brian Voltolini, who was on the practice field with Coach Meyer, went to speak with him, commenting that this was “a bad article.” The two discussed at that time whether the media could get access to Coach Meyer’s phone, and specifically discussed how to adjust the settings on Meyer’s phone so that text messages older than one year would be deleted. (iii) Our review of Coach Meyer’s phone revealed no messages older than one year, indicating that at the time it was obtained by OSU on August 2nd , Coach Meyer’s phone was set to retain text messages only for that period, as Coach Meyer and Brian Voltolini discussed. We cannot determine, however, whether Coach Meyer’s phone was set to retain messages only for one year in response to the August 1st media report or at some earlier time. It is nonetheless concerning that his first reaction to a negative media piece exposing his knowledge of the 2015-2016 law enforcement investigation was to worry about the media getting access to information and discussing how to delete messages older than a year.
“We cannot determine” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there.
And of course, this is simply laughable.
Investigators acknowledged that Urban Meyer was affected by the firing of Zach Smith, as well as the erroneous report about Smith’s felony arrest in 2015. Investigators also learned Meyer “sometimes had significant memory issues in other situations where he had prior extensive knowledge of events” and that the coach has periodically taken medicine that “can negatively impair his memory, concentration, and focus.”
As I listened to Meyer deliver his prepared statement at the presser, there was a complete absence of, not just emotion, but connection to being a human. It was as detached a moment as you’ll ever see. All I could think about there was that the man was more involved in his reaction to the Celebration than to Courtney Smith’s abuse. It was appalling, but really not surprising.
So that’s why I go back to the quote in the header as Urban Meyer’s moment of honesty. That “we” was heartfelt; he believes himself to be every bit as victimized here as Courtney Smith. For much the same reason, too: out of feelings for Zach Smith, he allowed his judgment to be clouded. Luckily for Urban, he’s going to come out in a much better place than Courtney Smith will.
I’m amused to hear media speculate on how much this will affect Meyer’s legacy. As if he gives a shit about that. Neither does Ohio State. Besides, give it a year, and some sympathetic media suck up will start the steady beat of stories on Urban Meyer’s path to redemption. It’ll be farcical, no doubt. Guys like Meyer don’t redeem themselves. They just focus on what makes them valuable to institutions that enable their poor judgment.