Skip to main content

Will Cain Eviscerates Ohio State For Not Firing Urban Meyer

Will Cain discusses the Urban Meyer suspension on ESPN's First Take.

Two days after Ohio State made the decision to suspend Urban Meyer for three games following its investigation into the handling of the Zach Smith allegations, many are still upset that the school did not go all the way and fire the three-time national championship winner.

Ohio State is one of the top programs in all of college football. Naturally, a story like this draws plenty of discussion and debate.

On this morning's episode of ESPN's First Take, Will Cain filled in for Stephen A. Smith opposite Max Kellerman, and reached a similar conclusion to the show's usual star: Urban Meyer should have been fired.

Will Cain's conclusion did not stem from the Zach Smith domestic violence allegations at all, but from all of the other behavior we learned about after the conclusion of the investigation, which occurred under Urban Meyer.

Cain led off by putting the Courtney Smith part of this story, which is of course at the center of the matter, aside. Even if Zach Smith is totally innocent in that matter, Cain says the rest of what is now out there is enough to question Meyer's judgement in keeping him on staff for so long, through multiple programs.

"I believe Urban Meyer should have been fired. I believe Ohio State itself gave us ample evidence and reasons to fire him, and somehow came to the conclusion that it can't or won't.


"The truth of the matter is, Max, on this, I don't choose to take a position on Zach Smith vs. Courtney Smith. I don't know who to believe. I'm not a police officer, I'm not a prosecutor. I don't know what's going on in Powell, Ohio. I don't have to pass judgment on that particular part of Zach Smith's decade-long dirt-bag behavior to indict his employer."

From there, Cain gave a quick rundown of all of the incidents involving Zach Smith, both regarding his ex-wife and otherwise. That list starts with the 2009 allegations at Florida, but continues through missed recruiting trips, the now-infamous strip club trip, occurrences of being late to practice, all the way up to the 2015 allegations and the issues that arose this spring.

Because all of this happened under Meyer's watch, Cain thinks there was more than enough reason for Ohio State to fire him.

They did not, of course, because he wins about 90-percent of his games and is one of the three or four best coaches in the sport, Cain says.

"At the end of all that Max, Urban Meyer didn't have to judge Zach Smith solely on the incidents with his wife, and the domestic violence incidents. Any manager who had an employee who was behaving like this for over a decade, that retained him, would not have their job today. But the fact that Urban Meyer has a .900 winning percentage, and the school has a very, very good thesaurus, and figures out how to use words like "lie," but never actually use the word "lie," is why Urban Meyer is around today.

If he survived this, Max, I have to think he can recover in the long-term when he gets back to winning.

Cain and Kellerman finished the topic on a similar note. By ignoring the myriad issues surrounding Zach Smith, including but not limited to the domestic violence allegations, Meyer put his loyalty to the wide receivers coach and grandson of Earle Bruce ahead of his loyalty to Ohio State. As a result, he put the program and school's reputation in danger.

"Why was Zach Smith so important? You talk about loyalty, but Ohio State fans ought to wonder today: why was Zach Smith more important to Urban Meyer than the Ohio State program? Why was he more important than the long-term future of Ohio State University. Because by showing such devotion to Zach Smith, he not only sold out his values, or the chance to become a leader of men... he sold out Ohio State. He put Ohio State in this position, by keeping Zach Smith in his position for so long."

Meyer is suspended through Sept. 2, which includes preparation for the season opener against Oregon State. From there, he can be with the team at practice, but will be suspended for the games against Rutgers and TCU.