If the original timeline holds, Sunday is the day when we should find out the results of Ohio State’s Urban Meyer investigation. The national championship-winning head coach has been on administrative leave as the school investigates his handling of the Zach Smith situation.
FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman, one of the top college football insiders covering the sport, joined The Herd on Thursday to update what he’s heard about the situation.
In the interview with Doug Gottlieb, who filled in for Colin Cowherd this week, Feldman said that it seems like things are trending towards Meyer keeping his job.
Here is Bruce Feldman on the Urban Meyer investigation at Ohio State:
“There’s a lot of people who feel like there is an increasing chance that Urban Meyer is going to retain his job.”@BruceFeldmanCFB with the latest on Ohio State’s investigation into Meyer pic.twitter.com/fjkzeq2rfl
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 16, 2018
Feldman said that he has not spoken to investigators, but people “around the story” think Meyer could retain his job.
“I think, from talking to people around this story, there’s a lot of people who feel like there is an increasing chance that he is going to retain his job. That a lot of people are going to say ‘Hey look, did he do the right thing? Technically he did.’”
That does not mean that Meyer is getting off scot-free, at least in the court of public opinion.
Feldman brought up the recent report that Smith had a 2013 DUI, and how it does seem strange that Ohio State would fire him in 2018 if the program felt completely comfortable keeping him on staff following whatever investigating went on in 2015.
“Publicity-wise, it didn’t help that the Toledo Blade unearthed a DUI from a couple of years ago… it was one more thing that I think people will say, whether Urban Meyer keeps his job or not, but if he does keep his job, people are going to go ‘what was the reason that you kept him on, and what exactly was it that you determined that’s why you fired him.’
We don’t know a lot of the particulars on that. Do we know whether when they confronted Zach Smith with this, was he not truthful about it? Did they catch him in lies? What changed the night before Big Ten Media Days, when this all really blew up? We don’t know a lot of that, and hopefully when this investigation is concluded, we’ll get some measure of transparency to find out, because there’s a lot of unanswered questions about where Ohio State goes.”
And of course, Meyer will still be viewed as a hypocrite by many outside of the Ohio State program, given some of the core tenants of his program.
“If Urban Meyer keeps his job, I think there’s going to be a large portion of people who think he’s been exonerated for that. And all the other stuff about whether he lied to the media at Big Ten Media Days, they’ll get over that. The question I think that will hover around it is… two of the biggest tenants of his programs that he’s claimed have been honesty and zero tolerance towards violence against women, and these are the issues that are hovering around him with this Zach Smith story.”
School president Michael Drake didn’t sound sure that this issue will be resolved by Sunday, when the 14 days are up. Still, a resolution could come at any moment.