Big mood today:
I thought Urban Meyer would skate away from the Zach Smith thing largely unscathed, and he has. But I'm still shocked this morning because OSU released a report that provides details of Smith's employment and Meyer's actions. First and foremost, Meyer's first action after the Brett McMurphy report that set this chain of events in motion was to delete all text messages older than a year off his phone. If your first reaction to a media report is to destroy evidence, that's a firing offense.
It goes on, pointlessly, detailing years of Smith's very very obvious issues and Meyer's continuing enablement of them before getting into OSU's response post-McMurphy and the lies Meyer told in an effort to make it all go away. It concludes with a burst of stunningly inane pretzel logic in the service of keeping Meyer in his job. Nicole Auberbach:
I now see why it took so long to go through *this* report and somehow figure out a way to justify a suspension, not a firing: https://t.co/ZNJMwcZCpn
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 23, 2018
The 12-hour meeting was about inserting the pretzel logic. Meanwhile, this was the guy who Meyer kept in his program for a decade:
(b) At 7:35 p.m., Shelley Meyer conveyed, in a text to Coach Meyer, that “I am worried about Zach’s response. He drinks a lot and I am just not sure how stable he will be. Afraid he will do something dangerous. It’s obvious he has anger/rage issues already.” Meyer did not respond to the message.
In response to this, a slap on the wrist and a warning that if Meyer covers for the actions of a serial abuser for another decade there might be Serious Consequences.
And I dunno, guys. What's even the point anymore? Michigan's main rivals are both proven loathsome institutions. They beat Michigan on the football field, so no one cares. Meyer will face no real consequences for his behavior. Mark Dantonio has faced no consequences for bringing Auston Robertson to campus. Both have enabled abuse, in full view of the public, and nobody cares because they win games. Michigan State tried not to care about Larry Nassar and even when forced to by public outrage still gave Lou Anna Simon a golden parachute; they continue to lie to this day.
No real consequences for anyone for anything except losing football games. No shame. Michigan will go down to Columbus in November and very probably lose again and all will be forgiven, except all is already forgiven. Except there was never anything to forgive in the first place.
We need to stop looking at the NCAA as an organization that is supposed to check these behaviors and start looking at it as the primary cause of them. Every big time school looks at their bylaws as a joke to get around. Every major recruit is getting paid under the table. There is a giant see-no-evil culture across the sport. To some extent this is fine because the evil that people aren't seeing is people exchanging labor for money, but once you have a sport-wide code of silence it can easily be extended to wife beaters. Or rapists. Or anything, really.
And then how are you supposed to care?