Well, I wasn’t expecting to be writing this article at the beginning of August 2018. After six seasons in Columbus, following his hiring in 2012, Urban Meyer is on administrative leave at Ohio State, pending an investigation into the massive mess that he’s gotten himself into. For those uninitiated, you can read about what has gotten us to this point here, as well as here.
So, with Urban Meyer on leave, and Ryan Day taking over, at least for the time being, as the interim head coach, it’s a fair question ask: What does this all mean? Is Urban Meyer out at Ohio State? What does Ryan Day bring to Columbus? Well, we don’t really know the answers to those questions yet, and if there’s a bad time for a football program to be in limbo, it’s one month before the season starts.
What we do know, however, is that a coach being placed on leave generally leads to the end of that coach’s time at his respective school. With the news that we have, an official investigation will likely lead Ohio State to the same information that was reported this morning, which would in turn likely lead to the firing, or resignation, of Urban Meyer.
If that is the case, which, right now, seems to be overwhelmingly likely, Ohio State will be in a place that they haven’t been since 2011. Without a head coach, Ohio State will have to find someone to take over the kingdom, and with Day in charge this season, if he proves his worth and leads Ohio State to an excellent season, he seems like the leading candidate.
On top of not knowing Urban Meyer’s future, we also have no way of knowing what head coach Ryan Day will look like at Ohio State. He’s never been a head coach at any level, and in all honestly, Ohio State offensive coordinator was his highest profile job to date. His time in the NFL will help, as will the time that he spent learning from Chip Kelly and Meyer, but he’s still a huge question mark right now.
As an assistant however, Day was an excellent play designer, a knowledgeable offensive mind, and an extremely capable recruiter, landing four and five-star recruits with consistency over the past few years, including receiver Garrett Wilson, quarterbacks Matt Baldwin, Dwan Mathis and Jack Miller, and several other high profile recruits.
If the investigation carries into the season, and Day has to run the ship all year, then so be it. That seems like the way this is headed, and as long as the truth is eventually discovered, and justice is served, this is the correct decision. There’s no place for domestic violence in any context, and if Urban Meyer was aware of it happening with one of his coaches, and refused to report it to the university, he should be fired. If it’s found that he didn’t know, or that he didn’t know as much as is claimed, he likely won’t be fired. That’s all there is to it.
No matter what happens, however, this does once again affirm something that we’ve known for years now, going back to the days of Woody Hayes, and that we saw again with Jim Tressel; no coach is more important than the brand. No coach is above the Ohio State football machine. That will continue on, regardless of who it has to get rid of to do so. No coach is immune, and that’s the way it should be.