Three days after Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer was suspended for three games following an investigation surrounding his handling of domestic abuse accusations against former assistant coach Zach Smith, and one day after he issued an apology for his much criticized demeanor at the press conference announcing the suspension, a number of mothers with sons currently playing, or committed to play, for Meyer took to the internet to defend the embattled coach.
First, Kristina Miller, the mother of 2019 five-star center commit Harry Miller, issued a statement to Eleven Warriors. Miller told the site of her long history as a domestic abuse survivor and said, in no uncertain terms, that if she thought that Meyer in anyway condoned domestic violence, her son would not be going to Ohio State.
In the statement, she said:
“If I thought for one second that Urban Meyer would not only condone that kind of behavior, but turn a blind eye to it — as he’s been accused of doing — he most certainly would not be a dear friend and you could bet our son would not be spending the next four years of his life with him. He doesn’t and didn’t. His biggest fault was in trying to help someone who obviously had too many problems, some never proven and many unknown, a choice now I imagine he deeply regrets. I know this man well. He is perfectly human, but not malicious or unkind. If you ask anyone who truly knows him, they will tell you the same.”
Alana Templeton, the mother of freshman wide receiver Kamryn Babb, took to Twitter to agree with Miller’s full-throated defense of Meyer.
Couldn’t AGREE more with her! I’ve been in the same situation in my past. As a mother of a current freshman, I’ve gotten to know Urban personally over the last 2 years, I have no doubt about what kind of man he is and I 100% trust him in leading my son over the next 4 years https://t.co/DC42KseF7e— Momma ♥️♥️♥️ (@AlanaTempleton) August 25, 2018
Likewise, Stacy Wray— whose oldest son Max Wray is a freshman offensive lineman on the team, and younger son Jake who is a four-star 2020 commit— echoed the comments of the other mothers.
Powerful!!! I’m so touched by Kristina’s story. I too would not trust my boy - let alone both boys- to a program if I didn’t believe in the leadership TOP to bottom. I’m proud to be a #BuckeyeMom and it’s an honor to call Coach Meyer a friend. #GoBucks https://t.co/ShcQKUXKN7— Stacy Wray (@StacyLWray) August 25, 2018
All three mothers not only voiced trust in Meyer, but also said that they consider him to be a friend. The bonds created during the intense recruiting process, especially for the in-demand talent which Ohio State pursues, often builds lifelong relationships between not only the coaches and players, but between the coaches and the players’ families as well.
Following the decommitment of four-star linebacker Kane Patterson on Friday night, we might hear more from players’ families, specifically mothers, in the weeks and months between now and both National Signing Days. We often hear about how important pledged players are in recruiting other top talent to their classes, but given everything that the Buckeye program and head coach have been through as of late, they might benefit from having more vocal mothers speaking on their behalf as the recruiting calendar moves forward.
Appropriately, as 11W’s Andrew Lind ended the article featuring Kristina Miller’s statement, if you, or someone you know, is a domestic violence victim, please reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline either by telephone 800-799-HELP (7233) or online thehotline.org.
Thank you, @KschilbMiller, for sharing your story with us. It’s certainly not easy and takes strength, courage and faith to overcome such abuse.— Andrew Lind (@AndrewMLind) August 25, 2018
For anyone who is a victim of domestic violence, don’t be afraid to reach out for support! 800-799-HELP