Three-Game Penalty For Ohio State Football Coach Urban Meyer Won’t Deter Bad Behavior

Director of UT’s Center for Sports Leadership says Ohio State’s handling of the situation “sets a very bad example” for institutions in a similar situation.

By Laura Rice & Michael MarksAugust 24, 2018 12:59 pm, ,

Urban Meyer is one of the top college football coaches in the country. He headed the team at the University of Florida when Tim Tebow won the Heisman Trophy. Meyer currently leads the team at Ohio State University. Now, he’ll be sidelined for the first three weeks of the college football season. Ohio State handed him that penalty for mishandling domestic assault allegations involving one of his assistant coaches, Zach Smith. Meyer is also in trouble for misrepresenting what he knew about the situation.

Some say the suspension is too light a punishment for Meyer. That’s something Daron Roberts has been thinking about. He’s director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation at the University of Texas at Austin.

Roberts says Meyer’s suspension is likely to be the biggest story of this college football season – and no games have yet been played.

“I think that if you look at the way that the administration at Ohio State handled it, in particular the press conference, at no point did Urban Meyer express any remorse for the way he handled the situation,” Roberts says.

Meyer didn’t acknowledge Courtney Smith, the victim of the domestic violence at the center of the case.

“I think it sets a very bad example for other institutions who may unfortunately find themselves in this kind of situation,” Roberts says.

Roberts says outside observers want universities and other institutions who employ bad actors to take disciplinary actions that will discourage similar behavior in the future.

“When you look at the three-game penalty in an era when players are selling shoes and getting four game [suspensions], this does not seem like the penalty is really commensurate,” Roberts says.

Written by Shelly Brisbin.