Here we are again, Urban, with yesterday almost a mirror image of 2018 Big Ten Media Day.
A press conference he couldn’t avoid and one where he’d have to tuck his tail in between his legs and just own something embarrassing. Once again Urban Meyer awkwardly struggled through it, and once again it’s snowballing into a much bigger controversy. Within minutes of the press conference ending, my phone blew up as people were quick to point out the inaccuracies in his statements, many of them plainly obvious (we’ll get to that in a minute).
Now there are rumblings that his job might be in jeopardy. I watched 90 minutes worth of ESPN shows and they have all been about if the head coach will survive. From a sports media perspective, there is blood in the water. It could be inevitable at this point.
Two employment contract terms might become tied to this development with the Jacksonville Jaguars — "morals clause" and "for cause". https://t.co/2GztYKDbj3
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) October 5, 2021
Let’s get back to yesterday’s press conference below.
Urban Meyer on what happened over the weekend pic.twitter.com/IxdUY1STO4
— Ari Meirov (@AriMeirov) October 4, 2021
There are two pretty glaring things in the transcription that immediately raised red flags.
“I stayed to see the grandkids and we all went to dinner at the restaurant. There was a big group next to the restaurant. They wanted me to come over and take pictures, and I did. (They) tried to pull me out on the dance floor, screwing around, but I should’ve left.”
The two big questions here are:
1- Was Urban Meyer really out with his grandkids for dinner?
2- Did he not really know the group he joined in the infamous videos or was he, in fact, part of this group from the start of the evening?
On the grandkids front, Meyer’s wife Shelley posted this at 8:30 p.m. EST and would post again about babysitting grandkids later in the night.
— Shelley ❌eyer (@spinnershells) October 2, 2021
Perhaps Urban and the grandkids went to dinner at an earlier hour? Here is the thing, I’m in Columbus and it’s not really a secret at all that this didn’t happen.
Urban Meyer said yesterday that his now infamous viral video started with a family night out.
Yet a source at the scene says that was total fiction. He was there to party for Chris Corso’s birthday and was likely drunk when we arrived. https://t.co/DyMj9umazm
— Subscribe to The Rooster! (@rooster_ohio) October 5, 2021
All of the info in the tweeted article above matches what multiple people have told me. Meyer was seen eating with a group of all men not long after 6 p.m. No kids. People assumed that most of the group arrived together via a driver who stayed out front and the group may have been drinking before they arrived, although nobody can recall the timing and specifics of who entered when and with who. Significant others joined later that night as the group moved around to the bar adjacent to the restaurant (The Whiskey Lounge) where the infamous videos occurred, as well as the rooftop bar (Terrace Bar) later that evening.
The reality is that nobody saw his grandkids there that evening. I mean, maybe he brought them for brunch or lunch earlier that day, but the story in the press conference just doesn’t check out. Urban Meyer’s Chop House doesn’t even offer a kid’s menu.
How in the world do you think you can eat at your own restaurant in Columbus, Ohio on a Friday night with your face plastered all over it and people are not going to notice who you are with and what you are doing? Insane.
So the other thing to consider is this alleged random group of bad influences that pulled Meyer into the trouble he’s in now. The event was Chris Corso’s birthday and, for those who don’t know, Corso is Meyer’s partner in the establishment and another more casual restaurant in Dublin, Ohio. The two are very close. This isn’t much of a secret at all!
Shelley essentially acknowledges the itinerary of the night in a tweet later in the night. She’s babysitting and Urban is having a night out with his friends, for a birthday. The tweet Shelley is quote tweeting specifically says that Urban is “back in town for our bro Chris’s birthday”. He’s there FOR the birthday!
— Shelley ❌eyer (@spinnershells) October 2, 2021
Brian Schottenstein (seen above) is a prominent Ohio State booster. If you go through his social media, you’ll find a lot of photos of him with Meyer (and various Trumps too). It’s really not that hard to build out a list of who was there that night and realize the attendees were mostly people who had prior relationships with Meyer and why Meyer might be compelled to use one of the extra days he had this week after a Thursday game to spend time with this group for this occasion.
The crazy thing is that regardless of what the video shows, most people in attendance reported to me that Meyer spent a lot of the night wallowing about the state of affairs in Jacksonville and seemed truly unhappy. Add the leaked videos to the state of affairs in Jacksonville and you have to wonder, is it even worth it to try to continue down this path anymore for either side?
Once again, it seems that Meyer always wants to present some ridiculous story of how he gets himself into these high profile negative situations. He isn’t self-aware enough to realize that apologizing for 80% of a controversy and trying to lie or cover up the remaining 20% only makes things worse. Just a few years ago, Meyer’s handling of the press regarding Zach Smith only dug his hole deeper. He was suspended by the university and retired due to health concerns a few months later.
Three years later, Meyer’s reputation is significantly more checkered. Beyond the losing, many were critical, and rightfully so, of his hiring of Chris Doyle (which lasted one day) and giving Tim Tebow a valuable preseason roster spot in a long-shot attempt to make the team. Those were obviously unpopular moves, not just to media and fans, but with his locker room. It was evidence Meyer is just as obtuse as he’s ever been.
Monday morning’s press conference was one final data point. That Meyer is too blind and stubborn to ever fully grasp the consequences that come with the bad decisions he makes. It’s a pattern. It’s who he is. And it’s probably only a matter of time until he has to navigate another high-profile exit that evades his role in how things deteriorated under his watch.