I spent last week staring into a hole. Just like Ohio State.

My chasm came courtesy of a Grand Canyon vacation, eliciting oohs and ahs. The university’s void produced something more vociferous — the hue and cry of Buckeye Nation, wailing for and against Urban Meyer and the football program.

A parallel exists between the two fissures. Look too long into either abyss and your gaze remains there, unable to focus on anything else. The Grand Canyon and The great state university both offer more than meets the descending eye, but there is something mesmerizing about the depths that makes it difficult to look up.

Yet raise our eyes we must, to move on and move ahead. It is called progress, advancing from shadow into light. In the case of Ohio State, that means turning negatives into positives by finding solutions to institutional problems.

It’s not easy. The tendency is to get lost in details of the controversy involving allegations of domestic abuse by former assistant coach Zach Smith, possible inaction by athletic director Gene Smith and other administrators, and Meyer’s mishandling of one of his core values: honesty.

To be sure, we should continue to seek the truth on the matters at hand, and hopefully the six-person committee and the outside counsel tasked with investigating Meyer will find answers.

Also, there is no getting around the fallout that already has occurred. Meyer’s credibility has taken a hit; there is less reason to believe him today than before he lied at the annual Big Ten media gathering by denying that he knew anything about the 2015 allegation of domestic abuse involving Zach Smith.

Meyer’s admission, tweeted out Friday: “My words, whether in reply to a reporter’s question or in addressing a personnel issue, must be clear, compassionate and most of all, completely accurate.”

Why believe him the next time he explains why a coach was fired or why the quarterback remained in the game after throwing three interceptions in the first half? Coaches stretch the truth all the time, but not all of them make truthfulness a core tenet of their tenure, the way Meyer does.

Another core value is Meyer’s insistence on his players respecting women. As he once said while coaching at Florida, “If you touch a female, I don’t want to hear she hit you first.”

It stretches the limits of credulity to think that respecting and protecting women are paramount in Meyer’s world view when in 2011 he hired a coach in Smith who was arrested in 2009 and accused of domestic abuse (charges were later dropped) and then retained him for three more years after learning of further domestic allegations in 2015.

In dissecting Meyer’s words and actions, however, the tendency is to get lost in the weeds by obsessing over whether he should be suspended multiple games or fired. Ditto for debating the job security of Gene Smith or Ohio State president Michael V. Drake.

They are intriguing questions, and fair to speculate on — one could make the case that punishing participants who are in seats of power is justice being served. But I wonder if at times like these it serves the greater good to divert our attention from the pitiful pit into which Ohio State has sunk and instead look at the potential for good that can come out of manipulation and mistakes.

If Meyer stays, or even if he goes, there is need to further educate athletes specifically on the destructive nature of domestic abuse. Some efforts are being made to do so, including university-wide mandatory training on sexual misconduct, but where football is concerned, it is too easy to give lip service to “peripheral” issues. Use Zach Smith’s downfall as a teachable moment. Do more in connecting the football program to any number of domestic violence awareness organizations in Columbus.

The Buckeyes brought in rape survivor Brenda Tracy two weeks ago to address the team and urge players to speak out against sexual assault. Great. Meyer implemented Real Life Wednesdays to help players understand that football does not last forever. Great.

Now, with all that has happened in the past few weeks, an opportunity exists to expand young adult education beyond career-building and networking to amplifying an athlete’s social awareness.

But such efforts are not enough if “the program” remains sacrosanct. I suspect many inside the football program and athletic department knew that Zach and Courtney Smith were having marital difficulties. How motivated were they to help, knowing the blemish it might bring to the program?

Both inside and outside of sports, I have witnessed that even with the best of intentions, trouble brews when those in charge place the program ahead of people and policy. If the current controversy means that Ohio State raises its vision above protecting football at all costs, then some good will have come from it.