Fourteen days in, the clouds are still heavy, the rain intermittent. Will the sun shine soon?
Editor: For the past two weeks, letters in the Mailbox were filled with reactions of feeling rather than logic on both sides of the Urban Meyer matter. Putting emotion aside, there are some unbiased points to ponder.
Title IX, the Ohio State policy guidelines and Meyer’s personal contract with OSU make him responsible for “babysitting” players who have off-field problems. Meyer knew of those provisions when he signed with OSU.
The other side of that coin is that even zero-tolerance policies must give room for consideration of cases that are neither ’twixt nor ’tween. The Zach Smith matter seems to fall into that category.
Meyer deserves the benefit of the doubt for two objective reasons. Lying to the media at Big Ten media day is not a firing offense. More important, if Meyer didn’t do what Courtney Smith wanted him to do in 2015, why did she wait until July 2018 to say anything about it?
Dick Graham, Worthington
Editor: Urban Meyer must be a truly dangerous and despicable person for the administration to prohibit him from setting foot on the OSU campus.
In any event, the coach is now in the position of having to prove that he is, indeed, fit to resume his duties and walk the campus streets again. That is going to be difficult, because these days every allegation made is presumed to be true.
I wonder where Urban’s supporters are hiding. Not one positive word of support have I seen in print or heard on TV.
Donald Wyer, Lancaster
Editor: While there are times to be “political,” there is always a time to be “correct.” The blending of the two words is usually used by those not wanting to admit that there are at times legitimate grievances and inequalities that need to be addressed.
There are serious accusations made regarding the Smith situation. There is a serious investigation regarding those accusations. This should not involve politics. Demonstrations or rallies before we even know the findings are premature, and comparisons of Dispatch columnist Michael Arace to CNN’s Jim Acosta are ridiculous.
We should be looking for only one thing here — the truth. We should abide by truthful findings, either way, and then rally in support of our team, whose members had nothing to do with the situation!
We had better get to the bottom of the diving and wrestling scandals, as well, because these seem to have involved far more people within the OSU family.
Greg Ward, Dublin
Editor: Zach Smith never should have been fired in the first place. When I opened my paper the day after his dismissal, I had to read the article twice for fear that my eyes were deceiving me.
Smith had never been arrested for assault, let alone tried or convicted. No prosecutor in his right mind would take the case to court on the kind of evidence set forth in the article. And yet the university’s abject capitulation to the #MeToo movement required that he go.
So the extremists in the feminist movement were satisfied but now the university has become a laughingstock. Now they want Urban Meyer fired because he was not sufficiently attentive to the private life of a subordinate who allegedly committed an assault on private premises on his free time in circumstances that will never lead to a charge, never mind a conviction.
Now we have a million-dollar investigation underway to see if they can come to a reasonable decision as to whether an assault occurred when the police were never able to do so. The rest of the country must be wondering what we’re smoking here in Columbus.
Thomas Dugan, Columbus
Editor: Three cheers for another rational and positive commentary (“Anger over OSU saga becomes exhausting,” on Thursday) by Rob Oller.
There is something crude and ugly in the spirit of our time that makes us quick to tweet or write, expressing anger and hasty judgment about all kinds of issues, in this case OSU’s investigation about Urban Meyer’s action or inaction in the Zach Smith matter.
I have doubts about two weeks being sufficient time for the work to be done thoroughly, but Oller has wisely reminded us to slow down, take several deep breaths, and let the process work out. We don’t all have to be judge and jury for every problem. Life will go on, and OSU football probably will continue.
James E. Magaw, Mount Vernon
Editor: I see you also are taking instructions from your editor to promote the “new” Dispatch agenda: Degrade everyone with integrity.
Russell Howard, Columbus
Ray: Urban Meyer and presidential politics definitely stir the passions of your readers. Apparently, the process of independent investigations or a free press and opinion writers for a newspaper or any media alarm many.
Ohio State with or without Urban Meyer will win football games and be a juggernaut. The United States will survive for better or worse with or without the current president. Pick your poison.
John D. Wider, Newark
Ray: Before his first game against Michigan, so highly anticipated, Jim Tressel suspended quarterback Steve Bellisari, forcing sophomore Craig Krenzel to make that game his first start. Years later, he suspended Troy Smith before a bowl game, which made it a bit dicey with Ted Ginn Jr. becoming the backup QB.
It never made sense that Tress would then be reluctant to stretch out suspensions of some players over a cupcake September? I’ve always believed the rumored scenario that athletic director Gene Smith painted Tressel in a corner, leaving Tressel, who had seen no reason to delete an email, to take the fall.
I was delighted to hear Urban Meyer say he followed proper protocol, and wish Tressel had said the same thing seven years ago. Had he done that he'd still be our coach, Urban would be starting his fourth year at Notre Dame, Gene Smith would have been pursuing other opportunities seven years ago, OSU’s reputation intact, and Archie Griffin would be athletic director, which he should have been in the first place.
Dennis Singleton, Dayton
Mr. Stein: If Urban Meyer’s renewed contract this year included a clause regarding Title IX, which was not in his prior contracts, why is he being held accountable for the years his contracts did not include the Title IX clause?
He reported Zach Smith this year in compliance with his new contract this year. Confused?!
Dick Smith, Columbus
Ray: I have been disappointed with the coverage of the Zach Smith-Courtney Smith coverage in The Dispatch and I would guess that you have been, too.
This whole thing started when a former ESPN reporter writing on Facebook found a 2015 domestic violence incident in Powell that your reporters apparently didn’t know about.
The other day the Toledo Blade broke a story on Zach’s DUI arrest in Dublin in 2013. The same day, The Dispatch had a rehash of previous stories about Smith and Tim May reported what “insiders” were saying about how the team’s freshmen were doing in practice.
What are the “insiders” saying about Smith? How do out-of-town papers and websites keep breaking stories in your own backyard? I don’t get it. Everybody is talking about this, but other places have more news on the subject than The Dispatch does.
It almost sounds as if you are trying to avoid reporting on this.
Michael Brantford, via email
Editor: Who named Michael Arace the official arbiter for OSU? He lumps the football story in with known deviants like Dr. Richard Strauss and Will Bohonyi — implying they are equal.
He goes on to say that OSU has to decide between “gridiron victories and hundreds of millions of dollars to feed the athletic department — or …” and then naming this the “Meyer Scandal.”
What a jerk. If Urban has done wrong, let the facts play out rather than attempting to push the decision. Then Rob Oller comes along and focuses on how much the coach is paid, and it is a lot, but as a result, assumes it his responsibility to keep the public informed of all the activities of coaches and players.
Bull. I think it would serve the media right to just have all the coaches say no comment to every question. If The Dispatch was honest, they would go about seeking the truth of the allegations. Interview family and friends of the accuser. What motive if any, why now instead of when it was supposed to have occurred?
Rumors are rampant that this was a get-even effort and many of the claims were false. But The Dispatch has made no effort to chase down that angle. Wonder why?
W.J. Harper, Columbus
Editor: Jay Green (Mailbox, last Sunday) needs a lesson in geography. Sioux Falls is in South Dakota, not North Dakota. You apparently do as well, since you didn't catch this whopper.
Scott D. Schockling, Urbana
Sir: On (Wednesday), The Dispatch reported that Leslie Pool of the Austin city council traveled to Columbus. She took a tour of the outside of Mapfre Stadium.
They should have shown her the drab, dark, dank interior in a state of neglect.
Steven Vargo, Columbus
Editor: The PGA Championship (last) Sunday had one of the best leader boards in recent major-championship history and delivered an entertaining final round to end the year’s fourth major.
I couldn’t help but notice, however, when CBS color analyst Nick Faldo proclaimed during Tiger Woods’ final few holes that his was the “greatest comeback in golf history,” even though Woods finished second, and has yet to win a tournament since 2013 (no major since 2008).
Ben Hogan would take exception to that commentary. In 1949 Hogan was nearly killed in a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus. He was told he’d be lucky to walk again, let alone return to golf in any competitive fashion.
In 1953, Hogan played in only six tournaments because he struggled to walk 18 holes. Of the six he entered, he won five, including three majors — the Masters, the U.S. Open, and the British Open, which was played at Carnoustie, arguably the toughest of the Open venues.
It was the first and only time Hogan played the Open. I understand Sir Nick must pay homage to the TV ratings and revenue generation created by one Eldrick Woods. But let’s drop the hyperbole of a winless season and second-place finish at the PGA as golf’s greatest comeback.
Brett McQuade, Dublin
Mr. Stein: Tiger Woods’ performance in last week’s PGA Championship was outstanding, even though he came up short in winning it.
Circa 2038: Tiger Woods, shut out in winning a major PGA Championship since 2008, is giving it another try. He is competing in the inaugural Iraq Open, at 63 years of age.
Sam, his son — a prominent surgeon in Columbus — communicated to the world that his father has been putting in long hours of practice. His father wants this championship, and is confident that he will win it. Also will be his first major win in the newly named International PGA.
Chris Beale, London