The Mailbox: Reader wonders why Urban Meyer didn't tough it out as coach

Ray Stein
Buckeye Xtra
Former Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer talks while reporting for the Big Ten Network from Clemson Tigers Media Day at the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on Thursday, December 26, 2019 at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Arizona.  President Donald Trump appointed Meyer to a two-year term on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. [Joshua A. Bickel/Dispatch]

Editor: Regarding The Dispatch's stories (last weekend) about Urban Meyer, the main thing that bothers me is the way he left his job.

Of all the coaches at OSU, he was my favorite. He said coaching here was his dream job. But from what I’ve read lately, it sounds like he got his feelings hurt due to the suspension.

I realize he has health issues, but in real life, that happens and most of us can’t quit our jobs. Rob Oller’s (Tuesday column) mentioned Meyer is a fan of giving second chances. Maybe he could have done that with his job rather than walk away. 

He might remember that over a period of seven years he earned a minimum of $40 million. And I can’t afford season tickets! I just wish he had displayed some of the toughness he expects from his players.

Roger Brewer, Millersport

Roger: Again this week, I’m not sure why so many people equate a person’s salary to job satisfaction. Is it harmful to be paid well? Of course not, but that’s not the sole factor in someone’s happiness in a position. In Meyer’s case, I’m guessing he didn’t appreciate that his bosses either didn’t care for or believe his attempts to wiggle out of the Zach Smith firestorm.

Mr. Stein: Here’s to hoping coach Chris Holtmann learned a lesson in (the Feb. 25) loss to Michigan State. It reminded me of some of Urban Meyer’s worst coaching jobs, namely Clemson in 2013 and Michigan State in both 2013 and 2015: “Just keep giving it to (insert starting quarterback). Can’t go wrong with him!”

This year’s Ohio State basketball team’s amazing run of success has come by depth; role players playing roles. Zed Key was great in the first half, and he barely touched the court in the second. Musa Jallow, Justin Ahrens, Meechie Johnson and Gene Brown took one shot between them.

Michigan State realized that if you body up E.J. Liddell, he can’t help taking the shot, even if it’s not there, and the bad call on Duane Washington’s three before the shot clock expired seemed to flip his “on” switch to “off.” In the last 10 minutes he had more air balls than baskets.

Fair or unfair, bad calls or no calls, if something's not working, you have to scheme out other options. If this team tries to win by forcing the play through three or four stars, we’re dead in the tournament, and we’ll win our one game and go home. 

Bob Young, Columbus

Bob: Actually, I think Ohio State will be fine in the NCAA Tournament, in which opponents don’t have the time to scout a team down to the nubs like they do in the Big Ten. That said, Justin Ahrens has to stop impersonating a mannequin.

Ray: Over-prepared college basketball announcers on every network have become more focused on idle chitchat than announcing the game.

Identifying the player who committed a foul seems to have become optional and giving the number of fouls now on him rarely mentioned in a game where foul trouble is relevant and useful information.

I’d like to tell all of them they aren’t doing a talk show; cut the B.S. and just announce the game.

Dennis Singleton, Dayton

Dennis: Oh, you traditionalists, always wanting your information rather than accepting entertainment. I’ve learned to tune out announcers, mostly, but there’s one guy on ESPN (I think he works with Robbie Hummel) who apparently took the job so he could work on his standup act. Hard pass.

Mr. Stein: Dispatch sportswriter Brian Hedger recently (March 2) wrote, “It’s not good when star defenseman Seth Jones talks about vice grips being applied to hockey sticks.” 

Whoa! Way too much information! 

Jay Hoster, Columbus 

Ray: Your response yesterday to Mickey Geslak (Mailbox, last Sunday) may be your best yet. How he got from the OSU-UM hoops game to 1960s football is beyond me. 

Brent D. Rosenthal, Westerville 

Ray: As an ardent Buckeye fan, I was frustrated with the officiating at Michigan State, as most of us were. As I see official Brooks Wells (who tossed our coach by assessing technical No. 2) singled out as someone who may have something against OSU or Coach Holtmann, I felt obligated to share my knowledge of his skills as a basketball ref. 

I've seen Mr. Wells work probably two dozen games over the past 10 years, many of those in Branson, Missouri, at the NAIA D2 championship tournament. He was very consistent, in top physical condition, nearly always in proper condition, and was good at trying to de-escalate frustrated players and coaches in a winner take all environment. He comes from a family of officials, and takes a lot of pride in his work. 

I expect we'll see him working Buckeye games for years to come, and he'll do a professional job. 

Doug Shoemaker, Westerville