Many Ohio State fans sticking with Meyer

Staff Writer
Buckeye Xtra

Opinions are plentiful but space is not, so there’s no point of my getting in the way.

Editor: Unless the fundamental doctrine of the rule of law has changed in the United States, persons accused of a crime are considered innocent until proven guilty.

As a graduate of Ohio State, I am disappointed that coach Urban Meyer is not being supported by the university until an investigation is completed and the allegation of misconduct proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

When you put someone on administrative leave, you have inferred guilt whether you meant to or not.

The people who handled this situation so poorly should take a refresher course in basic law. However, knowledge of the law will not overcome the poor judgment exercised here. Until proven otherwise, I support Coach Meyer.

Stephen N. Zwelling, Lewis Center

Editor: I find it appalling that 23,000 or so people signed an online petition in support of Urban Meyer. Can we at least wait for the investigation to be complete? Meyer, like many if not most college coaches, will sell their souls to the devil to justify their ridiculous salaries and win games.

Urban Meyer is a guy who had issues at Utah, a guy who refused the Notre Dame job because they would not allow him to recruit players who were terrible in high school academics. Look at his Florida success, where no less than 31 of his players were arrested. Even at Ohio State, there have been issues.

Ohio State will win at all costs and Meyer is a fraud who cares about nothing but himself and the millions he makes. He blatantly lied at the Big Ten media day and you are telling me we need to investigate? He should be fired sooner rather than later, but Ohio State will probably sell their souls to keep him. Very disgraceful.

Lou Bivona, Belleville, N.J.

Editor: Urban Meyer has done nothing wrong. He is accused of not telling about some gossip his wife heard and repeated to him.

Well, good for Coach Meyer. He is not a gossip and stayed out of other people's domestic and personal business.

If this witch hunt continues, it is going to not only ruin OSU’s reputation but ruin the football program and the prestige the university holds. It will reverberate for years if Meyer is fired without reason by those who consider themselves beyond reproach.

Esther G. Schwartz, Columbus

Editor: Dearest fellow Buckeyes: Your gestures of support such as rallies or online petitions will do nothing to sway the scales of the facts and outcome of the investigation regarding Urban Meyer.

Passion for a thing can erupt in outbursts of emotion; however, the current situation is best served being observed and through our empirical lenses and then contemplated on after the facts have been rendered.

Let’s all be patient and respect the process and findings.

Miklos Darvitch, Parma

Editor: I am a father, a grandfather and a veteran who has been a Buckeyes fan for 61 years. I am confused and horribly disappointed by the state of politically correct leadership exhibited at The Ohio State University.

As a business owner, am I now required to fire every employee who is accused of domestic abuse or other crime? Even three years later? Are the two sick adults in this relationship not completely and personally responsible? I say they are, not the employer, not the coach.

If OSU fires Coach Meyer, I become a Wolverine fan for life.

Dan Engle, Greenville, S.C.

Editor: Too bad Tim May and Bill Rabinowitz have to suffer for your decision to let Jim Acosta clone Michael Arace run his commentary.

Commentaries belong on the editorial page, not in the Sports section. While I am missing the OSU football coverage, I hope OSU bans reporters for the rest of the season. It would serve you right for your hatchet job.

Jim Silvania, Columbus

Editor: Michael Arace should be fired for just being an idiot. His job is to report, not judge the actions of others. Without OSU sports he might be working in Sioux Falls, North Dakota, where he belongs. Free speech aside.

Jay Green, via email

Editor: College football is kind of the last bastion for those of us who just want to watch some football.

The NFL has ruined pro football with the interjection of political stuff, and now OSU is flirting with this Jerry Springer-type crap over an ex-wife trying to get even with her husband. Not being satisfied with the results, she is going after his employer.

What happens down the road if Zach Smith ever gets hired again? Will his ex call the wife of his new boss and run this out to make them complicit at some point when she gets pissed he didn’t pick up the kids on time?

Total crap. I just want to watch some football.

Tim Driscoll, Columbus

Editor: After the issues surrounding coach Jim Tressel, band director Jon Waters, both of whom were fired, and now the accusations directed at coach Urban Meyer which could lead to his exit, I am wondering why Gene Smith never seems to be called to task for what goes on in the department for which he is ultimately responsible.

Other major universities have held that person’s feet to the fire, and what “culture” at OSU does this lack of accountability represent? Just sayin’…

Donald J. DePalma, Powell

Editor: I realize for whatever reason the majority of this state bleeds scarlet and gray and some people live and breathe by what happens at Ohio State. However, the significance to the state and city as to what is going on with Ohio State and Urban Meyer is not front-page news every single day for however long this drags out.

It is certainly unfortunate that one’s actions get impeded on others and then they become accountable for something they had nothing to do with. We don’t need Zach Smith’s dirty laundry on the front page each day, and I’m sure his family would appreciate that, too. At this point, keep it to the Sports section, somewhere further back on page 9 as an FYI if someone is so inclined to follow the drama.

Regardless of what happens to Urban Meyer, Ohio State will live on as it always does when engulfed in turmoil. With all the other things that go on in this country, in the big scheme of things in this state and city that news is not what we need to be informed about.

S.L. Pierce, Columbus

Editor: A neighbor lady came to my door and asked to come in because her husband was angry, abusive and after her.

I let her in and asked her if she would like to call the police. She replied no. At that moment, I understood this was a private matter between married couples having an argument that they were entitled to settle as they chose. Had she called the police, the matter would be handled by the justice system and made a public record.

Urban Meyer represents the Ohio State University in his dealings with the faculty, students and the public, but he and the university must be very careful involving themselves in the private lives of others even when they want to help.

Article IV of the Bill of Rights gives families the right of privacy and overrules any state or federal statue to the contrary.

Urban Meyer was wise not to report hearsay about his assistant coach’s method of arguing with his wife or ex-wife. A public record speaks for itself. If they inject themselves into this private matter, they become liable for damages. However, the right of privacy does not apply to abuse of minors.

John Y. Seiling, Powell

Editor: The controversy swirling around the football program at OSU and Urban Meyer is spiraling out of control. As a three-time graduate of Ohio State, I read all Columbus news to stay informed of the community I lived in for over 10 years.

After reviewing media coverage of events, I ask, “Is it the responsibility of the football coach to supervise the marriages and/or domestic relationships of the employees he supervises?”

Urban has stated that he holds his staff to a high standard, and one of those standards is to not hit a spouse or partner. He has made it clear that to hit someone is an automatic firing. If one breaks the law and is found "guilty," then a firing is imminent.

Now enter Courtney Smith, who said she experienced domestic violence dating back to 2009. Yet, she did not choose to leave the marriage and start her life anew with a newborn. It is now 2018, and she still is complaining of domestic violence and stalking.

Courtney says she told Shelley Meyer about her domestic claims and even said she sent pictures of the abuse. Why tell Shelley when she wanted Urban to get the information? Why not tell Urban herself? It’s called dumping on someone else to create drama.

It reminds me of when I used to handle high school discipline dealing with relationship issues. There was always lots of drama and trying to involve as many people as possible in the drama. I would spend hours sorting through accusations and details to get to the facts.

No person should ever be hit in a relationship. My family has lived through a niece experiencing domestic violence. It is not a pleasant experience. My niece’s husband threatened to kill family members and a major medical center was put on lockdown over his threats. She faced reality and decided to leave the marriage, raise her newborn on her own, work to support herself and start a new life. It can be done!

Courtney had years to exit what she perceived as a domestic violence situation. She didn’t exit until the divorce. Why? I note that no media reports list whether or not she is employed or has skills that could lead to employment. Courtney has had her 15 minutes of fame. She is creating drama and trying to say no one was helping her and that everyone knew her situation. What did she do to help herself?

It’s time for her to get a job (if not employed) and take care of her children. Less time spent on social media and more time spent on creating a new life would help with getting her established in a healthy lifestyle. And, let Urban get back to coaching football.

Denise Shockley, Gallipolis

Editor: Although it adds little value to the public discourse, it is nice to see so many Buckeyes fans voice their support/defense of Urban Meyer.

My question is: Why should Meyer be handled with kid gloves during an investigation of covering up repeated illegal acts? Joe Paterno sure wasn’t.

Robert Snyder, Columbus

Editor: Regarding the entire Urban Meyer/Zach Smith situation, of which many articles, editorials and opinions have been written, I wonder if anyone, including the powers-that-be, has stopped to consider that by fostering a “don’t tell me because I can’t know” situation, we are basically creating an environment in which young men can no longer go to their coaches for help or advice; where coaches (and/or their wives) can no longer intervene in any situation involving their players’ lives outside the football field; basically an environment in which leaders can no longer lead and where mentors can no longer mentor.

Maybe that’s just what the world is coming to. Personally, I would love to see a little more common sense employed when responding to these types of situations before potentially harmful consequences are enacted.

Ann MacDonald, Dublin

Editor: Urban Meyer has a long history of being soft on domestic violence. In July 2012 Storm Klein, a promising linebacker for OSU, was arrested and later convicted of domestic violence. Klein was sentenced to 18 months probation for beating the mother of his child.

Initially, Klein was released from the team. However, Meyer welcomed his star linebacker back to the team, giving him only a two-game suspension. The two games were the first games of the season against weak opponents. Not much of a punishment for someone who beat the mother of his child!

Urban justified his actions by saying he spoke with Klein’s girlfriend. To the best of my knowledge Urban Meyer is not qualified to investigate, counsel or advise victims of domestic violence.

I hope the committee could see the importance of advocating for the victims of domestic violence. This committee has an opportunity to send a message; violence against women shall not be tolerated. Using Urban Meyer’s own word from the 2012 situation with Klein, Meyer said this “violates the core values of the Ohio State football program.”

Meyer’s lack of actions does not reflect his own self-proclaimed “core values.” The country is watching; the time to take action is now. Take a stance and advocate for victims of domestic violence. We all have a responsibility to stop taking a blind eye of the mistreatment of women. Let us not forget Aaron Hernandez's 2007 incidents with violence.

Robert Fish, Mount Sterling

Editor: Penn State alumni and fans are closely following Ohio State’s handling of the Urban Meyer situation to see what the outcomes are.

Will there be a gleeful demand that he be publicly humiliated as Joe Paterno was? Will there be a rush to judgement coming from alumni and fans of other Big Ten schools as there was with Penn State?

Will there be an independent investigation by the holier-than-thou NCAA? Will the entire football program be placed on probation with scholarships reduced, etc.? Will some or all of Meyer’s wins be forfeited like Paterno’s were?

We are watching.

Gary Tincu, Naples, Fla.

Letters: I think it is time to end Urban Renewal at Ohio State University.

After lying about and denying that his wide receivers coach, Zach Smith, was involved in domestic abuse against his wife in 2015, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer should be immediately fired.

Protecting vulnerable women is far more important than winning football games.

Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Editor: While the Urban Meyer drama was unfolding, the Ohio State season tickets arrived. Once again I had to laugh at the pricing — Nebraska was in the second tier of pricing at over $100 a ticket.

OSU has averaged 60 points a game in the last three games against Nebraska. Also, Nebraska has averaged seven wins in the past four seasons. Does that sound like a high-end team that commands a higher ticket price? It’s 2018 Nebraska, not 1993 Nebraska.

Paul Martin, Columbus

Editor: Recent Dispatch coverage of the Urban Meyer situation included informative articles about Meyer’s contract and the composition of the investigatory panel that may well determine his fate. There was also a thoughtful and measured column on the subject by Michael Arace.

Also, there was a full-page Dispatch ad celebrating the tenures of two of its Buckeye football reporters — they’ve been around so long they can remember when Michigan actually beat Ohio State.

Given the number of eyeballs focused 24/7 on the Ohio State football team — journalistic and otherwise — I find it remarkable that it took a recently downsized ex-ESPN reporter to quickly, and I mean quickly, blow the roof off of the Zach Smith story. He made it look easy.

Jon Armstrong, Columbus

Editor: Despite needing to curb his occasional tendency to pontificate, Sports columnist Michael Arace writes some really good stuff. But the need for sharper editorial oversight was clear in (last) Sunday’s piece, “Ohio State leadership absent among scandals.”

I’m not a lawyer but suspect Urban Meyer might consider bringing a libel action against The Dispatch due to what appear to be simple punctuation errors. Arace quoted Meyer (presumably accurately) several times.

In each case, getting a bit cutesy, he wrote, Alternate reading: “ … ” and inserted his “take” on what Meyer meant. My guess is that Journalism 101 established that quotation marks mean that’s what the quotee actually said.

In no way is this written pro or con on OSU’s leadership, its athletic department or Meyer. It’s strictly about fair and accurate journalism.

Nelson French, Dublin

Mr. Stein: Thank you for agreeing and saying that my question (Mailbox, last Sunday) is a fair one.

Here’s another one: You’re the sports editor; why is my question still a question?

I hope that any decision made vis-a-vis the continued employment of anyone at The Ohio State University following an investigation is made by someone who is totally disinterested in the outcome and preferably someone who has made it a point not to read or listen to any news on the subject and bases the decision(s) solely on facts revealed by the investigation.

It should certainly not be made by someone who could even possibly have any culpability in regards to the situation.

Edward DeVennish, Blacklick

Editor: The core values you hint at in your Mailbox (last Sunday) have long been gone. There are many examples in which the athletic department chose to protect their institution while making punitive decisions. Examples include Jim Tressel, Jim O'Brien and Jonathan Waters.

Every decision cost these men their job. Now it appears Urban Meyer may be next? The leadership of OSU should be ashamed of their precedent in these decisions.

I love OSU. I love OSU athletic competitions and the Best Damn Band In The Land. They have been disgraced by these decisions that only hurt the university!

Sandy Engelman, Grove City

Ray: It’s good to hear Urban Meyer followed “proper channels” in the deepening Zach Smith scandal. I seem to recall another legendary coach somewhere in Pennsylvania making a similar “proper channels” defense a few years back. And I think we all know how that scandal turned out.

Still, I’m looking forward to visiting the ‘Shoe this fall, to sing that great Ohio State halftime anthem, “Hang on, Urban!”

Thad Woodman, Westerville

Ray: Please help me understand who was responsible for hiring Michael Arace as a lead Sports columnist for The Dispatch! In over 60 years of reading the Sports pages, he is the absolute worse writer ever with a mean-spirited and vindictive streak!

It will be a great day for central Ohio sports fans when he no longer is employed by you and your owners!

Bruce Peterson, Columbus

Ray: I will no longer be watching ESPN. I will no longer be listening to 97.1 The Fan, especially those two dirtbags Common Man and T-Bone. And I will no longer be eating at Bob Evans.

I’m in full support of Urban Meyer, and anyone who isn’t can get off my lawn. He is getting a raw deal. I’m so sick of the media and all the politics that come with it.

This country has become addicted to outrage. Behavior is now driven by emotion and no longer is the presumption of innocence relevant. We as a society may as well just fire everybody and start from scratch.

Jack Boyer, Dublin

Editor: Stan Mikita was a Chicago Blackhawks legend. He was the leading scorer in team history. He played 1,396 games in the NHL from 1958 to 1980, all with the Blackhawks, to lead the franchise in that category. He won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 1961.

He amassed 1,467 points (541 goals and 926 assists), which ranks 14th in NHL history. He won two Hart Memorial Trophies as the league’s MVP, four Art Ross Trophies as the league’s leading scorer, and two Lady Byng Awards twice as the most gentlemanly player. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.

We will remember Stan Mikita as a Chicago Blackhawks legend, always and forever.

Stan Mikita is not only one of the greatest NHL players of all time, but also one of the greatest Chicago Blackhawks players of all time. Stan Mikita, RIP.

Paul Bacon, Hallandale Beach, Fla.