So, somehow, people still don’t see a problem with hiring Urban Meyer to coach ND. Despite the numerous articles outlining all the issues, on and off the field at UF, some people just don’t see any issues with considering him as a potential hire for ND (now, later, whenever). So these Urban supporters say that we just want ‘a bunch of choirboys’ and we should ‘get with the times’ – implying that we just don’t know any better, that this is just how it IS today. Sorry folks, on this issue, we will disagree time and again.
ND is held to (or should be held to) a higher standard – by the school administration, by the students, by the fans, and by the media (big time). I don’t mind that one bit. If Notre Dame isn’t going to stand for something better than the lowest common denominator, who’s going to? And anyway, can you just IMAGINE if an ND player was arrested for wielding an AK-47, and that player was let back on the team? The headlines of “Tarnished Dome” would go on for infinity on the interwebs. Can you IMAGINE if an ND player was caught using a dead person’s credit card for fun and games??? It would hurt the program, but more importantly it would hurt the school. It would change what we stand for, what we aim to be. It would fundamentally injure the strong, faith-based morality upon which the Dome was built. But these criminal acts are the things that happen under Urban Meyer. Not could happen, or might happen, these things HAVE happened. And they’re okay at a place like Florida, and at most schools (which is just sad). But they’re not okay at ND, which is why Urban Liar is not okay for ND. So without further ado, here are the files on Meyer. I am 100% sure I don’t get it all here, but feel free to add links in the comments with any additions, and we’ll edit accordingly.
The Relatively Benign
Somewhat shady things that make Urban look to be kind of a jerk, but really aren’t as big as all the bajillion arrests. (Just a note that I realize that some of these are small, that lots of coaches negative recruit, etc, so please don’t comment about how ‘all coaches do that’ and use that to refute the litany of other things that will accompany this section. Thanks.)
1) Meyer Lies to Recruits. Meyer lies to Trattou and Hunter about ND, and gets them to keep their switch to UF silent as long as possible. I hate linking to Bleacher Report, but it was the only article I found that covered both of these situations. The best part was when Meyer just promised Omar Hunter that his DL coach would still be there, no matter what. Then, the day after signing day, he’s gone to the NFL. Just great. Stand up guy there.
2) Meyer Breaks NCAA Rules. Even ESPN was calling Urban out on potential recruiting violations in the recent past. In this instance, Urban was illegally recruiting WR Carl Moore and his girlfriend as a package deal to UF.
“I used to talk to him every day back in November when he was recruiting Carl,” Smith told the Gainesville Sun. “He kept asking how Carl was doing, and [he] wanted me to come here and do gymnastics.”
The ‘calling everyday’ thing is also a no-no. Course, it was shrugged off and largely ignored by the NCAA.
3) Meyer Lies to Another Recruit. In the same article, a UM commit talked about how Meyer told him that his own future coaches were saying that he should go to Florida. Shockingly, this turned out to be false.
“He told me that he talked to Coach [Lloyd] Carr and Coach Soup [Erik Campbell] and that they told him that I would be a much better fit in the Florida offense than I would be in the one at Michigan. I thought, wow, my coaches are selling me out? I confronted them about it. I asked Coach Carr and Coach Soup about it and they said they never talked to that guy and that there was no way they ever said anything like that and that they think I should be a Wolverine. I believed them. Right then, I knew just how Florida rolled.”
Yep, that’s how Urban rolls.
4) Meyer Skirts NCAA Rules on Recruiting. Again. Same article. Urban uses Tebow to recruit during the Heisman ceremony.
Meyer was at the Heisman Trophy presentation in New York with Tebow and dialed up Moore right after his QB won the trophy.
According to the Bee story, Meyer handed the cell phone to Tebow. “Carl!” the Florida quarterback practically yelled to the Sierra College receiver planted on his mother’s couch near Placerville, “I just won the Heisman! Come on down here, and let’s win a national championship!”
Again, nothing big, but we’re just getting warmed up here.
5) Meyer Lies to Jevan Snead. The infamous Urban Liar original, where Meyer told Jevan Snead that he was recruiting Tim Tebow as a linebacker. HA. Hilarious. Detailed in Bruce Feldman’s “Meat Market”, it’s a pretty funny story actually. But he’s a liar.
6) Meyer Loses out on Recruit, Tries to Sabotage the Recruit’s Admission to LSU. NCAA secondary violations, negative recruiting, etc. “Eh, everyone does that” right? Well, do all coaches try to screw a kid over with admissions when he picks another school?
Johnson said Florida had no problem with his academic eligibility when he first scored his ACT. It wasn’t until after he decided to attend LSU that Urban Meyer had one of his assistant coaches contact the NCAA. ACT officials subsequently reviewed his test results at their request and “flagged” his October score.
“I’m not upset, Urban is” Johnson said. “Florida made an issue about the ACT score. They’re cowards. He had to go behind my back when things didn’t go his way. But that’s OK. What goes around comes around.”
The Serious, But Not Completely Insane
So all of the following comes from a bunch of sources, but I’m just going to link to this one here because it’s a nice concise run-down. I’ll group them a bit differently, but it’s a good run-down of all 24 (AGAIN, 24!) arrests since Meyer took over at UF. (Note: We did a similar run-down in 2007, comparing UF to the Cincy Bengals and all their off-field troubles at the time. That is here.)
The following are all arrests (okay, technically they weren’t all put in cuffs but they were all served papers and charged with some form of crime so we’re going with this as the definition of arrest okay?), but these are not the really crazy ones. Urban’s handling of these is questionable in some cases, and the arrests themselves say something about his leadership, the culture he creates within a program and recruiting scruples (or lack thereof). These aren’t the big dogs though – it’s not all that shocking in CFB today (again, sad) that these occur. Maybe more just the absolute VOLUME of them. It’s pretty ridiculous. Note that this is largely a summary of the linked article above with a few notes and caveats from the HLS perspective. Also note that I’m numbering by people, not events, so you’ll see mutliple arrests within a number. (In other words, don’t count the numbers and wonder why it doesnt add up to 24…)
7) Tony Joiner is arrested for felony theft for deciding to go get his girlfriend’s car out of a tow lot without anyone’s permission at 4 am. Joiner was a captain when it happened, but Meyer stripped him of that (oooooooh, take that! all you’re gonna do is steal back your GF’s car? that’s not the kind of leadership we need here!). He didn’t miss any playing time.
8 ) Torrey Davis is arrested for a misdemeanor driving with a suspended license. Repeatedly. Was considered to be ‘in the dog house’ and ended up in jail.
9) Riley Cooper got cited for a misdemeanor resisting arrest and failure to comply with cops’ requests. No one knows if Cooper got punished at all. You know my guess.
10) Carl Johnson got on a bus with his ex-girlfriend, who had a restraining order out against the dude. Misdemeanor violation there, as he had been accused of 3 counts of date rape. He never missed time, as the case was dropped.
11) Dawayne Grace faced charges of misdemeanor battery and theft. The first time. The second time he got busted for midemeanor violation of a city ordinance and disorderly conduct, and he did community service. SHOCKING HEADLINE OF THE YEAR: Urban actually suspended him. For the year. (Hmmmm, wonder why he gets the book thrown at him, while other guys don’t….could it be, maybe, playing time? I mean, Brandon Spikes got a half game right? Hmmmmm….)
12) Jon Demps drove with a suspended license as well. Then he got busted for possession of the Weed. Booted from the team after the second violation.
13) Louis Murphy liked the happy weed too, and got busted for having it on his person. He was suspended for 3 games.
14) Brandon James got busted while buying the happy weed, which is a felony. And of course he had some on him, so he got the misdemeanor possession too. Meyer suspended James for a, SHOCKING, single entire game. Against Western Kentucky.
15) John Curtis violated his probation by skipping out on community service. This is a misdemeanor as well. Curtis didn’t play much, but had been hurt anyway.
16) Dorian Munroe got busted for felony theft when he pulled a boot off his car. HA. That one is just funny. Nothing came down from Meyer on this one.
These are even more startling – that they happened at all, and that they often didn’t result in much of a punishment from Liar.
17) Avery Atkins was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery of his girlfriend/baby mama. Also charged with felony false imprisonment. Meyer suspended him.
18) Dustin Doe got involved in a big old fight and then got busted for misdemeanor resisting arrest. Charges were eventually dropped, so nothing from Urban.
19) Jermaine Cunningham got busted for misdemeanor battery for beating up a guy behind the counter at a Jimmy John’s. On a personal note, that’s just wrong! How do you go after a dude that serves you such a delicious sandwich? Anyway, Cunningham missed no time, and played in the Capital One bowl. Meyer imposed ‘physical punishment’. “Yeah, man, you can’t beat up sandwich dudes! We’re coming down HARD on you. What? No, of course you’ll play in the bowl game. But you don’t get the free watch, and you gotta run some LAPS! So take that!”
20) Jacques Rickerson got busted for having the weed on him to rack up a nice lil’ misdemeanor. Those charges were dropped, so of course just a 1 game suspension punishment from Meyer. But then the guy got caught for felony domestic violence by strangulation. DUDE STRANGLED HIS GIRL. And, just to top it off, felony obstruction of justice. Meyer booted him from the team, because at that point he just didn’t have a choice. “Sorry kid, I really wish I didn’t have to”.
21) Cam Newton got busted for all kinds of felonies. Burglary. Larceny. Obstruction of justice. He was suspended for the rest of the season. If he had only just gotten the 1 burglary charge, he probably could’ve stuck around, but…
22) Marquis Hannah got busted for felony burglary and misdemeanor battery for busting his way into a home and punching a dude in the face while trying to gank some stuff. No punishment to date.
23) Janoris Jenkins was busted for misdemeanor fighting and resisting arrest for his part in a fight outside a club, late night. This one isn’t as bad as some of the others in terms of what he did, but he’s a pretty big time player for them so I slotted it in here. No punishment so far.
These last 2 or 3 completely defy description. And even if I somehow haven’t yet convinced you that Meyer has integrity issues, one of these should just about do it for you. If none of this does, then there is no hope that you’ll ever get ND. Sorry, it’s just a fact.
24) Jamar Hornsby throws a dude onto the hood of a car during a fight and gets a misdemeanor property damage and criminal mischief charge. No punishment for this one from Urban. Later in his UF career, his ‘best friend”s girlfriend dies and he helps him clear her things out of her aparment. Awwww, what a nice guy! Wait, wait….because THEN, Jamar goes around using her credit card for a few months, charging up 70 different things on a dead girl’s credit card. That’s a felony, along with misdemeanor larceny of a credit card. And, really, it’s just cold. Urban brings in guys with great character I tell you, GREAT character. Jamar got booted from the team.
25) Ronnie Wilson. Ronnie Wilson. Wow. Wilson got busted for aggravated assault, battery and use of/display of a concealed weapon during commission of a felony when he busted out his AK-FREAKING-47 in the middle of a fight. Yes, AK-47 folks. Wilson was suspended from the team for the 2007 season. Wow! Urban takes a stand, right? Right? Ah, nope. Because Wilson was ALLOWED BACK ON THE TEAM NEXT SEASON. Seriously. For real. Then, shockingly, he got busted for marijana possession and a count of battery and a count of assault. And after all that, he was finally permanently kicked off the team.
I mean, c’mon folks. There’s no place for this in football, ever. And the coach essentially condones it. Ridiculous.
Wow, I feel sick just reading and writing all of this. Makes me sick to think that people who say the love, understand, and support ND football want a guy like this to lead their team.
I understand that a coach can’t be with players 24-7, but can’t we all agree that this is just a TAD egregious? Can’t we agree that you can create a culture of respect? Respect for others, respect for yourself and respect for the University you represent? Let alone respect for the freaking LAW?
Urban doesn’t do that. He recruits any guy, regardless of character. And then he lets them run wild, and issues weak/soft penalties unless he’s forced to do more because a guy gets convicted of a freaking felony. Yes, I think ND would have a tighter reign on him than UF does. But if that’s the only way to get the guy to act like a decent human being and run a decent program, is that good enough for ND? Don’t we want a guy that WINS, but also takes care of the kids? That also teaches them how to be good, strong people? That maybe, just maybe, actually makes them BETTER? I would think yes.
Urban is a great, great football coach. He’s not a great person, he’s certainly not a great leader for young men, and he’s definitely not a fit for Notre Dame.
Case. Freaking. Closed.
As before, I welcome a debate with anyone who STILL thinks hiring Urban is a good idea. I just don’t know how you can get there after reading this litany of horribleness over which he’s presided.