Urban Meyer posted a 65-15 record during his six-year stint as head football coach at the University of Florida – a run that included a pair of national championships (2006, 2008). Prior to that he posted a 22-2 mark in two seasons at Utah, including an undefeated season in 2004.
Those are incredible accomplishments … particularly given that Meyer was only 43 when he won his second crown with the Gators.
But is the coach who was recently hired to restore Ohio State’s football fortunes really all he’s cracked up to be? Specifically, was his success at Florda a short-term high that wound up running the football program into the ground?
Meyer is the focus of an expansive report in The Sporting News which paints his tenure in Gainesville in a most unflattering light. In fact, the report concludes that Meyer is directly responsible for the sorry state in which the Florida program currently finds itself (an extended hangover that in 2011 produced the Gators’ worst season since 1987).
“Left in the wake of Meyer’s resignation were problems that can destroy a coaching career: drug use among players, a philosophy of preferential treatment for certain players, a sense of entitlement among all players and roster management by scholarship manipulation,” the SN report reveals.
Apparently Meyer was not only the cause of these ills … he’s a hypocrite when it comes to talking about them, too.
“The coach who holds himself above the seedy underbelly of the game; who as an ESPN television analyst in 2011 publicly berated the ills of college football; left a program mired in the very things he has criticized,” the report adds.
Meyer is getting $4 million a year (at least) to coach the Buckeyes … a year after resigning from Florida due to health reasons. That’s a major investment – and Meyer’s tenure got off to a solid start with a consensus top five national recruiting class.
“We went after it,” the coach says. “We were extremely pro-active.”
Indeed they were … and Ohio State is expected to compete for national titles after its 2012 bowl ban is over.
The question, though, is whether the program will survive the success that Meyer is expected to bring …
Pic: Travis Bell, Sideline Carolina