Obviously, the sports “issue of the moment” is the resolution of the Urban Meyer Saga at Ohio State. Meyer will not lose his job as many suggested he would; Ohio State will suspend him for 3 games. While this decision and action should bring closure to the issue, I suspect it will not. There are folks who have looked at the summary report presented to the powers that be at THE Ohio State University and wonder two things:
- Since the report says that Urban Meyer issued reprimands and warnings [Note the plural nouns there.] to Zach Smith for a laundry list of improper and potentially illegal actions, how did Coach Meyer get off so lightly?
- If this sort of smarmy behavior can go on inside the Athletic Department for years without coming to light, what sort of oversight exists there to assure that behaviors in that department rise to the level of “human”?
The answer to the first question is either cynical or realistic – – depending on how intensely you want to see Urban Meyer fired for all of this. He got off “so easy” because he is an elite football coach who wins lots of games and brings lots of money into THE Ohio State University. No one will convince me that if Urban Meyer had a sub-.500 record over the past 3 seasons there, he would still be on the job today.
The answer to the second question is saddening. There is no adult supervision within the Athletic Department if you include in the definition of “adult supervision” the recognition of common decent behavior that must be exhibited by anyone who is in the Athletic Department and wishes to remain in the Athletic Department.
Even the 3-game suspension is nuanced. Coach Meyer cannot be with the team at all until after the first game – – against Oregon St. Then, he can “coach ‘em up” during the weeks leading up to Games 2 and 3 – – Rutgers and TCU – – but cannot be on the sidelines on Saturday afternoon. Let’s just say it is something short of a 3-week banishment from the team.
Let me go on the record here with a statement:
- Lest anyone think that I am picking on THE Ohio State University here, I am not. I would not be surprised to learn that similar sub-human behaviors exist in other Athletic Departments and that they have gone unchecked and been hidden away in those other Athletic Departments.
Oh, and one final question comes to my mind today:
- Given what the pooh-bahs at THE Ohio State University know now, why did they not also announce that they have turned all of their findings over to the gendarmes so that there can be a criminal investigation of their findings? Without that action, how have they discharged their obligations?
Enough of that nonsense; let me get down to some REAL nonsense. Richie Incognito is back in the news; and not surprisingly, there is fundamental weirdness to the story. Just for giggles, let me hit a few of the high notes of previous instances where Richie Incognito has been in the headlines:
- Back in college, Incognito demonstrated “anger management issues” including fights with teammates and spitting on opponents.
- He was identified by ESPN as a major actor in the bullying of teammate Jonathan Martin with the Dolphins. Even after an NFL-sponsored investigation into that matter, there are still plenty of loose ends there.
- Several months ago, Incognito was involved in an incident at a health club in Florida where he allegedly threw a dumbbell at someone in the gym. Police categorized him as being in an “altered paranoid state” and held him on an “involuntary psychiatric hold”.
This week, Richie Incognito was arrested yet again. This time he was arrested at a funeral home in Arizona where his recently deceased father was about to be cremated. In the midst of an altercation, he allegedly threatened people at the funeral home and told them he had a truck full of guns outside. Truth be told, he did have a bunch of guns in his truck and they were legally his and he had permits to carry them. There was not a “weapons offense” involved here, but I think it is fair to say that mortuaries are not normally places where those sorts of behaviors manifest themselves. Here is a link to the ESPN story of the most recent arrest; trust me, I have only hit the highlights here; there was a lot more “weirdness on display”.
Yesterday, I ran across an article that said the Washington Nationals’ hugely disappointing season this year was a “vindication for Dusty Baker”. Look, I get it; the baseball media loves Dusty Baker and I have no reason to believe that he is any kind of “bad guy”. But the fact that the Nats have so hugely underachieved in 2018 does not “vindicate” Baker for the Nats’ playoff collapses in previous years.
Since 2011, the Nationals have had 4 managers – Davey Johnson, Matt Williams, Dusty Baker and Dave Martinez. Those four managers have all had top shelf rosters with the likes of Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Gio Gonzales, Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner – – just off the top of my head. None of those four managers could win a playoff series with those players. The fact that the current manager – Dave Martinez – is doing worse in the regular season than others did before him does not “vindicate him”. It does lead one to suspect that there may be organizational problems with the Nats that go beyond the roster – – but even if that were proven conclusively that would not “vindicate Dusty Baker”.
Finally, here is a comment on baseball and hygiene from Brad Rock in the Deseret News:
“Two Major League pitchers have reportedly come down with hand, foot and mouth disease.
“You just knew all that tugging and scratching in baseball was eventually going to turn into something bad.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………