Urban Meyer’s actions or inactions during his time at the University of Florida has generated much attention and criticism in the wake of murder charges against former Gator Aaron Hernandez. Miami Herald columnist David J. Neal will hear none on it. His message? Leave Urban Meyer alone.
There’s no question Meyer could have done more to discipline Hernandez and the entire herd of Florida football players as familiar with the booking room as books for class. Taking fewer risks in recruiting kids with longer yellow sheets than transcripts. Maybe, once in Gainesville, a punitive approach closer to Zero Tolerance. Maybe assign each member in Meyer’s SEC-sized army of assistants a few players to check on nightly.
Meyer did none of those things. He didn’t do anything more than he did because nobody demanded he do so while winning two national titles. He knew what people who controlled his employment cared about.
Somehow, I’m not envisioning the Gator boosters paying the bulk of Meyer’s total pay telling him, “Urban, get your arms around this now.” Do you think the school administration did with any bass in their voice?
Neal proceeds to take fans and boosters to task at Miami, Florida State and Nebraska for actions involving former players. He points out that schools would love to be like Stanford – mix of good athletics and elite academics – but most of them tend to focus on one or the other and throws Alabama into the mix as a point of comparison.
…if it’s a choice between being Harvard or the University of Chicago and being Alabama or Ohio State, your garden variety alumni, boosters and fans of the 126 FBS schools take the latter. Which might explain why Harvard guys head two branches of our government while Alabama and Ohio State alums gripe about the government and work for the companies founded by University of Chicago graduates.
MrSEC weighed in on the Meyer/Hernandez situation earlier this week. ”To suggest that asking questions about Meyer’s tenure at Florida is blaming him for Hernandez’s actions later in life is an exaggeration that simplifies and misrepresents what I and so many others are now writing.”