College Football Head Coaches Address Urban Meyer Situation at Ohio State

By Kevin Harrish on August 5, 2018 at 2:00 pm
Nick Saban commented on the Urban Meyer situation.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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Urban Meyer's job status is the biggest story in college football and has prompted questions to head coaches all across the country, whether they are close to the situation or the people involved, or far removed.

We've compiled some of responses from head coaches around the nation from this week.

Nick Saban

Nick Saban is perhaps the only coach in college football more prominent than Urban Meyer and the two have been long-time competitors, stemming back to their times in the SEC.

Saban, who also has Ohio State connections as the team's former defensive backs coach from 980-81, was asked about Meyer's situation this week. While he said he didn't know enough details to fully comment, he expressed confidence that Ohio State will work it out.

From Marcus Hartman of the Dayton Daily News:

“I don’t think it’s my place to really comment on it,” Saban said. “I don’t know the facts. I don’t know any details. I don’t think it would be fair for me to say that. I think we all have a tremendous amount of respect for treating other people, male or female, the right way.” 

However, the former OSU defensive backs coach also expressed confidence the investigation into whether or not Urban Meyer improperly handled allegations of domestic abuse by one of his assistants will be handled correctly. 

“I’m sure the people at Ohio State will do a fantastic job of investigating and doing what they need to do to make it right,” Saban added. 

James Franklin – Penn State

The current Penn State head coach James Franklin has never worked with Urban Meyer or Zach Smith, but he's competed against them ever since he arrived at Penn State. While he obviously couldn't go into specifics, he expressed sadness about the situation but said his focus is on his team.

Matt Campbell – Iowa State

Matt Campbell had to address some interesting rumors during his first media availability of the season. It's been speculated that if Ohio State did not retain Urban Meyer, Campbell would be the frontrunner for the job. While he didn't confirm or deny any interest, he simply said he is focusing on his program and will not comment on personnel decisions at another.

Tom Herman – Texas

Former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman, now the head coach at Texas, worked closely with both Zach Smith and Urban Meyer for three seasons. He was asked to comment on the situation, but declined to do so.

Chris Ash – Rutgers

Chris Ash also worked alongside Urban Meyer and Zach Smith throughout his time at Ohio State. And while he didn't know, or at least would not speak much about the specific situation, he expressed sadness and sympathy.

Dan Mullen – Florida

Dan Mullen is a long-time assistant and friend to Urban Meyer. He coached alongside Meyer for eight seasons, serving as his quarterbacks coach at Bowling Green and Utah, then as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Florida.

Naturally, when he was asked about the news, his response was full of concern for his long-time friend and colleague.

From the Orlando Sentinel:

“Obviously, as coaches, anybody you’re close with and is going through a difficult situation, it’s tough,” Mullen said of Meyer at UF’s preseason football Media Day on Thursday. “These are friends who you’re close with in life. When you’re dealing with the situation Urban is dealing with, it’s always hard and you always keep them in your prayers. You hope things work out the best for them because these are people that have an influence on you throughout your life.”

When asked if he has talked to Meyer, Mullen replied:

“You know what? I haven’t,” Mullen said.“I sent him a text last night that he had his family were in our prayers. He and the family are very close to my family. So, our prayers are with then as they go through all of this.”

Steve Addazio & Martin Jarmond

Throughout this entire process, Urban Meyer has been clear that he did know about a 2009 incident involving Zach and Courtney Smith when they were at Florida. At that time, current Boston College head coach Steve Addazio was on staff as the team's offensive coordinator. He said he was also aware of that situation.

From the Boston Globe:

“While an assistant coach at Florida in 2009, I was aware that there was an issue in the personal life of Zach and Courtney Smith,” Addazio stated. “I did not know specifics, and I knew the matter was in the hands of university personnel and that the couple was involved in counseling.

“As a husband, father and coach, I have zero tolerance for domestic abuse. There is no place in our program at Boston College for any member of our staff involved in domestic violence.”

Boston College athletic director Martin Jarmond was also at Ohio State as an assistant athletic director from 2009 - 2016 and was there during the alleged abuse during 2015 that Urban Meyer says he properly reported.

Jarmond highlighted Boston College's zero tolerance policy for domestic violence, but would not comment on Ohio State's situation.

“Domestic violence is an issue we take very seriously at Boston College,” Jarmond said in a statement. “As athletic director, I am committed to educating and developing our student-athletes and staff with our Jesuit values, which include zero tolerance for such behavior in any form.

“I feel it would not be appropriate for me to comment on matters involving Ohio State during their ongoing investigation.”

Will Muschamp – South Carolina

While Will Muschamp is not close to the situation at Ohio State, there are still things he can take away as a college football coach at a major program, and that's the message he's taking to his team.

From TheState.com:

“If you see something, say something,” Muschamp said. “Told our staff again today and I’ve told them multiple times since I’ve been at the University of South Carolina. We are very transparent about everything that happens in our organization. We know exactly who to talk to, whether it is Dr. Carl Wells on campus, Judy Van Horn in our athletic department, when we feel one of those situations arises. Our players understand that and our staff understands that.”

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