Bohls: The early score is in, and it’s Ohio State 1, Ethics 0


The college football season began this week, and the Buckeyes scored their first win.

Ohio State 1, Ethics 0.

That’s a big, fat zero. Ethics and a sense of morality and a clear conscience and overall integrity took a beating.

But the good news is the Buckeyes are still in the running for the College Football Playoff. For sure, they didn’t play the morality card. They played the it’s-all-about-winning card. Pure and simple.

If the Buckeyes’ head coach were named Bob Smith, he’d be ex-head coach Bob Smith today. But schools of Ohio State’s caliber don’t fire coaches who have won 73 games and lost just eight and delivered a national championship and flirted with several more. They wrist-slap them, as the administration did with Urban Meyer on Wednesday night when it suspended him for three games.

Meyer, the best college football coach not named Nick Saban, survived. But somehow the actual survivor barely got mentioned.

The president didn’t name Courtney Smith, the real victim in this case of domestic violence. The athletic director didn’t. The trustees didn’t. The head coach certainly didn’t. Metoo gave way to Meneither.

Meyer just couldn’t summon enough guts to say his heart pours out with sympathy and respect for the divorced wife of Zach Smith, who apparently is the most indispensable assistant coach in the nation since Meyer risked his job, career and reputation on his behalf. Meyer would only say, “I’m sorry about the situation we’re in.” Way to take responsibility, Urban.

He’s sorry, all right. A sorry excuse for a person for not standing up for Courtney Smith. If Ohio State truly doesn’t believe she was abused, have the courage to say so. You and I both know Meyer is internally incensed that he even received a three-game suspension. I was betting on two. Ohio State missed a real opportunity to make a landmark decision. It could have suspended Meyer for the entire season and donated his salary to women’s advocacy groups.

But big-time college sports is about winning and entertainment and big-time salaries and immunity for head coaches, and Courtney Smith is just one more pawn in this incredible machine that chews up more than a few victims. Maryland’s Jordan McNair is another.

Meyer didn’t appear to have a shred of contrition, not an ounce of remorse. But he did immeasurable damage to his legacy. It’s a shame he didn’t express true emotion for the victim and say he would do everything in his power to right this wrong. It’s inconceivable that the trustees said they thought Meyer didn’t deliberately lie at Big Ten media day and said they thought Meyer had real respect for the core value of treating women with respect. That’s comical.

His school violated every tenet of how best to deal with such crises. Be contrite. Have sympathy for the victim. Accept a real punishment with teeth. Ask for forgiveness.

Ohio State didn’t dot the i on Wednesday. It blackened its eye.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

With Texas secondary swarming the field, 18th-ranked Longhorns gaining steam, confidence
With Texas secondary swarming the field, 18th-ranked Longhorns gaining steam, confidence

Texas cornerback Kris Boyd sure seemed rather demure in the aftermath of Saturday’s 31-16 win over TCU. Never mind the fact he broke up two passes in the end zone for potential TCU touchdowns. He was particularly incensed about Shawn Robinson’s back-shoulder throw to Jalen Reagor that allowed the Horned Frogs...
Texas 31, No. 17 TCU 16: Five key plays
Texas 31, No. 17 TCU 16: Five key plays

Bohls: Texas very deserving of new Top 25 ranking

Texas is back. In the Associated Press Top 25, at least. And that’s a start. The Longhorns returned to the AP Poll, showing up at a worthy No. 18 after thumping 17th-ranked TCU 31-16 by scoring the final three touchdowns of the game. Texas beat a ranked team for the second consecutive week, the first time it’s done that since...
Darío Conca adds South American mystique to Austin Bold FC
Darío Conca adds South American mystique to Austin Bold FC

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi … Darío Conca? The newest Austin Bold FC signing is the answer to a modern soccer trivia stumper. Conca was once the world’s third highest-paid player, after Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande dipped into South America to sign the Argentine midfielder in 2011. His reported salary that...
Quarterback issues trouble Texas State in 25-21 loss at UTSA
Quarterback issues trouble Texas State in 25-21 loss at UTSA

Texas State quarterback Willie Jones III was knocked out of the game on the Bobcats’ second drive, and UTSA took home the “I-35 Showdown” for the third time with a 25-21 win Saturday night. The Bobcats (1-3) used three quarterbacks in all. After Jones left with a shoulder injury, backup Jaylen Gipson played for two series before then...
More Stories