With the arrest of Aaron Hernandez, the media and talking heads have been eager to search for someone, anyone to blame. Many have found their scapegoat in former Florida coach and current head man for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Urban Meyer.
According to Kevin Noon, the Publisher for BuckeyeGrove.com, which covers Ohio State athletics and recruiting, those blaming Meyer are looking at the wrong source. Noting a lack of regard for personal responsibility, the highly regarded writer told Breitbart Sports that “we have a culture that looks for someone else to blame” and that the focus should remain on Hernandez.
Although Noon is no rabid Meyer apologist, he believes that blaming Meyer is hypocritical and lazy journalism. Recognizing that many have been critical of the fact that the former Gator coach brought in Hernandez and failed to discipline him for misbehavior at Florida, Noon pointed out that such criticism is not fair to place on a head coach.
“Anybody sitting in their glass house saying they do it better is being misleading,” Noon said. “Thelegal issues that were going on at the University of Florida duringMeyer’s tenure were not something unique to only the Gators and happenon a much wider national scale. Unfortunately for Meyer, he is dealingwith a jury of opinion makers that just does not like him.”
The Buckeye expert went on to say that media bias and journalistic sensationalism play a factor in so much of the focus zeroing in on Meyer.
“I think the agenda here is selling newspapers and having something to talk about during talk radio. I do think this is something people want to talk about,” he said. “However, there are some people that have already tried and convicted Meyer without all the facts. We have too many columnists that are no longer fact gatherers, they will often just write opinions and have already made their decisions.”
Although he was quick to acknowledge that there may have been more that Meyer could have done, he believes this was a no win situation for the head coach.”What happens if Meyer does kick him off the team, and he still ends up allegedly committing these crimes. Someone out there will still end up blaming Urban Meyer for not doing enough,” he said. “It is a classic paradox.”
Noon acknowledged that the story is unfortunate for the Buckeyes, whose fans are now becoming wary of continued media animosity toward the program.
“There is a belief among fans that Ohio State has been picked on and this strengthens that belief,” he said. “They are not disputing that these alleged crimes are terrible, but they think this is a matter of unfair criticism of their coach who was not there in Connecticut, and it is a bit of a stretch to link those events back to Gainesville.”
Moving forward, the Buckeyes are sure to be a target of negative recruiting, a fact that Noon readily acknowledges. However, he believes that Meyer is one who has helped many kids in the past and will be able to assure parents that he will work to make their son a better man.
Ohio State is expected to put together a very strong season this fall, and it is unlikely that the events surrounding Aaron Hernandez will have a long term effect on this program on the rise.