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EXAMINING SPORTS: It is unfair to blame Meyer for players’ bad choices

matt examiningsports

If it is true what many in the national media are saying about Urban Meyer, Ohio State sold its soul to the devil when it hired him.

In the wake of Aaron Hernandez, who played for Meyer at Florida, being charged with murder and four of his Ohio State players running afoul with the law, Meyer has been portrayed as a renegade. A coach that has no moral values and does not value discipline.

With everything that has been written and said, I have a picture of a guy handing out a six pack to his players as they leave campus for the weekend and telling them to “have at it boys. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” as he chugs a can and crushes it on his forehead.

In reality, though, Meyer despises bad decisions. He hates when his players mess up on the field, and off it.

After the Buckeyes’ bye week last season, he talked of his concern about his players going to their respective hometowns for the weekend. He said his biggest fear was getting “that call” about a player in trouble.

I’ve been in many areas of the Ohio State football facilities and seen the daily reminders plastered on the walls about the importance of following rules. There is one wall specifically focused on making good decisions. It states, “treat women with respect,” and also exclaims “no drugs, stealing, weapons.”

What is being lost in the blame being thrown out against Meyer is individual responsibility. Coaches can yell and scream all day long, but ultimately it is up to the individual player to make the right choice.

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