Mainstream media bashes Meyer


Maxwell W. '20, Writer

Ohio State University Athletics and its fanbase were shocked when Head Football Coach Urban Meyer was suspended from the board of trustees, including OSU’s President Michael Drake. Meyer was suspended for three games, meaning he missed games against Oregon State, Rutgers University and Texas Christian University.

Also suspended with Meyer is Athletic Director Gene Smith, who will be absent from Aug, 31 to Sep, 16. Meyer and Smith were suspended because of the controversy surrounding former Wide Receiver Coach Zach Smith, who was accused of domestic violence against his former wife Courtney Smith. These allegations have been placed upon the wide receiver coach this year,even though an initial report was filed by his wife in 2009 when Meyer and Smith coached at Florida University. Smith’s misconduct was revealed in a report written from former ESPN correspondent Brett McMurphy.

Meyer was not the antagonist of this controversy,  it was the media. During BIG Ten Media Days in late July, Meyer came  to the podium to speak to reporters about his football team and the controversy surrounding Smith.

“Why fire Zach now when you kept him on staff in 2009,” Bill Landis of asked Meyer during BIG Ten Media Days.

Meyer said he knew nothing about the  2015 allegations against Smith. However, he later talked about how he and his wife Shelley Meyer wanted to help Smith through counseling during the earlier allegations in 2009.

Meyer’s inconstancy about both incidents made public news to different networks on television, specially ESPN. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) and BIG 12 conference get massive amounts of money from the network to cover games on live T.V. and to get highlight analysis during and after each game. ESPN has even created a new channel for SEC fans called the SEC Channel. Additionally, most of the current staff or broadcasters on ESPN went to a SEC school, and those who did not still support SEC football because of the network’s rights. The BIG Ten, has a separate channel called the BIG Ten network which is not run by ESPN. When Meyer’s suspension came out to the public, ESPN responded in a biased manner, and were in a majority that Meyer’s punishment was fair and necessary.

“The suspension doesn’t do much,” College Gameday Correspondent Rece Davis said.

Other shows on ESPN have similar opinions on the Meyer suspension.


“In 11 hours, you couldn’t at least get up there and pretend to be a little bit sorry,”  ESPN Hostess Michelle Beadle said on her morning show “Get Up.”

This proves how a network run by thousands of people shows extreme bias to the BIG Ten Conference. Another example of this happened four years ago, when  The University of Baylor had its own football scandal involving former football players accused of sexual assault. However, as the scandal progressed, ESPN ignored it and said Baylor, part of the BIG 12 conference, would be just fine. Unfortunately, this did not happened for Baylor football. Baylor has not been on any other channel showing college football such as ABC, FOX and CBS. However, they still are on ESPN due to major contribution they have.

There are still a lot of people who believe what ESPN is saying and commenting about Meyer and Smith is truthful and not biased against the Big Ten conference.

“I thought they reported on the situation very fairly. The network ESPN is making sure he takes responsibility,” Sean B.’20 said.

This case is unfair to OSU and the BIG Ten. The Big Ten conference has signed a major six year deal for a $10 million sponsorship with the T.V. network FOX.  FOX has fairly covered all the athletic conferences unlike ESPN, which favors one conference.

The Meyer suspension is tearing apart the country. How it affects the OSU football team and their new interim head coach Ryan Day is up to the them. However, it is time for ESPN to stop showing their preference for one conference, and be consistent to all athletic programs.