On New Year’s Day, former Ohio State football player Marcus Williamson shared some of his experiences from his years on the team, during which he spent two seasons playing for head coach Urban Meyer. Williamson recalled one instance in which Meyer told him that he would ruin his “fucking life” if Williamson was ever caught smoking. He also shared an anecdote about a picture of Trayvon Martin being shown to the team during a 2017 meeting in which the players were informed that there would be a no-hoodies policy inside the facility:
Meyer, who was fired midseason by the Jacksonville Jaguars for at least a dozen justifiable reasons, was asked about Williamson’s tweets on Sunday by author Jeff Snook, a little worm who never misses an opportunity to leap to Meyer’s defense. According to a post on Snook’s Facebook page, Meyer confirmed that the team had a “no-hoodies” rule, but denied that Martin’s picture was ever shown in a meeting. From Snook’s post:
I talked to Meyer Sunday morning about Williamson’s allegations and he responded: “Our team rule was no hats or hoodies or sunglasses of any kind but only in team meetings, just so we could see their eyes and make sure they were paying attention and not asleep. We did not, and never would show a picture of Trayvon Martin. My gosh, no. That is absolutely false and you can check with any other player on my teams during that time to confirm what I am saying. Other players know what he is saying is false. I would never do that. He is crossing the line here. It seems people are just piling on now. But that never happened.Jeff Snook
That’s a pretty strong denial. It didn’t hold up for more than a few days. By Tuesday, Meyer had sheepishly admitted to the Columbus Dispatch that, yes, the photo of Martin had been used during a team meeting. Meyer insisted, however, that he was unaware this had happened until Tuesday, when former safety Tyvis Powell confirmed Williamson’s story for him. From the Dispatch:
“I didn’t know about it until one hour ago, until after talking to (Powell),” Meyer said Tuesday. “I wasn’t there (in the meeting). None of the coaches were present. It was a support staffer who was in error and apologized.”
There’s no version of events here that makes Meyer look anything other than incompetent. Either he knew what happened in 2017 and lied about it now to cover his ass, or he really had no idea that something so offensive had happened during a meeting at which all of his players were present and didn’t learn about it for four years. “Stupid or malicious” does neatly sum up Meyer’s coaching career, though.