National Columnist

I'd like to believe in Urban Meyer, but I can't -- not yet

Any idea how much I want to believe in Urban Meyer? A lot. And I'll get all vulnerable here and tell you why.

One, he used to coach at the school I graduated from -- I'm a fan of the actual University of Florida, if not a fan of the Gators -- and, two, he's coaching now at the school where my older son wants to attend. I live in Ohio. My boy wants to go to Ohio State. I want to believe in Urban Meyer.

We're all unique snowflakes with our unique point of view, so I'll be honest about this as well: I want to believe in Urban Meyer because of Dan Dakich. You know Dakich? He was the men's basketball coach at Bowling Green when Meyer was the football coach there. They hit it off. They remain close. Dakich, for whatever reason, is one of my favorite people in the world. One of my better friends, even. It happens. So I want to believe in Meyer because Dakich likes him so much.

And I want to believe in Meyer because I want him, and all people in positions of power, to do the right thing when it comes to the inevitable run of bullies and jerks and even misogynists under their thumb.

Bullies and jerks and misogynists happen. Coach a team with 100 or so players, as Meyer does at Ohio State, and there will be a few. It's not that the coach recruits bad kids. It's that bad kids, even if they weren't bad kids in high school, eventually act out. Maybe they act out in college. Maybe the pros. But they act out, and if they do act out in college -- if they act out at Florida when Meyer was the coach there, or at Ohio State where Meyer is the coach now -- I want to believe the coach will do the right thing.

And Meyer has fallen short, time after time after time.

He gets another chance with Buckeyes star tailback Carlos Hyde, who was named as a "person of interest" in an alleged assault against a woman over the weekend at a bar in Columbus, but I'm not holding my breath. Oh, you're telling me Meyer has already kicked Hyde off the team?

I see your Carlos Hyde, and I raise you Storm Klein.

Klein was the OSU linebacker who was charged with domestic violence against a woman last July, and was dismissed from the team. Urban Meyer looked serious.

He wasn't.

When the charge against Klein was reduced to something more palatable -- Klein pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge -- Meyer reinstated him to the team. Klein played last season when the Buckeyes were undefeated.

So don't ask me to pat Urban Meyer on the back for being so tough on Carlos Hyde. It's easy to dismiss a guy from the team in July. We'll see what happens in August or September.

I still want to believe in Urban Meyer. I'll keep waiting for a reason.


Gregg Doyel is a columnist for CBSSports.com. He covered the ACC for the Charlotte Observer, the Marlins for the Miami Herald, and Brooksville (Fla.) Hernando for the Tampa Tribune. More importantly, he is 4-0 as an amateur boxer, with three knockouts. Follow Gregg Doyel on Twitter.
 
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