The easy cop-out is to grant Urban Meyer a free pass for doing what comes naturally.
Don't rush to judgment, his defenders say. Urban was looking out for his family, just looking out for No.1.
In the words of any Bowling Green football player today: “I thought we were your family.”
Bowling Green's players are understandably angry at Meyer for leaving. Every day he would preach team loyalty.
Meyer carried his we-are-family concept to the extreme, even bunking in the same dorm with the Falcons during preseason workouts.
Meyer's a typical coach, actually.
He shaped the Falcons into the best football team they could be. Then he left for a better opportunity.
Meyer was as good as gone when he wrote a letter on BG's Web site, begging fans to attend the final two home games this season. Lack of fan support was probably the final straw.
Football coaches have a warped view of the world. They spend so much time locked in an office that it's difficult for them to relate to normal people.
Football players are normal people.
Football coaches need to put football in perspective. They need to put life in perspective. They need to treat their players like normal people.
Meyer broke no NCAA or school rules. But there's something wrong about misleading young people under the guise of winning football games.
Meyer was paid to win, and so he did. If that sometimes meant stretching the truth and making I'm-not-going-anywhere pledges to guarantee player loyalty and attract recruits, Meyer performed his job.
Unquestionably, BG got its money's worth out of Meyer. He went 17-6 in two seasons. On the field he was a huge success.
Off the field Meyer fooled everyone - players, their families, even his boss, athletic director Paul Krebs, who gave Meyer his first head coaching job. That's why Meyer's departure is such a shock to them.
Meyer's leaving for Utah is only the latest example of why student-athletes and their parents or guardians should educate themselves about the recruiting process.
Recruiters are like used-car salesmen. They do whatever's necessary to get you to sign.
Student-athletes, don't be in awe of a college football coach sitting in your living room. He's there because you can help him win, not because he likes mom's chicken and dumplings. He needs you; otherwise he wouldn't be wasting his valuable time.
Turn the tables. Ask tough questions regarding your playing time and the school's graduation rates. Research the coach. Don't be afraid to ask if he's received job offers from other schools or how long he plans to stay.
Finally, never select a school solely because of the coach, because that coach might not be around to see you graduate.
Follow the example that Meyer set for BG's players. Do what's best for you and your family. Look out for No.1.
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