The speculation, debate and conversations about Ohio State never end, and Lettermen Row is always ready to dive into the discussions. All week long, senior writer Austin Ward will field topics on the Buckeyes submitted by readers and break down anything that’s on the minds of the Best Damn Fans in the Land. Have a question that needs to be tackled, like the one today on Urban Meyer and the Ohio State investigation? Send it in right here — and check back daily for the answers.
Is within 14 days good or bad? https://t.co/iGxkGKJllJ
— The Urban Renewal (@TheUrbanRenewal) August 6, 2018
There will still be no predictions coming from here about the ultimate outcome for Urban Meyer and his future as the coach at Ohio State. But it’s definitely safe at this point to assume that no matter what is eventually decided, it’s going to be a positive for the Buckeyes that the matter will be settled before the season starts. The players, coaches and everybody else affiliated with the program deserve to have an answer before they step on the field for the opener against Oregon State on Sept. 1, and they’ll have that if the independent investigation meets the deadline they established late on Sunday night.
That, of course, is looking solely at this issue from a football perspective. And that’s probably the only way to evaluate the events of the last few days and find a truly positive development for Ohio State. The fact that the Buckeyes are needing to look into this at all means there are plenty of negatives to go around, and nobody is likely to emerge from this without at least being stained a little.
Even what looked to be something of a momentum boost for Meyer on Friday with his statement that he properly handled all the information he had from Zach Smith’s 2015 allegations came at the expense of potentially dragging administrators like Gene Smith into the mess. And there will now still be two more weeks of headlines, speculation, legacy debates and unanswered questions until the case is closed one way or the other.
But Ohio State has seemingly made the most prudent choice at every turn since Wednesday’s latest bombshell allegations were reported by Brett McMurphy. Putting Meyer on paid administrative leave showed how seriously the school was taking the matter and ensured that he wouldn’t be working again until it was absolutely clear that he deserved to be in that high-paying, powerful position. Appointing the independent investigators should produce results that will be above board and trustworthy for the public. And while Meyer’s letter release on Friday might have been something of a power play, it also put the single most important fact in this issue on the record and allowed him to defend himself from suggestions that he had tried to cover for Zach Smith — while also providing an apology for his misleading, untruthful statements at Big Ten media days. But it doesn’t magically sweep away the trouble for the Buckeyes, which is why there are still 14 more days to nail down every last detail possible.
This has been a dizzying stretch of news and developments for Ohio State, no doubt about it. It also isn’t over yet, and it’s more important than ever to keep in mind that all the facts have not been determined. So, it’s still too early to make any sort of confident guess about what it means for Urban Meyer at Ohio State and how this is all going to end.
But now Ohio State at least knows when a decision should be made, and that should count as another step in the right direction.
Miss Question of the Day on Friday? Catch up right here.