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Ohio State Buckeyes coach Urban Meyers' complicated legacy

Legacy is a complicated proposition.

It's a word and an idea that Urban Meyer has undoubtedly struggled over the last few weeks and will not stop wrestling in the coming weeks.

We all work so hard As we can and go any line, we feel like we need to do it, hoping to leave that deadly spiral with our call. For most of us, legacy is little more than leaving behind a good family of decent people with a name that we can engrave on a gravestone without too much embarrassment.

But for those of us who spend their lives on much bigger stages in much brighter headlamps that make much bigger sums of money – say, the sidelines of The Swamp and The Horseshoe, which are down $ 7.8 million annually pulled down ̵

1; the work is a little harder and the running lines are a little harder to follow. The idea of ​​a legacy is more complicated for them than it is for us. And it should be. That's the gig.

This means that you are held responsible not only for your profit-loss balance, but also for your actions, your inaction, your morals, your honesty and your company.

As the late Dale Earnhardt I once said to myself, "If you let them sell T-shirts and hats with your face and name on them, then you better not complain if people want to get into your business or you up If you do not want to do that, look elsewhere for a living, but I'll bet the paychecks are not that good there, will you? "

Since Urban Meyer has a barrier of three games, he will undoubtedly measure what his legacy will be. He has always tried to convince us that he does not care about such things. He has long reiterated that his goal was never to become a legend of the game, instead, it was about making boys into men and coaching them for life, and, well, you know the conversation.

All coaches give this speech. And they all lie.

"Oh, we all want to have that stuff with our names on it, no doubt about that," said David Cutcliffe in the spring. There is no doubt that after his time with Duke, there will be some things with Cutcliffe's name and a statue in front of the Wallace Wade Stadium. But only if he agrees first. "Let me put it another way, you want to have the opportunity to say yes or no to the stuff with your name, because if someone wants to name something for you or hang up your picture in the lobby or write your name in the media guide, well, that means you've probably been successful, the trick is to have that success, but do not let it get you in the head, do not let it convince you that, hey, these people should be mine, call you something! & # 39; That's when you've lost contact. "

When Cutcliffe's former boss in Tennessee, Johnny Majors, said," You have to be careful when telling you how great you are, you have a road to me and then Named shortly thereafter told me to set out. "

For a man like Meyer, it would be easy to say that his legacy will simply be tied to those numbers in the media leader. The 177 wins, 11 Bowl wins, three national championships and six conference titles are spread over three different leagues. Built winners in Bowling Green and Utah, then restored pride in Florida and Ohio State.

There is no doubt that if his machine had gone on undeterred in Columbus, then the aforementioned buildings and statues would have followed. You could still do it.

But what about what people think when they leaf through these pages of the book or enter the doors under the engraved name or drive past the bronze statue on campus? Will they smile? Will you be proud? Or will they instead think, "Damn, coach, why are you so loyal to this guy?"

It's been 40 years since Woody Hayes saw his career in Ohio abruptly ended after beating a Clemson player on the Gator Bowl's sideline. For many, that's still the Hall of Fame coach's last impression , It's been nearly a decade since Jim Tressel coached the Buckeyes into an amazing series of successes, but people still mention less than eight BCS Bowl games in ten years, mumbling "tattoos" to themselves.

Only Time will tell us what people will think when they hear Urban Meyer's name. There will always be some who immediately flash back to confetti and trophies. But there will always be those who see him standing on the podium forever during the Big Ten Media Days in 2018, lying in our collective faces.

The night the news first broke, Meyer actually knew about the domestic violence- When I left the dismissed assistant coach Zach Smith behind me, I stood in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, opposite a towering statue of Jerry Richardson, once the pride of the Carolinas, to bring the NFL Panthers to the city. Now he is in exile, after revelations of racial slurs and disrespectful behavior towards female employees. Forced to sell his beloved franchise, he managed to make language into the contract that this statue, defiantly showing a football in the direction of the city, could not be removed. Only a few months ago, people agreed to take selfies with the statue of "Mr. Richardson". Now I've watched a group of women take a picture of themselves.

Now the stories from Charlotte's years are about Richardson's wrongdoing, how we should all have been horrified a long time ago but decided to ignore it because you know, Super Bowls and all that. Like Meyer's explanation of his efforts, Making Smith a better person suddenly makes us go: Wait, is not that the same thing he said about Aaron Hernandez?

One day Richardsson's statue will rust. One day, the pages of Ohio State University's college football record book will turn yellow and withered. The paint on the street sign "Urban Meyer Way" in Dublin, Ohio, will fade.

One day, everything will feel like it's moving on and the surface seems to be healed. But deep inside, the scars will stay. The ugly truth will emerge when needed, or more precisely when needed. Certain keywords will always sting. Certain pictures will always cause involuntary twitching. Every room that is entered has side views and whispers. The Guardian can never be completely abandoned. The pain of what has happened will never disappear.

Not for the coach, who hopes to preserve his name. Not for his bosses, who were entrusted with overseeing and protecting not only the football program, but also all the others who were associated with the program, whether on payrolls. And certainly not for the people who entered them intentionally or unconsciously while trying to do all that.

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