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Home / Sports / The final of the Urban Meyer Rose Bowl leaves a complicated legacy

The final of the Urban Meyer Rose Bowl leaves a complicated legacy

PASADENA, Calif. – With 40 seconds to go in the 105th Rose Bowl, Urban Meyer thumped his fists one last time as the head coach of Ohio State scored a winning 28-23 score on the northern end zone scoreboard beamed

When the clock came to zero and Washington's late comeback officially came to an end, the two older Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin ran Meyer arm-and-arm towards midfield before a Gatorade bath frozen the smiling Meyer to one last frozen Feeling welcomed.

From then on, it was a winning round that did not feel long enough for a coach when he announced in early December that he would retire from training after 33 years.

American-born Meyer who trained in his first Rose Bowl On Tuesday, the Rose Bowl trophy took off casually, and with no time left to savor the moment, he quickly handed it over to his players behind him.

Meyer would eventually thank Buckeye Nation for praising his players and their season before joining the Ohio State Band, his wife put Shelley's arm around her waist at every step, one last "OH" and one salutation from the top level of the drum major.

On his last walk, Meyer did not cry with Shelley down the field and into the locker room.

Urban Meyer trained and won his first Rose Bowl on Tuesday. Harry How / Getty Images

With others struggling to handle Meyer's resignation last month, 54-year-old Meyer does not seem to mind. Others are not sure what to make of Meyer when he leaves, but he does.

He is completely at peace.

"I am blessed," Meyer said Tuesday night. "I know that's relatively young, but I'm young – 17 years as a head coach, 33 years old, and I'm very happy, and I think I'm done."

The man obsessed with perfection says he believes he has found his ideal replacement for offensive coordinator Ryan Day. And without Day taking the helm, Meyer said he could not have stepped away – health issues and so on.

"You pass a guy who can make it stronger," said Meyer of Day. "And that leaves me very much at peace."

But speculation about Meyer's ability to retire permanently began almost immediately after his announcement on December 4. He did it to Florida (twice), and he seems too competitive and obsessed not to stay out of the game forever.

His players have been involved in the speculation this week, and many agree that he will eventually be back on one side, especially if he stays at the OSU as Assistant Sports Director

"I do not know if he does All the way will be gone, "said the executive employee Johnnie Dixon. "He'll have an office across the street, I think he'll be in the special team's meetings at least, I think it'll be hard for him to get away from the game at some point because he's got something For so long, wake up, brush your teeth, go to football, it will be different for him. "

Deported end of Chase Young:" Honestly, I think he will train again. He just loves the football game so much – it's just what he does, I do not think he can just sit at home. "

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Meyer resigns because he's stressed so much during the season when he suffers alth. On Tuesday, however, there were no scenes in which Meyer held his head because of stress-related headaches. He shouted, screamed, and tore off his headset while disgusted by Washington's first goal-scoring, but for the most part he was only animated when good things happened, as the Buckeyes made a great lead early on and held on to win.

According to Meyer members, this is more relaxed than it has been for a long time.

"He was fun again," Shelley said. "He's back in the Urban, whom I knew when he was not so stressed and anxious and had a headache."

Meyer has not lost all his intensity in the past four weeks. He practiced his usual helicopter coaching act by hovering as many groups of positions as possible during various exercises. He was still very practical with the players and made sure he continued his tradition of weaving through every row at the beginning of the practice. But he seemed to have more fun. At Disney's California Adventure he even rode a rollercoaster ride.

"I've seen Coach Meyer smile more in the last four weeks than in the past four years," Campbell said.

Meyer called the Rose Bowl a "bucket-list" game for him, and he came closest to the stadium earlier this week when he was run away by a security guard when he tried to appear during a recruiting trip in the 1990s Assistant to the State of Colorado. And to lead the team he grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio, out of the Rose Bowl tunnel would be a fitting conclusion.

It should be an end to the picture book.

But Meyer's departure is more complicated. 19659002] On paper, he will perish as one of the greatest coaches of college football. In 17 years as head coach Meyer completed 187-32 three national championships (two in Florida and one in the state of Ohio).

He starred in six New Year's six-by-six cups and won that national title 4: 2 at the Buckeyes in 2014.

But outside the field, Meyer has a handful of unmistakable scars in his resume.

There are over 30 arrested players in Florida and the fact that he has admittedly left the country program "broke" after he resigned for the second time in a year after the 2010 season.

In Ohio, his players were out of trouble, but Meyer's last season has a permanent black mark because of his mismanagement of the dishonored former assistant Zach Smith

Meyer received paid administrative leave in August while the school investigated Courtney Smith's claim A number of people close to Meyer knew of a suspected domestic violence in 2015 against their ex-husband Zach, whom Meyer had fired in July.

Ohio State The investigation found that Meyer and Sports Director Gene Smith had "not taken sufficient management action on Zach Smith's wrongdoing" and had blocked him for three games.

When scarlet confetti covered Meyer as thousands of Buckeyes fans sang his name On Tuesday night, the moment felt a bit decayed. It was a celebration for players and fans. There have been so many exceptional coaching achievements to celebrate, but Meyer's questionable out-of-field decisions are an undeniable part of his heritage.

Meyer had no interest in talking about the legacy this week. And when he left the Rose Bowl to the rejoicing of revered fans, it becomes clear what his legacy will be to the Buckeyes believer.

But outside of Columbus his legacy remains complicated, a reminder that winning is not – or should not – solve everything.

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