Urban Meyer's real reason for retiring
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke probes Urban Meyer's resignation as head coach of University of Florida's football team.
Urban Meyer is not retiring because of chest pains or other health problems or to spend more time with his family. He's leaving to be replaced by the Texas Longhorns' Will Muschamp because he doesn't want to rebuild the Gators' football program. He announced he was going to leave when Tim Tebow left last year, but changed his mind shortly before the Southeastern Conference Championship Game because he knew his story about being sick wasn't flying. Meyer is leaving the University of Florida because he doesn't want to tarnish his legacy.
This is not the type of coach who wants to be part of rebuilding a program after a couple of down years. At UF, it's going to get worse before it gets better. I don't think Meyer wants to put his family through the grinder that comes with losing, especially in today's social media age.
I can understand this. He says he wants to watch his daughters play high school volleyball. He clearly doesn't want to subject them to the nasty comments of asshole fans on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.
These days, it's virtually impossible for a college coach to accomplish the longevity of a guy like Penn State's Joe Paterno. The only one who comes close is Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer. In today's win-now college football world, you get canned after five years like University of Miami's Randy Shannon, or you quit like Urban Meyer.
Still, quitting is unacceptable. He's abandoning the kids he promised he would develop from last year's number one recruiting class. He's sending the message that he doesn't believe he can win championships with these players. And Meyer is leaving with a stain on his legacy — 30 of his players have been arrested in a five-year span.
He was also caught up in the controversy over quarterback Cam Newton. Fox News recently reported the star player left UF after three separate instances of cheating. He transferred to a small college and then to Auburn University, where he presently plays. Meyer's former offensive coordinator, Dan Mullen, is the head coach at Mississippi State, the school that reported Newton's father to the NCAA for allegedly demanding $150,000 to send his son there.
Meyer has denied involvement in any of the scandals, but I suspect he knows something because he didn't vote for the quarterback as the Southeastern Conference player of the year. If Newton had remained a Gator, Meyer would be protecting him the same way he did Tebow. That's the kind of man — and coach — he is.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.