Eleven days ago, the special investigative group looking into the Zach Smith situation and what Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer knew, when he knew it, and what he did with that information said they would be wrapped up with their investigation in 14 days.
That means we are in the home stretch of no longer being an invasive species in a family situation that certainly doesn’t need us there.
The rubbernecking is almost over. It’s time to finish our popcorn and wipe the crumbs from our collective shirt.
What that investigative group finds will determine Meyer’s fate, but if all they find is what we already know, I would expect him back on the sidelines sooner rather than later for the Buckeyes.
If more is found, then the investigative group did its job and those chips should fall wherever the gravity of truth takes them.
Either way, it will all be over soon.
If Meyer is found to have followed the protocols set up by the University and subsequently reinstated, there will be some who still call for a suspension of some length. As long as there is flesh available, there will always be the appetite to have the customary pound.
What those people will ignore, however, is that Zach Smith has already been fired and Urban Meyer has been on punishment this entire month.
When torchholders wanted Ohio State to continue to be punished for Tatgate, they conveniently forgot that the Buckeyes fired their head coach months earlier.
There are already columns written and probably even edited in the event that Meyer is reinstated. Ohio State’s win-at-all-costs approach perfectly suits the demon in a windbreaker that is Urban Meyer.
Of course, let’s not forget the fact that Ohio State has fired four consecutive Hall of Fame coaches.
Yes, the University wants to win so badly that they keep firing their best winners ever.
Minds are already made up on both sides. The critics say that if Meyer is reinstated that he was never going anywhere. Those same critics have been calling for his head regardless of procedures. But maybe — just maybe — if he is found to have followed procedures, he actually followed procedures.
Now does that mean he did enough? The investigative group will also have some thoughts on that — and they will also have more information than anybody else on the topic — especially those who have already made up their minds.
Do I think Urban Meyer did enough? I have no idea. The committee isn’t calling me for input. I don’t know everything he did or didn’t do. I don’t know all of the information he had, what experiences he previously had with the Smiths, or what the police told him whenever a situation arose.
I know what I have been told, however, which is another reason why I think Meyer will be back on the sidelines eventually for the Buckeyes.
I fully expect new protocols to be put in place by Ohio State because that’s how things go. If it is determined there are blindspots, you try to eliminate those blindspots. Meyer didn’t install those blindspots, however, so how much blame does he shoulder in that respect?
If it is found that he chose to live in those blindspots, then action is warranted.
Regardless, soon Ohio State football will move on, and they’ll do it with or without a new head coach.
Some will accept the investigation and others will not. But the games are still going to be played. Players are still going to make plays. And on the field, the goals will remain the same.
Off the field, however, the goals should change.
If Ohio State wants to avoid something like this in the future, a more proactive approach might be wise because the reactive approach didn’t work all that well.
That doesn’t mean there was any wrongdoing, it just might mean there could have been more rightdoing.
If Meyer is reinstated, some columns will be generated, but eventually a new subject matter will emerge. Meanwhile, the Smiths will still be mired in what used to be the story of the day.
What some viewed as entertainment is actually real life for a family that will never be the same.
There are no winners here, just different levels of loss.
The investigative group will reveal their findings in the next few days. Everyone will go on, but some will take much longer to recover.
Hopefully the healing process starts soon, because the hurting process has gone on long enough.