COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF
Del Olaleye: A weekly look at what is going on in college football
Urban Meyer began his week by firing his recruiting coordinator
Urban Meyer and Ohio State were backed into a corner and had to fire the school’s WR coach as Big Ten Media Day was in full swing. The firing stems from college football insider Brett McMurphy reporting that ex-Ohio State Buckeye WR coach Zach Smith was involved in multiple physical altercations with his now ex-wife Courtney Smith. The earliest reported incident occurred in 2009 according to McMurphy which the Ohio State head coach knew about. Meyer said what you might expect when questioned about firing Smith. He referred to what’s best for the players and the program and let be known it wasn’t a unilateral decision on his part. Other were involved in making the final decision he let it be known.
None of that is even all that interesting. I’d sure like to know why Smith’s actions were deemed a fireable offense when it became public knowledge and not so when it was under wraps. Meyer says there is nothing to an alleged 2015 incident involving Smith and his ex-wife that is also in Murphy’s report. The police department who has jurisdiction agrees with Meyer. They say there is no record of a police report despite McMurphy publishing that he has seen the 2015 report. Smith appeared to be in good standing with the program so a potential 2015 incident that Ohio State knew about could make it extremely uncomfortable for the Buckeyes. Ohio State and Meyer rode the rails for as long they could with Smith. Meyer made it clear that multiple people had a say in the decision to fire Smith.
More Ed Oliver news
Houston coach Major Applewhite says Ed Oliver may see time on offense this season. Applewhite wants to get the ball to the future first round selection in anyway he can. That devil may care attitude could change rather quickly if an undersized cornerback decides go low to get Oliver on the ground. One “he’s slow to get up” situation could change Applewhite’s outlook on playing Houston’s best player both ways. I’m interested to see how many “Heisman Moments” Oliver can compile before caution takes over.
Khalil Tate knew exactly what he was doing
During Arizona’s coaching search after the unexpected firing of Rich Rodriguez one hot name to replace him was Navy man Ken Niumatalolo. Arizona’s star QB Khalil Tate wanted no part of the triple option, a staple of Niumatalolo’s offense and took to twitter to let everyone know about it. In an interview with Bleacher Report, Tate fully admits the tweet was a ploy to affect the coaching search, "I knew exactly what I was doing when I tweeted that out," Tate told Bleacher Report. "I don't do Twitter. When I tweet something, I download the app, tweet, then delete the app from my phone. So when I tweet, it's important." Tate continued, "I had to make sure I was heard, make sure the team was heard, because my teammates didn't want to run the triple option, either. So the idea was to tweet it out, let it get traction, then delete it. I knew people reading it would say, 'Why did he delete it?' But that just magnifies it more."
How impactful was his tweet? We’ll never really know. The Arizona administration will never admit they allowed a player, even if he happens to be their star player, to change the direction of a coaching search. I applaud Tate for attempting to maintain some control over his fate. He plays a sport that generally favors the administrators and coaches over the players. Did Tate’s tweet cause the Wildcats to change course and hire Kevin Sumlin? I hope so.