Urban Meyer does not have a job right now and he still can’t stay out of controversies.
The former Jacksonville Jags coach had refuted a claim made by former Ohio State defensive back Marcus Williamson that the famed college football coach once used a photo of Trayvon Martin to enforce a “no hoodie” rule in team practices. It did not take very long for him to come back and respond that it actually did happen.
Urban Meyer, who was Ohio State’s head coach at the time, acknowledged Tuesday that the image was used, but he didn’t have any knowledge of it.
“I didn’t know about it until one hour ago, until after talking to (former safety Tyvis Powell),” Meyer told Rob Oller of the Columbus Dispatch. “I wasn’t there (in the meeting). None of the coaches were present. It was a support staffer who was in error and apologized.”
Marcus Williamson brought the situation to light in a Twitter thread at the beginning of the new year.
Meyer previously told Ohio State reporter Jeff Snook that he never used an image of Martin as part of a presentation about not wearing hoodies:
“Our team rule was no hats or hoodies or sunglasses of any kind but only in team meetings, just so we could see their eyes and make sure they were paying attention and not asleep. We did not, and never would show a picture of Trayvon Martin. My gosh, no. That is absolutely false and you can check with any other player on my teams during that time to confirm what I am saying. Other players know what he is saying is false. I would never do that. He is crossing the line here. It seems people are just piling on now. But that never happened.”
Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Black young man, was fatally shot while wearing a hoodie in February 2012 in Florida by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.
Former Ohio State linebacker Joshua Perry defended Meyer in a tweet Sunday saying “Urban was a tough a– coach, but he always invested in us as players and people.”
Powell, who played at Ohio State from 2013 to 2015, tweeted what he heard regarding the situation:
The 57-year-old Meyer could only make it through 13 games in the NFL before he would be dismissed for a terrible record and a combination of controversies that ended with an accusation by former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo that Meyer kicked him during the preseason.