Penn State, Michigan State, Maryland, Baylor.
This is the time of year that the followers of college football are anxiously reading about or listening to talk radio or watching TV hoping to find out about their favorite team or which players are Heisman hopefuls or which school is unstoppable. But college football fantasyland has never existed. The NCAA has two major problems that have cropped up in the lead up to the college football season. Urban Meyer is on the sidelines not coaching Ohio State because the school needs to thoroughly investigate whether Meyer knew about the domestic abuse allegation that the coach he hired, Zach Smith, is facing. Meyer seems to have changed his story from outright denial of knowing that Smith was facing the allegation to dismissing Smith after the allegation became public. Urban Meyer wins football games and that is fine in the world of big time college sports where it seems anything and everything can be justified as long as a coach delivers wins.
Meanwhile there is major scrutiny of the University of Maryland’s football program. DJ Durkin has been placed on administrative leave as school officials look into allegations of unacceptable behaviors by members of the school’s football staff. ESPN did some investigative journalism following the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair during spring practice. What ESPN found was coaching based on intimidation, humiliation and verbal abuse. Until the ESPN reporting, Durkin’s methods of coaching seemed to have been ignored by the University of Maryland leadership. That is a major problem in the big time world of college football and college sports including basketball. If a coach wins, it acts as a deodorant and washes away any problems. It happened at Penn State with Joe Paterno, at Baylor with Art Briles, at Louisville with basketball coach Rick Pitino. Winning trumps all.