Urban Rights or “Consultants Tell You What You Want to Hear”

About three weeks ago, Ohio State University (“OSU”) Head Football Coach Urban Meyer (“Coach Meyer”) released a statement in which he admitted to speaking “inaccurately” at Big Ten Media Days in July, but was otherwise a model citizen.

You can see my analysis of the positions Coach Meyer took in that statement, as well as his anticipated defenses strategies: HERE.

Last night, Coach Meyer and OSU executed on those defense strategies, taking the path I had suspected: that Coach Meyer was simply too confused by the questions and circumstances of Big Ten Media Days to answer truthfully, and that his actions there and in the past were imperfect, but reflect the (allegedly) muddy facts surrounding Coach Zach Smith (“Coach Smith”) and his wife Courtney.

But now comes the “independent” committee’s report, and given what it shows, it’s somewhat incredible that OSU elected on this path.  (Incredible only if your metric for credulity rests on something other than winning football games, of course.)

Let’s dive in.

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Urban Flight – A Lawyer Reads Coach Meyer’s Apology Letter

Today, August 3, at the very tail end of the Friday news cycle, Ohio State University Head Football Coach Urban Meyer, embroiled in a domestic violence controversy that threatens to end his career (and which has already resulted in paid administrative leave), released a statement in which, among other things, he denies wrongdoing, asserts that he acted “appropriately”, and laments the sorrow he feels for “the toll the events of the past week have taken”.

While much remains unclear about Coach Meyer’s actions, the actions of his wide receivers coach Zach Smith, and what will result from Ohio State’s “independent” investigation, what is abundantly clear is that Meyer has taken this course of action under advise of counsel (and one expects, PR crisis management teams) in an effort to retain his job in our modern “zero tolerance” environment.

Since I happen to be a lawyer (and have crafted a crisis communication or two in my time), let’s dive in to what he’s decided to say at this time (on a Friday…after 4 PM).

Continue reading “Urban Flight – A Lawyer Reads Coach Meyer’s Apology Letter”

A Modest Proposal: Stating The Obvious

August 1, 2018 – Ex-ESPN employee Brett McMurphy reports (via Facebook) that Ohio State University Head Football Coach (and Bob Evans Head Breakfast Coach) Urban Meyer lied when he told reporters that he was unaware of domestic abuse allegations against his wide receivers coach, Zach Smith.

McMurphy uses extensive text messages, photos, and communications, including from Coach Meyer’s wife to the alleged victim, Ms. Smith, to establish his story over a period of almost a decade.

Coach Meyer has since been placed on administrative leave.

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Continue reading “A Modest Proposal: Stating The Obvious”

TGIF: March 17th, 2017 – March Madness in Equipoise

Despite what you may have heard, lawyers are, in fact, human beings with interests and hobbies all their own. They are not, I repeat not, robots sent from the future solely for the purpose of billing hours, drafting documents, and negotiating terms.  Not all of them anyway.  

In TGIF, I touch on some of my own interests primarily through the lens of the “Rules of the Game”, focusing on the rules and resulting incentives that ultimately affect all of us in pursuing our life’s endeavors. I may even crack a joke or two.  Hard to say.

TGIF will be published regularly on (surprisingly enough) Friday mornings.  For more information, check out www.hoeglaw.com or drop Rick a line at rhoeg@hoeglaw.com.

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The NCAA Tournament and Perspective

Last week we talked about plane crashes, the Michigan basketball team, and the importance of looking at incentives when listening to differing perspectives on current events.  This week we carefully examine whether or not Jim Harbaugh would crash an airplane if he determined it gave his team a competitive advantage.  No, not really, but it is a fun thought experiment.  (My best tongue-in-cheek guess: He absolutely would if he could assure that there were no injuries greater than those experienced by the basketball team last week.  I mean they won the Big Ten Championship for heaven’s sake. If he can nail down that small “risk issue”, look out air traffic controllers.  Wolverine One is coming in for a landing.  Hard.)

No, this week we stick with basketball to celebrate one of my favorite things on Earth: “The Tournament”.

Continue reading “TGIF: March 17th, 2017 – March Madness in Equipoise”

TGIF: March 10th, 2017 – Plane Crashes, Television Contracts, and Scofflaws

Despite what you may have heard, lawyers are, in fact, human beings with interests and hobbies all their own. They are not, I repeat not, robots sent from the future solely for the purpose of billing hours, drafting documents, and negotiating terms.  Not all of them anyway.  

In TGIF, I touch on some of my own interests primarily through the lens of the “Rules of the Game”, focusing on the rules and resulting incentives that ultimately affect all of us in pursuing our life’s endeavors. I may even crack a joke or two.  Hard to say.

TGIF will be published regularly on (surprisingly enough) Friday mornings.  For more information, check out www.hoeglaw.com or drop Rick a line at rhoeg@hoeglaw.com.

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Critical Thinking and Jumping to Conclusions – Michigan Men’s Basketball’s Eventful Journey to the Big Ten Tournament

On Wednesday March 8th, the State of Michigan was buffeted by a wind storm so fierce that more than a half million homes lost power (and expect to stay that way until Sunday or beyond).  Hoeg Law itself lost power 8 separate times (but fortunately for only a few minutes each).  It was in this  storm that the Michigan Men’s basketball team attempted to take off for their Big Ten tournament game in Washington D.C.  The results of that attempt were less than ideal, as their plane failed to take flight amidst 60 mph+ winds before skid-crashing off the runway (Mgoblog, SB Nation).  Players and team members would later describe the harrowing incident (including fuel pouring in the head coach’s face, exit door evacuations, and more) and admit to certain of them needing stitches and other medical care.  Plane crashes are not minor things.

Despite this the “games”, as they say, must go on, and so Michigan’s 12 noon tournament game on Thursday was refused to be rescheduled.  As it turns out, TV contracts are not minor things either.

Continue reading “TGIF: March 10th, 2017 – Plane Crashes, Television Contracts, and Scofflaws”