Running off at the typewriter …
Sometimes it amazes me how sports owners can be brilliant in the world of business but not so sharp in other areas.
Case in point: Shad Khan, the billionaire owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, told USA Today earlier this week that he didn’t fire Urban Meyer for losing; he fired him for lying.
“When you lose the respect, the trust and an issue of truthfulness, how can you work with someone like that?” Khan told USA Today. “It’s not possible.”
Khan went on to compare Meyer’s character (or lack thereof) to his two previous coaches — Gus Bradley (14-48 record in Jacksonville) and Doug Marrone (25-44) — and claimed Meyer’s dishonesty is why he got fired with a 2-11 record in his inaugural season.
“I think when you know someone is not truthful, how can you be around someone, OK?” Khan said. “We had Doug Marrone here four years. We had Gus Bradley here four years. I have nothing but the utmost respect and friendship with them. That’s why they got the time because it wasn’t a matter about respect or truth. It was a matter of wins and losses over four years. This is much bigger than that.”
Earth to Khan.
Have you been asleep for the last 15-plus years?
How did you not know Urban Meyer’s reputation for having an aversion to the truth?
How did you not know he was suspended at Ohio State for “misrepresenting his knowledge” of domestic violence accusations against former assistant coach Zach Smith?
How did you not know that Mike Freeman, a former columnist at the Florida Times-Union (in Jacksonville, no less), came up with the nickname “Urban Liar” 17 years ago when Meyer was coaching the Florida Gators — and he’s been living up to the moniker ever since?
How did you not know about UF football legend and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Jack Youngblood, who once considered Meyer a close friend? But when Meyer stepped down at UF and told Youngblood he was done with college coaching only to accept the job at Ohio State a few months later, Youngblood was livid.
“When somebody tells me something to my face, I expect it to be the truth,” Youngblood said then. “When it turns out to not be the truth, that doesn’t put him very high on my Christmas-card list.”
One last question for you, Mr. Khan:
If you fired Urban Meyer for lying instead of losing, then why did you hire him in the first place? …
Short stuff: Somebody asked me yesterday about Roe vs. Wade and I said, “Hey, I’d much rather be in a boat.” … I saw where Disney fired its public relations director after only 3 months on the job because of the company’s disastrous conflict with Gov. Ron DeSantis. That’s like an NFL general manager blaming the equipment guy for a bad draft pick. … Charles Barkley on fellow TNT host Shaquille O’Neal’s weight: “If he gets on the scale, it’s gonna be saying, ‘One person at a time, please.’ ” … According to a new survey by LEAD1, 90% of FBS athletics directors are concerned that NIL deals are being used as recruiting tools. Really? Seriously? I want to know who the 10 percent are who think NIL is NOT being used as a recruiting tool? Are their names Nick Naive, Oliver Oblivious, Dick Dunderhead and Billy Buffoon? … Speaking of NIL, did you see where the NIL agent for University of Miami basketball star Isaiah Wong said his client would enter the transfer portal if his NIL compensation wasn’t increased? How long will it be before the stud college quarterback — two days before the big game — threatens to enter the transfer portal unless the boosters renegotiate his NIL deal? You know it’s going to happen eventually. …
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News on Georgia’s DC moving west to Oregon: “Dan Lanning’s former defense had more first-round picks than Dan Lanning’s new conference.” … National college football insider Brett McMurphy of Action Network was on our radio show Wednesday and he said his sources tell him that not only will UCF, Houston and Cincinnati be in the Big 12 by 2023, but Texas and Oklahoma will still be in the league as well and likely won’t make the move to the SEC until 2025. How cool would it be if UCF is in the same league as Texas and OU — even if it is only for a year or two? …
I love Doc Rivers, but the Philadelphia 76ers coach didn’t make much sense a few days ago when he insisted he wasn’t second-guessing himself about having MVP candidate Joel Embiid on the court late in a close-out Game 6 victory against Toronto. Embiid ended up suffering a right facial fracture with 3:58 left and the 76ers leading the Raptors by 29. Said Doc: “Everyone was in there, and the other team had all their guys in, too.” Come on, Doc, that’s just crazy talk. You don’t get paid $8 million a year to do what everybody else does. The other team was down by 29 and their season was coming to an unceremonious end. Your team was getting ready to advance to play the No. 1-seeded Miami Heat and now must do so without Embiid. Isn’t it funny how NBA coaches will sit out players for entire games in the name of load management, but Doc didn’t load-manage Embiid in the final four minutes of a playoff blowout? Nonsensical. …
Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “Tennis great Boris Becker was sentenced to 2½ years in an English prison for illicitly transferring large amounts of money and hiding assets after he was declared bankrupt. Sounds like Boris had quite a racket going.” … I got invited to play in the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation charity golf tournament last week, and while my golf was typically bad, the cause was incredibly good. Kudos to OMYF for raising more than $150,000 for at-risk youth in Central Florida during the tournament and for donating $1 million to 17 area kids’ charities last month. As Arnold Palmer himself once said, “Making a positive change in the life of a child is one of the most significant things you can do.”… Hey, whatever happened to James Harden? … Did you see where Kim Kardashian showed up at the Met Gala earlier this week wearing Marilyn Monroe’s old dress. In related news, Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson showed up at workouts the other day wearing Tim Tebow’s old halo. …
Last word: Headline from TheOnion.com: “Ben Simmons tells Nets he’s ready to play now.”
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