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Accountability

August 23, 2018

If you know me, you know I’m a sports fan.  If it’s competitive, generally I’m interested (except soccer, which is ridiculous).  Once, when I was on the road in Jakarta, I was in my hotel room practicing and my roommate (not a sports fan) walked in- glanced at the TV, which had the Asian Badminton Championship on- then looked at me with exasperation.  I took the horn off of my face and said, “C’mon, I hear Malaysia has a real shot at a medal this year!”  He was not amused.

Way too often, musicians compare themselves to athletes.  I’ve already discussed how ludicrous that is here:  Musicians Are Not Athletes.  One of the aspects that musicians and athletes share is accountability.  To oversimplify, I’ll put it this way:

You must practice to get better

My job is teaching trumpet at a university.  That means teaching college students how to become professional musicians.  There’s a lot that goes into this.  It’s not just playing the trumpet well.  It’s also about how to conduct yourself in the professional world.  With that comes a lot of accountability.  Not just for how you play in an ensemble, but for your actions and interactions with others.  Sort of like a coach.

Here are the facts of what happened at Ohio State recently:

  1. Urban Meyer, the head football coach, denied knowing about domestic abuse allegations against one of his assistants.
  2. After a report came out stating he did know, Mr. Meyer wrote, in an open letter to “Buckeye Nation”, : “I have always followed proper reporting protocols and procedures when I have learned of an incident involving a student-athlete, coach or member of our staff by elevating the issues to the proper channels. And I did so regarding the Zach Smith incident in 2015. I take that responsibility very seriously and any suggestion to the contrary is simply false.”
  3. An investigation by Ohio State found: “Although Coach Meyer and Athletic Director Smith failed to adhere to the precise requirements of their contracts when they concluded that they needed to await a law enforcement determination to file charges before they reported the otherwise disputed claims of spousal abuse against Zach Smith, they did so based upon a good faith belief that they did not have sufficient information to trigger a reporting obligation or initiate disciplinary action in the absence of law enforcement action.”
  4. Urban Meyer was suspended for 3 games.

So let me see if I can sum this up for you quickly:

  1. Urban Meyer lied- “I didn’t know”
  2. When caught in that lie, he lied again- “Okay, I knew, and I reported it”
  3. When the University caught him in both lies,- “Okay, I knew and I didn’t report it”- he’s given a slap on the wrist.

This isn’t the kind of accountability Urban Meyer demands of his players.

In short, Urban Meyer is not being held accountable for his actions.  Ohio State has made the cowardly decision that winning football games is more important than their integrity, and in this case- an abused wife of an assistant coach.  Even at Ohio State, the majority of the football players are not going to the NFL.  What these college students are learning is that if they win enough games and make enough money for the university- the rules don’t apply to them.

Shame on you, Ohio State.  Your players and fans deserve better.  I hope they ask for it.

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3 comments

  1. Well said!


  2. I completely agree


  3. Hey Joey.
    1.) Agreed. And here in MD we are dealing with the death of a football player at the hands of coaches who didn’t follow procedures.
    2.) I could easily watch badminton. The real thing, not the backyard picnic kind. We had an exchange student in high school one year that was a national champ in Denmark. No one in the school could even get a point off him.
    3.) Don’t talk about soccer like that with me. Them’s fighting’ words.



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