If you haven’t heard Tim Brando’s comments about Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer then you may be unaware that the CBS personality accused the OSU head man of “whining” and “politicking” in order to be eligible for a Big Ten division title, despite the school’s postseason ban.
“Urban whines. He whined at Florida; hes whining now,” Brando said on his radio show. “You took this job, you knew that they had sanctions, now you’re ineligible and you’re trying to change it and trying to politicize it.”
If Brando had said Meyer was whiny or arrogant, that would have been a matter of opinion. Brando, however, claimed that Meyer approached the Big Ten office and tried to get a policy changed in order to win a trophy.
First, there’s no evidence to suggest Meyer did any lobbying. Second, as I’ve reported before, there was no policy change. After ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg called, Big Ten conference staff met to decide how the rules that are already on the books apply to Ohio State’s…and Penn State’s situation.
When confronted with the inaccuracy, Brando doubled down, saying he had read “published reports” to the contrary.
Meyer obviously has a right to be offended. I’ll tell you who else has every reason to be angry right now: the Ohio State beat media.
Rittenberg did a GREAT job tracking this story down. He did something more reporters should do. He took something that appeared to be obvious to everyone and asked the question anyway.
Oh, and Adam admitted that he was wrong at first and apologized for it.
It was a lesson in humility and good journalism.
More good work followed.
We checked with OSU’s players (note: plural) and asked them if they were eligible to win the Leaders Division. We didn’t tell them the reason we were asking is to find out if the information had been relayed to them by the coaches.
They genuinely didn’t know.
Then we asked Meyer for his reaction to the development. “I never heard that. I never thought about it. And it’s not going to make us play harder this Saturday,” he said. “But somewhere at a point in November or something, yeah, that’ll be interesting.”
We followed up with the Big Ten. “Why didn’t OSU know?” we asked.
Because until ESPN asked the question, no one had given it any thought, we were informed.
So not only did we check. We double-checked. Then we checked again.
That Brando would imply that our work was inaccurate, or that other media outlets had uncovered conflicting information is, in a word, wrong.
Now we’ve all made mistakes, but our careers and character are defined by how we handle the missteps.