Jim Harbaugh: Controversy follows Urban Meyer wherever he goes
Jim Harbaugh was never able to get the best of Urban Meyer when Meyer coached at Ohio State, but he clearly doesn’t feel that winning is everything when it comes to running a college football program.
In an appearance on “The TK Show” podcast with Tim Kawakami this week, Harbaugh spoke about everything Meyer was able to accomplish on the field at Ohio State. Meyer’s Buckeyes were 4-0 against Harbaugh and 7-0 overall against Michigan, but the Wolverines coach pointed out that “controversy” seemed to be a common theme with Meyer-led programs.
“Urban Meyer’s had a winning record. Really phenomenal record everywhere he’s been,” Harbaugh said. “But also, controversy follows everywhere he’s been.”
Unfortunately, that doesn’t matter for some people. Harbaugh went on to acknowledge that Michigan has always come up short since he was named head coach back in 2015.
“All you can be judged on is your record. What your record is overall. What your record is within your conference. What your record is with head-to-head matchups,” Harbaugh said, as transcribed by Kevin Harrish of Eleven Warriors. “I think you’ll find Ohio State is the only team with a better record, a better conference record than us (since I’ve been there) and has a better head-to-head matchup with us.”
While some viewed Harbaugh’s remarks as a swipe at Meyer, he was really just stating the obvious. Meyer had numerous players with character concerns during his time as the head coach at Florida, and more than two dozen players were arrested over a six-year span. He recruited and vouched for guys like Aaron Hernandez, who went on to murder multiple people.
More recently, Meyer was accused of ignoring domestic violence allegations against a member of his staff at Ohio State. That almost certainly contributed to his decision to step down following last season.
In terms of running a clean program, Harbaugh — and many other coaches — have Meyer beat. If you’re judging strictly on wins and losses, Meyer is one of the best to ever do it.