A crisis communications consultant believes The Ohio State University must move past the Urban Meyer investigation, while he also suggests the head football coach address his critics, in light of his 3-game suspension.
“They [university leaders] need to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” said Mark Weaver, founder of Communications Counsel.
Weaver, like many across Ohio and the country, watched Wednesday’s press conference where the suspensions of Athletic Director Gene Smith and Meyer were announced.
He is aware of the criticism Meyer now faces, for failing to directly apologize to Courtney Smith, the ex-wife of former assistant coach Zach Smith.
“Well, I have a message for everyone involved in this, I’m sorry that we’re in this situation and I’m just sorry we’re in this situation,” Meyer said, when a reporter asked what he would say to Courtney Smith, on Wednesday.
According to Weaver, it would have been best for Meyer to specifically address her.
“If there’s an obvious victim or somebody who the public thinks deserves an apology, it’s good to name that person and make it clear that you apologize to that person, as well,” Weaver explained. “I think Coach Meyer would’ve been better off today if he had done that.”
Meyer is not expected to be on the sideline until September 22, when the Buckeyes play Tulane.
Weaver suggests he address his critics before that game.
“Rather than allow this topic to bleed into the coverage of a particular game, it’d be prudent right before his first game back to do another opportunity, to do some sort of interview where he can expand a little bit on what he talked about,” explained Weaver.
While Meyer will not coach in a game until the end of next month, he will rejoin the team for practice and other events on September 2.