Less than a month removed from winning the National Championship with Ohio State, Urban Meyer's focus has shifted fully to the 2015 season and he's taking issue with the rampant speculation on QB Braxton Miller transferring away from the Buckeyes. This speculation has been going on since during last season when J.T. Barrett burst onto the scene in Miller's absence due to injury, and it only got louder when third-string QB Cardale Jones played exceptional football in the final four games after Barrett was injured.
Meyer joined FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel on their "The Audible" podcast recently and addressed Miller's transfer, particularly an issue he has with the media's coverage of Miller's decision. Without naming names, Meyer went after media members that he perceives as attempting to get in the ear of Miller (and possibly other players) to convince him to transfer.
"There's people in the media that work in high-power positions that, I guess, are having conversations with our players about transferring. I spent a year at ESPN, and I can't imagine that's acceptable. If that is going on, and I haven't had time to research -- obviously, we've been playing -- if anybody in the media is having any conversations with one of your players about transferring, that person doesn't belong to work in the media anymore. They certainly won't have access to your program. Those are things you have to be very leery of."
"If it's a good thing for a player to move on, I'm fine with it," he said. "I don't think that's a bad rule at all, to have fifth-year, if you graduate, you can move on and go. It's just, you've got to be careful of people getting their hands in it that, first of all, probably don't know what the hell they're talking about and, second of all, let the families decide. Same thing with going pro. If you have a decision, that's a family decision."
There's certainly merit to Meyer's complaint. There's a fine line the media -- particularly those in high profile positions -- have to toe when dealing with athletes. It's one thing to go on television or write a column on what you think Braxton Miller or anyone else should do, but to attempt to sway that player's decision because of access you have to the player probably falls on the wrong side of that ethical line.
As Meyer said, the player must make a decision that's best for him, and someone on the outside in the media probably isn't aware of all of the factors going into that decision. Also, no matter how objective we in the media may attempt to be, pushing Miller to transfer to Oregon or any other high profile school is as much a selfish move -- I personally would love to see Miller take over the Ducks' offense, and I'm sure it would make for great TV -- as it is an effort to put Miller in the best situation possible for him and his family.
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