Penn State wants Urban Meyer to coach its football program. Correction: The students, alumni, fans, and probably some players want Urban Meyer to coach Penn State. The rumors have stemmed from his relationship with Coach Paterno, the supposed interest of his daughters in Penn State for volleyball, and even a slip of the tongue during a ESPN college football broadcast.
So I am here to set the record straight, and potentially squash the hopes and dreams of Penn State football fans. Urban Meyer is not coming to coach Penn State, at least not yet. The rumor that Urban Meyer has a daughter that is a senior in high school and is being recruited by Penn State for volleyball is incorrect. Urban Meyer has two daughters, Nicki and Gigi. Nicki is a junior Defensive Specialist at Georgia Tech, and has begun to see more playing time this season. Gigi is a freshman Setter at Florida Gulf Coast, and has played in most matches this season for FGCU. These are Meyer’s only two daughters, and there is no high school senior with whom Meyer is ready to follow to State College next season.
For those expecting one or both daughters to transfer to Penn State, remember which program we are talking about here. This is Penn State, a program with 4 consecutive National Championships since 2008 and a team ranked at 14th, which is still its lowest ranking in years. Georgia Tech, on the other hand, is ranked 72nd in the Division I Volleyball rankings, and barely has a record over .500. Florida Gulf Coast is ranked 174th in the country. Do either of these girls have 1) the motivation or 2) the ability to transfer to a program like Penn State? Think Russ Rose will idly sit by and let less caliber transfer students join the Lions roster for a football agenda? Don’t count on it. And even if Nicki had the talent to transfer to Penn State, would she really want to waste her senior year of college on the bench at Penn State just to be with her father when he becomes head coach? When one thinks about it objectively, and has all the facts, such a situation becomes very contrived and unlikely.
So the volleyball theory is debunked. Step 1 on the road to realization attained. Step 2: Did Urban Meyer really say, “Our quarterbacks” when referring to Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin? Yes, he did, but relax, please. In the Penn State vs. Iowa game at Beaver Stadium, Urban Meyer was the color commentator for the game. Early in the 1st quarter, Urban Meyer said of the quarterbacks, “You’ve got to space them out. That’s what I was talking about, someone needs to help our…(pause)…the Penn State quarterbacks out.” This created a youtube sensation and a fan frenzy because Meyer was thought to have a Freudian slip in which he said “our quarterbacks” before stopping himself. However, I appeal to the sane in society, please understand that this phrasing made complete sense in context. Meyer said, “That’s what I was talking about” right before saying “our quarterbacks,” referring to a point he made the play prior about the wide receivers needing to get open and help the quarterbacks. Meyer approached the conversation from the perspective and responsibility of a receiver, and continued that point to the next play. Therefore, the “our quarterbacks” was not a Freudian slip but a contextual comment that was blown completely out of proportion.
Finally, Joe Paterno has spoken with Coach Meyer on multiple occasions this season, and he has communicated with President Graham Spanier as well. This has produced rumors that Meyer and Paterno have a mutual agreement about a succession plan beginning after the 2011 season. Needless to say, the rumor that stems from the simple fact that these men are meeting is a giant leap of faith, especially since Joe Paterno said in a mid-week press conference this season “I feel way too good right now to think about retiring.”
Is Urban Meyer never going to be the head coach at Penn State? I have no idea, and am not really in a position to predict that into the future. What I can say is that there have been many unfounded and unnecessary rumors about Urban Meyer and his family that were initiated to let Penn State fans convince themselves of this fallacy. Paterno is 8-1 this season, has the Nittany Lions at the top of the Big Ten, and unless Joe experiences some unforeseen medical problems in the offseason, expect Joe Paterno to return for a 47th season as Head Coach at Penn State.