[UPDATE: Ohio State says this never happened and Urban Meyer was “joking.” They sent out an email to the media which reads as follows…]
This note is in response to the headlines that are running on the internet that don’t seem to take into consideration that Coach Meyer told a JOKE to a crowd of high school coaches last week. He was telling a story about toughness and he exaggerated a story about toughness. It is the same story he has told numerous times before, including last year at this same convention; only the coach he talked about last year wasn’t Coach Hayes, but Coach Bruce.
So please know: the story about toughness that Coach Meyer shared with a crowd last week and the year before and numerous times before was a joke and only a joke.
Urban Meyer spoke at the Ohio coaches convention. In part of his speech, which lasted more than an hour, he recounted this story about famed Ohio State coach Woody Hayes. Then head coach Earl Bruce brought Hayes in to speak to the coaching staff about toughness. He brought a live prop.
“He reaches down and grabs this box, slides the top and there was something in the box moving around. He reaches in and he pulls out this turtle. He reaches down, this turtle’s snapping and he says, ‘I’m going to show you toughness.’ He unzips his pants and takes out whatever he takes out. The turtle reaches up and snaps at him. You see the veins and the sweat (on Hayes). He screams at the coaches, ‘That’s toughness! That’s f’n toughness!’ He reaches down, pokes the turtle right in the eye and it falls off. He wipes the sweat off his forehead and says, ‘That’s the problem. We don’t have anybody in this room tough enough to do that right there.
“(One assistant) raises his hand and says, ‘Coach, I’d do this. Just promise not to poke me in the eye.'”
Michigan men may not be that tough. North of the border, whipping out your equipment around animals is frowned upon.
[HT to Coaching Search]