EXCLUSIVE: As confirmed here last Friday, Urban Meyer has agreed in principle to become the next head football coach of Ohio State.
(Meyer “berated” reporter Jeremy Fowler in March, 2010. Later apologized.)
Nothing will be signed between Meyer and Ohio State until after the Buckeyes play Michigan on Saturday in Ann Arbor, with an announcement likely to come as soon as Monday or Tuesday.
Despite his ABC/ESPN broadcast crew being assigned to the same game on Saturday, multiple sources confirmed this week that Meyer told ESPN he would not work the game. When ESPN, unbeknownst to Meyer, then assigned him to work its GameDay production on location before the Alabama-Auburn game, the coach refused that assignment as well. Eventually ESPN and Meyer agreed on his working Saturday in Bristol.
Why did Meyer refuse assignments in Ann Arbor and Alabama? For the same reason a security guard was stationed inside his broadcast booth last Saturday at Michigan Stadium to block reporters from asking him anything about his agreement to coach Ohio State.
The same security guard, I have confirmed via multiple sources, is normally assigned to patrol the entire Michigan press box - not guard a broadcaster - as was the case last Saturday. The guard also escorted Meyer to and from the booth from inside the press box expressly to prevent the next Ohio State coach from being confronted by credentialed, working media.
ASSOCIATED PRESS reporter Larry Lage reported that Meyer “declined comment” before the game. Along with Lage, multiple sources said COLUMBUS DISPATCH reporter Todd Jones was also blocked by the security guard from engaging in any conversation with Meyer while inside the press box.
Despite Meyer using a security guard to block reporters from a story he was responsible for, sources also confirmed ESPN’s Joe Schad could be seen talking with Meyer inside the same media-embargoed Michigan Stadium broadcast booth before the game.