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New Details About Ohio State’s President Emerging Before Urban Meyer Decision

first_imgA closeup of Urban Meyer during an Ohio State football game.GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 01: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes on the sidelines during the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Urban Meyer’s future as Ohio State’s head coach is being decided on Wednesday morning. The school’s board of trustees is set to meet to discuss Meyer and they’ll then recommend punishment to Ohio State’s president, Michael Drake.New details regarding Drake have emerged in anticipation of this decision.Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel wrote about Meyer and the controversy and the upcoming decision. He included some nuggets about Drake and what his mindset might be.It’s telling.If you live outside Ohio, there’s little chance that you’ve heard of Drake. He served as UC-Irvine’s chancellor before coming to Ohio State in June of 2014 and his background is in the medical field.Drake is considered relatively anonymous even in Columbus, where the university president is one of the most prominent people in a city that’s the 15th-largest in America by population. Yahoo Sports spoke to a half dozen politically affiliated people in Ohio on Sunday, and the general consensus is that Drake is perceived generally as a weak president who lacks the charisma and political touch of his predecessor, Gordon Gee.“He does not have a presence that extends outside The Oval,” said Curtin, essentially referring to the Ohio State campus. “He’s just not a presence in the community. He’s a nice and cultured and articulate man, but he’s someone who doesn’t have gravitas beyond the university itself.”What does this mean for Urban Meyer?  That is unclear.Drake, though, has had to make one major public decision before:The only moderately comparable decision so far in Drake’s tenure came in the summer of 2014 when he announced he was firing band director Jon Waters. The Ohio State band is a beloved institution on campus, and while the notion of a band director’s firing may elicit chuckles, it was a big deal at Ohio State. An investigation yielded a 92-page report that detailed a culture of hazing and sexual harassment. It was a huge story locally, and may be the defining decision of Drake’s tenure thus far. Drake’s statement firing Waters summed it up this way: “The investigation determined that Director Waters was aware or reasonably should have known about this culture but failed to eliminate it.” Could those be ominous words for Urban Meyer?We’ll find out tomorrow…last_img

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