Monday, December 06, 2004

Rashômon | by Jay

Whom to believe? There's a tremendous amount of speculation about how the Urban Meyer story actually transpired: some of it anonymous, but detailed; some of it sketchy, but credible; and some of it just plain batshit (if I could, I would link to the rantings of an entertaining, but delusional friend I commiserated with at last Saturday's Christmas party). The confluence of rumor, CYAing, and public Monday-morning PR quarterbacking (by all camps) has made this story incredibly difficult to piece together.

These days, with so many bits and pieces filtering in from different sources, I feel like one of the 6 blind men trying to describe an elephant. According to various Urban legends:

* Meyer was signed by Florida weeks ago, and met with ND out of respect
* Meyer demanded too many academic concessions from ND, knowing they wouldn't comply, and he'd be free to take the UF job
* Meyer's wife Shelley vetoed moving to South Bend
* ND actually reached a verbal agreement with Meyer, only to see him turn it down the next day
* White had Meyer in the bag, but the ND brass turned him down
* Jenkins was turned off to Meyer and ND never offered him the job in the first place
* Bob Davie and Earl Bruce convinced Meyer that ND wasn't for him
* Meyer was insulted by ND's lowball dollar offer
* ND matched UF's money; the fallout occurred due to other issues

Then there's this article from the Gainesville Sun about the wooing of Meyer, by Pat Dooley, who interviewed Florida AD Jeremy Foley yesterday. It goes into a fairly high level of detail about the conversations between UF and Meyer, but because it sticks to a timeline analysis (rather than trying to break down exactly what went into Meyer's decision calculus) it doesn't help us get inside the mind of the guy whose dream was to coach at ND.

The rational voice in my head says we'll probably never know how close we actually were -- if we were close at all. Was Meyer seriously considering us? Or was it an act? It's tough to say. As a wise man once said, "There's what's right, and there's what's right, and never the 'twain shall meet."