Jaguars coach Urban Meyer said Monday he apologized to his team, his family, and owner Shad Khan after a viral video surfaced over the weekend that showed a young woman dancing close to his lap at his restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.
Meyer, 57, apologized in a team meeting on Monday and also said multiple times it was stupid to put himself in such a compromising position last Friday, one day after the Jaguars’ 24-21 loss at Cincinnati.
“I just apologized to the team and staff for being a distraction,” Meyer said. “Just stupid, and so I explained everything that happened and owned it. Just stupid. Should not have myself in that kind of position.”
Meyer did not fly back to Jacksonville with the team last Thursday night and instead went to Columbus to visit with his grandchildren. Meyer said he and family members went to his restaurant — Urban Meyer’s Pint House — on Friday night, and people at a nearby event asked to take photos with him. Meyer said he should have left when people tried to get him to dance with them.
Jags place WR Chark on IR with fractured ankle
Frustrated Meyer calls Jags’ loss ‘heartbreaking’
Picking QB awards through Week 4: Most improved, most confusing and more
“There was a big group next [to] our restaurant and they wanted me to come over and take pictures, and I did,” Meyer said. “They were trying to pull me out on the dance floor, screwing around, and I should have left.”
Meyer said his family was understandably upset after the nine-second video showing Meyer sitting at the bar in an Ohio State pullover while the young woman danced close to his lap was posted to social media on Saturday night and quickly went viral.
Roughly an hour after Meyer’s news conference Monday, another video emerged on social media that appeared to show Meyer touching a woman’s bottom while he was sitting at the bar. The woman appeared to be wearing the same clothes — jeans and a white top — as the woman in the first viral video.
Meyer said his players and owner Shad Khan were receptive to his apology.
“I’ve always been so defensive of them [the players],” Meyer said. “I remember when Trevor [Lawrence] told me he was going to go to Vegas for his bachelor party. I was just like, ‘My gosh, man, be careful and surround yourself because I’ve seen this happen.’
“The team, I spoke to a bunch of leaders one-on-one, spoke to all the players. They’re good. They’re focused on Tennessee. I apologized again for being a distraction. A coach should not be a distraction.”
Meyer is in his first year with the Jaguars after leading Florida and Ohio State to three national titles. The slogan he has chosen for the rebuild of one of the league’s worst franchises is “Own it,” and he admitted that he’s not sure how this incident will impact his leadership with the team.
“The team, I spoke to a bunch of leaders one on one, spoke to all the players. They’re good. They’re focused on Tennessee. I apologized again for being a distraction. A coach should not be a distraction.”
“I am concerned about that. I have a very good relationship with our players,” Meyer said. “I’ve dealt with this, not on the other side but with staff members and with other things, and I’ve dealt with it. So to say I’m concerned, yeah I am concerned, but I just got to do right.”
This is the latest controversy involving Meyer since he was hired in January.
Meyer hired former Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle, who was accused of making racist remarks and belittling and bullying players while at the university, in February, but Doyle resigned a day later after the organization was criticized for the hire by the Fritz Pollard Alliance.
Meyer also had Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick, alternate days with the first-team offense with Gardner Minshew to earn the starting quarterback job. Meyer eventually announced Lawrence as the starter on Aug. 25 and the team traded Minshew to the Philadelphia Eagles three days later. Minshew has yet to be active on game day this season.
The Jaguars lost the season opener to a Houston Texans team that many regarded as the worst in the NFL. The Jaguars appeared unprepared, had several illegal formation penalties and gave their best offensive player — running back James Robinson — just five carries.
The Jaguars are 0-4 and have lost 19 consecutive games dating to a victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the 2020 season opener. The Jaguars host Tennessee on Sunday; they have lost seven of the past eight meetings with the Titans. A loss to Tennessee would give the Jaguars the second-longest losing streak in NFL history — only Tampa Bay has a longer losing streak (26 consecutive losses over the 1976-77 seasons).
Got a story or tip for us? Email Sports Gossip editors at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want More From Sports Gossip?