Despite some internal opposition, Fox Sports management is pushing to bring back disgraced football coach Urban Meyer as a studio analyst for its “Big Noon Kickoff” pregame show, said sources.
After posting a 2-11 record, Meyer was ignominiously fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars before completing the 2021 NFL regular season.
The former college coach’s disastrous tenure allegedly included kicking one of his players in practice, abandoning his team after a loss to dance with a young woman at his Columbus steakhouse, belittling players and assistant coaches, and otherwise creating a “toxic” environment.
Still, the 57-year-old Meyer won three national championships at Florida and Ohio State. Despite his fall from grace, Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports Meyer is “deep in negotiations” to return to the network where he worked for two years before signing a five-year deal with the Jags worth an estimated $9 million per year.
Fox will take heat on social media for signing Meyer — and some of its on-air talent are opposed to his return, sources tell Front Office Sports.
Bob Stoops, Meyer’s successor, recently left Fox to return to coaching in the XFL. Love him or hate him, Meyer was insightful as a TV analyst during his two-year tenure with the college football pregame show. He was better at Fox than during a previous TV stint with ESPN.
In an April appearance on “The Tim May Podcast,” Meyer confirmed he was talking to Fox executives about a comeback: “I love Fox, I love their team and their guys. There’s nothing been finalized yet, but yeah, I plan on going back and doing that. I really enjoyed that.”