Urban Meyer Denies Using Trayvon Martin Photo in 2017 Ohio State Meeting

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 3, 2022

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 12: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks on against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half at Nissan Stadium on December 12, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer denies allegations that he used a photo of Trayvon Martin to tell the team not to wear hoodies in team meetings.

Meyer told reporter Jeff Snook:

"Our team rule was no hats or hoodies or sunglasses of any kind but only in team meetings, just so we could see their eyes and make sure they were paying attention and not asleep. We did not, and never would show a picture of Trayvon Martin. My gosh, no. That is absolutely false and you can check with any other player on my teams during that time to confirm what I am saying. Other players know what he is saying is false. I would never do that. He is crossing the line here. It seems people are just piling on now. But that never happened."

Former Ohio State player Marcus Williamson said Saturday on Twitter that the picture was used during a 2017 team meeting:

Marcus Williamson @WW_Marcus

My first team meeting. (True story 2017) This photo was presented to us via PowerPoint to institute our building wide rule of “no hoods” in the building <a href="https://t.co/bGdJVZaEVT">pic.twitter.com/bGdJVZaEVT</a>

Martin was shot and killed at age 17 in 2012 by a neighborhood watch captain in Florida. He was wearing a hoodie at the time, and the article of clothing became a flashpoint of discussion.

Williamson, who joined Ohio State in 2017 and played two years under Meyer, also said the coach told him he would "ruin my f—- life" if he caught him smoking.

Meyer stepped down at Ohio State after the 2018 season and worked as a television analyst for two years. He joined the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021, but his stint in the NFL only lasted 13 games before Jacksonville fired him with a 2-11 record.

Meyer faced allegations of physical and verbal abuse during his short time as Jaguars head coach.

Kicker Josh Lambo said Meyer kicked him during practice while calling him a "dips--t," per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Meyer got into confrontations with assistant coaches and veteran receiver Marvin Jones Jr.

The allegations from Williamson could show a potential trend by the veteran coach.