FSU AD David Coburn Debunks Urban Meyer, Steve Spurrier Head Coach Rumors

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 20: Former player Urban Meyer, rumored to be the next USC head coach, appears at the USC game against the Utah Utes at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Florida State athletic director David Coburn threw a wet blanket the rumors the Seminoles would consider hiring Urban Meyer or Steve Spurrier as a replacement for head football coach Willie Taggart.

"If Coach were hit by a bus tomorrow, we would not target Coach Meyer, period," Coburn said, per the Tallahassee Democrat's Wayne McGahee III. "I say that with all due respect to Coach Meyer, but we would not target Steve Spurrier either."

Football Scoop's Zach Barnett reported Monday that Florida State "engaged its donor class about making a change," with Meyer one candidate to take over for Taggart.

The tone of Coburn's comment is somewhat surprising, but the general sentiment isn't. The Seminoles have little to gain from undermining their head coach in the midst of a disappointing 2019 season. They sit at 3-4 heading into Saturday's home game against Syracuse.

The last thing the AD should be doing is sowing doubt about Taggart's future, even if the school is seriously considering his job status.

One could argue Taggart shouldn't even be on the hot seat despite the fact that the Seminoles could post a losing record for the second year in a row. Bleacher Report's Matt Hayes wrote in June that Taggart was effectively inheriting a rebuild from his predecessor, Jimbo Fisher.

"Many of the issues Taggart inherited, they say, began with the coddling of Jameis Winston, the player who led the Noles to such remarkable heights under Fisher. Those issues eventually bled into a hands-off attitude with academics and placed the program at risk of not complying with NCAA standards and being ineligible to participate in championship events.

"Another former assistant under Fisher tells Bleacher Report that by the end of Fisher's reign, coaches were being given one mandate: 'Keep the players eligible.'"

Coburn alluded to those problems when he told Hayes that Taggart "had a lot to deal with, beyond the field" when he arrived in December 2017.

Granted, the Tampa Bay Times' Matt Baker noted attendance at Florida State games is trending downward this year. The Seminoles had 46,530 for their 35-24 win over Louisville on Sept. 21, which was their smallest crowd since 1983.

Making a marquee hire such as Meyer or Spurrier might provide a shot in the arm for the fanbase and bring some much-needed energy, but until the team is ready to make a move it seems best for Coburn to maintain as much stability as possible for Taggart's sake.

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