Without the Denver media asking him potentially pointed questions on Wednesday about the possibility of a Bobby Petrino-style less-than-one-and-done NFL experiment, Jaguars coach Urban Meyer instead was served up an embarrassingly chunky softball by someone in the group of reporters covering the team. Unless it was a member of the team’s P.R. staff, which given the precise wording of the question is entirely possible.
“Unfortunately for you, rumors came out yesterday linking you to the USC job,” the reporter said. “I just wanted to give you a chance to refute it.” (Now there’s some FBI-level interrogation skills.)
Meyer’s body language was far from convincing. Still, he uttered the words he had to say. There’s “no chance” he’s leaving.
While there’s some chance he’s telling the truth, what would he say if he was actually thinking about pursuing the job? Or if he’s secretly having misgivings about what he’s gotten himself into? This is a must-lie situation, if the truth is anything other than “no chance.” Whatever the truth may be, the answer to that gift-wrapped non-question HAD TO BE “no chance.”
That’s why Nick Saban said in December 2006 “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach.” With games left to be played by the Dolphins that season, he couldn’t say, “Well, you never know.” Or “maybe.” Or “roll Tide.”
In those situations, the truth won’t set you free. It will paint you into a corner. While I’m not saying Meyer is thinking about bolting for the Trojans, I am saying that his declaration that he isn’t doesn’t mean that he isn’t. He’d never admit it if it were true.