TB Times writer: Meyer’s lawyer tried to keep Lambo story quiet

Rick Stroud: ‘This didn’t sound like a guy the owner had fired on Sunday’

FILE - Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer stands on the sideline during the final minutes of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. Urban Meyer's tumultuous NFL tenure ended after just 13 games and two victories when the Jacksonville Jaguars fired him early Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021 because of an accumulation of missteps.(AP Photo/Gary McCullough, File) (Gary Mccullough, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Times writer who wrote the story about Urban Meyer kicking former player Josh Lambo said he received a threatening letter from Meyer’s lawyer before the story was published, just hours before Meyer was fired by Jaguars owner Shad Khan.

Rick Stroud, speaking on the Rich Eisen Show on the Peacock Network, said the Jaguars asked him to hold the story until 4 p.m. and that Meyer’s personal lawyer wanted to provide sources to dispute Lambo’s version of the story, but not the fact that the incidents took place.

“They wanted to offer up a couple of players, but only off the record,” Stroud said. “To corroborate — not that he didn’t kick him, but to the degree that he kicked him.

“During this whole drip, drip, drip process, everybody was using sources. (Meyer said) ‘Who are these people? If I catch the source, they’re gone.’ When the Jaguars organization was under fire, they want to offer up unnamed sources and players who will back the coach. (Lambo) was a guy who showed enough courage to put his name on the incident and speak on the record.”

The Tampa Bay Times writer who wrote the story about Urban Meyer kicking former player Josh Lambo said he received a threatening letter from Meyer’s lawyer before the story was published, just hours before Meyer was fired by Jaguars owner Shad Khan.

A Jaguars spokesman said that the Lambo story wasn’t the last straw and that the team had been aware of the incident since shortly after it occurred in the preseason.

Stroud also said that Meyer came off the practice field on Wednesday and was dealing with his representatives rather than being concerned with the team’s preparation for Sunday’s game.

Stroud also questioned the assertion from Khan’s spokesman that the decision to fire Meyer was made on Sunday night.

“They were in complete scramble mode since 8:30 that (Wednesday) morning,” Stroud said. “I spoke numerous times to people about the details of the story, provided them with everything I had. They wanted an extension before we published until 4 p.m. We delayed it until 4:30. They were in scramble mode. This didn’t sound like a guy the owner had fired on Sunday. To what extent that contributed to it? I saw the reaction to the story from people. Maybe that had some impact. Urban Meyer was solely focused on keeping his job because of Lambo’s comments.”


About the Author:

Cole joined News4Jax full-time in January 2017, but he has been a part of the team since he began filling in as a sports anchor in 2005.