Scarlet and gray smoke did not emerge from the campus building, but it would have been fitting.
After a two-week investigation and a day-long deliberation, Ohio State's board of trustees opted to keep a national championship football coach, a decision that's being universally criticized and one that's getting worse through the scope of instant replay.
Urban Meyer was hit with just a three-game suspension for mishandling incidents involving ex-wide receivers coach Zach Smith. He'll be back before September ends.
Memory loss. Deleted texts. Staffers looking the other way over a coach's other transgressions, and a press conference that included no actual apology to the victim.
Wednesday was a 12-hour mess in Columbus, and it's not over.
Here's a roundup of opinions about everything going on at Ohio State:
Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports:
"Meyer, for his part, clearly didn't believe he should've even been suspended. When asked if he accepted the punishment, he merely stated, twice, "I trust and support our president." He looked miserable and distracted and angry. His true feelings were clear: he'd been wronged here. And that's the lingering problem. The punishment is the punishment. He'll coach again. He'll win again. He'll be lauded with standing ovations and millions in salary. Yet there is no indication Meyer is really better for this, more aware of the blind spots that got him here."
Christine Brennan, USA Today:
"So Meyer survives, but as a diminished v"ersion of his once mighty self. He is a weakened, lesser man. The moral high ground he so loved is no longer his to claim. He probably will try, but it will be laughable when he does.
Andy Staples, SI.com:
"It's likely that Meyer didn't know the totality of Zach Smith's actions. But for us to believe Meyer didn't know about Zach Smith's biggest issues, we must believe that Meyer wasn't smart enough to notice obvious red flags in his program. Meyer painted himself repeatedly Wednesday as an incompetent manager who didn't know all that was happening right under his nose. Unfortunately for that particular narrative, Meyer's incredibly successful coaching career (three national titles, a 177-31 record as a head coach and a 73-8 record at Ohio State) has been built on a painstaking attention to detail. When an obviously smart person tries to convince us that he's stupid, it only raises more questions."
Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com:
"Furthermore, Wednesday's press conference was a study in semantics. Meyer may have lied last month at Big Ten Media Days, but he didn't "deliberately lie," according to investigative chairwoman Mary Jo White. So what was that cone drill that Meyer ran in Chicago, an unintentional lie? On nine occasions, according to reports, he was asked about his knowledge of Zach Smith allegedly assaulting his wife in 2015. Nine times he denied knowledge."
Matt Hayes, Bleacher Report:
"This is who you've sold your soul for, Ohio State. This is the man who, while sitting in front of an investigative committee, told a story that made Courtney Smith look like some unstable woman filing false charges. This is who you've decided will lead young men in your football program and be the face of your university."