OSU fires receivers coach after domestic charge

Silvia Morton
August 2, 2018

Urban Meyer said Tuesday morning he was aware of domestic abuse allegations against former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith stemming from an incident in 2009. Meyer declined to say whether Smith was sacked because of the recent protective order or because of the 2015 incident.

Meyer was scheduled to speak to reporters at Big Ten Media Days on Tuesday. Smith and his wife were a "very young couple"-how this is material, it's not clear-and Meyer and his wife got involved and advised the Smiths to go to counseling. We chose to make a change".

"I'm not going to get into that", Meyer said.

"It's The Ohio State University; it's bigger than all of us", he said. "I knew people reading it would say, 'Why did he delete it?' But that just magnifies it more". At the time of the charge, Zach Smith's attorney said Smith's ex-wife had accused him of driving to her apartment after she told him they would meet elsewhere so he could drop off their son.

Then, in October 2015 while on Meyer's staff at Ohio State, Smith was arrested again for felonious assault and domestic violence of his wife.

Meyer never condemned domestic violence during his approximately 15 minutes on the podium or a later, hourlong session with reporters. But they sent an email at 4:50 p.m. ET saying they discovered records of those incidents after further review.

Two weeks later, the police returned to the same residence to investigate a "menace by stalking claim". No charges were filed. The decision was made. The Powell PD confirmed that Zach Smith was the suspect in those reports and made a decision to release the information after discussing the matter with its legal counsel.

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Meyer denied a report by national writer Brett McMurphy that alleged another incident took place between Smith and his wife in 2015. It's time to move forward.

Instead Meyer explained how he let his superiors at Florida know about Smith's 2009 arrest and that the process they went through assured him it was fine to rehire Smith three years later. "(He said) that it was investigated.

"It came back to me". I said, '15?' That was only a couple years ago. An argument ensued, and he allegedly put his hands on his wife.

No, Meyer won't be fired, but he could receive a minor punishment from Ohio State following this news, especially since it makes him look like someone who condones this behavior.

Meyer's answer left the situation up to the courts of law and public opinion, which leaves the program open to more criticism given the nature of the disturbing allegations against Smith. We operate in a climate where it's downright hard to commit an act so egregious to be banned from football-or any other game. "It's a huge loss, but we'll move forward".

Above all else, protecting Ohio State had to be the priority for any decision, and Meyer made the correct one.

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