OSU football coach Urban Meyer says he followed protocol

Silvia Morton
August 4, 2018

Meyer did fire Smith on July 23, the same day that a pattern of domestic abuse allegations made by Smith's ex-wife came to light in a report published by college football reporter Brett McMurphy. Not long thereafter, Smith, the now-former wide receivers coach for the Buckeyes, followed suit. He said: 'If you hit her, you are fired immediately.' I looked at him and said: 'If I hit her, I wouldn't come in here, I know how you feel about that. What is this? What is this?' And I told him, I laid it all out for him.

In the statement, Meyer said he followed procedure involving Smith, and "any suggestion to the contrary is simply false".

The assistant Meyer fired, Zach Smith, also spoke up, denying he abused his wife, backing his former boss and placing Ohio State's athletic director into the middle of the picture. He said never assaulted his wife and any physical injuries she might have suffered were the result of him defending himself. "However, I was not adequately prepared to discuss these sensitive personnel issues with the media, and I apologize". As the son of an awesome woman and the husband to another and, as the father of two incredible young women, those who know me best know the admiration and respect I have for all women. She also said that she'd shared photos of bruises from the alleged abuse with Meyer's wife, Ohio State nursing instructor Shelley Meyer, and asked her to tell her husband.

In a radio interview with Colombus' 105.7 The Zone on Friday, Zach said the AD contacted him while on a recruiting trip. But Smith was only fired on July 23 after an OH court granted Courtney Smith a domestic violence protective order.

When asked about the allegations at Big Ten media days on July 24, head coach Urban Meyer dismissed the 2015 incident saying, "I don't know who creates a story like this".

Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday.

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Meyers, who is on paid leave, said in his statement that he intends to fully cooperate with the university as it conducts its own investigation.

Zach replied, "I know!" and "I'm so so sorry!"

Smith, the grandson of late Buckeyes coach Earle Bruce, a mentor to Meyer, played for Meyer when he was coach at Bowling Green in 2001-02.

Meyer has been at Ohio State for six seasons, going 73-8 with a national championship in 2014 and two Big Ten conference titles.

What Meyer knew about the allegations and what he did about them has ballooned into a crisis for one of the most storied programs in college football history.

Firing Meyer without cause would cost Ohio State a almost $40 million buyout.

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