Petition calls for Ohio State to 'save' Urban Meyer amid investigation

Silvia Morton
August 7, 2018

An Ohio native, he flew in from Myrtle Beach, S.C., to lead a demonstration in support of Meyer at Ohio Stadium.

Last Wednesday morning, reporter Brett McMurphy released extensive text conversations and interviews with Courtney Smith, the ex-wife of former Buckeyes assistant Zach Smith, who was sacked by the university after his history of alleged domestic violence became public. "I don't want to talk about that", Hamms said. Several of her anecdotes allege that a few of Meyer's assistant coaches, as well as his wife, Shelley, knew about Zach Smith's history of domestic abuse.

"While an assistant coach at Florida in 2009, I was aware that there was an issue in the personal life of Zach and Courtney Smith", Addazio said in a statement to the Boston Globe.

Smith wasn't fired until last month, while Meyer said during Big Ten Media day he only knew of a 2007 incident and nothing in 2015. Meyer told reporters he had known of the 2009 episode, which occurred when Smith was on his staff at the University of Florida, saying, "It came back to me that what was reported wasn't actually what happened".

Hamms said the rally is to show support for who Meyer is as a person and coach.

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In this September, 2016 photo, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, right, and then-assistant coach Zach Smith, left, gesture from the sideline. "There is no place in our program at Boston College for any member of our staff involved in domestic violence".

An investigation into Meyer's knowledge will take no longer than two weeks.

Ohio State announced in an email late Sunday evening that the newly appointed independent working group, which was formed by the university's board of trustees, met late last week, appointed a charge and engaged an investigative firm.

In the meantime, a "Save Urban Meyer" petition posted Thursday at Change.org has almost reached its goal of 25,000 signatures. Ohio State opens a season in which it holds championship aspirations on September 1 at home against Oregon State.

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