Ohio State University to hold press conference in Urban Meyer investigation

Silvia Morton
August 23, 2018

Ohio State University announced Wednesday night that head football coach Urban Meyer would be suspended for the first three games of the upcoming season following an investigation into his handling of domestic abuse allegations against a former assistant coach.

The current controversy in Columbus has been ongoing for almost a month, dating back to Ohio State's firing of wide receivers coach Zach Smith after multiple accusations of domestic violence made by his wife were made public.

Meyer is suspended through September 2 and for the games on Sept. 1, 8 and 15 without pay.

He had been on administrative leave since August 1. Athletic director Gene Smith - who is not related to Zach or Courtney Smith - was also suspended from August 31 through September 16. "I don't know who creates a story like that". Smith was sacked on July 23 after McMurphy reported a string of domestic violence incidents - the aforementioned 2015 incident and another in 2009 while at Florida - involving the assistant and his then-wife Courtney. Smith is the grandson of former Ohio State coach Earl Bruce, a mentor to Meyers, and played college football at Bowling Green under Meyers. "I followed my heart, not my head", Meyer said at the press conference. Smith and his ex-wife Courtney Smith had a troubled history: Smith was arrested in 2009 and charged with battery when he coached at the University of Florida, and in 2015 was arrested and charged with domestic violence.

"There were several times where things got out of hand between us and I'm not saying that as I restrained her and moved her out of my way to exit the house to get out of a volatile situation.it's completely possible that she got a bruise or a mark", Zach said during a radio interview. Meyer denied knowledge of the 2015 allegations against Zach Smith, however.

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Co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day has been serving as the Buckeyes' interim coach for the last three weeks and is expected to maintain that role through Week 3 of the 2018 season. The charge was dropped because of insufficient evidence.

The public portion of the meeting held by Ohio State's Board of Trustees on Wednesday morning lasted less than three minutes and included little more than roll call.

That report also mentioned an incident from 2009 when Smith was an intern on Meyer's staff at Florida.

This situation has sent powerful shockwaves across the college football landscape. The Buckeyes had fired Jim Tressel, another national championship-winning coach, before that season for lying to the NCAA and university about rules violation committed by some of his players. Courtney Smith declined to pursue the charge, and police closed the case.

The announcement involved Urban Meyer which suggests he will remain with the program going forward.

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