Ohio State's Urban Meyer tells school president where he can shove suspension!

Tyler Owen
August 26, 2018

Ohio State suspended coach Urban Meyer for three games on Wednesday night for mishandling repeated professional and behavioral problems of an assistant coach, with investigators finding Meyer protected his protege for years through domestic violence allegations, a drug problem and poor job performance.

Meyer fired Smith, a wide receivers coach, on July 23 after domestic abuse allegations surfaced, which included reports of Smith assaulting his ex-wife, Courtney Smith. Athletic director Gene Smith - who is not related to Zach or Courtney Smith - was also suspended without pay from August 31 through September 16.

"I followed my heart and not my head", Meyer said. Police looked into the 2015 allegations, but no formal charges were filed, officials said. He's won three national titles, gone 73-8 in seven seasons at Ohio State and reestablished Ohio State as one of the elite programs in college football. "I said, 'That's fine".

OSU said investigators interviewed more than 40 witnesses and reviewed thousands of documents during the two-week investigation. Shortly after reports emerged about Courtney Smith's messages detailing her alleged abuse, investigators say Meyer asked Director of Football Operations Brian Voltolini about changing the settings on his phone so text messages more than a year old would no longer be retained. According to the OSU Summary of Findings, Meyer "knew of Courtney Smith's domestic violence complaints against Zach Smith through his knowledge of the 2015-2016 law enforcement investigation". But it was the direction that it seemed the investigation was headed all along unless some bombshell was uncovered during the scrutiny of Meyer's handling of the allegations against Smith.

Urban Meyer won't be coaching Ohio State when it faces TCU next month, but he'll be involved in the game planning. In a subsequent review of Meyer's phone, the investigators were unable to recover text messages older than one year.

It's obvious Ohio State administrators fired Zach Smith not because it was the right thing to do, but because it was the only thing they could do.

"I know the impact that the events of the last three weeks have had on this institution - an institution that I love - and how challenging this has been for our community and our president, a man for whom I have great respect".

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If Meyer felt so imbedded into Smith that he was willing to let recruiting be affected, you know this was an unhealthy relationship for all concerned.

Urban and Shelley Meyer both acknowledged knowing about the allegations of abuse against Zach Smith in 2015, but denied talking to each other about them.

The decision came after an 11-hour meeting by the university's board of trustees to discuss the fate of Meyer after an investigation into the head coach's actions in the wake of the Zach Smith scandal. However, when asked about the firing of Zach Smith, the athletic director dismissed the notion that the decision came down when it did based on the new information revealed in McMurphy's report.

Courtney Smith told Stadium that in 2009, when Meyer and Zach Smith coached at the University of Florida, Zach Smith "picked me up by my shirt and threw me up against the wall" during an argument at home.

While Meyer apologized to "Buckeye Nation" on at least three occasions - and apologized for the situation everyone found themselves in - he never apologized to Courtney Smith even as he was afforded the opportunity to do so by at least one reporter who mentioned her by name.

"I never hit her.I never got charged", he said.

Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor, led the investigation that cost the university $500,000.

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