Urban Meyer Releases Statement Regarding Ohio State Investigation

Zach Smith Wiki

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer issued a statement on Friday saying that he "failed" when he denied knowing about domestic violence allegations against one of his former assistant coaches. Prior to the texts being published, Meyer claimed ignorance ― and pledged he'd have fired Smith in 2015 had he known. Meyer was put on leave Wednesday. Now, with the football season only weeks, the university has formed an independent panel to help decide Meyer's future.

Smith also explained that Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith called him following the 2015 incident and told him to "get on the next plane home". Zach Smith said Gene Smith told him about the allegations of domestic abuse and that he then went to the Powell, Ohio, police department. But Smith was only fired on July 23 after an OH court granted Courtney Smith a domestic violence protective order.

ESPN has reached out to Courtney Smith's attorney regarding the texts. I've never had a conversation about it. Murphy asks if Meyer should have looked further and Smith said "No, he's not an investigator, he's not a cop, he's not a detective". He said that's when Meyer pulled him off the practice field and asked him, "What the hell is going on?" (Meyer) looked at me: 'If you hit her, you're fired immediately'.

There are few more powerful coaches in college football than Meyer, and few savvier.

Meyer's future remains unclear as the team begins preparation for its opener September 1 at home against Oregon State. Co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day is acting head coach and there is no timetable for the Meyer inquiry to conclude. And this is the guy who fired me. "I did so regarding the Zach Smith incident in 2015". "I take that responsibility very seriously and any suggestion to the contrary is simply false".

Smith also spoke to ESPN, saying he never hit her. Smith said after talking to police in October 2015 about the accusations against him, he returned to work. I was at all the meetings, I knew exactly what he knew.

On his reaction to Meyer's official statement from Friday: "That was as heartfelt, honest, true a statement as I've ever heard".

Courtney Smith and Kids
Zach Smith’s ex-wife Courtney Smith and their kids

"Please know that the truth is the ultimate power and I am confident that I took appropriate action", Meyer said.

Two days after being placed on paid administrative lead, Urban Meyer has broken his silence. Ohio State did not respond Friday to a request seeking comment on the comments by Meyer or Smith, who told the radio station his marriage was volatile and that he made mistakes. The couple divorced in 2016.

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.

In 2009, Zach Smith was accused by his wife of assault but no charges were filed. At the appropriate time, I will also address the questions and speculation in a public forum.

Following that incident and again in 2015, Meyer, according to Smith, said, "I swear to God, Zach, if I found out you hit her, you're done". He earlier won two national titles at Florida.

How else, though, did he say what he said without intending to be inaccurate or misleading?

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