Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

'Meyered' in controversy: OSU coach placed on leave

A contract extension given to Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer in March could provide grounds for the university to fire him over the handling of a longtime assistant accused of domestic violence 'Meyered' in controversy: OSU coach placed on leave
Domingo Copeland | 03 August, 2018, 11:30

Ohio State is investigating Courtney Smith's claims that several people close to Meyer knew of a 2015 allegation of domestic violence against her ex-husband, former Ohio State assistant football coach Zach Smith, who was sacked in July.

"Bob Evans Restaurants is suspending the current partnership with Urban Meyer and removing all related content pending the results of the official Ohio State University investigation". Meyer said the decision to fire Smith was a "very tough call". "This allows the team to conduct training camp with minimal distraction". By day's end, he was on administrative leave, amid speculation he will not again be the Buckeyes head coach. Zach Smith's ex-wife accuses him of abusing her for years, most recently in 2015.

Smith, who was sacked last week, has never been convicted of a crime or charged with assaulting his ex-wife - but she has provided evidence that seems to indicate her claims are true. It's not been confirmed by Courtney Smith or anyone else that Shelley told Urban what she knew. Shelley Meyer allegedly told Courtney Smith that "she was going to have to tell Urban" about the abuse.

Just days ago, the Ohio-based restaurant chain announced an endorsement deal with Meyer and proclaimed him its "head breakfast coach".

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Meyer said in a statement that he and Gene Smith, Ohio State's athletic director, "agree that being on leave during this inquiry will facilitate its completion".

"Sometimes you get in life something you don't like ... you have to do something different", he told USA TODAY Sports in December. "That was one rule I had that there was no negotiating on". Charges were never filed in those cases.

At Big Ten media days last week, Meyer said he knew of the incident in 2009 and that he and Shelley Meyer addressed it with the Smiths. Most troubling, that includes an alleged incident of domestic abuse on October 25, 2015, shortly before the couple divorced. The Smiths are due in court in September and their lawyers did not respond to messages seeking comment Thursday.

"I can't say it didn't happen because I wasn't there", Meyer said. "I don't know. Someone texted me that last night". I told people to go find out for me.

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