Columbus, Ohio- Ohio State Head Football Coach Urban Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation of the knowledge that he knowingly kept his former assistant coach Zach Snith in his employ even though he was informed of allegations of Smith’s alleged assault on his ex-wife in 2015.
In a post on twitter today Meyer asserted he has “always followed proper reporting protocols and procedures when I have learned of an incident involving a student-athlete, coach or member of our staff by elevating the issue to proper channels.”
Meyer added that he takes “that responsibility very seriously and any suggestion to the contrary is simply false.” Meyer agreed to the leave as not to be a distraction to the team. His whole statement can be seen below.
- I can’t say it didn’t happen because I wasn’t there,” he said, according to the Associated Press’ Ralph D. Russo. “I was never told about anything and nothing ever came to light. I’ve never had a conversation about it. I know nothing about it. First I heard about that was last night. No, and I asked some people back at the office to call and say what happened and they came back and said they know nothing about it.”
“Athletic director Gene Smith and I agree that being on leave during this inquiry will facilitate its completion,” Meyer said in a statement, per ESPN.com. “This allows the team to conduct training camp with minimal distraction. I eagerly look forward to the resolution of this matter.”
Since then, the school has announced the formation of a special, independent board that will oversee the investigation into Meyer’s alleged indifference toward allegations against Smith.
The story broke Wednesday as former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy published his report. McMurphy had been fired from ESPN in their last big round of layoffs. Mcmurphy claims to have text messages, photos, and interviews how recently fired Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith abused his wife Courtney, and how Urban Meyer and his wife Shelley were both almost certainly aware the abuse was ongoing.
Because of the claims and allegations, many feel that Meyer will be fired. But upon investigating and going through many of the claims, it looks like things could be going Meyer’s way.
For instance, Courtney Smith, the accuser, texted with Shelly Meyer, Urban’s wife and Lindsey Voltolini, wife of Ohio State’s football operations director Brian. But the text is very vague and there is no admission of wrongdoing or knowledge by Coach Meyer of this. Courtney Smith did have a reputation for creating drama and there was never any actual proof or witnesses.
The photos being shown by McMurphy are from 2010 and there is no proof that Her husband caused the harm. Insiders close to the couple who are privy to information have stated the couple are both “drunks” and fight a lot and they state she is “crazy, really crazy.” She at one time called 911 emergency line 66 times in 90 days! She also has been pulled over 3 times for DUI but never was charged and escorted home.
On each of her DUI’s, she was pulled over for she would start crying and state that “Zach was chasing her”, but each time Zach Smith was at a practice. It got to the point that 911 stopped sending quads out to her house when she called because they did not find her credible. She would complain about Smith but each time it was verified he was involved in Ohio State activities.
She has never worked and has lived off of child support and alimony from Smith and once she found out he was fired she realized she would lose income and friends say she “freaked out” and swore to “take down the whole damn team”. It was then she started shopping her story around for 6 figures.
The key words in this conflict are alleged and claim. It is almost he said/she said story. Many people are jumping the gun and already saying Coach Meyer should be fired and are looking for and discussing the new head coaches to replace him. But there is something in the United States judicial system that is the presumption of innocence.
I think that as all the facts unfold that justice will be done.