Courtney Smith's Attorney Releases a Statement: Ohio State “Never Contacted Ms. Smith,” She Will “Fully Cooperate” With Investigation

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Cliff_Huxtable's picture

It still blows my mind that people are expecting an EMPLOYER to monitor an at-home situation. I had an awful marriage. Not once did I think my boss should be held accountable. In my assumption, the university/Urban/etc didn't reach out to her for these reasons. Personal matters should not infiltrate the workplace. Furthermore, if the police didn't take it seriously enough, why would the university think they need to reach out to her? This woman seems entitled. Perhaps I'm wrong. Dunno. 

/end of rant

EDIT: I understand that my silly username is ironic as can be. Shoot! 

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Mississippi_buck's picture

Absolutely agree. Entitled is the word. Like she wanted Urban to fix Zack when Urban has no clue what was true and what was not true.

If if was a fifth we'd all be drunk

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CC's picture

Listen, we have an attorney named "Leveridge" and police chief named "Vest".  Obviously this is all a hoax.

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MoEddieRobtCarlosBeanie's picture

Damn, your comment is 50-0 like Floyd for the upvotes/downvotes... Not an easy feat in these tumultuous times.

I will give you a downvote so you stay motivated.

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Buck911's picture

Yes,  they expect Urban Meyer, a football coach, to be able to do a better job investigating a "situation" then the Police, who are trained professional investigators. Who had already performed an investigation based on all of the information available at the time, and determined there was no need for any further intervention by law enforcement, WHEN their contributions would have been most appropriate.

And just for context, The Ohio State football team was undefeated at the time, and heading into November 2015, the toughest portion of their schedule.  

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westcampus's picture

Or the expectation is simply that he fire a shitty coach this site has been complaining about for years anyway... 

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fear_the_nut70's picture

What does the record of the local football team have to do with this?  Don’t be that guy...

You are entitled to you own opinion, not your own facts.

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Buck911's picture

Remember Chandra Levy?  Gary Condit? It was pretty much the only news there for a while then it all went away for some reason... do you remember why?  9.11.2001 happened.  I am only pointing out that it is helpful to remember that Zack Smith and his marital issues, were not the only thing going on at the time, and with J.T.'s issues, there were plenty of off-the -field issues. 

The football coach has a job to do, coach the football team, this did not happen during the off season, but in the last third of the football season, of what was at the time a run at the national championship, and preparation is often the deciding factor between winning and losing. In the midst of these circumstances should the football coach be expected to "make time" to investigate the investigation? Not his job, if he reported it up the chain, then he gave the situation to the professionals who are trained and capable of dealing with these situations.

There is also a lot of talk about what is in his contract, and the new clauses that were added beck in the spring with his new extension, but that is all irrelevant, what did his contract say in 2015? That is the only standard he can be held too.

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ibuck's picture

The football coach has a job to do, coach the football team

OSU also expects its coaches to develop the young men in the program to a certain degree. That is, to push them toward being good persons, not just good players. Is it not reasonable to expect the coaches be developed as well? (I think the coaches expect that.) 

Was the young Zach Smith incorrigible, or was he worthy of development?  

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

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Buck911's picture

I agree 100%, a coach is always coaching, on the field and off, during the season and during the off season, there is never a time when a coach is not coaching, and I think both he and his wife made a substantial effort in coaching Zack and Courtney, unfortunately it just didn't work out. At some point Zack and Courtney need to look in the mirror and take ownership of their mess and stop trying to drag down the only outsiders that tried to help.

With all that said coaches are also constantly being evaluated, and there are other metrics.  Earle Bruce was a great coach of both young men and football players and was very successful with both, but what was he known as... "Ole 9-3", ttun should be so lucky.  We expect a lot from those we allow the honor of developing our next generation, but not every story ends the way it could have or should have. Sometime people need to take responsibility for their own actions

I could be wrong, but I think Florida was a tremendous learning experience for Urban, he found himself in a “win at all costs” situation that really took its toll on him in every way.  He loves coaching young men but could not put himself in that situation again. Now he takes a different approach, he recruits quality young men who also know how to play football, he genuinely cares about them, and wants to see them all succeed, both players and coaches. Ever see him throw a player under the bus?  The Va. Tech loss, his response was he did not do enough to prepare his coaches and players, that was the third loss in four games.  Lost to MSU, then Clemson in the Orange, beat Navy, then lost to Va. Tech, and I can remember many on this board were ready to gather pitchforks and torches, but that season ended with a national championship.

To be an effective leader you don’t have to be liked, you don’t have to be hated, but you must be respected, and the only way to gain respect is to do the right thing at every opportunity.  I think Urban Meyer is an excellent leader, I think he is well respected, and I am confidant that he has not done anything wrong, there are probably somethings he could have done better, but what he has done was not wrong.

That’s my 2% of a dollar, now like everybody else, wait and see, but don’t worry.

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BuckInNashville's picture

What you’re saying makes so much sense. But people like Meyer and Paterno are not really “just football coaches”. They are public figures working for a state sponsored organization. The escalation rules are probably cut and dried.

The question will come, in my uninformed opinion, to whether the rules of escalation were enough considering Smith’s history (not legal history -  but anecdotal). Remember, the police did nothing in the Jerry Sandusky case for years.

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wigmon's picture

He is much more than a football coach.  He is a mentor, a friend, teacher, etc.  If he knew of physical abuse, then that obviously presents a narrative that we currently don't know exists.

ITs obviously quite a stretch to compare this to Sandusky, and while we all could spare a rehash of everything that went on there, I do believe legally Paterno did what he was required to do in that case.

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BuckeyeLion's picture

Further to your context point: JT Barrett was arrested for DUI the same week Zach was going through his ordeal. I'm not offering excusing, but Urban and the coaching staff had their hands full. 

In the poll era (since 1936), OSU is by far the class of the B1G:
National Titles: OSU 8, UM 3
B1G Titles: OSU 33, UM 27
Head-to-head: OSU 43, UM 36
Major Bowls (New Year's Six): OSU 20-14, UM 10-16

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ROCK1's picture

You are not responsible for the well being of students, many of whom are minors. His contract stipulates his behavior as well as his staff's.

ROCK1

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OhioAgainstTheWorld34's picture

I completely understand this, however is it his responsibility to conduct his own thorough investigation?  I would argue that his original comment that, "you let the investigators do their jobs" is in line with how I would handle a situation with one of my employees.  It just seems unfair to hold Urban and Shelly solely responsible for ensuring the judicial system plays its part.

My father is a pastor and has been in ministry for 30 plus years, these situations in this day in age are so delicate.  He points to Shelly's responses and that they fall in line with any logical compassionate human being would do.  You see a situation that you genuinely care about the people, yet you are hesitant to overstep an invisible line in fear that you become the center of the nasty civil dispute matter.

Again, yes as I have said before if you see first hand abuse you have a responsibility as a human being to stop that, but I would urge those of you who are quick to crucify the Meyer's actions in retrospect to ask yourself, what would I truthfully have done?

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Jimmy77's picture

Bingo!  Great post!

Jimmy77

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BigBuckeye1976's picture

Urban could be fired if he did his own investigation. That would be considered tampering.

BigBuckeye says Go Bucks
Muck Fichigan!!!

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MoEddieRobtCarlosBeanie's picture

I had a guy that use to always come to work banged up. Scratches on his face, busted lip, etc....

He use to always have the same type of stories.. "I was hanging blinds last night and fell"... "my pit-bull scratched me up" (He didn't have a dog)

Everybody knew he and the old lady loved the sauce and use to fight like a couple of feral cats.

I couldn't mind my own business fast enough.

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Extramedium's picture

He’s required to pass information along to his superiors, who are then required to investigate.  Urban Meyer as the head coach is not allowed to run an investigation on his own staff.  Not to mention the fact that he does not have time or resources to do his own investigation.

he passed it up the line, they allegedly spoke to Smith as well as the police, who did not press charges.  IF anyone didn’t do their job it would be the Powell police.

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Commodore's picture

Perfectly said. End of story

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bbb's picture

It's a state institution; the rules are justifiably different than for a private corporation

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booj's picture

Replace Meyer with the chair of the English department and the Smiths with a graduate assistant and his wife. Strip the outrage that comes because this is one of the public faces of the university. The claim that he "should have known" looks a lot murkier from here. the claim that he "must have acted" is a whole lot more outlandish.

There's no denying that smith and meyer are public figures, but that doesn't mean the entirety of their lives are open books.

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ibuck's picture

I also have an issue with "should have known." Makes me wonder if people holding this view are open-minded or have an agenda.

If one is only compassionate to one side, is one really compassionate?

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

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Commodore's picture

This is on Zack and his wife, nobody else. Nothing else to see here. Let’s all move on to football now

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Turfgrad's picture

Bingo!  Thank you, personal responsibility breath!

"I think Alabama would beat Ohio State if they played next weekend!" Clay Travis Fox Sports Post Championship Show 1.12.2015.  Needs no explanation.

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Gobucks2112's picture

I agree as well. She states she was never contacted, which is probably true, but if no charges were filed against Smith, is it OSU's responsibility to contact her? I mean I guess they could to say they were aware of the situation but what can they do, yes they can fire Smith, and they have now, but unfortunately OSU is looking out for its interests as well and firing a guy over hearsay, granted they could have lied and said he was not doing a good job, but regardless firing him without documented proof or charges or an actual arrest opens them up for a wrongful termination lawsuit, which could have been just as ugly. 

"You got barbecue back there? Hurt my feelings!"

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EZE4TD's picture

Touchy situation is an understatement. If the "university" caught wind of this and contacted her, what would it say? "Hey, we heard your husband beats you. Is that true?" Since she never officially pressed charges with the police, why would OSU expect a different answer? Then if Urban were to ever fire him because he felt he wasn't doing a good job, guess what... lawsuit. They (both Zach and Courtney) would argue he was fired because of this unfounded DV rumor. It's like 10 years ago, before they changed the law, where doctors and nurses wouldn't help people on the street who were in clear distress because they were scared of lawsuits. 

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OSU_JD's picture

If OSU had contacted her prior to this, then everyone would accuse OSU of tampering.

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TigerSweat's picture

Precisely.

Had her attorney said, "OSU contacted my client many times over this situation", there would be immediate uproar on social media claiming that the university was trying to manipulate her into a cover up. I think it's 100% a good thing for OSU and Meyer that the university never tried to contact her.

Urban Meyer >Jim Harbaugh for ever and ever, Amen. 0

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fear_the_nut70's picture

Exactly.  Intervening to try and smooth it over.  The duty is to report, which we have been told was done.  The police investigate.  It isn’t really more complicated than that. 

You are entitled to you own opinion, not your own facts.

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Buckets At Fletcher's's picture

IIRC James Franklin got hammered for this during his situation and Vanderbilt. He claims he reached out to her to check on her well being because she was known to the program. The media and internet HAMMERED him for trying to hush her up. Bad optics to contact the alleged victim. 

"Everyone has a plan, 'til they get punched in the mouth."

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westcampus's picture

Assistant coaches are fired all the time. Just get rid of him along with Beck. Surely Smith helped contribute to the zero point effort against Clemson. They had 500 chances to get rid of the guy. 

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Joebobb's picture

Yes, but you fire him in 2016 with Beck and then this surfaces and the media be like, "why did you not fire him because of the 2015 allegations and not because his on field results were poor. You still covered up the DV and allowed him to go to Iowa State and coach there."

The narrative to go after Urban has been written, It almost does not matter the story line anymore. In fact, I heard the media was blaming him for the collapse of the Iran deal and Global Warming.

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cemitchell20's picture

Having zero legal knowledge, I'm not sure this is the case. Isn't Ohio an at-will state? Meaning an employee can quit any time at-will with no notice, and can be fired the same? Or would his contract have protections against such firings? OSU being a state institution, I'm not sure how any of that works, but maybe someone else here can clarify if at-will applies in big money contracts like his.

Go Bucks

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rbeem127's picture

When there's a contract involved, it's not at-will.

TexasBuckeye

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Joebobb's picture

The legal system is irrelevant in the Court of public opinion

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BuckeyeGlory's picture

Responding to "Cliff_Huxtable" and "Mississippi_Buck": Courtney Smith was at the very least harassed by this scum-bag despite no formal domestic abuse charges over the years.  If we believe the texts are true when he admits to choking her; and that the photos of bruises and scratches are real, then she is a SURVIVOR of physical abuse and mentally stronger than 99% of the men commenting on this message board.  Try raising children with an emotionally / physically abusive spouse. Try to shield them from the environment that surrounds them everyday, while shielding yourself from the attacks of someone bigger and stronger than you -- then revisit your comment of how "entitled" she sounds.  Your insinuation and comment is an embarrassment to Ohio State.   

"Average leaders have quotes. Good leaders have a plan. Exceptional leaders have a system." - Coach Urban Meyer

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dc215833's picture

Could the same argument be made for the women who use children as pawns over the fathers head and psychologically affects the men or try and control and dictate a situation by doing this? or are we still using the old adage, men are supposed to be tough, keep their emotions built up and not talk about it. arguments can be made both ways when it comes to domestic issues. The point I'm trying to make here is that when it comes to toxic relationships I believe there are much deeper issues on both sides. I only say this because I saw how my own sister used to use my nephews as paws over my brother in law and i felt bad for the guy. 

D

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BuckeyeGlory's picture

Indeed it could.  I make no gender biases when it comes to abuse; emotional or physical.  Very sorry to hear of your family situation Dc. 

"Average leaders have quotes. Good leaders have a plan. Exceptional leaders have a system." - Coach Urban Meyer

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EZE4TD's picture

My brother-in-law's ex-wife didn't like the way their divorce was going so out of nowhere threw out a DV claim that was total bullshit, but he got picked up and it was put on his record without investigation. There's no question abuse is awful, and I can't imagine there's a single person on these boards who would defend it. The question that remains for us, however, is who did what? And that's not something we will probably ever have an answer for. My guess is that they are toxic to each other and are both guilty of making this bad situation worse. 

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TigerSweat's picture

The Smith's will have to hash out their differences in court... As far as Meyer goes, he should be cleared of any wrong doing if it is found that he actually did report what he had heard up the chain of command at OSU. Zach and Courtney have many issues but it's not Meyers job to monitor private marriages.

Urban Meyer >Jim Harbaugh for ever and ever, Amen. 0

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Extramedium's picture

And the only thing Urban could have been expected to do in such a complicated situation was report it to his superiors and go with their recommendation based on their investigation.  

People in the media are acting like Urban employing Smith somehow allowed him to continue to abuse his wife, as if firing him in 2015 (despite no charges or arrests) would have kept her safe. It’s completely ridiculous.

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CowCat's picture

^^This. Thanks, Extramedium.

Firing Smith prematurely without actual charges from the police wouldn't have stopped DV if it was occurring. That is a matter for the courts and counselors.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

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OSU_JD's picture

"If we believe the texts are true"

There is no way to judge that.

As for the photos, there is no way to tell when, how, and by whom they were inflicted.

Zach is raising his children, too.  He has Shared Parenting. 

I am simply pointing out you have not thoroughly considered this from all possible angles.

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PhillyNut's picture

It is not, repeat not, my employers responsibility to try and fix whatever issues are going in my personal life unless it is directly impacting my ability to do my job. If I have not been charged and convicted of a crime that violates any moral clause I have in my employment agreement then they are not responsible.  When are people going to stop trying to blame everybody else for their problems?  Why didn't her own parents do more or siblings if she has any.

The minute you decide that your employer has this responsibility you remove any boundaries to keep them out of every facet of your life.  There is not an option to pick and choose.  Is that really what people want?

I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan!

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bucksandsurfing's picture

Buckeyeglory - We have no clue whats true and what isn't. Your conclusions are entirely one sided. We need to trust law enforcement to do their job. Law enforcement didn't see enough to file charges nor did Courtney Smith file criminal charges. Then we get back to, how exactly was any of this be Urban Meyers fault? We're expecting Urban to be head football coach, part time marriage counselor, part time private investigator. Absolutely insane!

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BuckeyeGlory's picture

I get it guys.  The Urban situation / question aside, it's just infuriating to read someone label a victim of abuse as "entitled."  That's what my comment was referring to. 

"Average leaders have quotes. Good leaders have a plan. Exceptional leaders have a system." - Coach Urban Meyer

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Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

You know, a gang-banger charged with first degree murder gets more consideration in our society than a father in a divorce case ACCUSED of domestic abuse.  The media bends over backwards to say alleged in all reports.  But a father in a domestic abuse case?  GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!

Zac Smith, despite repeated calls to police over the years by Courtney, has NEVER been arrested for domestic abuse.  Why is this fact glossed over.  He's not an abuser.  He has been accused of being an abuser by a very angry ex-wife.  My life experience tells me that its possible its all bullshit.  I've seen in too many times in work collegues and friends.  Thank God Mrs. TnB is sane.  (well relatively.  She did marry me)

jebes Michigana

jebi rak

Ako ne možete postavljati bez gluposti ... nemojte

Ako vièeš na suce, ti si šupak
 

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Buckets At Fletcher's's picture

I get your point. I think people are skeptical of her truthfulness because of the timing of all of this (lash out as soon as her ex's 6-figure salary was cut off), and the fact that she straight up set Zack up for the trespassing incident. I mean seriously, you have to be one vindictive "expletive" to have the father of your children arrested for dropping them off in your driveway after you no show and fail to answer the phone. You don't do that crap if you care about your kids no matter how big of an A hole he is. Be an adult.

FWIW I don't fully believe Zack either. Just pointing out why many are skeptical of Courtney until ALL THE FACTS are known, myself included

"Everyone has a plan, 'til they get punched in the mouth."

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Buckeyechuck5's picture

99% of men? I cage fight for a hobby and am a martial arts enthusiast. I have also been through a bad marriage where my ex wife was violent drunk and liked to try and provoke me. I had the composure to always get in my car and leave. It seems to me Zach Smith just needs to learn when to walk away and get out of a bad situation. This has nothing to do with being physically tough. It has to do with being mentally tough and being in control of the circumstance rather than a victim.

"Life is not about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. THATS HOW WINNING IS DONE!!" - Rocky Ballboa

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BuckeyeGlory's picture

Buckeyechuck, I applaud your self-control and composure in the face of abuse.  I wish there were more guys like you in this world brother.  Agreed, Zach Smith needs to learn how to walk away if it's determined that the texts and photographic evidence presented against him are valid. We're also in total agreement that overcoming situations of abuse isn't about physical toughness; it's most definitely about spiritual and mental resilience.  Knowing when to ask for help.  Knowing when to walk away.  Hence my very specific reference claiming that the victim here is "mentally stronger" than 99% of men commenting on this page, if in fact this was happening to her and she was raising their children in this toxic family environment.  The 99% reference was an exaggeration.  We all have overcome hardships at some level, so who am I to say who is mentally tougher than who.  However, as I stated in my follow-up comment, I'm disappointed by folks in our Buckeye community who have insinuated that the victim here has a sense of "entitlement."  Right or wrong, I stand by my earlier response toward those posts.  Hoping this whole situation can have a speedy and just resolution for everyone involved.  

"Average leaders have quotes. Good leaders have a plan. Exceptional leaders have a system." - Coach Urban Meyer

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Frimmel's picture

Explain to me how when she turned around holding the nine inch kitchen knife I was in control of that circumstance. I talked her down so that made me in control I guess? And if I hadn't talked her down what level of "control" would I have had? 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

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Buckeyechuck5's picture

In that case, it is self defense and you take the knife and kill if you have to. Sometimes you dont have a choice. I pray I am never in that situation although I have trained for it. My heart goes out to you for your traumatic experience. Glad you obviously made it out ok. There are exceptions to every rule. Unfortunately we are sometimes thrust into situations where we either run or fight for our life. If running is in the cards, I choose that every time. Sometimes it's just not in the cards.

"Life is not about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. THATS HOW WINNING IS DONE!!" - Rocky Ballboa

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dc215833's picture

Agreed, If my boss was looking into my home life wouldn't that be a breach of privacy in some way? Just curious. We live in #You ShouldHaveDoneThis scociety and it makes me sick. people leading the charge are the same people doing the #keke challenge (rolls eyes)

D

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dwcbuckeye's picture

So true and I don't know how our society got like this or when it even started or why we  as a society put up with it.  I just hope the OSU leadership does the RIGHT thing here.  If it turns out Urban pretty much did what he is supposed to do, then say so and have the will to back him against the lynch mobsters out there.  Please do not  cave it only makes it worse

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MightyMac63's picture

And once again here, Courtney expected that if Shelley knew, therefore Urban knew. Same position as  in Brett McMurphy since day one. No solid evidence against Urban at all. 

"Just remember one thing. I can do your job, but you can't do mine." - Woody Hayes to an OSU professor

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Extramedium's picture

Even assuming he knew, knowing of accusations is still not the same as knowing he abused her.  If he knew of the accusations and reported them to the proper people, then that’s the end of his responsibility  regardless.

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PhillyNut's picture

I --- CANNOT STAND --- PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS!!!!!!!  Bloodsuckers.  Sorry if any of you 11 Warriors are in this field, consider a career change.

I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan!

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BuckeyeInDenver's picture

Julia Leveridge isn't a personal injury attorney.

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PhillyNut's picture

I sit corrected as she is in family law practice. However, does not change my view of personal injury lawyers only now it looks like a random rant versus one actually connected to this story.

I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan!

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yepiwentthere's picture

As someone who just spent 30k on a family lawyer, I can tell you most will do whatever it takes to win. Every family lawyer knows that the silver bullet is any DV accusation. It's a game changer and almost always works.

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PhillyNut's picture

Agreed, but for now I will stick with my rant.

I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan!

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CincyBuck's picture

Ditto; though plaintiff's class action lawyers are even worse.

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Prickly_Pete's picture

Its a lot easier to get a big settlement from OSU than the police department, so she has to make it OSU's fault. I'm sure the university will pay her something to avoid even a frivolous lawsuit. 

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OSU_JD's picture

well the only problem there is that settlement needs to come with a retraction and then she's putting herself at legal risk, unless she dismisses all of her pending cases.

but yeah, the only way OSU comes out gleaming is if they have ironclad evidence she did something that'll completely reverse the national media narrative (FOR EXAMPLE: blackmail) OR they settle with her and somehow the word gets out the story was completely overblown/unfounded/crazy. 

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toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

I agree with you, Cliff. Why should your boss be accountable for a domestic problem involving his or her subordinate? It's a personal, private matter between two people. I wish I could upvote you 100 times for your opinion.

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ChazBuckeye's picture

Boom! What everyone has been saying, but the media and individuals like this lawyer are totally missing. Thank you, sir! Great post!

It is time!!!!!

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aledyard's picture

Your username is a head-scratcher for sure.  You do know you get to make it whatever you want, right?  I got a good laugh out of it nevertheless. 

In any case, I think in most situations  your are correct, an employer/boss will/should stay completely out of your personal business.  With that said, I view the job of a head college football coach a bit differently for a few reasons. 

--First, Urban has set forth rules that his players and coaches mush adhere to.  The applicable one in this situation is his zero tolerance policy for respecting women.  You can't very well have this policy, and then turn a blind eye to what's going on with your players/coaches in their personal relationships. 

--Second, given the Title IX implications of being required to report all instances of sexual assault and abuse by players/coaches, a coach has got to be aware of what's going on (to a degree) in his players/coaches personal lives in order to protect himself. 

--Lastly, each coach on Urban's staff has a responsibility and is contract bound to positively represent the university.  Certainly this leaves a lot to interpretation, but I'm guessing having a spouse abuser on your staff would not be viewed positively. 

The bottom line for me is that Urban, as the leader of the football team, should have been involved in the situation with Zach/Courtney if for no other reason to protect his own job and also the reputation of the university. And given the history of abuse in this relationship (2009), Urban should have kept Zach on a short leash.  I understand that the police did not press charges on the 2015 incident, but if Urban says he reported the incident up the proper channels, then there must have been something there.  Otherwise, why would he have reported it?

"In America, anyone can become president.  That's the problem."  George Carlin

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AC1972's picture

Otherwise, why would he have reported it?

Because he is required to report anything and allow someone else to investigate.  

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Buckaroo Banzai's picture

--Second, given the Title IX implications of being required to report all instances of sexual assault and abuse by players/coaches, a coach has got to be aware of what's going on (to a degree) in his players/coaches personal lives in order to protect himself.

Please, please, please explain to me how Title IX is applicable to this situation.

Have you read it? 20 U.S.C. § 1681. Or the regulations? 34 CFR Part 106. Or the relevant guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights?* Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence, April 29, 2014. Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance: Harassment of Students by Employees, Other Students, or Third Parties, January 2001. Dear Colleague Letter, April 4, 2011. Dear Colleague Letter, September 22, 2017.

The current OSU Sexual Misconduct Policy was adopted pursuant to a Title IX compliance review that culminated in a Resolution Agreement between OSU and the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR Docket #15-10-6002), executed on September 8, 2014. Among other things, that agreement required OSU to perform a comprehensive review and revision of all existing policies, procedures and materials regarding sexual harassment and violence to ensure that they were uniform, consistent and compliant with the requirements of Title IX. Accordingly, the policy is the final written resource generated by OSU to comply with Title IX compliance requirements and seeks to enforce the requirements of that law.

Now having established that, Title IX mandates that "[n]o person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

How does Mr. Smith's alleged misconduct toward his spouse/ex-spouse act in any way to discriminate against any of the persons protected by the laws and the policy on the basis of sex (or any other basis for that matter)?

Ms. Smith is not an OSU student protected by the provisions of Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972, or by the Clery Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f). She is not an employee of OSU protected by either Title VII of the Civil rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.§ 2000(e) et seq. or by those provisions of Title IX applicable to employees of educational institutions found in 34 CFR Part 106, Subpart E.

The policy provides that it applies to "[f]aculty, staff, students, student employees, graduate associates, appointees, volunteers, supplier/contractor, visitors." And because the policy primarily seeks to implement and comply with Title IX, while also complying with the Clery Act and Title VII, it cannot be applied outside the scope of the protections provided by those laws in an effort to regulate the personal and private conduct of an individual to whom it applies, where such conduct does not operate to violate any of the prohibitions specified in those federal laws.

This entire "failure to report" brouhaha began when some reporter somewhere speculated that Title IX might be applicable. It skewed the narrative and made that the focus of the entire matter.

If, and only if, the misconduct allegedly committed by Mr. Smith, against a person not protected by the provisions of Title IX, off campus and not in connection with any OSU educational, athletic, extracurricular or other activity, program or event can be shown in some way to have created a hostile environment at OSU, such that a covered individual was denied an opportunity or benefit protected by Title IX, can Title IX become even arguably applicable.

Personally I don't see how it can be made applicable here. Admittedly, I am at a severe disadvantage, having been a lawyer for 35 years, but I see no nexus between Mr. Smith's alleged misconduct toward his spouse/ex-spouse in Powell, Ohio, and the educational/athletic/employment environment at OSU.

*Federal laws that are jointly administered and implemented by federal and state agencies (like medicaid and unemployment insurance) and federal laws that are applicable to state and private institutions that receive federal funding (like schools that receive federal funds) are subject to compliance with federal law at the risk of losing funding. The federal agency tasked with administering and enforcing the federal statutes at issue, in this case the U.S. Department of Education via its Office of Civil Rights, periodically issues binding guidance to the agencies, institutions and other entities affected. This guidance sets forth official U.S. Department of Education interpretations of the applicable federal law and prescribes procedures for complying therewith. This guidance takes a number of forms, including resource guides, policy statements, etc., however the primary vehicle used by the Dept. of Education is the "Dear Colleague Letter."

Bobbing for french fries.

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aledyard's picture

Here is the Title IX language that is in Meyer's contract:

New paragraph 4.1 (e) of Meyer's extension reads:

Coach shall promptly report to Ohio State's Title IX Athletics any known violations of Ohio State's Sexual Misconduct Policy (including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate violence and stalking) that involve any student, faculty or staff or that is in connection with a university sponsored activity or event. ... For purposes of this Section 4.1 (e), a "known violation" shall mean a violation or allegation of a violation of Title IX that Coach is aware of or has reasonable cause is taking place or may have taken place.

Anyone who supervises faculty, staff, students, and volunteers; chairs/directors; and all faculty members have an additional obligation to report known or suspected incidents of sexual misconduct. Because of their positions of authority, these individuals have always had a heightened responsibility to report all other incidents of sexual misconduct.

"In America, anyone can become president.  That's the problem."  George Carlin

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aledyard's picture

I agree that Title IX might be stretch in this case, but I would want to err on the side of caution in this case if I were Urvan.  That is the point I was trying to make.

"In America, anyone can become president.  That's the problem."  George Carlin

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Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

I agree that Title IX might be stretch in this case, but I would want to err on the side of caution in this case if I were Urban.

So now you are projecting what YOU would do despite a legal authority telling you it doesn't apply.  So you know more than Urban and the lawyer huh?  Good to know.

So, designers, Cedar Point and the state of Ohio all say the Top Fuel dragster is safe.  Do you refuse to ride it because YOU say its not?

jebes Michigana

jebi rak

Ako ne možete postavljati bez gluposti ... nemojte

Ako vièeš na suce, ti si šupak
 

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Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Whoa, hold on pardner. I am not a Title IX subject matter expert. While I do have experience with compliance with numerous federal laws and federally funded programs, I have never litigated a Title IX case, nor have I been responsible for Title IX compliance issues. What I posted was my legal OPINION, based upon the several days of research I did. I cited a number of my sources - those that are available online and that were relevant to the issue.

And remember, the easiest way to get three opinions is to ask two lawyers one question.

Bobbing for french fries.

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Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

Never claimed you were an Title IX expert.  But clearly you researched it and weren't shooting from the hip like so many others were.  THAT puts you on a higher plane than many of the buzzards circling around this story.

jebes Michigana

jebi rak

Ako ne možete postavljati bez gluposti ... nemojte

Ako vièeš na suce, ti si šupak
 

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aledyard's picture

I’m a cautious person by nature, so yeah, that is what I would have done.  If it turns out not to be an issue, then no harm done.  Why would you take the risk of not reporting it, knowing that it could come back to bite you?  

"In America, anyone can become president.  That's the problem."  George Carlin

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

This is what I've been saying since this story broke. Why is it Urban Meyer's responsibility to make sure his coach's marriages are functioning properly and that they're not doing wrong by their spouse. It's a college where he is a football coach, it's not divorce court.

The Smith's need to stop fighting in the court of public opinion, take their legal matters where they belong, and let Urban Meyer move on with his life and career.

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

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blueinsconsin's picture

sorry you had a messy marriage, that sucks.  I'm assuming you didn't beat your wife, so that's where the difference is here.  If it had been just a messy divorce and nothing illegal happened between Zach and Courtney, then no, ohio state does not need to get involved in most cases.  When it's the claims and evidence of domestic abuse happening, especially multiple times, then obviously you may not want to keep an employee around and want to cut ties as quickly as possible.  That didn't happen and part of that falls on Urban Meyer and others in the athletic dept.

Not here to troll...Go Blue

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wigmon's picture

I don't disagree with the conclusion if the claims made were true.  Since law enforcement was contacted and they didn't make any arrests, then can we really believe that claims were made and this evidence was presented to police, but they came to the conclusion that no arrestable crime was committed?  I guess thats were I an many keep coming back to.  She made claims to police and if the evidence matches what she says it matches, then how is it possible he didn't get arrested?  There is no police report that says injuries or photos of injuries were included in the report, so the million dollar question is, why not?  I think that should be the story, then once answers to that are discovered, there might be a story involving OSU/Meyer on what actions they took if any.  But, to get to result/conclusion 'Z', you first have to figure out the values of 'X' and 'Y'.
 

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Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

I'm assuming you didn't beat your wife, so that's where the difference is here.  If it had been just a messy divorce and nothing illegal happened between Zach and Courtney, then no, ohio state does not need to get involved in most cases.

Factually as of now, all this is IS a messy divorce.  YOU, (maybe because you want it to-the cynical part of me because of who you are or maybe because you haven't read all the information in the case and is just erroneously relied on the leaders of the lynch mob-you aren't alone there) are assuming Zac Smith beat his wife despite all EVIDENCE and facts saying he didn't.  The only thing close to damnable are the photos.  But, photoshop is a really easy to use software package, so BY THEMSELVES, the photographs don't really PROVE anything.

jebes Michigana

jebi rak

Ako ne možete postavljati bez gluposti ... nemojte

Ako vièeš na suce, ti si šupak
 

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Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

So Cliff, I’m not going to DV you, and I know I’m in the minority, but I think this is a bad take. Here’s why:

1. Urban Meyer didn’t have to do any sort of investigation. He only had to report what he knew. Keep in mind, Courtney was texting Shelley, Powell PD appears to have contacted the athletic department, and he knew about the 2009 incident.

2. No one said Urban was accountable for hitting ZS Courtney. But why hire ZS in the first place when he knew about 2009? Why lie about reporting about 2015? It is a problem of Urban’s own making.

3. Personal matters affect the workplace. You may think your lousy marriage didn’t leak through. But I bet your co-workers saw a difference in you. It’s only human. 

4. I don’t see how Courtney seems entitled. This alleged abuse goes back at least nine years. She sought help from police departments and from her husband’s employer. My guess is that the coaches and their families are like one big family. It doesn’t sound out of line to me. She says she didn’t get paid for the interview. I just don’t get the vitriol toward her.

5. I don’t think Urban should be fired. But he’s showed a serious lack of judgment and was completely tone deaf to the issue. Unless some new fact comes out that changes everything, he should be punished in some way because he’s not bigger than OSU. But I’m content to let the committee do it’s job.

We would all rather just focus on football, and enjoy our team and legendary coach. We can’t do that right now. But it will all sort itself out.

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scottnz's picture

Very astute analysis, Ohio guy.

Scott33

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wigmon's picture

1.  Since CS isn't a student or faculty employee and none of what he "knew" of had occurred on campus or hindered her activities at OSU, UM wasn't required to report anything.  IF ZS was involved in accused manor with a student or faculty member, then UM would have been required to report what he knew.  Reasonable debate can be had on that issue, but read Title IX law and prior decisions (and yes his additional wording was added in 2018 after all this mess).

2.  UM addressed 2009.  Said when all parties sat down and talked about what occurred, what has been reported isn't what occurred.  I don't believe there was any lying on media day.  He was clearly talking directly to McMurphy's article (said "I don't know who would write such a thing") which stated that Zach had been arrested for DV and felonious assault.  Given that such an event never occurred and is not documented as such (which is why McMurphy keeps changing his original article), where exactly is the lie in saying he never heard about such a thing and when he asked people to look at it, they said it was nothing?

3.  Personal matters CAN affect work place performance.  IF you fired everyone or didn't hire anyone who was going through a divorce, it might be tough to find good help.

4.  I have no idea on CS.  If you take her lawyers word that she was physically abused and has tried to press charges against ZS and if you take McMurphy's word that the pictures presented show ZS beating her as opposed to some other explanation, then you have to wonder why Powell police never arrested ZS.  Maybe the police department is corrupt, but no one has suggested that as I've seen, so that leaves me with believing maybe the accuser isn't quite presenting things how they really occurred.

5.  IF you believe your statements 1-4, then I understand how you would have that conclusion.  I don't think your 1-4 above are steeped entirely in reality.  I have yet to see any verified evidence that suggests UM has not acted in an ethical and professional way in this entire matter.

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Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

1. Urban Meyer didn’t have to do any sort of investigation. He only had to report what he knew. Keep in mind, Courtney was texting Shelley, Powell PD appears to have contacted the athletic department, and he knew about the 2009 incident.

No problem.  I agree.

2. No one said Urban was accountable for hitting ZS Courtney. But why hire ZS in the first place when he knew about 2009? Why lie about reporting about 2015? It is a problem of Urban’s own making.

How about because ZS was never charged with a crime in 2009.  They were still married and getting counselling.  He didn't lie.  Did you hear Tim May's interview?  He spoke to Urban the day after the press conference and Urban told him he was responding to the article as originally written (i.e. ZS was ARRESTED; which we know was either sloppy reporting or an attempt to play gotcha)

3. Personal matters affect the workplace. You may think your lousy marriage didn’t leak through. But I bet your co-workers saw a difference in you. It’s only human. 

Agree.  But is it grounds for firing?  Maybe if your an incompassionate martinet of a boss.  I've worked for a guy like that in my past.  Bosses like that are rarely successful.  Urban is demanding.  I doubt he's THAT.

4. I don’t see how Courtney seems entitled. This alleged abuse goes back at least nine years. She sought help from police departments and from her husband’s employer. My guess is that the coaches and their families are like one big family. It doesn’t sound out of line to me. She says she didn’t get paid for the interview. I just don’t get the vitriol toward her.

Again, ALLEGED Abuse.  ZS, despite appearing to be a douchy, needy, immature, alcoholic person; has never been CHARGED with abuse.  EVER.  Before he was hired by tOSU, he passed a criminal background check.  I image he did at the other places he worked as well, but don't know THAT so unlike others, won't proclaim it as fact.

5. I don’t think Urban should be fired. But he’s showed a serious lack of judgment and was completely tone deaf to the issue. Unless some new fact comes out that changes everything, he should be punished in some way because he’s not bigger than OSU. But I’m content to let the committee do it’s job.

He showed more of a lack of judgement in how he handled Iowa.  Based on THE FACTS; and that all the hindsight 20/20 guys are full of shit, his actions were reasonable for a head coach.

jebes Michigana

jebi rak

Ako ne možete postavljati bez gluposti ... nemojte

Ako vièeš na suce, ti si šupak
 

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buckskin's picture

100% agree Huxtable. Sadly, she will probably get a multimillion dollar settlement from OSU.

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Go1Bucks's picture

The only way OSU should talk to this digbat, is through hers lawyers, and only if the committee finds the university has any liability. Ignore a fly and it will eventually go away.

Go Bucks! TTUN tears are best! Beat Wisky!!!

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seyekcuB's picture

Boy I can not wait to get married:/

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gr8bucks's picture

Does this "victim" now have a second attorney that wants to "try" this case publicly? The two primaries in this that have made this public, due to their adult nature, I don't feel sorry for them, as to their airing their grievances publicly. But those two poor innocent children, I feel horrible for them. They must feel like they wish they could pull the covers over their heads and make this nightmare go away. But the adults won't let this situation play out in the venue that it is going to end up in, and where final verdicts will reside. Pitiful. I'd just want my parents to shut the hell up, if I were one of the kids. But at their age, they are victims too, the biggest difference? They are innocent victims!

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RBloodworth's picture

Can this now put to rest the false claims about her having three DUIs?  That entire post on Bucknuts was nothing but false character assassination. 

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MaxMermelstein's picture

The post said she was pulled over for DUI. This just said she was never charged.  How ironic.

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outdoorbuckeye's picture

Yeah, she's never been charged, but neither had Zack

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LCT's picture

I got pulled over for "DUI" one time on my way home from the county fair. When asked how much I'd had to drink I laughed & told the deputy all I'd had to drink was lemonade and I would happily do a field sobriety test. He said that's not necessary. I asked why he pulled me over & I was told I had gone left of center. I hadn't though. No ticket. Just a fishing trip for an ambitious sheriff's deputy.

Lifetime vs. UM: L 9-1, C 8-0, T 5-0
Ohio State University President Jim Tressel

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Nutinpa's picture

Lemonade

County (fair)

Teetotaled

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LCT's picture

That was a learning experience for me. Totally bogus stop. I wonder how many DUI arrests originate that way?

EDIT: ^not cop bashing. I respect & appreciate law enforcement pros. It's a tough job.

Lifetime vs. UM: L 9-1, C 8-0, T 5-0
Ohio State University President Jim Tressel

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ScarletGray43157's picture

No ticket. Just a fishing trip for an ambitious sheriff's deputy.

Been there. Done that.

Follow The Money. 

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

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RBuck's picture

It was diet 7-UP for me. I was "weaving".

Sooner or later it all gets real.

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cdubs's picture

That's not what irony is, Alanis.

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Extramedium's picture

I think it was a sarcastic use of ironic.

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ollie81's picture

"Ms. Smith has never been charged with an OVI or any other criminal offense."  Doesn't mean it didn't happen.. just like Zach wasn't charged with DV doesn't mean it didn't happen...

"Because I couldn't go for three."

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Go740Bucks's picture

I have not seen anyone claim she has three DUIs, but more just insinuation that she was pulled over for suspicion of DUI followed by claims she was evading ZS. There is still a lot of information we do not know, and quite frankly, we do not need to know.

"The future is bright at Ohio State" - UFM

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gobucks1966's picture

DUI's it was said she was pulled over for a DUI 3 times and wasn't charged but escorted home. If this happened good thing she never hit anyone or thing the police took a huge risk and did this young lady a favor. Has there been any more mention of her at practice drunk and wanting to blow people up? Along with all the 911 calls and Zack was at practice and other duties of his job? We are hearing so much about both Zak and Courtney and both seem like troubled people and a bad match. However the issue here is What did OSU do in all of this and the police do?  It seems like both parties let the party go on and did nothing. They know she is a drunk and since he is a OSU coach she got break after break along with Zac getting special treatment . My point this season look in the press box the Powell PoPo might have a box for themselves.

Denny

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BrutusB's picture

That post was garbage and anyone with common sense should have ignored it.  It also claimed that she called the police so many times that they stopped responding.  In what world is that actually believable?

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216ToThe614's picture

Not defending hearsay from bucknuts, but during my parents’ divorce they had called the police on each other so many times that the police finally told them the next time they called, they were both going to jail for the night. Needless to say, that was the last time they called. It definitely happens, and you never know what is going on in people’s personal lives...which is where most of this information should have stayed until after they’ve had their day in court

Pick up your feet, turn your corners square! And DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!!!
WB

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BuckeyeInOrlando's picture

I'm pretty sure you could call the police 10 times a day for 10 weeks straight... they're still gonna respond on that 700th call... it may not be the response you want, but they'll respond.

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ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

The claim wasn't that she had 3 DUIs...it was that she was pulled over 3 times on suspicion of DUI and was let off each time because she said Zach was chasing her. 

I can't imagine that she'd be let off 3 times or even 1 time for it.  Anybody who knows they're driving drunk and gets pulled over could pull the "SOMEONE'S CHASING ME" card to get away with it if that were the case.

Class of 2010.

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gobucks1966's picture

Didn;t she say a black SUV was chasing her don't recall her saying it was zak 

Denny

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PhillyNut's picture

Tbought it was reported she said that she was being followed by a black SUV and was having problems with her husband. So either accurate or setting him up

I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan!

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gr8bucks's picture

I don't know if she said black suv, but it was reported that it was a black suv. If you read the report, it's marked as a silver suv, and a 64 year old male caucasion was driving it. So did the reporter, idiot up and say black, or did she? You'd think that she'd know what color was following her, or the cop could have effed up. Who knows, but there's an aura of mystery if it's a black suv. Was that for the narrative? Someone inferring that zs hired someone to follow her? That thinking goes out the window if a 64 year old white guy in a silver suv is following her. 

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danmas's picture

That totally happened to a buddy of mine.  His G.F. told the police she was getting away from her BF that was abusing her.  Total lie to get out of a ticket.  

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Nerkbuck1's picture

As soon as you no longer state Zach was committing DV against Courtney, because he has never been convicted. Same theory...

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MaxMermelstein's picture

Why the hell would OSU have contacted her? The police handled this.

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erniefurgler's picture

OSU contacting her could be misconstrued as intimidating her into not reporting the facts.  Urbs, Gene, or anyone else contacting her directly looks much more suspicious than allowing the local PD do their job

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TJG32's picture

That is the exact reason to NOT contact her. Nothing good could come from that. Let the police do what they are trained to do. Enough said. 

TG Proud Buckeye alumnus.

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Buckets At Fletcher's's picture

Can you image the false outrage right now if McDimwit had reported that Urban, or anyone else at OSU, had a meeting with her? You know they would be claiming it as an attempt to cover up. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Perfect example is James Franklin during his situation at Vandy. He contacted the alleged victim out of "concern for her well-being"; the media and internet viewed it as an attempt at hushing her up. I have to admit it was not a good look from where I was sitting.

"Everyone has a plan, 'til they get punched in the mouth."

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Tosa's picture

The investigation might wish to ask her whom she told about the abusive incidents, among other things.

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Extramedium's picture

I’m not sure if her quote is referencing the investigation from 2015 or the current investigation.

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vball10set's picture

Interesting, and I empathize with her situation if she was indeed the victim of abuse. Period. However, I have a hard time believing that she "has received absolutely no compensation for any interview she has granted to reporters", whether now or in the future.

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BrutusB's picture

Why is that so hard to believe?  I don't get why people are so intent in thinking she must be part of some conspiracy.  It's equally plausible that she was tired of Zach's shit and when Urban publicly denied everything she felt betrayed and gave McMurphy the texts/interview.

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

It's equally plausible that she was tired of Zach's shit and when Urban publicly denied everything she felt betrayed and gave McMurphy the texts/interview.

I don't think so, as I'm fairly certain that McMurphy had all of that information before B1G media days, and was already deep into his story. 

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BrutusB's picture

Possibly.  I (nor anyone else here) don't have the total timeline of events, I'm just pointing out that I don't think she was paid off by McMurphy to bring down Meyer like some seem to be suggesting.

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

Well, he originally published his piece on July 23 and Media Days began July 24, so I think he had it. 

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Kevin Harrish's picture

For what it's worth, it's extremely rare for reporters or news organizations to compensate subjects for interviews.

vball10set's picture

Not directly, but yes, remuneration happens more often than not...trust me.

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Kevin Harrish's picture

"More often than not" is absolutely untrue.

vball10set's picture

Maybe within the bubble of 11W, but again, when it comes to the major stories, people are compensated...in one way or another.

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BrutusB's picture

Doubling down on this #take.  Bold.

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Kevin Harrish's picture

I'm not saying it doesn't happen sometimes, but I am saying it is viewed as extremely unethical by any reputable outlet and is quite rare. It certainly doesn't happen "more often than not."

jpbuckeye's picture

Do you consider McMurphy a reputable outlet?

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Buckeye1996's picture

Do you consider McMurphy a reputable outlet?

LOL.

"Most Noahs have two of everything, he's got four tonight" - Gus Johnson on Noah Brown's 4 TD catches against Oklahoma.

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Defiance's picture

it is viewed as extremely unethical by any reputable outlet

Just my $.02 here but we are talking about a former ESPN reporter here who is currently unemployed and running his alleged stories on Facebook, right...

Just want to make sure that unethical and reputable are used in the proper context.

"Defiance in Silence" 

Shhhh

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Buckeye@317's picture

In Brett's defense (what a gross thing to type) he's only unemployed because he is choosing to be and forcing ESPN to continue paying him which I find hilarious.  As soon as his contract is up, he'll be writing for someone again.  

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tmothy07's picture

Yeah, he's got a deal lined up with Stadium after the ESPN non-compete checks stop.

Ohio State Engineering - Class of 2015

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booj's picture

True.

ESPN laid him off because he had a long contract, the terms of which are that if he takes another job, it negates ESPN's financial commitment. I actually commend the hell out of them for making them pay every dime he's owed. Whatever the merits of his reporting, he does not deserve to be discredited or shamed for his medium of dissemination.

(although he could stand an editor)

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Go740Bucks's picture

Is it common for subjects to utilize media as a springboard for potential litigation?

"The future is bright at Ohio State" - UFM

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B44's picture

The answer they put out was still vague; she was not compensated...but was she looking to be compensated when she was shopping her story? Has she ever asked for money for her story even if she was not paid. There is a distinction between the two.

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Johnny Ginter's picture

kevin's correct, this almost never happens, for a whole litany of reasons. i very much doubt that courtney smith received a penny for any of her interviews.

0H-10's picture

kevin's correct, this almost never happens, for a whole litany of reasons.

You waded into it, so, please...I think you can understand why people want proof when so much hyperbole, insinuendo, and half-truths have been bandied about...please share how you know these things you say because I for one do not just take it for truth just because I read it on the internet. 

o||||||o

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Johnny Ginter's picture

please share how you know these things you say because I for one do not just take it for truth just because I read it on the internet. 

that's fair. kevin knows because he's been involved with the newswriting process for several years now at 11W, and we would never pay or compensate any interview subject involved in a story of this magnitude. i've been writing for 11W for 8 years now, and been a co-owner for 6, and i can tell you that our official policy on this mirrors the policy of virtually every other major news outlet: you do not compensate sources or interview subjects. the potential for blowback is just too high; a source who "shops" their story around might not be telling the truth, for example, and news outlets don't want to risk that in the case of a high profile story (the UVA rape story from rolling stone, for example).

in 2010 and 2011, there were several reports about outlets like abc news paying people to give interviews. after a public outcry, they stopped (at least officially), and several other outlets followed suit. what these news outlets realized is that getting into a bidding war with each other over sources is a huge mistake in terms of both optics and practicality. i'm sure the practice continues occasionally (and of course, excepting tabloids), but the new york times is famously very anti-paying for interviews, and many other papers and outlets have followed suit.

0H-10's picture

Thanks, Johnny! I went to OSU decades ago to study Journalism and left because it was not about truth as much as it was about persuasion and money. I now live in Canada and am trying to ascertain the pulse of my native-Ohio from across the border. I appreciate the context and the facts, without taking offense at the fact that I simply asked a question...one of the 5W's & the H we were taught to ask.

o||||||o

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0H-10's picture

Please elaborate on this point, Kevin...that is a very broad stroke...How do you know such a thing about reporters or news organizations in general?

o||||||o

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Maka's picture

Because he is a journalist who reports for a news organization? Just a thought...

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0H-10's picture

So is McMurphy. But Kevin is a hungry and hopefully truth-motivated student/writer on my favorite Buckeye news source so I'm looking for insight into and beyond the hyperbole and hearsay if you don't mind. Just a thought...

o||||||o

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Kevin Harrish's picture

It sounds like you're asking me to prove that this is not common practice, and while I cannot specifically tell you what goes on in every single newsroom or every single station, I have a degree in journalism, and a heavy, heavy focus was on ethics, and I have many, many friends in the industry – not just in sports – in varying cities, states and countries. This just is not something that is done and is nearly unanimously viewed as unethical. It's not like it's even a gray area where there's some debate in the industry on the issue, so it's hard to even answer this, to be honest.

A few years back, there were a few news stations – ABC was the most notable, as Johnny mentioned – that were caught paying for interviews. But they got absolutely slammed for it, not just by upset consumers, but the rest of the media who saw it as a gigantic breach of ethics, which is sort of evidence to what I'm pointing to, that this is not an acceptable or normal practice.

Again, I'm not saying it's never done, but the norm is that sources are not compensated for interviews by any legitimate reporter or news organization looking to portray itself as real, objective news (that excludes tabloids, entertainment magazines, and things like that).

0H-10's picture

Thanks, Kevin! 

o||||||o

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Rizzoni's picture

Okay, it's not like she contacted OSU and OSU did not respond back.

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WesBranscum's picture

If OSU's sole purpose is to find out if Meyer handled this correctly, there is no reason to ask her. It can be done without her.

Was her and her lawyer this eager to make sure McMurphy got the full story in his 3 day Investigation, they seemed happy with only having their side heard.

WesBranscum

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analyticalguy's picture

If they're tying up all loose ends, they will want to talk to her to determine if she claims to have reported other instances, which might have required Urban (or whoever) to have done other reporting. They won't want new claims arising after the report is done.

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JCam061588's picture

This didn’t come from her. She hopped on the train, reluctantly I might add. But, there is a reason this became about Urban, it was about him from the jump.

"Because I couldn't go for three"

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OSU_JD's picture

I keep coming back to the Gene/ZS interaction from 2015.  Zach said he was on a recruiting trip, right?  I am not that knowledgeable about college football (I know, I know), but is October typically recruiting season?

Something about that interaction is throwing me off. How did Gene Smith find that out if NOT from Urban Meyer?  Zach theorized Powell PD tipped off Gene, but that doesn't make a lot of sense unless either:

1. Gene had someone overlooking the situation and reporting directly to him OR;

2. Powell PD really did do that, but who at the Powell PD would think "I should call Gene Smith" instead of say, calling Urban Meyer?

Either this report is going to be LIT, or we're going to see a lot more media backtracking over the next two weeks.  I'm starting to think the about-face the pundits have all made is because of strategic leaks to quiet this down before every media pundit looks like a total idiot. 

For example, just now on Dan Patrick, every *caller* was calling UM and ZS every name in the book, but Dan Patrick goes, "well...maybe we should wait for both sides...and see I never said he 'should' be fired, I was just 'predicting.'"  The callers are still stuck on the information that's public.  Patrick is changing his mind based on something else. 

The media narrative has noticeably shifted with absolutely no new information.  That means the leaking has begun. 

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OSU_JD's picture

There’s always the possibility she contacted Gene herself...

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Buckeyebull64's picture

Recruiting is year round nowadays. Plus I think it’s accepted around here that Smith was better utilized out and about than in the WR room, so missing practice was not a very big issue

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BABuckeye's picture

is October typically recruiting season?

Ohio State was on a bye week between Rutgers and Minnesota games. It has been reported on this site that coaches hit the road to recruit during the bye week. 

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JCam061588's picture

Make no mistake, expect to see a lot of subtle back tracking over the next few days.

"Because I couldn't go for three"

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OSU_JD's picture

one other thing I cannot figure out is this:

why did she suddenly decide to blow it up with the entrapment issue?  she have an angle in DR Court for increased parenting time and/or increased child support?  everything I've seen so far indicates she was hyperinterested in protecting him financially...

oh wait....as you said, it wasn't supposed to get this far.  they weren't going to fire him until it became a media issue.  she was still playing with fire by getting him *arrested*. 

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JCam061588's picture

She did not nor did she ever want him fired. I wish I could say more. She realized what was going to happen & decided to ride the train. But there are various reasons why this wasn’t in her best interest overall & the fact that she isn’t the instigator of this is a huge reason why OSU has been “considerate” in their approach. 

"Because I couldn't go for three"

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Buckeyes17's picture

I don't understand.

Who cares? Ohio State isn't supposed to reach out to her. The Police are. I do not see how this could be bad news.

"Khajiit has wares if you have the coin."

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Cliff_Huxtable's picture

I'm having a hard time understanding why this is "news" at all. 

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Buckeyes17's picture

Yeah, how is this remotely important?

I stubbed my toe last week. Ohio State didn't contact me.

"Khajiit has wares if you have the coin."

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TigerSweat's picture

I'm not an expert on the matter but I would think that Courtney and her attorney are angling for a lawsuit against OSU. This still doesn't really have anything to do with Meyer if he didn't actively try to cover up anything.

* What was her attorney supposed to say? Should he have came and said someone like, "well, see, my client is an unstable drunk who is jockeying for position to win a lawsuit"...

Urban Meyer >Jim Harbaugh for ever and ever, Amen. 0

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OSU_JD's picture

I would bet $1 million that Julie Leveridge won't be an attorney in any lawsuit against OSU.  She's a family law attorney, and I am sure she's good, but family law attorneys don't have that experience.

her statement here was pretty bland, and she's probably thinking 'dear Lord let this client get a different attorney for this matter please...'

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booj's picture

true. you don't come after the biggest employer in the state with an attorney that's most at home in family court.

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OSU_JD's picture

it's actually good news.

they should at least *contact* her to see if she's willing to cooperate with the investigation.

if they aren't contacting her, that means they don't need her.  either that, or they're saving her for last. 

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buckeyenut74's picture

Correct me if I’m wrong. The big incident. while he was employed at Ohio State, was in 2015....and she just now asked for a protection order, am I correct?

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cdubs's picture

I'm sure these comments will be as level-headed and reasonable as the others on this matter in the last few days.

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CTBuckeyeFan's picture

Her constant need to stay in the media is interesting 

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BuckeyeRick's picture

She can’t say someone from the University pressured her to not file charges, now. 

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BrutusB's picture

I don't think that was ever an allegation.  Allegedly Urban's friend reached out to her after the 09 incident to tell her not to press charges, but no one from either OSU or UF ever did that.

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Dstacify's picture

Wasn't the rumor circulating that it was two of Urban's close friends who pushed her not to press charges in '09 and one of them was Earle Bruce (who of course has deep ties to OSU)? Of course Earle was Zach's grandfather and no longer employed by OSU so I don't think that would incriminate the school in any way. I understand the committee needs to investigate all instances in this situation including what happened in '09. But I also think it's incredibly stupid that OSU could be punished for shit that ZS allegedly did while he and Meyer were together at UF (neither of them had ties to OSU at the time aside from Zach being Earle's grandson). That's the stupidity we're potentially facing in this case (as if there isn't enough of that to go around already) if the NCAA decides to get involved and drop sanctions on OSU for this. It is essentially Bill O'Brien's PSU regime being punished for the previous regime's catastrophic errors all over again if that happens.

11 Strong.

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booj's picture

I can't see how the 09 allegations are an issue. It happened at UF and was not enough to prevent Marshall and Temple from hiring him. It seems like this is only here because a pattern requires three points.

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Larryp713's picture

All that adviser told Courtney was that if she pressed charges, her husband would never coach again. It was hardly a threat, though the headlines said she was threatened. That is the most disgusting part of how this story has been presented. I had a Michigan fan coworker tell me he heard she was threatened.

Respectfully,

Larryp713

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OSU_JD's picture

All that adviser told Courtney was that if she pressed charges, her husband would never coach again. 

According to her.

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brutus0717's picture

The name escapes me (Voltini?), but Urban's "friend" was on staff at UF and is currently on staff at OSU. Regardless, it was simply an attorney doing what attornies do, representing their client, and that client wasn't Courtney Smith.

"We gotta go win this next game and make the State of Ohio proud!"-UFM

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Dstacify's picture

I think the other guy named that wasn't Earle was Hiram de Fries. I do believe he's on staff at OSU currently but I'm not sure he's directly involved with the football program.

11 Strong.

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

Asking for measured responses please. There is a fine line between being skeptical and seeking clarification on issues, and teeing off on a woman who wasn't married to a nice man (regardless of your opinion of her). 

Let's stay Classy, 11W. 

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Buckeyes17's picture

I agree people should be civil, but I just don't see how any of this is important.

"Khajiit has wares if you have the coin."

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

It's not, which is why I said what I did hoping people didn't take the southbound train. 

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Buckeyes17's picture

Gotcha.

"Khajiit has wares if you have the coin."

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Dstacify's picture

I don't see a whole lot of "teeing off" here against Courtney Smith. I see a lot of responses who want to hear the complete story from all parties involved rather than the one-sided, Urban-shaming drivel McAsshole has been trying to feed everyone. At the very least in this situation McMurphy is guilty of EXTREMELY lazy journalism by failing to get both sides to the story and refusing to release the text messages as evidence until AFTER ZS publically told his version of events to ESPN. McMurphy has an obvious agenda here and it's a very anti-Urban agenda. My belief is he doesn't give a damn about Courtney Smith's well-being, he's 100% using her story to further his own career. If he cared about her well-being at all he would've released those texts through the proper channels as soon as he got a hold of them (and they are also not as damning to Urban as he thinks they are).

11 Strong.

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Ronnie's picture

They’re definitely pushing to make sure Urban mishandled the reporting of this situation. Makes it much easier to sue if the investigation committee does the heavy lifting. 

Boom! Boom!

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BrutusB's picture

I listened to the Audible this morning with Felman/Mandel and they basically said there are two questions the committee will have to tackle.  The first is if Urban properly reported the '15 incident, which should be pretty black and white.  The second, more complicated, problem is how did he justify having an *alleged* domestic abuser on staff ever since then.  They (or me) didn't know they answer to that and don't know if that's a fireable offense. I did think it was interesting that they both dismissed the theory he'll be suspended though - either he's off scot free or fired with some negotiation of his settlement money.

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CincyOSU's picture

The second, more complicated, problem is how did he justify having an *alleged* domestic abuser on staff ever since then.

Well, he passed background checks at two other schools before coming to OSU. So there's that. I get the feeling, and this is just me, that OSU does NOT want to fire Meyer, but it's going to come down to whether the committee's findings can be sold to the media, and the public who have already made up their minds because of the media, in a way that doesn't give the school a black eye.

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BrutusB's picture

Even if they WANTED to fire Meyer, that $38 million buyout means they need a really strong case.  Worst case for the committee would be if they find stuff that looks kinda incriminating but isn't a total slam dunk, then they have to release it but also say they're going to keep him.  They'd almost be better off if he was clearly 100% right or 100% wrong.

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CC's picture

I agree with your point.  People act as if we should not employ someone ever again if they are accused of something.

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Buckeye Chuck's picture

I agree with your point.  People act as if we should not employ someone ever again if they are accused of something.

This is an issue that seems to come up a lot with people who have what could be construed as "celebrity jobs." Take, for example, Michael Vick. There were a lot of people who felt very strongly that he should not be reinstated to the NFL even after he did his time for animal abuse. But I don't think too many would have said that Vick, out of prison and still just in his late 20s, should never receive a paycheck from anyone ever again. It was the size of the paycheck and the celebrity that resulted from it that bugged people.

Even if you assume for the sake of argument that Smith is guilty of all the things he's been accused of, these aren't the sort of infractions that would remove him from society for all time. At some point, he's going to need to work. But the truth is that people react one way if a past offender is stocking shelves at Wal-Mart, and quite another if he's working as a football coach at a prominent program and is well paid for doing that. 

I've noticed that most people tend to be inconsistent about this. We want and even expect ex-offenders to try to resume a useful place in society, but we don't want them to be too successful either.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

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booj's picture

more to the point, people are acting as if the credibility or verifiability of the accusation isn't an important factor in the accusation.

we now have two people who have tremendous incentive to speak to protect themselves, so they're talking. In 2015 (and 2009), we had two people who had tremendous incentive NOT to speak to protect themselves, so they didn't talk.

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bucksandsurfing's picture

Who was "alleging" ZS was a domestic abuser? The only entity that matters is the police department. The police certainly didn't make these allegations. Otherwise it's he/she said. Then we get back to square one. Expecting Urban to be head coach, part time marriage counselor, part time private investigator. So the second issue isn't an issue at all.

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aabucks1996's picture

"Ms. Smith has never been charged with an OVI or any other criminal offense." 

I do not want to make light of ZS and his probable DV, and DUI and DV do not compare in my mind.  But all the internet and people in the know pretty much confirm that she has been pulled over several times and has a problem with alcohol.

Here is the point.  This statement from the attorney is using the logic 'never been charged' as essentially stating she is clean in that regard, yet the fact that ZS was 'not charged' in 2015 is somehow not the same thing??? Just saying?

You win with people

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cdubs's picture

But all the internet and people in the know pretty much confirm

"My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with a girl who saw a screenshot of an anonymous Bucknuts post on Twitter post last night. I guess it’s pretty serious."

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aabucks1996's picture

Nice reference ferris

You win with people

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Mantis's picture

You say that DV and DUI do not compare in your mind, but did you take into account how many people are killed by drunk driving?  Every DAY, 29 people on average in just the United States are killed from alcohol-related crashes.  Just saying.

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aabucks1996's picture

Meant two different things entirely, no comparison can be made.  both bad

You win with people

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TigerSweat's picture

Yeah, somehow the fact that she was never charged for DUI is supposed to be definitive proof that she didn't drive drunk. As for Zach, the fact that he was never charged apparently doesn't prove shit

Urban Meyer >Jim Harbaugh for ever and ever, Amen. 0

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JoeAndSo's picture

Can you imagine the backlash if OSU did try to contact her? People could easily spin it to say they were trying to shut her up and unless the call was recorded to refute it everyone wanting Meyer fired would eat it right up.

"¯\_(ツ)_/¯"  - Joey Bosa

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TigerSweat's picture

They would eat it up anyway. Most of those people who are pretending to outraged at Meyer are fans of rival programs. I know it sounds outlandish to suggest that people are motivated by things like this but it's true.

Urban Meyer >Jim Harbaugh for ever and ever, Amen. 0

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milhouse4588's picture

The victim shaming in a lot of these topics and forums about the situation has been brutal. She is most likely trying to just protect herself and her kids.

However, this statement hurts the case against both Urban and Zach.

If we are supposed to clear CS' slate in our minds because she was never charged of something, it is only fair to expect we have to do the same with Zach, as he was never charged with a criminal act either. So either Zach is innocent because he wasn't charged, like Courtney, or we have to ignore that type of claim entirely.

Also, if the university hasn't been in contact with her, then she can never claim the university has pressured her one way or another, including Urban. If Urban reported everything correctly, it goes above him as he did his job.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

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analyticalguy's picture

The statement to the media by the attorney does little or nothing except play to public opinion. I want the investigatory team to talk to her directly to get a statement. Things said to the press by attorneys mean nothing.

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NH-IO's picture

If we are supposed to clear CS' slate in our minds because she was never charged of something, it is only fair to expect we have to do the same with Zach, as he was never charged with a criminal act either. So either Zach is innocent because he wasn't charged, like Courtney, or we have to ignore that type of claim entirely.

Domestic violence is not treated the same as any other crime.  If you had one party continually accusing another party of any offense other than DV with the police continually responding to those accusations and taking no action against the accused (despite a requirement to arrest if evidence supports the claim), the conclusion drawn by the public about the accused and the accuser would be completely different than it is in a DV case.  You may think this is good/bad, right/wrong, but that's the way it is.

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Frimmel's picture

Asking her to prove she has actually been abused isn't victim shaming. This attorney has just made his play to get people to stop attacking the credibility of his client. If you suggest she might not be being truthful you're "victim blaming" which you're not allowed to do. We see this in all sorts of cases when a woman is accusing a man of a crime like domestic violence or sexual assault. If you ask if she's telling the truth you're bad for "victim blaming." Because we all know women always tell the truth about such things even when talking to a highly regarded magazine.

Folks pretty much know what happens to a man who has quite obviously struck a woman. Zach Smith hasn't ended up in jail in all this time so she is not looking truthful. This guy is just protecting his client. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

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Rizzoni's picture

It's all about the narrative. Let me rephrase this statement to make it look more favorable to OSU.

(1) OSU never contacted Courtney Smith (original statement)

(2) Courtney Smith never reached out to OSU.

(3) No direct communication between OSU and Courtney smith was established. 

The last two have a totally different feel. 

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Darnell's picture

I keep thinking about #2 in your post.  CS keeps saying OSU never contacted her, like she expected they should have contacted her.  Why didn’t she just directly contact OSU herself in some official capacity regarding the situation, if she felt that strongly about it.

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TShell's picture

Because she didn't want Zach (only family income) to be fired. Now that he has been fired already, she can cry to BM about them not doing something (fire him?) sooner. I believe that Zach probably did something bad, and she's not squeaky clean either. But what is anyone expecting to have happened back then, when the victim in all this didn't want anything to happen (from an employment standpoint)? Ohio State University athletics department is not a family counseling center, or law enforcement agency.

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TarBuck's picture

I can’t be alone in finding it odd that (continuous) statements from Ms. Smith’s camp are fed exclusively through McMurphy, while (limited) information from Zach Smith’s camp is given to anyone who asks. Not to mention the constant leaking after every OSU statement is made. Trying to force the hand much?

I’m also unsurprised McMurphy continues to blather on. Until UFM is reinstated, the little ratfink will continue to release personal spin after every OSU/Meyer/Delaware Co. official statement in an effort to paint them as disingenuous and "morally bankrupt". Funny he admits to Z.S. never being arrested in OH here, yet no mention of his many "article" edits stating otherwise.

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shiloh's picture

Apologies to little ratfinks!

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. ~ Mark Twain

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booj's picture

It's not uncommon for a lay person to use friendly media as their outlet. Courtney was the genesis of this story, so she had the luxury of time to shop for an outlet for her story. 

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Makinggeorgiahowl's picture

So ready for this to be over with....

War is the remedy our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want.

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bucks4nuts's picture

Aaaaaaaaand???

"To The House"

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hetuck's picture

This statement indicates she will be in court 8/22. I still doubt the prosecutor carries through, but if she does, TruTV coverage could get their biggest ratings ever, even more than first-round NCAA games. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

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booj's picture

concerningly, this is right after the committee's window closes.

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GlassCityBuckeyes's picture

Here's a headline for her. Woman who claims to be considered about husband coaching young men never contacts Ohio State.

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aabucks1996's picture

Woman who claims OSU cares just about winning football games never contacted anyone from OSU.

You win with people

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brutus360's picture

Blah blah blah. Just more private crap being made public. Move it inside people.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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ohst8buxCP's picture

Not a lawyer but wouldn't it be risky to reach out to the victim like that, could look like they were trying to influence her not to press charges.

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ScarletGray43157's picture

Courtney's Attorney is fishing on her behalf.

Follow The Money.

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

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TarBuck's picture

Here’s a question I’d have for her lawyer:

“If Zach Smith truly is a violent and unhinged monster,  how could Ms. Smith ever let such a man earn shared custody of their children? Surely her "continued commitment to press charges against Mr. Smith" and the photographic evidence of his assaults in her possession would be enough to convince any family court judge that he was an unfit parent? Was that brought up during the divorce proceedings? If not, why?”

(True) victim shaming is wrong, but I’ll be goddamned if something isn’t off about this whole allegation situation. 

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Buckeyejen's picture

YES!!!!  I've been wondering this for a while! 

Buckeyejen

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aj99's picture

Completely agree.   Attorney should have just said, "Yeah we'd be happy to settle this out of court for a couple million."  Because what I heard in that statement was "We haven't heard anything from tOSU...hint hint...call me later...dollar signs y'all."

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RocknRollover's picture

This is ridiculous and just seems like a media attention grab by the lawyer.  

So how is Ohio State supposed to reach out to her?  Is Gene Smith expected to call Courtney directly and ask “did Zach beat you”?  Give me a fucking break.  This is why we have police in this country, and it’s not Ohio State’s job to fill their role.

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TigerSweat's picture

Right on

Honestly, if this were Jim Harbaugh is a situation just like this in Ann arbor, I would say the same thing... It's not his job to monitor a private marriage and he's not obligated to investigate further if the Ann arbor police declined to charge his assistant coach. Reinstate him immediately

Urban Meyer >Jim Harbaugh for ever and ever, Amen. 0

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Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

A player masturbating on someone’s front porch, however, is a different animal.

jebes Michigana

jebi rak

Ako ne možete postavljati bez gluposti ... nemojte

Ako vièeš na suce, ti si šupak
 

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Buckets At Fletcher's's picture

Wait. What?

"Everyone has a plan, 'til they get punched in the mouth."

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Huskerbuck's picture

"She has made concerted efforts to press charges" says it all. Concerted efforts and actual charges are completely two different things. Attorneys always spin things in there clients favor even when they know in their heart they are wrong. 

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CTBuckeyeFan's picture

That parts great given she refused to cooperate with the Powell PD in 2015, then somehow expected a man she didn’t talk to about the incident to “save” her.

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stpetebuck's picture

This statement stood out to me as utterly confusing. Concerted means to do something “jointly” (wiki)  nowhere in her comments does she say she worked with others to actually try to press charges.  Is this obsfucation, or suggesting new information?  Or does the lawyer not understand ‘concerted’?

i thought there was an effort to not press charges , no?

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chadwyck11's picture

I can be a bit of a pedant, so that jumped out at me, too.

I think it may be a case of someone using an intensifier without any regard of what it actually means.

a valiant effort

a tireless effort

a tenacious effort

I don't know for sure, though.

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bornbredbuckeye's picture

From her interview on Stadium, she tried numerous times to get a restraining order placed on ZS, but did not want him arrested because that would cause him the loss of his job and support for her and their children.

GO BUCKS!!! *ichigan sucks!!!

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wigmon's picture

"Trying to get a restraining order" is a considerable distance from "making every effort to press charges [of domestic violence]".

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buckeyerose's picture

Courtney Smith volunteers to help in the investigation....and all I could think after reading that was "I don't think so."   I can;t believe this whole dust up over an incident in 2015.  She started this mess and now she volunteers to help.....again I don't think so.  

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Wyandot Buckeye Fan's picture

The committee has so much information to gather, and people to talk to. What a complete mess.

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TigerSweat's picture

It's really not that complicated or far reaching. There are a handful of Police officers to speak with and some police reports to review. They just need to determine if Urban Meyer did what was required of him per his contract.

Urban Meyer >Jim Harbaugh for ever and ever, Amen. 0

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OSU_JD's picture

I doubt that’s all they’re doing, otherwise you wouldn’t need a committee of this size or caliber with an investigative team. 

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cristma's picture

So what precedent does this whole deal establish with regards to the employee/employer relationship?  I've managed people for over 15 years.  At what point do my obligations as a manager/employer end?  If someone tells my wife that one of my employees was abusive to his wife and she tells me, legally what am I required to do?  I confront my employee about it and he denies the allegations and I find that no charges were ever filed by law enforcement.  Reporting it to law enforcement is redundant as they were already aware and filed no charges.   Am I required to terminate that employee?  If I fire him, I open my company up to a wrongful termination lawsuit because I am firing him on allegations alone and no actual proof.  Not only that but the alleged incident didn't take place on company property or during a company event.  Urban's mistake was giving this creep a 2nd chance.  He should have cut ties in 2009.

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stpetebuck's picture

Moreover, How does any university expect one coach to monitor and report 100 players, dozens of assistant coaches,  trainers, therapists,  scouts,  AND their spouses and several hundred family members? (And this doesn’t include boosters and agents and now gamblers.) 

(Reposted)

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booj's picture

Meyer and Smith have contracts with the university specifically designed for remediation for and clarification of standards of off-field behavior.

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sgehrich's picture

I do think that victim shaming in this situation is both not a good look for OSU and fans, but also harmful to other victims of DV. I have no doubt ZS did bad things to CS, the extent of those bad things, I don't really want to speculate on. Plenty of theories out there, no evidence. And I do know that many many victims of DV remain silent, often because of the fear of victim shaming that we are either insinuating or outright claiming against CS.

Having said that... here is my view of the proper timeline of events that should happen.

  1. CS reports DV allegation agains ZS
  2. Powell PD notifies OSU/Gene Smith of the allegations
  3. Gene Smith notifies Urban and calls ZS back to have conversation
  4. OSU/Gene Smith/Urban (who are not investigators) allow the PD to do the investigation and await results
  5. Based on results of the PD investigation, OSU/Gene Smith/Urban Meyer take action
  6. Regardless of whether PD finds enough evidence to press charges, OSU would still use whatever they find to take their own actions.

As stated many times... proof required in a legal proceeding is not the same bar as proof required at the workplace. Based on the evidence, I would expect OSU to take one of three actions: a) Fire ZS; b) Place a short leash on ZS with termination being the outcome of any additional (reasonable) charges of wrongdoing; c) Nothing.

In none of this do I have OSU contacting CS because, as I stated above, OSU should allow the PD to investigate.

Furthermore, as best I can tell, all of the above happened with the exception of 6, and the jury is out on that one. My very strong suspicion is that they likely took step 6 and followed outcome b), giving ZS a very short leash, which resulted in his termination when new charges were alleged.

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TigerSweat's picture

That doesn't stop the virtue signallers from screaming about it though. Facts and logic doesn't apply to the SJW crowd.

Urban Meyer >Jim Harbaugh for ever and ever, Amen. 0

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Frimmel's picture

This woman is accusing a man of a crime. When you accuse people of a crime you should not expect to simply be taken at your word. Not taking someone who is accusing someone of a crime at their word is not victim shaming as they are not yet proven to be a victim.

Ms. Smith is an alleged victim. Zach Smith is an alleged abuser. That view is a fundamental tenant of the enlightenment principles laying the foundation of our justice system. 

We all know what happens to a man who can be shown with any credibility to have struck a woman. That did not happen to Zach Smith. This strains the credibility of Ms. Smith's accusations and of Ms. Smith. This attorney is making a play to paint those who would raise those questions as bad or wrong by calling it "victim shaming." 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

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sgehrich's picture

That wasn't my point. My point was a) OSU most likely took appropriate actions; b) just because ZS wasn't charged doesn't tie OSU's hands in terms of taking action; c) we have no more proof that CS's accusations are unfounded than we do that they are true and that we should all wait until the facts come out before rushing to any sort of conclusion. Making accusation against alleged victims causes other real victims to remain silent.

But since we've opened this can of worms, consider the following:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2018/05/25/harvey-weinstein-exception-most-accused-rape-never-charged/645133002/

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, out of every 1,000 rapes:Only 310 are reported to police

57 lead to arrest

11 are referred to prosecutors

Seven lead to felony conviction

Six rapists are incarcerated

Of American women who didn’t report their sexual assault, 20% feared retaliation and 13% believed reporting it to the police wouldn’t help, according to the Department of Justice. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center notes a number of emotional reasons for choosing not to come forward, as well, including:

psychological responses to the assault, such as PTSD

fearing they won’t be believed

worrying about how it will affect friends and family

difficulties surrounding rape kits, which require an invasive exam after a traumatic experience – and without which later prosecution is difficult due to lack of physical evidence

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NH-IO's picture

Good points, good info.  I'm interested, how do these rates of rape  arrest and conviction compare with those of Domestic violence?  Non-domestic violence? Other crimes?

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sgehrich's picture

I did a quick search on DV and found this article. As you note, it is really about rape, not DV, but I think they could be considered similar. I believe the issues (specifically with reporting, arrests and convictions) are similar. And I feel the need to reiterate here once more. I'm not speaking to the veracity of CS's claims, only stating that we don't have the facts, and that speculating about her character and truthfulness without the facts has downstream consequences.

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Frimmel's picture

How do they know there are 1000 rapes if only 310 are reported to police? 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

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bucksandsurfing's picture

Need to stop you at point B and save you from yourself. Law enforcement officers are professional investigators. This is what they're paid to do for a living. So you're saying the University shouldn't trust the people who's job it is to do this for a living? Instead, the University and Urban Myer should be part time marriage counselor part time private investigator, in addition to full time duties at Ohio State. In your point B, that's what you're saying?

After practices Urban Meyer should put on his Sherlock Holmes outfit and launch his own investigations into his assistants. Absolutely f*cking INSANE!!

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sgehrich's picture

Thanks, but I don't need you to save me from myself. You have completely misread the point. I stated very clearly that Ohio State is not in the business of investigating and that they allow the professional investigators (the PD) do the investigating. After that investigation (performed by the PD, not Ohio State), you then use those results to take your actions. You can at that point either fire him, retain him with specific requirements (in many business known as a PIP) or take no action at all. There is nothing wrong with deciding that there wasn't enough to fire him, but putting together a plan that shows if additional issues come up, you will be fired at that point. I believe this is exactly what happened.

Once again, just because the police didn't find enough evidence to arrest him because they didn't think they could convince a jury of his guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt doesn't mean that the employer can't still take any action based on what they did find. You have to separate burden of proof for the legal system vs burden of proof in the workplace. I once got in an argument with my boss and said some unflattering things. I didn't get arrested or go to jail, but I did get fired.

Point being, I think they let the professionals do the investigating, which is why they wouldn't have contacted CS (they would let the PD do that) then take the appropriate action after that investigation. And retaining him with behavioral stipulations would be very common (which was my point b).

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sgehrich's picture

In re-reading my post, I think I understand the confusion. Here's point b)

b) Place a short leash on ZS with termination being the outcome of any additional (reasonable) charges of wrongdoing

I think the wording in general wasn't clear. What I was referring to was anything additional that comes up in the future, i.e. new charges or new evidence. Not based on investigation OSU does, but future issues with law enforcement. For instance, if the original incident happened in 2015, but no charges were filed, Ohio State may say "we will not fire you, but if you there are any future incidents, we will at that time". If, then, in 2018 ZS gets arrested for, say, criminal trespass, then he no longer is an employee at Ohio State.

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wigmon's picture

He hasn't been accused of rape/sexual assault.  He has been accused of physical assault.  I imagine a fair amount of domestic violence also goes unreported, but I am guessing the number of arrests and prosecutions is a much higher ratio than sexual assault.

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aj99's picture

No doubts.  Hmm.  Interesting.  

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booj's picture

OSU would still use whatever they find to take their own actions.

Hard to do when the records are sealed.

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wigmon's picture

on #2, wouldn't the Powell police department be in violation of privacy laws by contacting an employer when no arrest was made?  I mean they redact his name if no charges were filed, so I assume that is the result of some privacy law to protect the falsely accused, though they will obviously follow through and generate a report on the complaintants claims.  I believe they have stated that they had no contact with OSU on these reports.

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ANOTHERMICHIGANLOSS's picture

• Ms. Smith has never been charged with an OVI or any other criminal offense.

Well neither has your ex-husband ever been charged with domestic abuse.  While she may be absolutely correct and she was never pulled over, this could be another spin of semantics that her lawyer uses to defend her, yet doesn't want her ex doing the same thing.

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Jackets203's picture

I dont understand why it would be Urban or OSU job to look into the situation further. It sounds like the police contacted OSU in 2015 and no charges were filed. Is OSU and urban supposed to say the police dont want to chargw but we are going to fire you anyway. Its like the media and people want OSU to say heck with police they suck at there job you look into and find out the truth. In that case why do we have police then, every company should have an investigation tean looking into there employees.

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cricejr's picture

I HATE the idea that The Ohio State University is caught up in a bitter family dispute like this.  It's crazy that an employer is being blamed for not defending this more than she seemingly defended themselves.

I bleed scarlet...literally

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ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

The police handled the situation.  They chose not to charge Zach Smith with anything (yes, I know not charged doesn't mean innocence).  I'm not sure what OSU is supposed to do with that.  How would that conversation even go?  They'd ask her if Zach hit her...she'd say yes...but then the police still never charged him with anything.  He'd say he didn't.  We're still at square one - he said/she said.

She has made concerted efforts to press charges of domestic abuse against her ex-husband.

Why weren't charges pressed then?  Is that out of her hands?  I know the police are supposed to arrest the suspect if they believe the suspect did it.  But the spouse can't press charges on her own if the police decide not to?

Ms. Smith has never been charged with an OVI or any other criminal offense.

I never saw where she was charged with OVI...the claim on that Bucknuts post was that she was pulled over 3 times on suspicion of OVI, but was let off because she claimed that Zach was chasing her.  I find it hard to believe that police would so easily let someone off the hook for OVI.  I'd believe that such a story would work if she was pulled over for speeding, but they take OVI more seriously.  I would think anyone could come up with a similar story and get away with OVI if that were the case.  

Class of 2010.

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sgehrich's picture

As I said above... burden of proof in the workplace is not the same as the burden in a court. OSU absolutely could take action if there is a reasonable assumption that he committed the acts alleged, regardless of whether charges are filed. I am seeing so many similar comments stating that OSU's hands were tied because charges were not filed. This simply isn't the case.

However, again as stated above, I don't think OSU would or should perform their own investigation, and I think the most likely outcome would be to keep ZS, but let him know that the next allegation would result in his termination. And I believe this is exactly the action that was taken.

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Buckeye Chuck's picture

 I find it hard to believe that police would so easily let someone off the hook for OVI.  I'd believe that such a story would work if she was pulled over for speeding, but they take OVI more seriously.  I would think anyone could come up with a similar story and get away with OVI if that were the case.  

I think what she is alleged to have told the police in those cases (who knows if any of it is true; I've been treating it all as gossip) is that if she appeared to be driving erratically, it was because she was worried about Zach. Actual OVI is going to be punished no matter what your excuse for it is.

Do the police even log "pulled over on suspicion of OVI" if there's no citation of any kind? That part of the Bucknuts post struck me as questionable. I can't believe everyone who gets pulled over on a fishing expedition, as happened to me once, gets their own write-up as if there was an actual ticket.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

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Buckabroad's picture

Ms. Leveridge said: "Cases such as this can be difficult to fully understand by those on the outside, who too often, shamefully cast judgment. "

It seems a strange irony that she appears to be asking the public to do precisely that in respect of Coach Meyer and OSU.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

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TigerSweat's picture

Yes. The entire statement is a plea to ask the public to not apply the same standard of guilt to Courtney as they would like the public to apply to Zach. The more I think about this, the more I'm convinced that it would go down as one of the biggest mistakes in sports history if a coach of Meyer's caliber is fired over this shit show.

Urban Meyer >Jim Harbaugh for ever and ever, Amen. 0

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Gmac44135's picture

Besides Courtney Smith, her lawyer and McMurphy, has there been any one else to speak on behalf of her? It is kind of strange that her own family is  staying silent especially since they were the ones who according to Courtney, told her not to press charges or Zach will get fired.  I want to know if that statement was true or not because what kind of family tells their own daughter to not press charges if she was getting abused? 

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Frimmel's picture

This is another aspect of this that becomes less cloudy if you doubt Ms. Smith's veracity. What if her family knew she was violent with her boyfriends before Zach Smith? What if they know she sometimes has trouble with the truth? Maybe they've seen she doesn't do well with the consequences of her decisions? If her family knows Zach Smith is not guilty of what she's accusing him of they might not want her to perjurer herself.

Maybe they're scared of Zach Smith themselves and gave such advice out of fear for their own safety. 

Okay, maybe that isn't "less cloudy."

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

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OSU_JD's picture

I have to tell you, the only way you can explain pretty much everything around this story is if you doubt her veracity. If you take her at her word, you need to believe everybody at OSU is a bad person, including all of their wives' and senior administrators.  It's almost a cartoonish version of a Big Org you see in a movie. 

And you have people claiming the stories (Urban's reporting requirements vs. Her Allegations) can be separated, but they really cannot. 

The only reason this is a story is because it's DV and no one is ever allowed to ever doubt an allegation by a "victim" when it comes to DV ever.  If you're willing to just blank that out of your mind, nothing in this story makes sense if you take her at her word.

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Frimmel's picture

One of the things that got me is her saying that Zach Smith said he would burn it all down and then he comes out and defends the university and Urban. The thing that lept to mind from that was "DARVO" or Deny Accuse Reverse Victim and Offender. See: http://shrink4men.com/2011/01/19/presto-change-o-darvo-deny-attack-and-r...

If Zach Smith doesn't fit the stereotype assumed at the heart of this, "Comes home drunk and knocks his wife around because he didn't like the meat loaf" the committee investigating this is walking on some thin ice. Suggesting in any way that a woman isn't always honest about a crime she is accusing a man of... Urban will find himself out of the pan and into the fire. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

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Gmac44135's picture

Great article, thank you for that!

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Frimmel's picture

You're welcome. I hope you're not in a position to be in need of the help there other than as just having the knowledge. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

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Gmac44135's picture

Not currently, but growing up and living with my parents, they had a toxic relationship similar to the Smith's.  They argued constantly and my mom would make up a bunch of lies as well.  I do not want to into too many details about it, but it sucked growing up in such an environment. I feel for the kids because i have been in their shoes and it is not fun.  I usually just lurked this site from time to time but after this story broke out, it made me want to make an account because it hit close to home.

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Frimmel's picture

Well that site could provide help in avoiding following in your parents's footsteps into a toxic relationship of your own. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

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jjones64's picture

OK, I've completely had enough of this circus - now that CS's attorney has made these statements:

"We believe the University must prioritize the safety and well-being of others above all else."
    So, it's the University's responsibility to oversee Courtney's well-being?  Good Lord - it's not Urban's or OSU's responsibility to maintain the "safety and well-being" of an employee's wife.  That's on HER.  Call that "victim shaming" all you like - I don't care.  She needs to be in charge of her OWN well-being.

"Ms. Smith is a victim of domestic violence. She has made concerted efforts to press charges of domestic abuse against her ex-husband."
    What "concerted efforts" - NO CHARGES WERE PRESSED!!   

I believe ZS was most likely physical with her - how much so, and whether it was truly "self-defense" is impossible to determine.  But file charges for crying out loud, geez!!  And don't seal court documents to PREVENT Urban and OSU from finding out.

Sorry folks, but this whole thing stinks - Urban and OSU are in no way responsible for her well-being.

Because I couldn't go for 3!

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Buckabroad's picture

Agree with this. How do you "make a concerted effort" to press charges. You either press charges or you don't. Very weak statement, especially for a lawyer.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

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bd2999's picture

I am not sure what that means either but I am not a lawyer. It is very possible to seek legal action though and try and pull evidence together. 

I know the press charges thing gets a bit confusing because of the initial reporting. As it made it seem like Courtney called off the police, which is not possible if they saw something or saw more direct evidence. At that point is happening one way or another. 

They have the legal right to do everything they are doing though. It is just a bit of a strange situation to try and drag the University down with them. 

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OSU_JD's picture

She's a domestic attorney. (full disclosure: I used to be as well).  She's over her head here. 

"Concerted" isn't even the right word.  It does not mean, "tried really hard".  It means, "in concert with others", and Courtney doesn't really have any help here. 

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aj99's picture

Thank you.  Words matter. 

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wigmon's picture

In some cases when there is evidence a crime is committed, police will take a report, then ask if you want to press charges.  Some times however, they will take your report, then say we don't really have a cause for arresting anyone, so they won't ask even if you want to press charges.  In other cases, like ones involving domestic disputes, if the woman starts a complaint and there is evidence of domestic violence, then it doesn't matter whether she wants to press charges or not, the police will arrest and charge. 

IT sounds like there was one case where she could have pressed charges in '09, but chose not to.  None of the other instances seem to have been presented with the opportunity to press charges and just reports were filed.

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Goby's picture

It's interesting that ESPN continues to write that UFM 'backtracked' his media day statement about knowing nothing about the 'incident'.  Whereas they have yet to type a single word about McLiar editing his 'report' multiple times.  From everything I've read UFM knew nothing about the felonious DV arrest originally reported by McFabricator which has since been down-edited to 'incident'.  It appears that UFM knew of the incident, but not the crime and the arrest because one was a fabrication.

You never lose to those pricks. Ever. Ever.

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tennesseebuckeye11's picture

What’s infuriating is that domestic issues between a man and his wife has somehow been turned into a trial of Ohio State and their head coach.  We have a legal system to handle these things, and that’s were it should be handled.  Once things are determined there, then everything surrounding these two individuals can be dealt with accordingly.  We have in our system professional investigators who are actually capable and committed to finding the truth.  They should be the ones whose findings and opinions we hold in the highest esteem.  Rather then a media that is out peddling  grand stories of sensationalism and offense, whose purpose isn’t truth-finding, rather it is creating a spectacle  that can be converted into profit.  Ohio State and Urban Meyer covering up domestic violence, that story sells.  Ohio State assistant coach placed on leave pending outcome of investigation into domestic violence charges, that gets buried on page six.

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Buckeyeinsc's picture

Can the Smith's just go away already? This is a university and a sports program, not Maury. Go hang your dirty laundry somewhere else.

Fighting the good fight in SEC country. "Our honor defend"

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bd2999's picture

I feel people are blaming her for all of this happening way more than they should be. The OVI/DUI thing never served a point other than attack her. It had no real bearing on what was happening here, even if it was true. 

I also do not think that OSU needs to contact her at all. It seems like she was a victim, OSU is investigating the handling by the University. They are not responsible for her legal case or bills. That is for her lawyer. 

I do believe they have tried to do everything they can to build a case against ZS from early on but have not been able to do so yet. If they had, this would have been over but these cases are hard to get going. Which is a shame. However, it is not any Universities job to act in the legal system or law enforcements stead. 

At best, the University should report information that is known to the police or the other way too so that things can be handled. 

We still do not know if proper protocol was covered or not and so on. Which is the point of the case. Not if ZS belongs in jail or not. 

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NHBuckeye's picture

Personally I think the OVI/DUI pullovers only got attention because she claimed that Zach was chasing her.  Which was proven to be false.  I just hope that once Urban is cleared, all of this stuff between Zach and Courtney stays off of 11W and is handled in the courts or anywhere else but here.   They both seem like people that I don't want to be reading about.   

Fields of Dreams

 

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bd2999's picture

Oh, I want it to be out now. It has brought out a negative side that was never there before. There is a fair bit about the woman that does not matter or have a place in the discussion or debate. Taring her down, pointing out any legal problems or whatever really does not have much impact on if she was actually abused or more importantly on what Meyer did in response to accusations.

It just starts going into dark places. And many of the people making the claims will gloss over ZS inconsistancies and apparent lies too. I would rather just not touch it with a ten meter cattle prod and stick to Meyer's issues.

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Facemeat2's picture

He’s DUIs absolutely have something to do with this and it’s not to “attack” her. Zach Smith has not been arrested or convicted and in the interest of a fair trial, his accuser must face questions, especially pertaining to character issues as they arise. 

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bd2999's picture

So, I am confused. You are mixing things up here.

Are you trying to defend Zach Smith or Urban Meyer. Because the later does not require anything about character at all. It is about how Meyer handled the situation. And the University.

The case you are trying to make is for a trial with Smith and his ex-wife. Which is not really something we should be caring much about really. That can sort itself out in the legal system.

For the most part, I have seen people bring it up as a way to discredit her. As if doing so would help Meyer. It does not at all help Meyer to do that. It makes it look like trying to tear down somebody was a victim. Even then, if he was chasing her, the DUI would be part of the total story, it would not be the story. Nor would it mean she was not being abused.

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Mantis's picture

A pathetic attempt to put them back in the limelight.  Your 15 minutes of fame is over. Move on. 

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jpfbucks01's picture

I am not saying OSU is required to do a police level investigation into any complaints or potential crimes.

However, similar to when companies do background checks when they hire employees, i think any reasonable organization would want to do at least the following when made aware of a possible crime committed by a high profile employee.

1) contact the police if it has not already been done

2) contact the organizations legal counsel to insure you have no liability in the matter

3) question said employee about the issue

4) potentially question the victim if possible to get their side of the story

5) document, document, document, so that there is an obvious paper trail and if questioned the organization can show their protocol in writing, and the steps they took

6) if there is a obvious follow up that may need done from these above steps, get legal counsel to handle it from there

Based on what they hear/find from the above steps, even if the law enforcement does not proceed with a trial or charges, you may still have grounds for termination. If so make your decision on course of action, and again document, document document

Its called "protect the brand" and anyone with a high profile in an organization needs to have this in mind at all times.

Zach certainly fit the bill as "high profile", He was publicly known by people at large, spoke in the press as a representative of the university, and was paid a significant amount to represent the organization to prospective student athletes.

His case is similar to a large brokerage who has a VP accused of fraud in the purchase of his home. Even if the prosecutor does not think they have enough to convict this person (ie can I convince 12 people of his guilt without reasonable doubt a fairly high threshold) you can still say this person is guilty based on the preponderance of the evidence, ie the difference between a  criminal trial threshold and a civil trial

To my mind i just want to know what OSU did or didnt do back in 2015 as an organization and if they followed the above basic steps of protecting the brand.

My guess is they did not and why they had to have an investigation because they didn't "document, document, document"

Example: I am inclined to believe Urban did tell some one by following what was AT THAT TIME proper protocol, (otherwise he is an idiot for saying he did on twitter), however what is there available to document that fact?

Did he simply walk over to Doug Archie's office and say, Doug we may have an issue with Zach you might want to look into, something about DV? If Doug made no notes or there is no documentation of them meeting, then what is there to prove you did it.

This kind of lack of forethought happens all the time in large organizations and what can sometimes lead them to where we are today. ( i have been a consultant to many large organizations for over 20 years and I see this thing happen all the time.)

If The policy was very clear with obvious steps that need taken, and Urban emailed person x,y and z with the allegation, and the those people's respective required actions are spelled out and documented, then OSU should have easily been able to produce said documents and CYA'd themselves, my guess is they did not do this and hence why an outside investigation is required

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Danzkjold's picture

Is it possible that the investigation has yet to reach its conclusion and they still could very well contact her? This seems like a statement made by a sniveling attention seeking brat more than it does a concerned party. 

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Buckeyeneer's picture

The funny thing is, with all the OVI/DUI accusations against Courtney (I have no idea if they are true) I was told that Zach was pulled over for a DUI a few years ago and was taken home without charges filed. I damn near bit through my tongue when Zach's twitter war was going on with the Nebraska WR coach who got a DUI, but stayed silent because, again, Courtney was a stay-at-home mom and there was always great fear about Zach's lifestyle costing him his job. 

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

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Sanantonefan's picture

Some interesting and sometimes hot takes on this subject as usual. Personally, I think I'll just wait for the investigation to end and see if we get any facts. Until then (and probably after) are you ready for some football?!?!?!.!

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

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MichiBuck12's picture

If the police were investigating, why would the school contact her? Who is more qualified to investigate domestic violence, police officers or college athletic directors? If the police are involved what is the school even supposed to do?

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cmented36's picture

Am I the only one that after reading/listening to both sides this sounds more or less like a bad divorce than anything? Like this is literally he said she said at this point. The Police were never able to find evidence to press charges (Not Courtney's decision in Ohio) let alone convict him. I also keep hearing the narrative that Smith beat her, yet I don't recall her or McMurphy claiming this either. Definitely weren't any photos of being struck. Now could she have been knocked into something I'm sure, but for people do just hear Domestic Violence and assume he was beating her is asinine. Do I think ZS is innocent just because the police couldn't find anything? No, but he's been fired and they're already divorced, if there's not enough to press charges then the legal system has been exhausted in the matter. The only outcome that Urban could have changed would be that ZS is fired earlier, as again...the police didn't find enough to press charges. How would this have magically protected her in anyway? If anything it would give him a shit load of free time and more motive to be pissed off. This is why it's incredibly ridiculous that dude beats wife, dude's boss gets fired. The ethical and morality issue here is with the abuser, if the authorities were already contacted and investigating WHAT MORE COULD OSU HAVE EVEN DONE? Are we supposed to assume the University has more legal authority to protect her than the police...Police who contacted OSU and informed them of the investigation? Accusations don't always = guilt. See example: Foster, Reuben, hard for OSU to act off of them when the police investigation came up with nothing. 

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GIBS_STI's picture

I don’t understand how she couldn’t press charges? In her video she was asked; “what happened after the 2015 incident, why weren’t charges pressed?” She said “I don’t know” this is what’s keeping this train moving, nobody knows why he wasn’t charged or fired. 

Fortune favors the bold.

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OSU_JD's picture

She said that? Because IIRC the police have said she refused to cooperate. 

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GIBS_STI's picture

She was in that interview and said it. She seemed to pass the issue off to someone else to handle the charges, and seemed confused as to why nothing happened. 

Fortune favors the bold.

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Buckbuster's picture

All I'm going to say is the police were called nine times I believe. The first being in 09 in which she dropped the charges. No matter who asked her to do what ultimately she chose to drop the charges herself. Now the last seven calls the police investigated and chose to do nothing. Now that's more then likely several different officers investigating seven different calls and none and i repeat none chose to arrest or charge ZS with nothing.{ So when Urban said there was no issue in 2015 he was simply saying what the cops had already decided. No evidence no issue} Now on the ninth and final call she asked for a restraining order against ZS and as protocol one was issued. This was the straw that finally broke ZS back. Enough was enough weather it was true or not. Termination was ordered. Now ZS has not even went to court over the restraining order yet. A judge will decide if there is even enough evidence to continue with one. Wouldn't a lot of people have egg on there face if the judge throws out the restraining order for lack of evidence?? I'm not saying who's right or wrong in ZS marriage but what I'm am saying is there has been a lot of law enforcement eyes on it on several different occasions over several years and they chose to do nothing. Why would Urban Meyers be held accountable for abuse when the cops couldn't find any? Why isn't ESPN down at the police station asking the chief of police why they chose to do nothing on seven different phone calls? Isn't their job to investigate and protect ? Probably because they wouldn't like the answer from the chief. We couldn't find any evidence to support her claims. That wouldn't be such a great story. On the last note I'll leave you with is the reporter that broke this story said CS had folders after folders of evidence all the way back to 09. Screen shot pics of text after text and pics of herself after the abuse. He said it would take years to accumulate all the evidence she had and that's why he believed her story. Who does that? Who keeps text messages for nine years? She had some kind of plan and I for one am not sure what it is, but I think before it's all over we will find out. JMO

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My buck's picture

I haven’t commented since I lost my mind last week on these boards. But well said!!!

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Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

Now on the ninth and final call she asked for a restraining order against ZS and as protocol one was issued. This was the straw that finally broke ZS back. 

Factually untrue.  ZS was fired because he was ARRESTED for criminal trespassing.  He wasn't arrested at the scene either.  he had previously been warned not to trespass so when investigated, the Powell PD found enough evidence to issue an arrest warrant for trespassing.  When tOSU found out, he was fired.  

COMJECTURE:  That firing leads me to believe he was "put on a short leash" as others have termed it.  That despite never being charged, the total distraction of it always being something with Zac was enough to give him a warning.

jebes Michigana

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Buckeyeneer's picture

This boils me because from what I was told by a friend of Mrs. Smith, both Meyers met with Courtney at least once privately to discuss the matter and asked her for proof of abuse to fire Zach and she chose not to share because she needed him to keep his job. Being that I was told this while they were going through their divorce and before this circus began, I have no reason to doubt that it is true.

I believe that she was abused and nobody deserves that, but I greatly dislike her throwing people under the bus that tried to help her. 

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

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ANOTHERMICHIGANLOSS's picture

We can only hope that this is true.  If it is, it would come out in the OSU investigation and be released for everyone to see.  

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GIBS_STI's picture

I’m with you. She even said in the interview that Urban talked to her and asked how things were, albeit after the 15 natty. She said she didn’t feel it was the right time to inform Urban... he recently said he knew about it. Why would he ask if everything was ok if he didn’t know. The water is definitely muddy at this point. 

Fortune favors the bold.

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wigmon's picture

He's wrong that the university should have reached out to her and he knows it.

He has a valid point about blaming the accuser.  No one should be doing that at this point.  But I also think the same tact should be taken against Zach.  Since police didn't arrest or charge him (other than the 2009 incident where Courtney chose to drop them), we pretty much have a he said/she said situation.  After early 2015, it became law in OH that police must arrest someone accused of DV if evidence of said claim exists.  This does beg another question.  IF Courtney has continuously put forth charges of domestic violence, then what evidence did she provide and why didn't police arrest Zach?  Why does the lawyer seem to focus on OSU and not the Powell police department in this statement?

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AltaBuck's picture

To answer your last question, the Powell PD does not have a $4.2B endowment.

“That’s the way you respect a rivalry. Then you outwork them and then you kick that ass like it’s never been kicked before” - Urban F Meyer

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mooboy's picture

"concerted efforts"  reading the Powell police reports,   any  official charges would come from their prosecuting attorney, WHEN they would have enough evidence to charge which being since 2015 must not be much ,and having such issues I still wonder why her family has not been involved helping her,, I know if my daughter had issues  it would only be once before I came in . Not saying Zach is a   good  husband or defending him  buuuuuuutt  it still takes two to tango  , . Really she expected a college of thousands of kids they watch over to step into that mess. That attorney  message is so lame.

Jlr

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gobucks1966's picture

How old are their kids and wonder if they need to be asked questions 

Denny

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Stinson's picture
too young. 

[mod edit: while Zach is free to post pictures of his kids on his own Twitter account, it's best that we keep them off 11W. Thanks]

(This is Zach's twitter avi)

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." -Wayne Woodrow Hayes

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Stinson's picture

touché

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." -Wayne Woodrow Hayes

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ollie81's picture

OSU doesn't need to contact her directly, just have her send text messages to the spouses of the investigators.  That should work just fine... right?  Right?

"Because I couldn't go for three."

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I'm Ron Burgundy's picture

Lead article and headline on ESPN CFB is "OSU never contacted Courtney Smith".  Interested they immediately run with this statement and use inciteful language throughout the article, but yet did not at all report the Powell PD statement and side of the story yesterday or whenever that was.

I for the life of me cannot think any rational person who stops and thinks about the situation, even making the assumption C Smith's allegations are 100% true, that OSU would have contacted her in any way.  Had they, it would be immediately spun as interference.  They very likely acted appropriately and went through Powell PD who (right or wrong TBD) said there was nothing to see here.

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Vabuck213's picture

This whole thing is just a battle in the court of public opinion which is the worst way to sort something like this out. I wish both sides would just shut up and let the investigators do their job, sort through everything and then once everything is done (investigation, court decisions etc.) then get the media involved. I get that it is all a big deal but at this point its tiresome hearing both sides go back and forth without any resolution. I just want to hear about preseason football stuff but might have to avoid it all til this has been resolved. Vote with the dollar aka page views and all right? 

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Johnny Ginter's picture

the reason why ohio state would've contacted courtney would be to complete their own internal investigation into zach smith. her attorney is implying that ohio state didn't do their due diligence when it comes to zach. if you're saying "but it's a bad look for a university to talk to the wife of a high profile coach about said coach's potential abuse," you're right, depending on who is doing the internal investigation.

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

Johnny, you don't seriously believe that tOSU should have contacted her, do you?

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gr8bucks's picture

That's when you open yourself up to liability, and there is a lot of zeroes in osu bank accounts. They would never open themselves up to that kind of liability. Never

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wigmon's picture

I see no evidence that there is any reason the university was required by law to contacted CS.  Seems pretty clear Title IX clearly doesn't apply and probably why she never contacted the university and always went to police.  The university might have some internal policy about how to conduct an investigation (no idea what those guidelines are), but there wouldn't be any legal ramifications if they only veered from internal policy.  Not following internal policy could get someone fired, but she has no standing to sue on an internal policy that did not govern her.

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osu_killernuts's picture

If Courtney's side of the story is true (with the abuse as seen in text and pictures), then shame on the police for not thoroughly investigating the situation to make the necessary arrest for domestic abuse/violence.

Based on the current situation though, since there were no arrests previously made in 2015 or earlier, how is an institution or any individuals being held accountable for what transpired due to zero arrests being made? I can only ask for healing and mercy on those who have suffered domestic abuse/violence.

This case just seems all to ironic to come to light after Zach was fired, aka the cash flow comes to a halt. This whole thing is just ugly.....I AM SOOOOOO READY FOR FOOTBALL TO START!!!

No such thing as a bad win

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OldTownBuckNut's picture

What obligation is the university under to contact her for whatever reasons? And I'm sorry, but the other police reports make her sound absolutely cra cra. Thinking a 73 year old Powell resident was "following her?" Speeding and then blaming it on a fight with Zach? Entrapping him into dropping off their kid and then taking pictures of his car? Calling THE DAY AFTER (probably hungover) to report an incident of "domestic violence" because her cellphone was broken (probably dropped and the screen cracked)? I mean, c'mon. Do these instances really sound like they rise to the level of credible instances of DV? Hell no. Hell. no. I had a college friend who was beaten to death (while pregnant) with a baseball bat by another "friend." DV is NOTHING to play around with either in reporting or in legal treatment. This IS NOT "DV," THIS is "domestic disturbance." These two nutballs had a toxic relationship, nothing more. Courtney and her slip and fall lawyer ARE JUST LOOKING FOR A PAYDAY. At least Zach appears to be apologetic. Does nobody care about his story? HE had to sleep at the OSU facility on numerous occasions because he was driven from his home. WHO CARES? I mean, MEN are victims of DV TOO! Ask the guy in Cleveland who was beaten to death by his wife LAST WEEK. C'mon. 

Round on the ends and "HI" in the middle. O-HI-O.

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CLEbuckNUT's picture

I wonder if, during any of their obvious alcohol-induced domestic incidents, Courtney ever put her hands on Zach? Hmm

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gobucks5413's picture

Not a slam on 11W sharing something already out there... but this is an indictment of untrustworthy media today. We know nothing and we wont know anything until this investigation is done, and we still wont know much.

All we know is the Smith's dont appear to be the greatest people, and at the least had major marital issues. No one was arrested or charged or tried for anything. What is a public employer supposed to do besides let the investigation play out?

I believe that Zach smith probably (key word) was abusive in some way. Fortunately in America, probably doesnt get it done (unfortunately sometimes). If Urban takes this insane stance in 2015, and just up and fires zach because of accusations, and then it comes to light that probably was wrong, the university has a lawful termination lawsuit, and potentially a defamation lawsuit that would have to be settled for a heavy chunk of change. (This might still happen! And if ZS didnt in fact hit his wife- I'd expect a suit to come down the tracks as is)

I so wish Urban wouldve just taken the bullet at media days and just said "we erred in 2015, and did the best we could to correct it now, I can't comment further than that" this would've never happened. Instead we got an unemployed "journalist" with a chip on his shoulder who stirred up this mostly empty Hornets nest.

Hopefully this resolves soon. Need to move forward one way or the other. Obviously, there is no coach I'd rather have than Urban...but I feel confident that Day would be a great coach and make a very strong case to be our head coach going forward if given the opportunity

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Nick's picture

I would never admit liable or an error relating to a legal issue. His press person should have known questions like this would happen and just say, we are here to talk about our football team and the upcoming season, and we wont comment on any questions relating to recent personnel decisions or allegations.

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straha's picture

Have not read the whole thread yet, but logged in because I just had to vocalize one of the most glaring thing I have seen in a long time...shaking my damned head at this...

• Ms. Smith is a victim of domestic violence. She has made concerted efforts to press charges of domestic abuse against her ex-husband.

• Ms. Smith has never been charged with an OVI or any other criminal offense.

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Yoda888's picture

if Tressel was fired for lying to the NCAA, regardless of the lie (players trading their personal property in exchange for tattoos; nothing in this world could be more legal and moral than barter under free will), then the current coach will certainly be fired for something that is far far more serious, at least from a social and moral standpoint.  Sometimes zero tolerance is a double edged sword.   Extremism only ends badly for all parties.

But as many people here have said many times before on various posts over the years, the coach is loyal to a fault for certain people, and it will come back to bite him.  well, he’s got a pit bull on him now.  

Yoda888

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Yoda888's picture

if Tressel was fired for lying to the NCAA, regardless of the lie (players trading their personal property in exchange for tattoos; nothing in this world could be more legal and moral than barter under free will), then the current coach will certainly be fired for something that is far far more serious, at least from a social and moral standpoint.  Sometimes zero tolerance is a double edged sword.   Extremism only ends badly for all parties.

But as many people here have said many times before on various posts over the years, the coach is loyal to a fault for certain people, and it will come back to bite him.  well, he’s got a pit bull on him now.  

Yoda888

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Buckifan4Life's picture

Tressel's mistake was believed to be the cover up of an NCAA violation. I'll never forget Tressel nodding his head when asked in a press conference if he had forwarded what he knew and Gene Smith abruptly intervening and not letting Tressel answer the question. I think Tressel fell on the sword for Gene Smith and the University, but only they know that. Anyway, it appears UM hasn't committed or tried to cover up an NCAA violation. He lied to a reporter. Now is that considered a cover up? Probably not if he in fact passed the info that he knew up the proper channels. Coaches lie to the media about player injury issues with respect to the next game quite frequently. The media is not a sacred entity.

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Shockersmad's picture

I mean what does she or media expect from OSU. I'm sorry, but the thing is if they found out series truths they would have just fired the guy. Where does that get her or him. The situation would have been worst especially if the guy was abusing her. I think this whole statment is stupid. Let be clear I'm not victim shaming but I truly believe it's something going from this story like her behavior in all this. I've seen a lot of domestic cases and everyone of those dude went to jail. Even when they didn't do a thing. If OSU did investigate and came back with nothing because the victim sealed stuff or didn't go directly to the University then why is this a subject. Give Urba his job back man

Shockersmad

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Sportpaco's picture

Attorney setting the stage for a lawsuit against the deep pockets... OSU.

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blu.fan's picture

She has made concerted efforts to press charges of domestic abuse against her ex-husband.

I would like to hear more on this. If she made "concerted efforts," why were no charges ever pressed and a matter of record? I vaguely recall reading that Earle Bruce and a lawyer pressured her not to press charges back in 2009. That in itself is troubling. What I'd like to know is if she subsequently again wanted to press charges, and was again pressured not to do so. If that is the case, who persuaded her not to press charges, and how and why?

I have read a number of comments suggesting that because she did not press charges, there was no domestic abuse, or unlikely domestic abuse. I gather that in society at large, there is much more abuse than the number of times charges are filed.

EDIT:  I am interested in the questions about DV. I still hold that Meyer will be exonerated and continue as coach. However, it is a different question to ask what responsibility a coach or AD has regarding the personal lives of their staff. Without going into great detail, I am in a position where I have a dozen staff under me. To a significant degree, their personal lives affect their employment. I am a mandated reporter, and their choices are important. Like myself, I could easily believe that Meyer would have a higher level of responsibility for staff and students than the typical employer.

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NoMad Buck's picture

He may keep his job  but I doubt he will be exonerated, particularly in the court of public opinion. 

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wigmon's picture

Well, that is a fair question (and yes, I think its clear she made an effort to get Zach charged).  I only see two relatively reasonable answers.  Police conspired to with Zach to keep him out of trouble and ignored evidence.  Understand that Ohio law requires that police make an arrest on any domestic violence claim even if the victim decides after making the call not to press charges.  The caveat of course is that there has to be some physical evidence (or corroborated eye witness) to the claim.  Given that police arrested and charged Zach for dropping off their son at her house instead of a pre-determined meeting place when she failed to show up, it doesn't seem likely that they were trying to protect him, but I guess thats up for debate. 

The second likely possibility is that there just wasn't any physical evidence to back the claims she was making in her complaints.  Even in the '09 arrest which has the harshest words towards Zachs actions, the only physical evidence listed by police in the report is a stretched t-shirt.  The claim was being thrown into a wall while fighting him and there is no evidence cited of her having bruises, bumps, cuts, damaged wall, broken vases, etc.  Just a stretched shirt.  I don't want to be that guy that is blaming the woman, but unless police are covering for a wife beater, it seems her claims are much more extraordinary than the actual evidence shows.

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AC1972's picture

That, to me, is the key quote in her statement.  If she has made concerted efforts to press charges, how come he hasn't been charged?  a "concerted effort" would be something well planed, coordinated, and carried out. So what happened?  Nothing to see here or did someone talk her out of it?

Would love to hear why all the concerted efforts all apparently failed.

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tcm1968's picture

This is why so many juries have a hard time convicting people. People tend to stray so far off what they are supposed to be looking at. This is about 2015. The mindset of Urban, Shelley, Gene, OSU etc and hearing that one of their coaches might be stalking, breaking the law, abusing his then current wife. NONE of the stuff with the media, the DUIs, potential lies, speeding tickets etc etc was even known at the time and people are building their case for/against 2015 with all that information. That's not how it works.

In 2015 it's reported to Urban from someone that a coach of his is in legal trouble and possibly involved in some sort of DV again.. and Urban says he did what he was supposed to do. But then what happened? No one from the school contacted her? Why on earth not? How about from the very basic human element to make sure if she was ok? How about from a legal standpoint so you know 3 years later it doesn't come back and bite you. For sure we only have her side in this but phones can be tracked. Can find out in a matter of minutes if anyone ever called her.

If no one truly called her it just adds another layer to this that just doesn't look good... Again from the human standpoint it appears OSU failed and more on point it could be another case where they failed to protect the students and OSU employees that worked in and around Zach on Campus.. They have an obligation to verify her story ( not to meddle in their relationship but to protect players, students and anyone associated with Zach on and off campus at OSU sponsored events)... 

And someone is going to ask Urban the question and I'd love to know the answer.. in 2009 both him and Shelly counseled the Smiths.. more allegations come up in 2015 and he doesn't even contact her? What not:?

We are heading to some sort of cover up or the compliance department REALLY dropped the ball on this and bungled the whole thing... neither of those things are good for my University...

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ANOTHERMICHIGANLOSS's picture

So it's all good that her family not only knew about the alleged abuse, but told her not to press charges?  It's ok that the police had been involved multiple times but didn't press charges?  But it's her soon to be ex-husbands employers fault that this wasn't brought to light?  If that is the case, this is one twisted world we live in.  

Police--no action, check.
Alleged victims family--no action, need the money, check.
Alleged victim refused to press charges--need the money, check.
BUT MY EX-HUSBAND'S BOSS AND HIS BOSSES DIDN'T CONTACT ME!!!  IT'S A CONSPIRACY AND A COVERUP!

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aabucks1996's picture

You are assuming that the national media care about these facts

You win with people

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ANOTHERMICHIGANLOSS's picture

All I hear from the national media is "this is more than football, OSU should be ashamed".  My response is, you are exactly right it's not about football, but the media is the one that made it about football by bringing OSU and Meyer into the mix.  Everyone close to the situation....family, friends, etc....they have all escaped responsibility for sitting idly by as this supposedly went on for 6 years.  To the point that some of them were even enabling it to continue by telling her to keep quiet.  The more I think about this whole situation, the more it makes me sick and I can't help but think this has been about money from the start.  

Not one sentence has been put on a website stating anything about her role, her family's role, or anyone else close to her for that matter, and their responsibility for this continuing for 6 years.  At this point, I don't even care what the OSU investigation finds.  This is a societal problem that has been created by victims not standing strong and making a statement, rather them going after whoever has the deepest pockets so they can benefit from the situation.

You want to know what would make me change my mind completely?  If Courtney Smith went on air (sans McMurphy being present) and said, "I am doing this for myself, and all other women who have had to endure the mental and physical pain of living in a world of abuse.  I am standing up for them.  I will not be using this as a platform to file a lawsuit to get me a single dime".  Then and only then will I believe she has the "speaking out against domestic violence" moniker rightfully attached to her name.

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Frimmel's picture

That's one of the things that gets me about all this. From the way I perceive the situation it is a chance to have a far more honest conversation about domestic violence than we've been having. But that conversation leads to accountability for both men and women. It will go over about the same way telling women getting blackout drunk at frat parties isn't in their best interests goes over. Protecting women from themselves will continue to fall on men. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

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ANOTHERMICHIGANLOSS's picture

I think this might be taking a step back to 1926 regarding men needing to protect women from themselves.  That wasn't the purpose of my post.  More about everyone involved taking some personal responsibility in the matter rather than sitting and watching OSU and Meyer being dragged into the role of a villain.  For example, if I'm her dad, I'm kicking my own ass for being such a jerk that I let my daughter continue to be abused all so she could keep her lifestyle instead of going after Smith in the first place.  Then I'm going to kick my own ass again for watching my daughter try to take down people that should have not been involved in the matter, knowing full well that I of all people should have been the one to step in, yet I'm getting off completely clean.  

In fact, someone should kick Courtney Smith's dads ass.

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Shockersmad's picture

Man you are spot on. Where is her family and why it's not about them first. I want to try to understand how it's a football coach responsibility to police grown people that's married. My employer fired me because of accusations in a divorce. I would sue the hell outta them.

Shockersmad

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bucksandsurfing's picture

Best post seen all day. Sums it perfectly.

Somehow Zach Smith's employer is at fault for all this. This logic is absolutely bat shit crazy.

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AC1972's picture

They have an obligation to verify her story

Okay, so speaking with the police and official channels does not count towards verifying her story?  When OSU starts taking on the role of the police and attorneys, it puts that much more liability on them. 

more allegations come up in 2015 and he doesn't even contact her? 

I actually read (per Courtney Interview) that Urban Meyer did ask her how things were going (after the Championship), and she said "Okay".  Gave her an opening to discuss but she deflected.  Not in an official capacity, but it's not like Urban was uninterested in seeing how she was.  I'm sure it would be difficult for her to talk to her husband's boss about what was going on, but I don't think we can say that Urban never tried. 

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shiloh's picture

Re: the statement ~ CS needs a better lawyer!

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

'nuf said!

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. ~ Mark Twain

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ncinthenext3's picture

Remind me to thank that attorney for telling us absolutely nothing.  Oh wait.  I just did. 

Nice free pub from ESPN though.  Way to get your name out there, baby.

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Facemeat2's picture

It’s alarming how few people have read the facts of this story yet still have made up their mind. Stop being lazy and educate yourself.

This is directed at no one in particular, but if you think I’m talking about you, you’re probably correct 

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terryin20878's picture

"She has made concerted efforts to press charges of domestic abuse against her ex-husband."

I assume the attorney means, "...short of taking legal action".  If she had, it would be on record.  If that were the case, either Meyer would have fired Smith outright shortly after charges were filed, or Meyer would have been fired by now.

"While The Ohio State University has never contacted Ms. Smith..." - that kinda looks like a back-handed comment.

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Neilwoodgables's picture

I love this juxta position

"She has made concerted efforts to press charges of domestic abuse against her ex-husband"   

and 

"Ms. Smith has never been charged with an OVI or any other criminal offense"

I Hate Michigan.

 

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dc215833's picture

I still find it off that her nor her attorney are concerned about pursuing the police department or courts to do an investigation. Say Urban gets fired over it, then what? is that it? what's the end game here? shouldn't it be to pursue a case against Zach Smith himself? Seems the main focus here is geared the wrong way.

D

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buckeyeupnorth's picture

" Blaming the victim" would be saying that Courtney deserved being physically assaulted. or that she provoked it, etc. No one is doing that. Instead, people are rightly questioning if she is actually a victim when there is no evidence available to corroborate her accusations. Particularly when her accusations have now crossed from being directed at the individual who is the only possible person to have assaulted her, to new accusations of OSU somehow being responsible for any continuance of assault by maintaining employment of this individual. 

The question no one seems to ask. 

How would firing Zach Smith for an accusation of domestic assault levied during a divorce proceeding " provide her with safety and well being"? 

I mentioned this is a prior thread last week. Summit County in Ohio has created a program for domestic violence offenders to enter instead of jail that has a 75% success rate of preventing recurrence of violence. It consists of education, alcohol/drug abuse treatment, etc. What courts and advocates are finding is that laws that mandate arrests, jail time, loss of child visitation, etc (in the mode of make em pay dearly justice) discourages victims from reporting assault. A woman knows that he is going to jail, is going to lose his job, his drivers license, lose other licenses such as contractors, etc. resulting in loss of child support payments or family financial support, etc. and she is going to be reluctant to call the cops. If she's lucky he doesn't do it again. If not, and it escalates, she ends up severely injured or dead. 

Well intentioned laws based off of emotional mob cries for justice don't typically work out well, and often have unintended consequences.

And that is where I believe, OSU finds itself.  At what point is it counterproductive to everyone involved to fire someone for an issue that is occurring away from work? And that issue has been investigated by those most capable of non bias investigation , the police and the prosecuting atty's office, and found to not warrant charges because of lack of evidence. How does an employer determine that an employee has broken the law, at the level considered fireable, when the police cannot determine he has?

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buckeyewalt's picture

I think that the attorney knows darn well that and DV complaint is handled by the police which in Ohio is the law. If there was significant evidence or any evidence of DV, Zach would have been charged and UM probably would have fired him then. Ohio State has no obligation or authority to investigate any DV complaints, only the outcomes.

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BucksHave7's picture

So 100% revenge and 0% money was the Motive for Courtney Smith's taped interview? 

BucksHave7

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Stinson's picture

I don't see why this matters. 

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." -Wayne Woodrow Hayes

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BucksHave7's picture

Given that she is currently safe. Maybe not to you, but it will to her  and her kids financial being.

BucksHave7

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BucksHave7's picture

Another question. Why didnt her attorney or her reach out to Urban or tOSU when the abuse was going on?  

BucksHave7

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danmas's picture

She sent photos to Shelley Meyer AFTER she got a lawyer and separated from Zach.  There was no further abuse "going on."  

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BucksHave7's picture

Were you copied on those?  You mean the Photos from 2010?  

BucksHave7

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RBloodworth's picture

You mean the "photos from 2010" that were taken with an iPhone that didn't exist until 2013?  Those photos?

Good God, I can't believe that this crap still has legs...

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BucksHave7's picture

Thats a great point.  Thank you.

BucksHave7

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Nick's picture

Ohio State is not a law enforcement agency, it would be inappropriate in my opinion for someone to call or go there to investigate. That is what the police is for. It would look bad for the school to be talking to someone that might be a victim of a crime committed by one of their subordinates. People would question why they did this and if they were pressuring her not to press charges etc. Investigations into criminal matters are for the police to do. OSU did the right thing and relied on the police to do their job and then make a decision based off the information they were given by the police.

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irishfury's picture

Why is no one asking why did Julia Leveridge contact Brett McMurphy and have him release this statement?  Smells like a money move.  I think she was trying to get custody of the kids with her little entrapment move and cost her self her only source of income when she cost Zach his job.

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Nikkibucksfan's picture

This shows just how desperate Zack Smith is. Deny something that is obviously true is just stupid. Apologize for how you hurt your children . They will have these hurtful memories the rest of their lives

shamful. .

Nikki emmerson

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Icouldnotgofor3's picture

#freereuben....

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

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BucksHave7's picture

She said Ms Smith never charged w OVI.   However, she was pulled over 3X for it and let off each time because of who her husband was.   

And attorneys wonder why we hate them?

BucksHave7

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Buckeyeguy5555's picture

no kidding, apparently the police department wanted to protect Zack and his family because he coaches at OSU but not JT Barrett when he got his DUI? 

Buckeyeguy5555

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GlenBuck's picture

Why on earth would the University contact her and risk interfering with a police investigation?  Makes no sense to expect that.

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JAGSTYLE's picture

Her attorney is obviously setting the stage for a lawsuit against the University.  However, contacting Courtney Smith is called tampering.  IMHO Oh Law is the defense.  And after reading these comments, it's safe to say a "jury of her peers" has already spoken.  

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Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Here is how it works:

IF Title IX is applicable to this matter (a huge IF), then (and only then) UFM had a mandatory legal duty to report pursuant to the following:

(1) the provisions of Title IX;

(2) the OSU Sexual Misconduct Policy adopted as a result of the compliance review of OSU conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR Docket #15-10-6002) and resolved by Resolution Agreement executed on September 8, 2014; and

(3) the terms of the new clause, 4.1 (e), contained within his March/April of 2018 contract extension.

IF Title IX is applicable, AND the incident must be reported, it must be reported as mandated by the law, the policy and the contract terms. Title IX requires reporting to the Title IX Coordinator (or a deputy Title IX coordinator). The Sexual Misconduct Policy requires reporting cases of sexual misconduct committed by an employee to the deputy Title IX coordinator in the OSU Office of Human Resources. Paragraph 6 of the 2018 employment contract extension references Paragraph 4.1 of the original contract and inserts a new subparagraph therein, Paragraph 4.1 (e), which requires Coach Meyer to report all violations of the OSU Sexual Misconduct Policy known by him to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics, and if that individual is unavailable, then to the university Title IX Coordinator.

IF Title IX is applicable and the incident was reported, then the university MUST investigate. Title IX absolutely requires this. See, generally, the examples of significant guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, to which I linked in my previous post. See also, the OSU Sexual Misconduct Policy and the new Paragraph 4.1 (e) contained in the 2018 employment contract extension.

But that should all be moot since Title IX is inapplicable.

In my earlier post explaining why, in my legal opinion, Title IX was inapplicable, I omitted a federal district court opinion that is directly on point. I omitted it because I could not find it online and did not want to link to Lexis or PACER, since many do not have a Lexis or PACER account. The case is Fine v. Tumpkin, et al., and you can find it free here.

PLEASE NOTE: This case is a federal trial court decision, is not from the Southern District Court of Ohio, and is not from any other court sitting in the 6th Circuit. The importance of all this is that even though the cited case is factually on point, it is not binding on the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, which is the district where OSU is located. Moreover, the Colorado District Court Judge was required to decide the case on federal and state law grounds, so any portion of the decision based on Colorado State law can have no precedential effect.

Notwithstanding that the cited case lacks the hallmarks necessary to serve as binding precedent here, it could constitute what we call persuasive authority. Persuasive authority is the term for opinions from other jurisdictions, even including some well-reasoned trial court opinions which usually are not considered to have much if any precedential value anywhere, which consider the issues and fact pattern (or substantially similar fact-pattern) of the case being decided by the later court in another jurisdiction. This is especially true where the trial court opinion from another jurisdiction is the only case considering the same or substantially similar fact pattern.

Finally, the decision to dismiss all the claims of the plaintiff (the spouse of former University of Colorado assistant football coach Joseph Tumpkin) against the defendants, Tumpkin and University of Colorado head football coach Mike MacIntyre, Athletic Director Rick George, Chancellor Philip DiStefano and President Bruce Benson, did not specifically mention Title IX, but rather held simply, in dismissing the negligence count of the complaint based upon the allegation of a breach of an unspecified statutory duty, that the defendants "had no statutory duty to report Plaintiff’s allegations."  Fine, at p. 9.

For the foregoing reasons, this case, while directly on point factually, has some persuasive value, albeit very limited.

Bobbing for french fries.

HS
wigmon's picture

It seems just about every lawyer that has chimed in on the Title IX claim has stated similarly, which is that there is no precedent for applying Title IX to this situation and that the claim would fail.  However, that doesn't mean she can't file a claim and try and go for a pretrial settlement and I am guessing that is the tact her lawyer is taking at the moment.  I mean depending on how clear the details are, OSU might be willing to pony up $50k to just make it go away.

HS
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

The major point I was trying to make here, with a long tangential aside about the inapplicability of Title IX, was in answer to the main thrust of the article title and the comments it has spawned regarding whether or not the university contacted Ms. Smith. And if not, why not? And if so, why?

And the answer is entirely dependent on whether Title IX and the OSU policy are applicable or not. If they are applicable, then a report had to be made to university authorities and the university immediately came under a mandatory statutory duty to investigate. This partially answers everyone who made posts inquiring how in the world could OSU be expected act in these circumstances. 

That particular answer is only partial because it requires the assumption that Title IX is in fact applicable.

Bobbing for french fries.

HS
outdated's picture

"IF" the reports are true of the police stopping Zach's wife more than once for OVI and merely escorted her home then they also helped contribute to the problem.  In that case Zach should take action against the offending police department.

HS