[Closin the thread as it has turned into bickering]
I have no idea how reliable Jeff Snook is (maybe the staff can clear this up) but he just posted a bombshell report to his facebook page:
1 hr ·
BY JEFF SNOOK
Lynn Bruce, mother of fired Ohio State receivers coach Zach Smith and daughter of the late Earle Bruce, told me last night that her ex-daughter-in-law Courtney Carano Smith vowed as far back as 2013 that she would “take Zach down and take Urban Meyer down with him.”
“She told me that not one time, but in fact she said it several times over the years,” Bruce said.
She was driven by revenge when she found out her husband had cheated on her, Bruce said.
“When she found out five years ago that Zach had cheated on her, she was so angry that she vowed to me she would get back at him someday. And she said she would take Urban down, too,” she said. “And this is exactly what she did. She wanted to do as much damage as possible.
“She has been planning this for some time.”
Bruce said that Courtney’s mother, Tina Carano, also heard her daughter state her plans against her husband for his infidelities. The mother and daughter have become estranged over the issue, Bruce claimed. She said Tina Carano also believes Zach Smith never struck her daughter.
“Her own mother is backing Zach in this issue and I am sure that makes her mad,” she said. “They do not speak anymore.”
Reached this afternoon, Tina Carano would only communicate via text messages and backed Lynn Bruce’s version.
When asked if she believed her daughter’s claims of physical abuse, she replied, “I believe that Zach was removing himself from an argument and I do not believe he intentionally abused her. I do not believe he actually intentionally swung or punched her … no.”
As far as ever hearing her daughter say she would “take Zach down,” she replied, “Yes.”
And when Meyer’s name was mentioned, she added, “I cannot quote her exact words as I don’t remember them word for word, but something to that extent. This is my daughter and I love her but I do not approve of what she has done and how it was done.”
Following that text, she did not respond to follow-up questions.
Zach Smith, hired as receivers coach when Meyer accepted the Ohio State head coaching job in December, 2011, was fired July 23 when a criminal trespass charge against him came to light. The couple was divorced in 2015 and his ex-wife had called the Powell, Ohio, Police Department in May following a dispute concerning a meeting location for Smith to drop off the couple’s 8-year-old son. That led to his dismissal by Ohio State.
However, Bruce still defended Meyer, who is currently on paid-administrative leave from the university, saying he would never allow a coach who hit his wife to remain on his coaching staff.
“Urban did exactly what he was supposed to do,” she said. “He passed it on whenever something came up. Urban Meyer would never retain an assistant coach who beats his wife, no matter who that man’s grandfather is. I was heartbroken when he fired Zach.”
Courtney called 911 so often, Bruce claimed, that the responding Powell police officers grew tired of dealing with her. She said that explains the reported nine police calls to Courtney’s home at 358 Bear Woods Drive in Powell, a Columbus suburb, between 2012 and 2018, none of which resulted in charges against Zach Smith.
The Powell police department has not released those reports, other than to say there were no charges.
“Each time the police would arrive and investigate, and each time there was nothing to back her claims of physical abuse,” she said. “It was her way at getting back at Zach. She would just call 911 over an argument, which she usually started. The Powell police got to know the situation. I don’t believe for a minute he ever struck her one time and neither does her own mother – and neither do the Powell police.”
Bruce said she never would have defended Zach if she thought her son had struck his wife.
“I was raised by my dad and when my kids were in school, I told them if anything happens that they are guilty until proven innocent,” she explained. “I would back the teachers or administrators. I talked to him about these issues and I would still love him, but if I thought he hit her, I would force him to get professional help. He was raised to respect women. I believe him and I witnessed so many incidents in which she was the aggressor … I know what happened and I also know he would never hit a woman.”
At Big Ten media days on July 24 in Chicago, when he addressed Smith’s firing of a day earlier, Meyer was questioned about an incident Oct. 25, 2015, involving the couple.
He answered, “I received a text about it last night. There was nothing. I don’t know who creates a story like that.”
When pressed why he then fired Smith a day earlier and just a week before summer camp opened, Meyer said he it was a personnel issue and didn’t want to elaborate, but did call the firing “a group effort.”
Lynn Bruce predicted that when the Powell police department’s reports are made public, they will back up her son’s claim that there is no evidence that he ever hit his wife.
Asked to explain Courtney’s pictures showing her arms and neck with red marks, which reporter Brett McMurphy placed on his Facebook page Aug. 1, Bruce said, “I witnessed what she did several times: She would get in his face and block his path while screaming at him. One time when I was there, he was trying to walk down the steps and she blocked him so he couldn’t leave the house. He couldn’t get by her and he had to leave, so he just picked her up by the arms and placed her to the side, so he could walk by and walk out the door. When he did that, I am sure that would leave red marks on her arms. It would if he picked me up and moved me, too. Then she would take a picture.
“She was the aggressor. She was always very confrontational with him.”
(Meyer was placed on leave by the university the day the pictures were made public on McMurphy’s Facebook page.)
Despite the constant arguments, Bruce said her son did not want to leave his wife because of their two children, now 8 and 6 years old.
“He just never wanted to leave his kids,” she said. “He tried to stay with her and work it out. He is a great father who wanted to be with his kids.”
• Bruce said Courtney frequently called her to complain about Zach. “Another time she called me and I went over there and she was screaming at him while he was sitting on the couch. I told her to take the kids and go upstairs. I walked over to him and Zach was just sitting there with tears in his eyes. He said, ‘Mom, she’s really crazy.’”
The Smiths, who met as undergraduates at the University of Kentucky, were married in Columbus in 2008; They separated June 6, 2015, and Courtney Smith filed for divorce Nov. 12, 2015.
Among other revelations, Bruce claimed:
• Courtney Smith soon grew weary of being the wife of a college football coach at a big-time program. “I once loved her like a daughter,” Lynn Bruce explained. “Before they got married, we sat her down and said this is what life is going to be like for you if he goes to the level of coaching he wants to go. He was driven to succeed in the business and he slept at the office. I know it was difficult for her, with him being away, but that’s a coach’s life and we told her all about it ahead of time.”
• Courtney Smith, 33, is estranged from her mother, Tina Carano, because of her allegations that Zach Smith physically abused her. “Tina believes Zach and she is on his side through all this. She knows what her own daughter is like. She thinks she has serious problems and she knows she planned this whole thing.”
Bruce also said Tina Carano recently called WTVN 610 radio’s sports talk show with the intent to discuss the matter anonymously. “She wanted Zach’s side to come out, but she didn’t want to give her identity,” she said. “So they never put her on the air.”
• Earle Bruce, the Buckeyes’ head coach 1979-87, never spoke to Courtney Smith following his grandson’s arrest June 21, 2009 in Gainesville, Fla., and never tried to talk her out of pressing charges as she alleged in a televised interview last week. Courtney, then pregnant with the couple’s first child, claimed her husband grabbed her by the neck and pushed her against a wall. At the time, Zach was a graduate assistant coach under Meyer for the Florida Gators. The charge was later dropped and Courtney Smith said in a recent televised interview and also told McMurphy that Earle Bruce tried to talk her out of pressing charges against his grandson. That never happened, Lynn Bruce maintained. “Courtney called me at 3 a.m. about that fight and I told Dad I was driving down to Florida to deal with this. He wanted to go with me,” Bruce recalled. “When we arrived, I talked to Courtney alone and Dad went to speak to Urban and Zack. Dad never even saw her on that trip. Then when I heard her use Dad’s name in that TV interview, claiming he told her not to press charges, I wanted to jump through my TV set. Not only would he would never, ever tell her something like that, he never talked to her at all. That is just another thing she has lied about.” Earle Bruce died April 20 in Columbus.
• Both Smiths have moved on to new relationships, complicating the issue of raising their two children. “During spring practice this year, she called Zach one night and told him, ‘I am going to Florida tomorrow with my boyfriend, you have got to take the kids,’” Bruce remembered. “Zach said, ‘Wait a minute, I am in the middle of spring ball … ,’ but he made it work with our help. She promised to FaceTime the kids when she was gone, but she never did in those four days in Florida. I was keeping the kids one day and Zach had told me, ‘Mom, have the phone ready if she calls so they can see her and talk to her.’ But we never heard from her, so finally on the fourth day, Zach FaceTimed her with the kids and the kids let her know they were angry with her about her not calling them. She was so mad at Zach about that that she hung up and then called the Powell police from Florida and claimed, ‘My kids are in danger!’ The police arrived and saw the kids playing a game on the floor. They just shook their heads and left. She already had used up any credibility she had with the Powell police. They knew what she was about.”
• Zach Smith, 34, also is the father of a 1-year-old daughter from his current relationship. “When she found out about his new girlfriend, she got mad at him all over again,” Bruce said. “She told me about a year and a half ago, ‘I think we really are soulmates, so maybe someday when we both grow up, it will work out and we will be together.’ I think she still loves him in a warped, sick kind of way and I still think he loves her in a warped, sick kind of way.”
• Zach Smith paid Courtney alimony and child support since the two divorced, and was earning $340,000 under his recent contract, which was terminated with his firing.
• As far as the May 12 incident which ultimately led to Smith’s firing, the couple argued over the location in which he was supposed to drop off their son. Lynn Bruce was with Zach and grandson at the time, hosting a party of more than 100 people. Her birthday was the following day, May 13. “She was calling and demanding he bring Cameron back immediately,” Bruce recalled. “If he didn’t, she said she would call the police and claim he kidnapped him. So he drove him to the clubhouse of where she lived as she had told him to do. She wasn’t there. So then he drove the short distance to her driveway, and planned to drop him off at the edge of the driveway. When he pulled up, she was standing there with a camera, taking pictures.” Courtney Smith then called the Powell police, who issued a criminal trespass citation, a misdemeanor, to Zach Smith. Zach Smith then called the Powell police and in a tape of the call I recently received, he asked, “I was calling because I am divorced. My ex-wife likes to call the Powell police a lot. I need to find out if there is anything (filed) with the Powell police that restricts me from going anyway near her residence?” The officer responds, “Have you been served with any sort of protection order?” Smith answers, “No sir. I have been served with nothing.” The officer then says, “OK, then there is nothing that says you have to stay a certain amount of feet away from her residence or work or anything like that. That is not something we would know until we run your social (security number) and driver’s license to see if anything pops up.” When Smith thanked the officer, the officer responded, “I can relate more than you would know, believe me!” Smith then called his lawyer, who confirmed there was no protection order in place. He has pleaded not guilty on June 5 and the case is yet resolved.
• Courtney Smith then was granted an order of protection in July 20, which was filed in Delaware County.
• Zach Smith defended Meyer to his mother after the firing, saying, “Mom, they had no choice with everything else going on at the university (referring to the scandal involving the late wrestling team doctor Richard Strauss and sexual abuse allegations that spanned decades).”
• The May 12 incident wasn’t the first time Courtney had threatened to accuse Zach of kidnapping, according to Bruce, who said she did it as recently as this past season’s Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas. “She actually packed the kids’ suitcases and labeled their outfits for the trip,” Bruce explained. “And then for some reason, when they are in Dallas, she got mad and threatened to call the police, saying he had kidnapped them to Texas.”
• In another incident in November, 2015, when the couple was separated, Bruce said that Courtney Smith called the Powell police and accused her ex-husband was stalking her. “Someone in the neighborhood told her a black truck drove through the area at 2 a.m. and she determined it had to be Zach,” she said. “It turned out that he was out of the state recruiting at the time. That’s just how obsessed she became at getting back at him.”
Part of the evidence Courtney Smith provided McMurphy were texts from Shelley Meyer, Urban Meyer’s wife, among which said, “He scares me,” referring to Zach Smith.
“Shelley is a psych nurse and was trying to appease her and to try to calm her down,” Bruce said. “The bottom line is my son didn’t abuse her, after all those claims she made. The Powell police know that now and Urban knows that, too. And now, Shelley Meyer knows it, too, despite those previous texts. In recent years, Urban and Shelley really worried about Courtney’s stability. They found out what we knew a long time ago – that she acts crazy, especially when she drinks too much. She would do anything to get back at Zach and they fought more when alcohol was involved. It was common knowledge.
“And now she has. She got what she wanted. Zach got fired and Urban (is on paid administrative leave and the subject of the investigation) … She is getting exactly what she wanted, having done what she said she would do years ago. This whole mess is horrible … ”
Ohio State announced Monday that the six-person committee investigating the issue and Meyer’s involvement should conclude its work “within 14 days.”
The Buckeyes open the season Sept. 1 at home against Oregon State. If Meyer returns, it would be his seventh season as Ohio State's head coach.