Within an hour of each other, both Urban Meyer and Zach Smith broke their silence in the wake of an ongoing investigation that will attempt to determine the truth involving the former assistant coach's past and how Meyer handled it all.
First, Meyer released a statement claiming that he did in fact know about the alleged 2015 incident in which Smith was accused of domestic abuse, and reported it to the "proper channels." He apologized for his answers to the media at Big Ten Media Day on July 24 when he said he "would have made a change" if he knew about the allegations against Smith.
Just under an hour later, Smith appeared on 105.7 The Zone to tell his side of the story. His biggest statement came when he said Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith called him away from a recruiting trip in 2015 after the allegations were made known to him. That was the first indication that Gene Smith might have known about the incident, perhaps before Meyer did as Zach Smith added he believes the Powell Police Department informed Ohio State of the allegations against Zach Smith.
So with all of this information circulating, what do we know?
If Meyer knew, why did he say he didn't at Big Ten Media Days?
This is one of the biggest questions surrounding the entire situation. While it is still somewhat unclear why Meyer would lie to the media, Zach Smith claims Meyer was reacting to the report that Zach Smith had been arrested for felonious domestic abuse which "never happened" according to the former assistant.
Did Gene Smith know before or after Urban Meyer concerning the 2015 allegations?
Zach Smith claims that Gene Smith knew of the allegations after the Powell Police Department called him to inform him. The Ohio State athletic director then called Zach Smith away from a recruiting trip, according to the former wide receivers coach.
“I found out about the allegation [in October 2015] because Gene Smith told me,” Zach Smith told host Matt McCoy. “He said I had to be on the next flight home.”
Zach Smith added in an ESPN interview that Meyer said in 2015, "I swear to God, Zach, if I found out you hit her, you're done. You're fired."
Why did Ohio State not act upon it if they knew in October 2015?
This also remains one of the biggest questions surrounding this story. Zach Smith claims that Meyer heard both sides of the story – from police reports and then Zach Smith's side – and since no charges were filed, Zach Smith was not fired. When pressed as to whether or not Meyer should have investigated further, Zach Smith told ESPN, "He's not a detective, he's not a cop...I think one of the things Urban always does, he's a good employee. He's going to let the higher-ups do what they have to do."
Why was Meyer put on paid administrative leave if he followed protocol, as he suggests?
Meyer, whether he meant to or not, lied in some capacity. Either his Twitter statement or his statement at Big Ten Media Days was false. Ohio State needs to figure out which one is true and which is false and while they figure that out, placing him on leave gives them time to do so.
What is next as this story develops?
It seems that there is still plenty more information that needs to come out. If Meyer is telling the truth in his Twitter statement and he did in fact report the allegations against Zach Smith to the higher-ups, who exactly were those higher-ups, especially if Gene Smith already knew?