While Ohio State's independent counsel came to the conclusion that Urban Meyer "has a sincere commitment to the respect for women's core values that he espouses and tries to instill in his players," it wasn't enough to save the Buckeyes' head coach from a three-game suspension stemming from his handling of the domestic violence allegations against Zach Smith.
The university announced the decision following a 12-hour deliberation period at the Longaberger Alumni House. Reporters first found out about the decision via a written statement prepared by the university that was handed out before the press conference began.
When the details of Meyer's suspension became clear, he was asked by a reporter if he felt the decision was a fair one. Meyer replied reluctantly, "I trust and support (Ohio State's) President (Michael Drake)."
Drake then flashed a quick smile.
In section seven of the prepared statement, the university stated its actions were based upon certain criteria of the independent review.
In it, they wrote, "Although neither Urban Meyer nor Gene Smith condoned or covered up alleged domestic abuse by Zach Smith, they failed to take sufficient management action relating to Zach Smith's misconduct and retained an Assistant Coach who was not performing as an appropriate role model for OSU student-athletes."
In effect, Meyer was suspended through Sept. 2 and for the first three games – Sept. 1st, 8th and 15th – without pay. However, he will be allowed to coach practice after Sept. 2.
Though he will be able to coach practice, Meyer will forfeit a total of six weeks of pay.
In addition, the university suspended Athletic Director Gene Smith without pay from Aug. 31 through Sept. 16.
Tuesday night's press conference ended with Meyer being asked about his message to Zach Smith's wife, Courtney. Meyer responded, "For everyone involved in this, I’m just sorry we’re in this situation. I’m sorry we’re in this situation.”
Meyer also made a statement before the floor was opened for questions and said, "I did a poor job on (Big Ten) Media Day (on July 23-24 in Chicago). It's a big reason why we're here today. But there is no intent to mislead. My role is to set a good example and, in this instance, I did not live up to the university's standards."
The Buckeyes will face Oregon State, Rutgers and TCU without their head coach on the sideline.