Urban Meyer Says He Did Not Condone Domestic Abuse Or Lie At Big Ten Media Days In Statement

By Dan Hope on August 31, 2018 at 10:59 am
Urban Meyer

Suspended Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer released a new statement on Friday morning, stating that "there have been a number of things reported in the media about President Drake's decision and the Investigative Team's Report that have not been correct and must be clarified."

Meyer said he wanted to clarify that he "was not suspended because I knew about or condoned (former wide receivers coach) Zach Smith's alleged domestic abuse," and also that he "did not lie at Big Ten Media Days." His fault, he said in his statement, "was in not taking action sooner against a troubled employee about his work-related issues."

Meyer cites Ohio State's investigative report in his statement, as the investigative report concluded "that if [Coach Meyer] ever came to learn or believe that Zach Smith had physically abused his wife, Coach Meyer would have fired Zach Smith or any other coach on the spot." He also cited the investigative team's findings that "he clearly misspoke and made misstatements" at Big Ten Media Days, but "did not, in our view, deliberately lie," as he "was closely focused on erroneous reports that Zach Smith had been arrested on felony charges in 2015."

Meyer also cited Mary Jo White's reasoning for his suspension, as she said "The investigation identified multiple other examples of inappropriate conduct by Zach Smith while employed as an assistant football coach, some known by Urban Meyer and/or (athletic director) Gene Smith and others on the football staff. Coach Meyer and Athletic Director Smith's efforts to help Zach Smith overcome his personal issues went too far in allowing him to remain as an employee in the face of repeated misconduct."

Meyer is suspended for Ohio State's first three games of the season, but will allowed to return to the team on Monday, following Saturday's season opener against Oregon State, to resume coaching the team, with the exception of the following two game days against Rutgers and TCU.

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