In a story published by Stadium’s Brett McMurphy on Tuesday morning, former Ohio State wide receiver Trevon Grimes’ father LeBron told McMurphy that former Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith used a racial slur against Grimes during an altercation in September 2017, and that Grimes (who now plays at Florida) chose to transfer from Ohio State for that reason.
LeBron Grimes also alleged in McMurphy’s story that Urban Meyer was aware of the altercation, and that his trip to visit Trevon and his mother in Florida last October – for which he canceled a scheduled Monday press conference – was because “Trevon threatened them (to go public with the altercation and alleged racial slur) like Zach threatened Trevon (at Ohio State).”
In a statement released by Ohio State on Tuesday, the university said it "unequivocally and vehemently disputes the unfounded allegations by Brett McMurphy."
The Ohio State University unequivocally and vehemently disputes the unfounded allegations by Brett McMurphy. Any allegations of racism are outrageous and false. The university told McMurphy that we have found no evidence to support these allegations. Reporting in this manner is irresponsible, inflammatory and a severe invasion of privacy of a student athlete and his family as well as a baseless personal attack on Coach Meyer. It is regrettable that McMurphy and his employer would use such poor judgment in running this inaccurate story.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told McMurphy that the university looked into the allegations and “found no evidence that there was a physical altercation or racially charged remarks between Zach Smith and Trevon Grimes,” and said that Meyer’s visit to Trevon and his mother Leah Grimes, who battled cancer last year, was “because Leah was struggling with her health and they were going through a very stressful time.”
Former Ohio State wide receiver Elijaah Goins and current Ohio State wide receiver Jaylen Harris also denied to McMurphy that Smith used a racial slur toward Grimes.
Shortly after the story was published Tuesday morning, several other current Ohio State wide receivers took to Twitter to vehemently deny the accusations against Smith and Meyer, including Johnnie Dixon, Parris Campbell and Austin Mack.
I witness the whole altercation and this didnt happen.. You think a group of African American young men will sit there and let something like this happen? Say what you want but this isnt true at all. https://t.co/FrteEDIa9H— Johnnie L. Dixon III (@YoungKing_JD5) November 13, 2018
Theres no way that anyone would believe this. NO WAY. This lie is just out of hand. I was present during the entire altercation and whats said in this article NEVER HAPPENED. I can guarantee it. Crazy how social media gives people platforms just to spread nonsense. https://t.co/FRBLucb9WY— Parris Campbell (@PCampbell21) November 13, 2018
Wow... so you really think a room filled with Black athletes would still be apart of this University if any racial slurs were used to degrade another Black man!! Every one of us Wide Outs were right there and saw the whole thing. @Brett_McMurphy you continue to lie everyday! https://t.co/kOFwssniAX— Austin Mack (@Austin_Mack10) November 13, 2018
We all know why Trevon left OSU.. or thats what he made it seem like, in all honesty OSU was prolly just to tough for the kid. But you saying he was called a n*** but a former OSU coach is a disgrace. You not about to bring down my University that Im proud to be apart of. #LIES— Austin Mack (@Austin_Mack10) November 13, 2018
Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell, who was among the players who went with Meyer to visit Grimes and his mother last October, also denied the alleged use of a racial slur.
Trevon Grimes was my best friend back then... and is still my best friend to this day. This report about racially-charged practice altercation is 100% false. Not a single player or staff member would have allowed this to happen. https://t.co/6wLZN8ASWX— TATE MARTELL (@TheTateMartell) November 13, 2018