Skull Session: Digesting Ohio State's Announcement and Recapping Wednesday's Madness

By Kevin Harrish on August 23, 2018 at 4:59 am
Tennessee Jeff Showed up for Thursday's Skull Session.

Urban Meyer is back – in a few weeks.

12 hours after deliberations began on Wednesday morning, and after a circus of rumors, speculation and various food deliveries, Ohio State finally announced a three-game suspension for Urban Meyer and a 17-day suspension for athletic director Gene Smith.

The word of the day is exhaustion.

 A HEAVY DOSE OF ICMYI. With how late the news came last night, you surely missed a strong bit of #content. So here's a quick rundown.

10 Things We Learned

Zach Smith's strip club visit, the reason for his termination, and Urban Meyer's explanation for his media day responses – here are 10 things we learned from Ohio State's findings.

Did Urban Meyer Lie? 

Ohio State's investigation committee may have issues with much of what Urban Meyer has said publicly, but they don't believe he lied. It's an important nuance we missed.

Takeaways From Investigation Summary

The summary of Ohio State's investigation reveals many new details about Zach Smith's conduct and how Urban Meyer and Gene Smith handled allegations against him.

Details on the Suspension

Here are the full details of the Ohio State's Board of Trustees' decision to suspend Urban Meyer for the first three games of the 2018 season.

Recruiting Impact

We analyze the impact of Urban Meyer's reinstatement and suspension on Ohio State's recruiting efforts.

Key Quotes

Both Urban Meyer and Gene Smith were handed suspensions on Tuesday evening, announced publicly in a late press conference. Here are the most important quotes.

Former Players React

Reactions from former Ohio State players — including several who played under head coach Urban Meyer — are pouring in.

Coaching Practice

While Urban Meyer is suspended for the first three games of the 2018 football season, he will be able to coach during practice weeks leading up to games against Rutgers and TCU.

 WHAT A DAY. Wednesday was one of the most fascinating days on social media in recent memory, because there was constantly absolutely nothing happening, but also so much going on.

Here's a taste of what the day looked like:

And one of my favorite parts of this all, Clark Kellogg came out at roughly 2 p.m. (which is still seven hours before an announcement was made), to grab a book he wanted to read.

Odds are, he finished it.

 BIG TEN ISSUES A STATEMENT. The Big Ten issued a statement following Ohio State's announcement basically for the sake of making a statement.

"We support you in your decision, but even if we didn't we really couldn't do anything about it."

 STRIP CLUB VISIT. Tucked away in the summary of the findings, was this gem of a story about Zach Smith blowing $600 – of his own personal money, mind you – at a Miami strip club while on a recruiting visit.

In May 2014, in connection with an out-of-town recruiting trip to Florida, Zach Smith ran up a significant bill at a local strip club along with another OSU football coach and one or more high school coaches.

according to an iPhone screen-capture of a checking account statement dated May 8, 2014, Zach Smith spent approximately $600 of his personal funds at a Miami strip club on May 8, 2014

Brian Voltolini was aware of the strip club visit during a Florida recruiting trip and that a high school coach or coaches were present.

Coach Meyer became aware of this incident, although he maintains not the amount of the expenditure, and reprimanded Zach Smith, warning him that if it happened again, he would be fired; Coach Meyer also revised the 2014 Coaches’ Manual to include a “morality clause” instructing staff to “[a]void strip clubs or venues that would embarrass The Ohio State University” and prohibiting “pornography . . . on any university issued computer, phone, IPad, etc.” Coach Meyer did not, however, report this incident to Athletic Compliance. We have provided the information obtained by the Independent Investigation of this incident to the Office of University Compliance and Integrity and the Athletic Compliance Office to investigate whether this conduct violated

That's all fine and to be honest, extremely on brand with all the very detailed information we've been forced to learn about Zach Smith's personal life the past few weeks.

What does get my eyebrows raising just a little bit is that first line that reads "along with another OSU football coach."

Makes you think, for sure.

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