The Rush: Why Urban Meyer’s suspension is total BS

Dean Simpson
August 26, 2018

At 7:08 p.m. on July 23, hours after he fired assistant Zach Smith for alleged domestic violence, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer sent a directive to his staff.

- Investigators were troubled by the fact that after a media report in which Courtney Smith said she told Shelley Meyer in 2015 that Zach Smith assualted her, Urban Meyer asked a staffer about deleting text messages more than a year old by changing settings on his phone.

Meyer knew about at least some of the issues. Police looked into the 2015 allegations, but no formal charges were filed, officials said.

"I will say this that this has been a learning experience", Meyer said.

White said the compliance department would have been in the best position to assess whether to conduct an internal investigation. McMurphy's report also outlined a string of interviews and text messages that shows Meyer was well aware of the situation, despite his denial. However, investigators also found that upon learning about accusations made by Courtney Smith in an August 1 report from McMurphy, Meyer and an underling discussed how to adjust the settings on Meyer's phone so that text messages more than a year old would be deleted.

With the conclusion of the two-week investigation, there were plenty of questions regarding Meyer's future at Ohio State, questions that were somewhat answered Wednesday night.

Meyer was suspended for the first three games of the season and will forgo six weeks of pay. Investigators reviewed 10,000 text messages of Meyer's and text messages and photos provided by Courtney Smith.

"Zach Smith married a woman he should not have married". Whether that will happen, I don't know.

Before that, Meyer always seemed to be someone who always did the smart thing, who always demanded the utmost in discipline and dedication from his players and coaches at Ohio State. As I reflect, my loyalty to his grandfather Earl Bruce - who was my mentor and like a father to me - likely impacted how I treated Zach over the years. One of them is how intent Meyer was on concealing the detailed history of Zach Smith's alleged issues.

Smith was sacked only after college football reporter Brett McMurphy uncovered the past domestic violence allegations and made them public a few weeks ago. Shelley told Smith at the time that she would tell her husband, though Smith admitted she never confirmed if Shelley had actually told the head coach. "However, he did fail to take sufficient management action regarding Zach Smith, and he was not as complete and accurate at media day and didn't uphold the high standards and values of the university on that day".

After failing to utter Courtney Smith's name during the Tuesday night press conference in Columbus, Meyer f was asked what his message to her would be. But despite an entire other host of personnel problems that led the athletic director to suggest Smith be fired, including frequent tardiness, misuse of funds, and drug addiction, Meyer refused.

The investigation also found Meyer misrepresented what he knew about the situation in a public statement he made in July.

In the section on Meyer's responses during Big Ten Media Days in July, the report says, "Coach Meyer has sometimes had significant memory issues in other situations where he had prior extensive knowledge of events".

An Ohio State spokesperson did not reply immediately to a request for comment. The allegations range from 1979 to 1997 and involve male athletes from 14 sports, as well as his work at the student health center and his off-campus medical office.

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