College Sports

Urban Meyer knew about domestic abuse allegations against assistant coach, report says

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer speaks at the Big Ten Conference NCAA college football Media Days in Chicago, Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer speaks at the Big Ten Conference NCAA college football Media Days in Chicago, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. AP

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer could be in some hot water.

College football insider Brett McMurphy reported Wednesday that Meyer, the former head coach of the Florida Gators from 2005-2010 who has been the head coach at Ohio State since 2012, had known about a pair of domestic violence incidents involving his former wide receivers coach Zach Smith.

Ohio State has since put Meyer on paid administrative leave while it investigates the claims.

McMurphy cited text messages and an interview with Smith’s ex-wife, Courtney Smith, as the basis for his report.

“All the [coaches’] wives knew,” Courtney Smith told McMurphy. “They all did. Every single one.”

The report contradicts Meyer’s statement last week at the Big Ten conference’s media days, during which he denied knowledge of the incidents — which McMurphy reported occurred in 2009 and 2015.

“I was never told about anything. Never anything came to light, never had a conversation about it,” Meyer said on July 24. “So I know nothing about it. I asked people back at the office to call and see what happened, and they came back and said they know nothing.”

Meyer fired Zach Smith on July 23, shortly after he was charged with criminal trespassing after he reportedly dropped his children off at Courtney Smith’s home in May against her wishes. Smith was also on Meyer’s staff at Florida from 2006-2009.

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Zach Smith’s attorney, Bradley Koffel, released the following statement to ESPN regarding the matter: “Zach Smith wants to be as transparent and honest as possible but it is not going to be done today through the media. It will only be after he and his ex-wife are sworn in to testify. Once he gets his chance to tell his side of events, don’t be surprised when it is corroborated by every police who ever responded to Ms. Smith’s calls.”

McMurphy’s full report can be read here.

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