Urban Meyer was suspended for three games by Ohio State for his handling of the situation around former assistant Zach Smith. An investigator's report described some of Meyer's abuses in dealing with the Smith case, which was accused of being physically offended by his ex-wife Courtney Smith. Here's Ohio State's statement for suspension, according to Eleven Warriors.
Although neither Urban Meyer nor Gene Smith tolerated or covered up the alleged domestic abuse of Zach Smith, they did not take sufficient management measures regarding Zach Smith's wrongdoing and retained an assistant coach who did not function as an appropriate role model for OSU student athletes. The continuation of such misconduct does not match the values of the university and reflects poorly at Coach Meyer, Athletic Director Smith, and the University. Their treatment of this matter did not show the kind of leadership and high standards that we expect from our athletic director, head coach, assistant coaches, and everyone on the football staff. Urban Meyer is closed until September 2, 2018 and for the games on September 1, 8 and 15 without charge. Gene Smith is suspended from 31 August to 16 September without pay.
At the Big Ten media days, Meyers denied the knowledge of Smith's domestic violence investigation in 2015, though later he would say he had said it wrongly. When Meyer handed over his phone to the investigators, all text messages older than a year were deleted. Ohio States Review Summary provided an overview of some of the troubling parts of the case, including Meyer potentially deleting old news after learning of Brett McMurphy's report, per ESPN.
On August 1, after a public report stating that Urban and Shelley Meyer were aware of Courtney Smith's allegations of ill-treatment and a police investigation in 2015, OSU chief of football operations, Brian Voltolini, approached Meyer on the practice field and informed him that it was a "bad article". The summary report claims that the men "specifically discussed how to adjust the settings on Meyer's phone so that text messages older than a year are deleted."
"Our review of Coach Meyer's phone did not reveal any messages older than a year, and indicated that the phone from Coach Meyer at the time it was received by OSU on August 2, kept text messages only for that period, As Coach Meyer and Brian Voltolini discussed, "The report said.
"However, we can not determine whether Coach Meyer's phone has been saving messages for only a year in response to the August 1, or earlier, report, but it is his first reaction to a negative piece of media that shatters his knowledge of It was about getting the media access to information and discussing how to delete messages older than a year. "
The investigators called Smith a "blind spot" for Meyer
The investigation shows that Meyer acted negligently in his dealings with Smith. At best, Meyer was just loyal to a family friend. In the worst case, Meyer knew more about Smith's actions than he let on. The investigation reports that the first, Meyer did not cover up the alleged abuse. Only Meyer and a handful of other stakeholders know the full truth. Here is what we know. Meyer's mentor was former coach Earle Bruce, Smith's grandfather. The investigation called Smith a "blind spot" for Meyer.
It's a startling blind spot, as Smith was a broad receiver trainer and Ohio State would have had no trouble finding a competent substitute. Even more puzzling are all signs that Smith has not fulfilled his high-level job. CBS Sports describes Smith's job performance.
Zach Smith's job suffered during his divorce proceedings in 2015. He regularly came in late for practice and team meetings. He also failed in recruiting visits to various high schools and claimed that he had been there. Meyer warned Smith that persistent problems would lead to his release. Gene Smith recommended Meyer to fire Zach Smith this year.
From the investigation, we learned that Meyer was a position coach for employees who had been accused several times of being abusive and routinely late for meetings. Stadium Brett McMurphy reported that Smith had sex with an Ohio State employee at a trainer's office. After publishing several statements in the course of the investigation that seemed to do more harm than good, Meyer apologized in a final sequel to Courtney Smith.
"Let me say here and now what I should have said on Wednesday, and sincerely apologize to Courtney Smith and her children for what they went through," Meyer told ESPN.
Meyer will resume his full tenure as head coach of Ohio State on September 22, as the Buckeyes hosts Tulane.
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