Ohio State places Urban Meyer on administrative leave
Ohio State has placed coach Urban Meyer on administrative leave, the school announced late Wednesday. The announcement is a response to a report showing Meyer knew about a 2015 domestic violence incident involving former wide receivers coach Zach Smith despite the head coach’s previous denial at Big Ten Media Days.
“The university is conducting an investigation into these allegations,” Ohio State said in a statement provided to CBS Sports. “During the inquiry, Urban Meyer will be on paid administrative leave. Ryan Day will serve as acting head football coach during the investigation. We are focused on supporting our players and on getting to the truth as expeditiously as possible.”
Meyer also released a statement to CBS Sports through the university. “Gene and I agree that being on leave during this inquiry will facilitate its completion,” Meyer said. “This allows the team to conduct training camp with minimal distraction. I eagerly look forward to the resolution of this matter.”
Brett McMurphy reported Wednesday — through a string of interviews and text messages he uncovered — that Meyer did know about the October 2015 incident in which Smith was arrested for felonious assault and domestic violence of his then-wife, Courtney Smith. The couple separated the summer before and legalized their divorce the following year.
The report contains screenshots of text messages and graphic pictures that purportedly detail a pattern of abuse ranging from physical violence to text message threats made by Zach to Courtney. In text message conversations with Shelley Meyer, Urban’s wife and confidant, Courtney discusses Smith’s behavior and received sympathy and shock from Shelley, who referred to Smith as “scary.”
Later Wednesday, Courtney said in an interview with Stadium that Shelley proposed talking to Meyer about the incidents.
“I told Shelley. I sent her some pictures,” Courtney said. “I spoke to her on the phone. She said she was going to have to tell Urban. I said, ‘That’s fine. You should tell Urban. You can’t have someone like this coaching young men.'”