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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 20, 2018

Will Smith scandal cost Buckeye head coach Urban Meyer his job?

Aug 03, 2018

By Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune

 

A potentially damning report produced by veteran journalist Brett McMurphy alleges Urban Meyer knew of domestic-abuse allegations involving an assistant coach in 2015 — something Ohio State’s head coach denied last week during Big Ten media days.

Meyer did fire receivers coach Zach Smith on July 24 but only after McMurphy’s original story unearthed police reports that shed light on Smith’s abusive relationship with now ex-wife Courtney.

Meyer said during Big Ten media days he knew of a 2009 report that prompted him to recommend counseling for the “young couple.”

But he said he did not know about a series of allegations from 2015, one of which resulted in a menacing-by-stalking charge and restraining order, according to McMurphy’s report.

Also Wednesday, the sports network Stadium posted a video interview in which Courtney Smith talks about the alleged domestic violence and what she believes Meyer knew.

Zach Smith has not been convicted of any charges.

McMurphy’s report on Facebook includes photos and screen shots of purported text conversations between Courtney Smith and Urban’s wife, Shelley, that, if authentic, leave no doubt Meyer knew of the 2015 allegations and yet kept Smith on his staff. In Courtney Smith’s video, she claims she sent photos to Shelley Urban and spoke to her about the situation by phone.

If true, these allegations appear to be another awful example of a coach protecting a program rather than someone’s well-being.

It happened at Penn State. It happened at Michigan State. And it appears to have happened at Ohio State, as well.

Among the questions the college football community will be asking: To what extent did Meyer attempt to protect Zach Smith? Did he do it because Smith is a grandson of late Buckeyes coach Earle Bruce, whom Meyer viewed as a father figure?

And ultimately, will this cost Meyer — an Ohio native who is 73-8 with a national title at Ohio State — his job?

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