Skip to comments.Ohio State places Urban Meyer on paid administrative leave
Posted on 08/01/2018 3:48:24 PM PDT by buckalfa
Ohio State has placed coach Urban Meyer on paid administrative leave, and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ryan Day will serve as acting head coach during Meyer's absence, the university announced in a statement on Wednesday night.
"The university is conducting an investigation into these allegations," Ohio State associate vice president for university communications Chris Davey said in the statement. "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 saying he supports the university's decision.
"Gene (Smith, Ohio State athletic director) 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."
The statement from Ohio State comes hours after a report by Brett McMurphy that suggested Meyer was aware of the allegations made against former Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith by his ex-wife Courtney in 2015, which Meyer previously denied knowledge of at last week's Big Ten Media Days.
Meyer did acknowledge at last week's Big Ten Media Days that he was aware of an incident involving Zach Smith in Gainesville, Florida in 2009, when he was arrested for allegedly assaulting Courtney, who he was married to and who was three months pregnant at the time. Courtney, however, declined to file charges at the scene, and Meyer decided to stand by Zach, who was a graduate assistant for the Gators at the time, and hire him as a member of his first Ohio State coaching staff in 2012.
"In 2009, Zach was an intern," Meyer said. "As I do any time, and I imagine most coaches or people in leadership positions, when you receive a phone call, first thing you do is tell your boss. Let the experts do their jobs. Were certainly not going to investigate. It came back to me that what was reported wasnt what actually happened. So Shelley and I actually both got involved with the relationship with that family, and provided counseling, and wanted to help them moving forward."
Courtney told McMurphy, however, that she was pressured not to press charges after the 2009 incident by former Ohio State head coach Earle Bruce Zach's grandfather and Hiram de Fries, a close friend of Meyer who holds the title of special assistant to the head coach at Ohio State.
On a July morning in 2009, Courtney Smith sat across the table from de Fries, a former attorney and Shell Oil executive. Courtney said de Fries pressured her to drop the charges.
"He said if you dont drop the charges, Zach will never coach again," Courtney said. "Hes never hit you before. He was drinking. Hell probably never do it again. You should think about giving him a second chance."
Ultimately, Courtney said she relented to de Fries and didnt press charges. Courtney had convinced herself this would never happen again.
She was wrong.
Following a 2015 incident in which Courtney told Powell Police "that a domestic incident happened last night at her home and that she has been a victim of sustained physical abuse by the suspect," Courtney shared text message exchanges with McMurphy on Wednesday in which he had spoken with Meyer's wife, Shelley, as well as with Lindsey Voltolini, the husband of Ohio State director of football operations Brian Voltolini, that suggested Meyer was aware of that incident.
Courtney: (Zachs) trying to make me look crazy bc thats what Shelley is saying (hes doing) Lindsey: He (Urban) just said he (Zach) denied everything Courtney: I hope urban is smarter than that Lindsey: He (Urban) doesnt know what to think Courtney: I dont really care. Ya know Lindsey: Yeah, dont worry about urb
Meyer said last week that he was "never told about anything and nothing ever came to light" in regards to the 2015 incident. Meyer was also adamant that he and the university "handled it the right way" when asked whether he had any regrets about his decisions regarding the Smith situation.
In an interview with Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, however, Courtney said she believed Meyer was aware of the abuse she reported against Zach.
"With Shelley Meyer being aware of everything that was going on and saying that she was going to have to tell Urban, do you think that he knows about all of this?" Stadium interviewer Kristen Balboni asked Courtney.
"I believe he did," Courtney responded.
Ohio State is set to begin fall camp on Friday, and will open its season exactly one month from Wednesday, when it hosts Oregon State on Sept. 1.
I fail to see how employers are responsible for behavior at home if its not a criminal matter.
I hate Ohio State but this is bunk on a stick.
Not sure if his behavior was wrong until more is known.
I did totally change my mind about Tom Osburn who I used to respect.
I wish I could get paid leave!
Yup. My reflexive initial response was, “Gee, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.” But upon reflection I realized that someone just might be trying to railroad him. Or is it even an “impeachable offense?”
OSU afraid if it gets out that the urb knew and did nothing...they could be liable for many millions...and then all the other assaulties come out of the woodwork when the smell of money is strong.
Cost penn state mucho dollares...michigan state 500 mill...maybe USC 500 mill..yay...free money...
Hey...how’s that gender equality and sexual revolution thingie working out?
It seems to me allegations of domestic abuse is a lot different from a conviction of domestic abuse.
The paid administrative leave.
The big 10 with another Scandal. They make the SEC, with its paying players and giving them cars, seem pure in comparison.
its called institutional control and if meyer knew about it but didn’t report it he’s guilty...
not the first time for myeyer- he knew about all about the type of person Aaron Hernadnez was and the fact he was a volcano that could erupt at anytime when he was recruiting him but told no one...
The BIG Integer is the conference of pedophiles and perjurers.
I heard Ms. Smith on the radio earlier today and just read a Columbus Dispatch article posted within the last couple hours. I’m neutral to this mess but after hearing Ms. Smith and reading the article, I’m sensing Ms. Smith is a kook. A pretty face kook but still a kook. Her picture was in the Dispatch article
In my opinion, she’s been plotting this take down for quite a while. I don’t care about who the OSU coach is but this has a very bad smell to it.
Just read the original post. Id say Urban is finished at Ohio State.
Why? What did Tom Osborn do??
I agree. Once upon a time the standard for polite society was to mind your own business.
Now you can be fired for not reporting hearsay.It’s “he said, she said” with no evidence.
I’m not advocating returning to the days when a woman was told it was her fault if her husband hit her, I heard that from my own mother. But if his employer had known, I would expect him to mind his own business.
Feminists have made a real mess of society.
Osburn had a star running back who beat his girlfriend severely including dragging her down a flight of stairs by her hair.
Osburn basically did nothing to him.
I remember Steve Spurrier had an ironclad rule. “Hit a girl and you are off the team”.
Powell Police Department officials said Tuesday morning that they had no record of any arrests. But they sent an email at 4:50 p.m. ET saying they discovered records of those incidents after further review.
What if instead of knowing and doing nothing he sent one of his trusted assistant coaches to talk the victim out of pressing charges?
Would you hold him more culpable for what follows, if you learn he was literally an enabler.
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