Ohio State Rumors; Matt Campbell a 'Front-Runner' If Urban Meyer Fired as HC

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2018

MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 04: Head coach Matt Campbell of the Iowa State Cyclones looks on during a challenge in the first half against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Mountaineer Field on November 04, 2017 in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Iowa State head football coach Matt Campbell is reportedly the "front-runner" for the Ohio State head-coaching job should OSU part ways with Urban Meyer, according to Andrew Perloff of Sports Illustrated.

Ohio State announced Wednesday that it placed Meyer on administrative leave while it investigates whether he had knowledge of a domestic violence allegation against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith in 2015.

Smith's ex-wife, Courtney Smith, told Brett McMurphy in an interview published Wednesday that she texted with Meyer's wife, Shelley Meyer, about the alleged abuse.

Courtney Smith described a conversation she had with Shelley Meyer after telling her about the allegations against Zach Smith: "Shelley said she was going to have to tell Urban. I said, 'That's fine. You should tell Urban.' I know Shelley did everything she could."

Smith said she wasn't certain that Urban Meyer knew about the situation, but in an interview with Stadium, she said, "I do believe he knew, and instead he chose to help the abuser and enable the abuser and believe whatever story Zach was telling everybody."

According to McMurphy, Meyer denied any knowledge of what happened in 2015 at Big Ten Media Days, which were held between July 30-31: "I was never told about anything. Never anything came to light, never had a conversation about it. 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 last month after he was charged with criminal trespassing for dropping his children off at the home of his ex-wife against her wishes.

With Meyer on administrative leave, offensive coordinator Ryan Day is Ohio State's acting head coach.

The 38-year-old Campbell is set to enter his third season at Iowa State. After going just 3-9 in 2016, Campbell led a major turnaround last season, as the Cyclones finished 8-5.

It also marked Iowa State's first bowl appearance since 2012.

Campbell previously spent parts of five seasons as the head coach at Toledo, posting a 35-15 record with three nine-win seasons.

Campbell is a Massillon, Ohio, native who has spent a lot of time in the state of Ohio as the head coach at Toledo and an assistant at Bowling Green.

He was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year last season.

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