Urban Meyer Statement Says He Took Appropriate Action in Zach Smith Incident

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2018

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer speaks at the Big Ten Conference NCAA college football Media Days in Chicago, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Annie Rice)
Annie Rice/Associated Press

Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer released a statement Friday saying he took the appropriate steps when he was informed of allegations of domestic violence against former assistant Zach Smith in 2015.  

In a post on Twitter, Meyer asserted he has "always followed proper reporting protocols and procedures when I have learned of an incident involving a student-athlete, coach or member of our staff by elevating the issue to proper channels." 

Meyer added that he takes "that responsibility very seriously and any suggestion to the contrary is simply false." 

At Big Ten media days, Meyer told reporters he knew of a 2009 incident involving Smith and his ex-wife, Courtney, but was not aware of allegations levied against him in 2015. 

"I can't say it didn't happen because I wasn't there," he said, according to the Associated Press' Ralph D. Russo. "I was never told about anything and nothing ever came to light. I've never had a conversation about it. I know nothing about it. First I heard about that was last night. No, and I asked some people back at the office to call and say what happened and they came back and said they know nothing about it."

Ohio State placed Meyer on paid administrative leave Wednesday as it launches an investigation into his conduct. 

"[Athletic director] Gene [Smith] and I agree that being on leave during this inquiry will facilitate its completion," Meyer said in a statement, per ESPN.com. "This allows the team to conduct training camp with minimal distraction. I eagerly look forward to the resolution of this matter."

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Since then, the school has announced the formation of a special, independent board that will oversee the investigation into Meyer's alleged indifference toward allegations against Smith.