Tom Herman Denies Speaking to Brett McMurphy About Zach Smith Allegations

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2018

AUSTIN, TX - APRIL 21:  Head coach Tom Herman of the Texas Longhorns reacts in the first half during the Orange-White Spring Game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on April 21, 2018 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman denied speaking to college football writer Brett McMurphy about allegations of domestic abuse by former Ohio State Buckeyes assistant coach Zach Smith.

"Neither I, nor anybody in my family, has ever communicated with Brett McMurphy about the situation at Ohio State," Herman said Saturday in a statement, per ESPN.com's Jake Trotter.

McMurphy responded to the story with a similar comment:

Brett McMurphy @Brett_McMurphy

For those who have asked for my response to Jeff Snook’s claim Saturday: “I have never revealed my sources in my nearly four decade journalistic career & I am not going to start now. However, I will say unequivocally that Tom Herman was not my source.”

Jeff Snook, an author who has written books about Ohio State football, reported Saturday that he had heard from sources that Herman "tipped" McMurphy off about the story and that Herman's wife, Michelle, "encouraged Courtney Smith to go public" about the alleged abuse she suffered.

According to Snook, Herman was retaliating after Garrett Wilson committed to Ohio State. Wilson is a native of Austin, Texas, and the No. 2 wide receiver recruit in 2019, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

Earlier this month, McMurphy reported Courtney Smith spoke to the wives of Ohio State coachesincluding Urban Meyer's wife, Shelleyin 2015 regarding allegations against her then-husband. Zach Smith remained on the staff until this July, when the school fired him after a judge granted Courtney an order of protection.

After initially denying knowledge of an October 2015 domestic violence allegation against Smith, Ohio State head coach Meyer released a statement saying he was made aware shortly after the alleged assault and informed the necessary parties at Ohio State.

Meyer is on administrative paid leave while Ohio State conducts an investigation. Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day is serving as the Buckeyes' interim head coach in Meyer's absence.