Urban Meyer Says Ohio State Considering Legal Action over Trevon Grimes Report

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2018

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - OCTOBER 20: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes is seen during the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on October 20, 2018 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer is considering legal action regarding a report he covered up an "alleged racially-charged altercation" between former assistant coach Zach Smith and Trevon Grimes, a former Buckeyes receiver who transferred in December 2017. 

According to the Columbus Dispatch's Bill Rabinowitz, Meyer flew down to Florida to meet with Grimes' mother. Rabinowitz reported Meyer and Ohio State players were "irate" about the allegations laid out by Stadium's Brett McMurphy.

Bill Rabinowitz @brdispatch

Meyer said Gene Smith and others were very aggressive in pushing back. Meyer said he and OSU players were "irate" about the accusation.

Bill Rabinowitz @brdispatch

Meyer said he and others from OSU flew to Fla and spent 5 hours with Grimes' mother. Meyer said he (or OSU) is looking into legal action.

"To see a reporter go after a player and a mother like that and list some of the things in her past, I don't quite understand what that's about," Meyer said, per Rabinowitz.

According to McMurphy, LeBron Grimes said his son had reached out in September 2017 and was "in tears" after a verbal altercation with Smith.

"Zach got up in his face and called him a 'bitch ass n----r' and said, 'I should have never recruited you,'" Grimes told McMurphy. "And then Trevon said something to Zach about him messing around with college girls."

LeBron Grimes added that he had spoken to Meyer about the alleged situation but that Meyer said he was "very busy" and never got back to him. Grimes told McMurphy he also talked to Smith, who described Trevon as uncoachable and having a "chip on his shoulder with whatever issues your family has."

Per McMurphy, Smith denied the allegations.

Ohio State released a statement to say it "unequivocally and vehemently disputes" the details of McMurphy's story. The university also said it "found no evidence to support these allegations."

Meyer fired Smith, who was a wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, in July after Smith's ex-wife, Courtney Smith, received an order of protection from a judge requiring him to stay 500 feet away from her at all times.

Meyer told reporters in July he was aware of a domestic incident between Zach and Courtney Smith from 2009 but had no knowledge of domestic abuse allegations against Smith from 2015.

However, McMurphy reported Courtney Smith had text messages showing she spoke with Meyer's wife about the situation in 2015. Per those messages, at one point, Shelley Meyer asked Courtney Smith if she had a restraining order against her husband.

Ohio State suspended Meyer for three games after launching an investigation into the matter. Athletic director Gene Smith also received a suspension of more than two weeks.

The school determined neither Meyer nor Smith intentionally covered up Smith's alleged abuse but both "failed to take sufficient management action relating to Zach Smith's misconduct."