Alabama head football coach Nick Saban said the Crimson Tide never made a formal job offer to former Ohio State assistant Zach Smith.
Saban responded to the rumors Saturday after Dan Wolken and A.J. Perez of USA Today revealed details from text messages sent by former OSU head coach Urban Meyer, who wrote in January 2018 that Smith had been offered a job as the Tide's passing game coordinator.
"I really never did ever offer this guy a job. We did interview him," Saban told reporters. "... When we did a background check we decided it was better to hire someone else."
Meyer sent messages about Bama's alleged proposal to a redacted recipient and later wrote directly to his then-wide receivers coach to ask him to remain with the Buckeyes, per USA Today.
"After much thought, I want u to stay. I have personally invested far too much in u to get u in position to take next step," Meyer wrote. "U need to step away from other situation and let's go win it all ....again."
He added: "We got u thru the [expletive] -- now go b a difference maker in the staff room."
Smith was fired by Ohio State in July 2018 after his ex-wife, Courtney Smith, filed for a domestic violence protection order against him.
Brett McMurphy of Stadium reported in August 2018 that Meyer knew about domestic abuse allegations made by Courtney Smith in 2015 against Zach Smith despite Meyer's denial during 2018 Big Ten media days.
Meyer announced his retirement after the 2018 regular season.
"I can lie to you and say that's not important to me," Meyer told reporters about his legacy. "For any human being, that's important to you. And people have their opinions ... just do the best to do things the right way."
Ryan Day was promoted from offensive coordinator to OSU head coach.