Ohio State Places Coach Urban Meyer on Paid Leave
Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave on Wednesday after allegations that he knew one of his assistant coaches had committed domestic violence.
Wide receivers coach Zach Smith was fired on July 23 after his ex-wife, Courtney, filed an order of protection against him for trespassing. While working under Meyer in 2009, Smith was arrested for aggravated assault, but Courtney, who at the time was pregnant, dropped the charges.
Ohio State statement on putting Urban Meyer on paid administrative leave: pic.twitter.com/3KpQO26AiZ
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 1, 2018
There are also police reports of Courtney reporting incidents of domestic abuse in 2015, but Meyer denies having known about it.
“I got a text late last night that something happened in 2015, and there was nothing,” Meyer said at the BIG 10 media day on July 24. “I don’t know who creates a story like that.”
Though a recent report by Brett McMurphy shows text messages between Courtney Smith and other football coaches’ wives, including Urban Meyer’s wife Shelley, which suggest that Urban knew about the abuse when it happened in both 2009 and 2015.
Meyer would be in violation of his contract with Ohio State if he knew about the abuse and didn’t report it and could be fired justly, according to McMurphy’s report.
“My immediate reaction when I hear he got placed on administrative leave is that they are negotiating the details of his separation,” said Rece Davis, host of ESPN’s College Gameday, on Sportscenter.
Former graduate assistant Brian Hartline has been named the interim wide receivers coach.