Jeff Snook, a former Ohio State beat reporter and author of numerous books about college football at large, claims Texas head football coach Tom Herman tipped off Brett McMurphy about the domestic violence allegations against former Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith. McMurphy’s report led to Zach Smith’s firing and the university placing Urban Meyer on paid administrative leave to investigate his handling of the situation.
“I have confirmed that Texas Coach Tom Herman was the tipster who initiated Brett McMurphy’s reporting, which led to this investigation at Ohio State-details to follow,” Snook wrote on his Facebook page.
Snook, a 1982 graduate of Ohio State, worked as a beat reporter of Ohio State football before moving into books. He has published four books about the Buckeyes, but his writing isn’t exclusively tied to the program. He co-wrote Frank Beamer’s biography; Beamer was a revered coach at Virginia Tech. Snook has also written books about Art Schlichter, and other major football programs, including Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Florida.
Snook’s latest report comes just days after Snook authored a lengthy Facebook report of his own, which quoted both Zach Smith’s mother and Courtney Smith’s mother. Both woman supported Zach’s versions of events in Snook’s report, though Tina Carano, Courtney’s mother, told Brett McMurphy on Saturday that she sent text messages to Zach detailing his abuse towards her daughter.
It should be noted that Snook authored a book about Ohio State football, What it Means to Be a Buckeye, and Meyer himself wrote the foreword.
Snook addressed what he perceived as national media questioning his motives for writing a story that painted a different picture of the entire situation. “I know my journalism ethics and fundamentals and I follow them closely. Unless I am writing a column, my opinion doesn’t enter into it – and it didn’t yesterday, either,” Snook wrote on Facebook.
As for Texas head football coach Tom Herman, he worked for Urban Meyer at Ohio State from 2012-2014 as an offensive coordinator and QB coach, helping to lead the team to a national championship in his final year. Herman went on to have two successful years as the head coach at Houston before taking the same position at Texas last year.
Speaking with the media last week, Herman declined to comment about the situation unfolding at Ohio State.
“I really don’t think it would be fair or appropriate, to be honest with you, for me to comment about a situation in another program that happened while I wasn’t there,” Herman said.
Snook Claims Herman Urged Courtney Smith to Go Public With the Allegations Because of Garrett Wilson’s Commitment to Ohio State
According to Snook’s latest report, Tom and his wife Michelle offered to pay Courtney Smith’s legal fees and “encouraged” her to take the abuse allegations public.
In what can only be described as a jaw-dropping rationale, Herman is said to have been “furious” about five-star receiver Garrett Wilson’s commitment to Ohio State. Wilson, who plays football for Lake Travis High in Texas, was recruited by Zach Smith. Texas was considered Ohio State’s main competitor for Wilson’s commitment.
One of Snook’s sources told him: “They [Meyer and Herman] had a bad falling out and now, they just do not like each other at all.”
Snook says that both Urban and his wife Shelley recently learned that Herman was the one who tipped off McMurphy.
In a text message to Snook, Shelley said, “I really do appreciate you doing your job with integrity and checking on all the points, unlike some others. I just can’t comment and I am very sorry. Thank u.”
Brett McMurphy & Tom Herman Have Denied Snook’s Report
Shortly after Snook published his report, Brett McMurphy took to Twitter to deny the claim that Tom Herman was his source.
Tom Herman also quickly denied Snook’s report:
Herman also added that while his family did provide financial assistance to Courtney Smith last year, but it was a one time thing.