Urban Meyer has been suspended from his job as head football coach at the Ohio State University. The decision was announced August 1 after Meyer met with athletic director Gene Smith. Meyer will remain on paid administrative leave as the university investigates whether he knew about domestic violence allegations against former assistant coach Zach Smith. Ryan Day has been named as acting head coach in the meantime.
In a statement, Urban Meyer agreed that him being on leave would “facilitate the completion” of the inquiry. He also said it “allows the team to conduct training camp with minimal distraction.”
Here’s what you need to know.
Did Meyer Ignore Domestic Abuse Allegations Against Assistant Coach Zach Smith?
Meyer has faced scrutiny over accusations that he ignored domestic violence allegations against former assistant coach Zach Smith. Smith was fired July 24.
Smith was accused in 2015 of stalking his now ex-wife Courtney Smith and that reportedly resulted in a restraining order. Smith has not been convicted of any crime.
Meyer has insisted that had he known about the allegations, he would have fired Smith in 2015. He told reporters in late July, “I was never told about anything. Never anything came to light, never had a conversation about it. So I know nothing about it. I asked people back at the office to call and see what happened, and they came back and said they know nothing.”
Zach Smith’s Ex-Wife Courtney Says Urban Meyer’s Wife Shelley Knew About the Alleged Abuse
But new evidence called that claim into question. Journalist Brett McMurphy shared in a Facebook post on August 1 that he had obtained text messages shared between Courtney Smith and Shelley Meyer, Urban’s wife. Courtney allegedly told Shelley about the abuse, and Shelley asked Courtney if she had gotten a restraining order.
Courtney Smith spoke with sports network “Stadium” August 1. She claims that when she confided in Shelley Meyer, Shelley had said she would have to tell Urban what was going on. Courtney admitted, however, that she does NOT know whether Shelley ever did in fact tell Urban about the situation.
Meyer has been with Ohio State since 2012. Back in April, he negotiated a $7.6 million salary for the 2018 season. He led the Buckeyes to a national championships in the 2014 season.