Meyer put on leave, investigation starts

Image via Getty

Image via Getty

The ex-wife of former Ohio State assistant football coach Zach Smith, who was sacked in July, says several people close to Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer, including his wife, knew of a 2015 allegation of domestic violence against Smith.

Wednesday's report included text messages between Courtney Smith, Shelley Meyer (Urban's wife) and other coaches' wives showing Urban Meyer was aware of the allegations.

A bombshell report Wednesday that Meyer - despite his assurance otherwise last week - knew of repeated domestic abuse allegations against former receivers coach Zach Smith suggests he neglected both of them.

Courtney Smith told college football reporter Brett McMurphy her allegations in a story posted on his Facebook page earlier Wednesday.

Ryan Day will serve as the acting head football coach until the investigation is finished.

Meyer said in a statement he and athletic director Gene Smith agreed that his being on leave was best for the investigation.

According to Ohio State's sexual misconduct policy, employees who supervise faculty, staff or students are required to report accusations of domestic violence.

Smith was sacked right before Big Ten Media Days and was replaced on an interim basis by former Buckeyes wideout Brian Hartline. Minutes after Meyer made that statement, Powell police confirmed the existence of the police report in question. Smith is facing a criminal trespass charge from an incident involving a child custody exchange with his ex-wife back in May. Smith, 34, is the grandson of former Ohio State coach Earle Bruce.

Courtney Smith has alleged her husband abused in her two separate instances, once in 2009 and again in 2015.

OSU announced last Monday that Smith had been terminate after he had a domestic violence civil order filed against him.

"It came back to me that what was reported wasn't actually what happened", Meyer said.

"Shelly said she was going to have to tell Urban", she added. Do you have a restraining order?

Though there is not an account of direct firsthand communication to Urban Meyer, McMurphy has several text messages between Courtney Smith and the coaches' wives that point to communication with Meyer. "I'll have to fill you in on that later if I can", Whittingham said when asked about Meyer's situation following practice.

Smith was dismissed from the Buckeyes coaching staff on July 23, a few days after an OH judge declared he was an imminent danger to his ex-wife. He has been the head coach at Florida (2005-10) and Ohio State (2012-present) since then.

Meyer later admitted to having knowledge of the 2009 allegation, when he was head coach at Florida and Smith was an intern with the Gators.

Meyer also issued a statement.

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