Ohio State Suspends Urban Meyer For Only 3 Games
Following a two-week investigation by Ohio State into Urban Meyer botching domestic assault accusations and evidence against former assistant coach Zach Smith, the University announced Meyer would be suspended without pay until September 2nd, and prohibited from coaching the Buckeyes on game day in the first 3 weeks of the season.
Meyer will be allowed to coach the team following September 2nd during all non game activities.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith received a suspension without pay as well, from August 31st to September 16th.
"Although neither Urban Meyer nor Gene Smith condoned or covered up the alleged domestic abuse by Zach Smith, they failed to take sufficient management action relating to Zach Smith's misconduct and retained an Assistant Coach who was not performing as an appropriate role model for OSU student-athletes," the University said in a statement. "Permitting such misconduct to continue is not consistent with the values of the University and reflects poorly on Coach Meyer, Athletic Director Smith, and the University. Their handling of this matter did not exhibit the kind of leadership and high standards that we expect of our Athletic Director, Head Coach, Assistant Coaches and all on the football staff."
Meyer, who lied about at Big 10 media day when asked about his knowledge of Zach Smith's domestic abuse allegations, briefly spoke on Tuesday night following the announcement of his suspension.
"As I reflect, my loyalty to his grandfather, Earle Bruce, who was my mentor and like a father to me, likely impacted how I treated Zach over the years. I did not know everything about Zach Smith, what Zach Smith doing, and I'm pleased the report made this very clear. However, I should have demanded more from him and recognized red flags," said Meyer.
Ohio State believes Meyer wasn't trying to mask any complicity as it related to the abuse by Smith against his now ex-wife.
"Although Coach Meyer made significant misstatements about his knowledge of the 2015 events relating to Zach Smith and his former wife at the Big Ten Media Days, they were not part of a deliberate cover-up effort to keep Zach Smith on the coaching staff in the face of evidence of domestic violence by him that Athletic Director Smith and Coach Meyer credited."
Meyer, one of the highest paid coaches in football, is set to make approximately $7.6 million this season.