Ohio State University's 2018-2019 football season is off to a rough start after an investigation into the way head coach Urban Meyer handled domestic violence allegations against one of his former assistant coaches, Zach Smith.
Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake and the Board of Trustees presented a report that confirmed that head football coach Urban Meyer went on unpaid leave on August 1, 2018, as detailed by the OSU website. Athletic Director Gene Smith will also be required to take two weeks without pay in the matter of how he handled reports that one of the assistant coaches was allegedly abusing his wife and acting inappropriately on the job.
President Drake explained that based on documents, police reports, and interviews, OSU believes that the appropriate punishment has been meted out, as reported on the university's website.
"The discipline reflects our collective judgment based on the findings of the investigative report and the independent committee. The board fully supports this conclusion," Drake said. "We made this decision today based on the facts and our values as a university. We value the truth, and this independent team thoroughly and faithfully sought the truth. We value consensus, and today's decision represents the collective wisdom of the board and the leadership of our university."
An independent investigative team was led by Mary Jo White, senior chair with the national law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, and former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.Radio WOSU says that by punishing Coach Meyer and AD Smith, the report does not suggest that either man condones domestic violence, but rather that they could have done better in the circumstance involving Zach Snith.
Urban Meyer spoke out on the matter, accepting responsibility for the situation.
"I'm fully aware that I'm ultimately responsible for the situation that has harmed the university as a whole and our university athletics program. I followed my heart, not my head. I should have done more, and I am sorry for that."
A series of text messages confirmed that Urban Meyer and his wife, Shelley, were both aware of the history of domestic violence including arrests in the marriage of assistant coach Zach Smith and his wife, Courtney.
Courtney Smith has spoken out to the press about her now ex-husband Zach Smith saying that beyond the domestic violence, Smith misbehaved on the job, taking pictures of his genitals on a team trip to the White House, and having adult toys delivered to the Ohio State University Athletic Department.
Courtney Smith told journalist Brett McMurphy about her ex-husband's misdeeds.
"McMurphy did not publish the pics but described them in detail — saying one features Zach's penis while he's wearing the black suit he wore to the White House event."
McMurphy also published proof in Watch Stadium that included receipts and shipping labels for a colorful array of adult toys Smith sent to himself at OSU, and photos he took of himself involved in sex acts in his office.
Zach Smith has been dismissed from his position at OSU.