Following a firestorm of criticism, suspended Ohio State University head football coach Urban Meyer has issued an apology to the ex-wife of the former assistant coach who she says abused her.
Meyer was widely criticized for his response to a question at a news conference Wednesday, when he failed to directly address Courtney Smith, who says Zach Smith had abused her and Meyer was aware of it:
Meyer was suspended for three games for his handling of the Zach Smith situation. Meyer says in a statement issued by the university Friday: "Let me say here and now what I should have said on Wednesday: I sincerely apologize to Courtney Smith and her children for what they have gone through."
Meyer also tweeted his statement.
"My words and demeanor on Wednesday did not show how seriously I take relationship violence. I sincerely apologize. I was taught at a very young age that if I ever hit a woman, I would be kicked out of the house and never welcomed back. I have the same rule in my house and in the Football Program at Ohio State. Over the years, we have worked hard to educate and remind our coaches and players of the seriousness of relationship violence. I understand my lack of more action in this situation has raised concerns about this commitment. I once again apologize for this, and I extend my empathy to all women, men and families who are affected by relationship violence. This has been a real learning experience for me. I fully intend to use my voice more effectively to be a part of the solution. Let me say here and now what I should have said on Wednesday: I sincerely apologize to Courtney Smith and her children for what they have gone through."