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Ohio State Suspends Urban Meyer And Gene Smith For Handling Of Zach Smith Allegations

Aug 23, 2018

Urban Meyer speaks with reporters after OSU trustees announced his suspension
Credit Associated Press

Ohio State University has suspended head football coach Urban Meyer for the first three games of the season.  

Athletic director Gene Smith has also been suspended from August 31 through September 16. The school's trustees say the two failed to take sufficient management action relating to domestic violence allegations made against former assistant coach Zach Smith.  Ohio State's investigation  concluded the two neither condoned nor covered up Zach Smith's actions. But the the two retained Smith , who the school says was not performing as an appropriate role model for  student-athletes. Gene Smith says Meyer did not tell him about the allegations made in 2009 when the assistant coach was hired in 2012. Meyer says a July 20 protection order granted to Courtney Smith led to the firing of her ex-husband. In a prepared statement given to Meyer prior to meeting with reporters last night, he acknowledged he was aware of the 2015  allegations but didn't decide to fire him until Courtney Smith sought the order.  

Gene Smith said last night he accepts the punishment.

The investigation identified "a pattern of troubling behavior by Zach Smith: promiscuous and embarrassing sexual behavior, drug abuse, truancy, dishonesty, financial irresponsibility, a possible NCAA violation, and a lengthy police investigation into allegations of criminal domestic violence and cybercrimes." Among the issues uncovered: Smith ran up a 600 dollar bill at a strip club on a recruiting trip in 2014. Smith brought a high school coach to the club and spent personal funds.