Urban Meyer Says Damning Report Largely Exonerates Him

Urban Meyer Says Damning Report Largely Exonerates Him
Urban Meyer Says Damning Report Largely Exonerates Him

,The embattled Ohio State coach Urban Meyer defended himself Friday, trying to contrast a university investigation into his handling of a former assistant who had been accused of domestic violence with other accusations he attributed to “the media.”

According to Meyer, the investigation, which resulted in a three-game suspension for how he managed the assistant, Zach Smith, exonerated him from certain accusations. In a statement released on Twitter, Meyer said he was not suspended for condoning domestic violence and did not lie during a news conference at the Big Ten media days in July. He also said the university investigation concluded he mismanaged the Smith situation and failed to act as soon as he could have in terminating his longtime assistant.

On Thursday, The New York Times reported that one of Ohio State’s trustees resigned after the university president, Michael V. Drake, in consultation with the board of trustees, suspended Meyer for three games and several weeks of practice and docked him six weeks’ pay. The former trustee, Jeffrey Wadsworth, who had previously been the board chairman, said the three-game suspension was less “profound” than he thought the outcome should have been given the multiple instances in which investigators found Meyer committed significant errors in judgment.

Meyer has taken to his personal Twitter account on three of the past five Fridays to issue clarifications regarding the previous week’s news. Last week, he twhttps://twitter.com/OSUCoachMeyer/status/1033112011490697216 an apology to Courtney Smith, former wife of Zach Smith, after he pointedly failed to apologize to her at the news conference at which his suspension was announced.

In early August, he acknowledged having not been forthcoming regarding his knowledge of Zach Smith’s issues, when he

that he had been aware of a 2015 episode after initially saying he had learned of it only days before. That statement came two days after the independent journalist Brett McMurphy reported the existence of text messages showing that Meyer probably knew about it, prompting him to be placed on administrative leave.

Also Friday, a spokeswoman for Courtney Smith released a statement and a police report clarifying a Columbus Dispatch report Wednesday that an Ohio State lawyer approached her after the 2015 episode and urged her not to press charges so as not to embarrass the university.

In fact, Courtney Smith said, after a 2009 episode in which Smith said Zach Smith assaulted her, a lawyer advising Meyer approached her and urged her to drop a battery charge against her then-husband, who had been arrested, to not embarrass Meyer and his employer at the time, the University of Florida. Zach Smith has denied ever assaulting her.

A representative of Meyer did not respond to a request for comment on Courtney Smith’s claim.

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