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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Ohio State assistant coach has protective order filed by ex-wife

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A history of domestic violence allegations against Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith resurfaced over the weekend, as the 34-year-old’s ex-wife filed a protective order against him.

According to college football reporter Brett McMurphy, Smith was served the protective order on Friday evening after his ex-wife, Courtney Smith, says he violated a criminal trespass warning by dropping off the couple’s son at her home instead of a pre-arranged public meeting place. Smith was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass, and the domestic violence civil protection order issued Friday states that he must not come within 500 feet of his ex-wife for five years.

As McMurphy notes, Smith was arrested for aggravated battery on a pregnant victim in 2009 when he was a member of Urban Meyer’s staff at the University of Florida. Courtney Smith was 8-10 weeks pregnant at the time, and she said Zach came home with a female co-worker he had been “partying with” and wanted her to spend the night at the Smith’s residence. A heated argument took place and Courtney told police Zach “picked her up by grabbing her T-shirt and threw her against the bedroom wall located upstairs in their apartment.”

Here’s more:

The report said “Zach advised (officers) he works for UF Florida Gators as an assistant coach for the football team. Zach stated that he brought the female (co-worker) home because she was upset from breaking up with her boyfriend. … Zach stated that Courtney yelled at him and denied picking her up and throwing her into a wall. Zach had a visible red mark on his right bicep that he claimed was a result of breaking up a fight downtown at a club.

“(The officers) observed that Courtney’s shirt had been stretched just above her right breast. Courtney’s account of the incident was consistent with the redness to Zach’s right bicep because she advised that she attempted to hit him while he was picking her up.

“From the statements made on scene, (the officers) determined Zach was the primary aggressor.” He was then handcuffed and arrested.

Courtney Smith decided not to press charges eight days after the incident.

Smith has been part of Meyer’s staffs for 11 seasons, so the Ohio State coach must be aware of the history of domestic violence allegations against his assistant. Smith’s attorney said last week that the criminal trespass charge and protective order against his client are unwarranted and that Zach “didn’t do anything illegal and now it’s coming out that he’s some sort of wife-beater, trespasser, whatever.”

Meyer is sure to face criticism if he knew of Smith’s history but chose to keep him on his staff.


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