Urban Meyer admits wrongdoing in handling of Zach Smith
Urban Meyer is taking some responsibility for the controversy that rocked the Ohio State program over the past several weeks.
Meyer spoke with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi for an interview that was released on Sunday. In the interview, Meyer admitted wrongdoing in his handling of former Buckeyes wide receivers coach Zach Smith. Meyer now says he should have made the athletic department aware of Smith’s 2009 arrest at Florida; never should have hired Smith at Ohio State in the first place; and that he should have fired Smith earlier.
“I erred when I made a decision to do the best I can to help stabilize that situation,” Meyer told ESPN. “And one of the things I look back now — I probably should’ve fired him.”
Meyer says that at the time he thought he was doing the right thing in trying to help Smith.
“I thought the best thing I could do with a very troubled marriage, with a child custody issue going on. And I really thought it through,” Meyer said. “I thought the best thing I could do is try to help stabilize this thing. If I fire him at the time, sever that relationship, and I see these two young kids. And that’s why I’ve always thought how do you help stabilize someone.
“At the time I thought I was doing the right thing.”
Meyer’s interview comes the same day his suspension at Ohio State ends. As part of his punishment for lying about his knowledge of the past allegations Smith was facing, he was suspended three games, though he was allowed to return to coaching his team on non-game days after Sept. 2. One prominent college football commentator does not think Meyer will be back as the Buckeyes’ head coach after the season.