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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Urban Meyer issues new statement clarifying reason for suspension

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer has been suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season stemming from an investigation into domestic abuse allegations against one of his former assistants, but the Ohio State coach feels what is being reported about the punishment handed down is unfair.

On Friday, Meyer released a new statement in an attempt to clarify why Ohio State took disciplinary action against him. It’s clear the coach is determined to show he did not mishandle domestic violence allegations against a member of his staff, nor did he deliberately lie when speaking at Big Ten Media Days. Here’s the full statement:

Meyer’s statement mostly highlights findings from the investigative report, one of which states that investigators believe Meyer would have fired Zach Smith had he “come to learn or believe that (Smith) had physically abused his wife.” Meyer maintains that he was unaware Smith had assaulted his ex-wife and that he would have fired him sooner if he believed otherwise.

Meyer also emphasized a quote from the investigation that stated he simply denied at Big Ten Media Day that Smith had been arrested on felony charges in 2015, not that Smith had been accused of domestic violence. He did, however, take responsibility for not addressing Smith’s “work-related issues” sooner.

In addition to the domestic violence allegations, Smith is said to have engaged in all kinds if inappropriate behavior at work. Meyer’s latest statement indicates he regrets the way he handled that aspect of the situation, but he insists he did not choose to ignore domestic abuse. Text messages prove that Courtney Smith told Meyer’s wife Shelley about the abuse, so Urban appears to be claiming that either Shelley never shared that information with him or he believed Courtney was lying.

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