When TCU fans found out that their team would face off against Ohio State, the most common reaction likely involved a mix of excitement and fear.
The Buckeyes will enter the season as one of the top-ranked teams in the country, a strong favorite to win the Big Ten and a legitimate contender to earn a spot in the 2018 College Football Playoff.
But when they travel to AT&T Stadium on Sept. 15 to play TCU, it is possible that Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer might not be making the trip.
The university announced Wednesday afternoon that it was placing Meyer on paid administrative leave. No date has been set for Meyer’s potential return.
Wednesday morning, reporter Brett McMurphy released extensive text conversations and interviews with Courtney Smith, the ex-wife of former Buckeyes assistant Zach Smith, who was fired by the university after his history of alleged domestic violence became public. Several of her anecdotes allege that a few of Meyer’s assistant coaches, as well as his wife, Shelley, knew about Zach Smith’s history of domestic abuse.
Smith’s conversations with Meyer’s wife also point to Meyer being aware of the 2015 domestic violence incident. This, despite the fact that the Ohio State coach denied knowing anything about it at Big Ten Media Days last week.
Wednesday’s news has prompted swift criticisms from a number of media members, including CBS Sports college football reporter Barrett Sallee, who tweeted this:
In an interview with WatchStadium.com Wednesday, Courtney Smith talked about what she believed the Ohio State head coach knew regarding the situation.
In 2009, when he was a University of Florida assistant, Smith was arrested for aggravated battery on a pregnant victim (Courtney), according to a Gainesville Police Department report (she later dropped the charges).
Police reports obtained by Cleveland.com revealed that the Powell Police Department was called to Courtney Smith’s home on Oct. 25, 2015. She told law enforcement that she had “been a victim of sustained physical abuse by [Zach Smith].”
Here is Meyer’s denial at Big Ten Media Days.
“I got a text last night that something happened in 2015, and there was nothing,” Meyer told reporters at the media event .“I don’t know who creates a story like that.”
Smith was part of Meyer’s staff at Florida from 2005-09 and at Ohio State from 2012-17.