It’s possible that we now know how the Urban Meyer scandal got started.
The Ohio State head coach is currently on paid administrative leave as the university investigates the timeline regarding former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith.
Smith has been a part of several domestic violence incidents involving his now-ex-wife Courtney. Reporter Brett McMurphy broke the news on his Facebook page several weeks ago.
On Saturday, Jeff Snook, a longtime sportswriter and Ohio State graduate, revealed that reporter Brett McMurphy got a tip from Texas head coach Tom Herman. Herman previously served as an assistant coach at Ohio State under Meyer and alongside Smith.
And here is how McMurphy responded to Snook’s claims.
Herman also issued a statement on the report.
On Thursday, Snook published a Facebook post that featured quotes from Zach Smith’s mother, Lynn Bruce, and Courtney Smith’s mother, Tina Carano. The two paint a very different picture of the situation, specifically when it comes to Courtney Smith’s version of past events as well as her motivations for coming forward.
During his team’s fall camp press conference, here’s how Herman responded to questions about the situation at Ohio State.
“I left the program after the 2014 season, and the things that occurred, to my knowledge, happened in late 2015,” Herman told reporters. “I really don’t think it would be fair, or appropriate to be honest with you, for me to comment about a situation at another program that happened while I wasn’t there.”
Here is a full breakdown of how Ohio State plans to conduct the investigation into Meyer and his handling of the situation.
Offensive coordinator Ryan Day was named as the team’s acting head coach while Meyer is on leave.
Earlier this month, reporter McMurphy released extensive text conversations and interviews with Courtney Smith. 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.
The 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, Courtney Smith talked about what she believed the Ohio State head coach knew regarding the situation.
At Big Ten Media Days, Meyer announced that Zach Smith had been fired. That proclamation came three days after McMurphy reported that Courtney Smith filed a domestic violence protection order against her ex-husband..
In 2009, when he was a University of Florida assistant, Zach 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.”
Zach Smith was part of Meyer’s staff at Florida from 2005-09 and at Ohio State from 2012-17.