Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Sport | By Matt Richards

Zach Smith: Ohio State firing Urban Meyer would be ‘flat wrong’

Zach Smith: Ohio State firing Urban Meyer would be ‘flat wrong’

"I have always followed proper reporting protocols and procedures when I have learned of an incident involving a student-athlete, coach or member of our staff by elevating the issues to the proper channels", Meyer wrote.

Meyer said at Big Ten media days in Chicago last week that he was unaware of allegations made by Courtney Smith in 2015 against Zach Smith that were reported to the police.

"My intention was not to say anything inaccurate or misleading", he said, in part. He apologized for his words at Big Ten Media Days, but ultimately stopped short of saying he swept anything under the rug. "However, I was not adequately prepared to discuss these serious personnel issues with the media, and I apologize for the way I handled those questions". In a Friday evening radio interview on Columbus's 105.7 The Zone, Zach Smith said Gene Smith had called him in 2015, informing him of the allegations and pulling him off a recruiting trip. Zach Smith said after speaking to Gene Smith about them and he spoke to Meyer. In addition, the following piece of Meyer's statement is also very important and should be kept in mind: "At the appropriate time, I will also address the questions and speculation in a public forum". I volunteered to do that. I never hit her. In the wake of that news, Meyer fired Smith.

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On how Meyer responded: "He looked at me and said, 'I swear to God, Zach, if I found out you hit her, you're done". (Meyer) looked at me: 'If you hit her, you're fired immediately'.

The university opened an investigation into Courtney Smith's claims on Wednesday and said offensive coordinator Ryan Day would act as head football coach during the probe.

Smith is the grandson of former Ohio State coach and College Football Hall of Fame member Earle Bruce, who gave Meyer his first college coaching job as a graduate assistant in 1986.

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"It's as heartfelt, honest and as true a statement as I've ever heard", Smith said. He's alleging he did everything right in a bad situation, correctly handling allegations against a coach who maintains publicly that he did nothing wrong, a coach he turned around and fired three years later when similar allegations arose. As are the ones he made in that ESPN interview with Dan Murphy that aired on Friday's 6 p.m. He was also asked about a 2015 incident alleged by Courtney Smith, who also said she told Meyer's wife about those incidents. I believed that personal matters, marital matters, needed to remain personal and between a husband and wife. Like I said, it was a toxic relationship. "It was nothing, I was actually asleep when she came to do this, and I woke up and tried to grab the can of dip to not have it happen, and here we are". He needed to make decisions based on those facts, I don't think it was his job to investigate, to ask questions, to talk to her; he only had to talk to me, because he already got the other side of the story from the incident report. "Just stay away", Courtney Smith responded.

Smith also did an interview with ESPN.

Please know that the truth is the ultimate power and I am confident that I took appropriate actions.

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