Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer knew former wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Smith was involved in at least one incident that was investigated by police for domestic violence in 2015, Smith’s ex-wife told college football insider Brett McMurphy.
After Smith’s firing July 23, Meyer eventually said he’d known about Smith’s 2009 arrest but wasn’t aware of any incidents that occurred in 2015.
The initial police report related to the October 2015 investigation said Smith was arrested on felony counts of domestic violence and felonious assault against his ex-wife, Courtney Smith, but an updated police report released in July no longer indicated he’d been arrested. The Powell Police Department said the original report was inconsistent with what had occurred. In November 2015, McMurphy reports that police charged Zach with menacing by stalking, although it’s not clear where that case stands. Records show Courtney was granted a restraining order against Zach one day later.
Zach was arrested in June 2009 for aggravated battery on a pregnant person. Courtney was 8-to-10 weeks pregnant at the time. At that point, he was a Florida assistant under Meyer. Courtney decided not to press charges.
Zach was fired after McMurphy reported on the 2009 and 2015 police investigations.
Meyer acknowledged at Big Ten Media Days that he and his wife spoke to the Smiths about the 2009 arrest, but Meyer noted his understanding of what happened was different than the version that had been reported. He also said he had no previous knowledge of any incidents in 2015, but Courtney told McMurphy that’s not true.
“All the (coaches’) wives knew,” Courtney told McMurphy. “They all did. Every single one. …
“(Meyer’s wife) Shelley said she was going to have to tell Urban. I said: ‘That’s fine, you should tell Urban.’ I know Shelley did everything she could.”
Courtney provided McMurphy with text messages between her and the wives of Ohio State coaches, including Shelley, in which Courtney shares her account of the 2015 incidents. Shelley expresses concern for Courtney’s safety. One wife’s messages indicate Urban had spoken to Zach about his reported arrest but “(didn’t) know what to think.”
There’s a lot of information here so let’s unpack this. Zach Smith, an assistant coach for Ohio State football, was fired last week after a judge ruled that he was an ‘imminent danger’ to his ex-wife, Courtney Smith.
Good for Ohio State. Urban Meyer is such a hero. Build him a statue. He stood up against domestic violence.
Except for the fact that Zach Smith has been terrorizing his wife for about a decade and was arrested in both 2009 and 2015 in separate incidents involving assault and stalking that Urban Meyer knew about and both ignored and pretended didn’t happen.
At media day last week, Meyer acknowledged that he was informed of the 2009 arrest and that the information he received was a little different than the actual police reports and he claimed he didn’t know about the 2015 arrest.
Courtney Smith has since come out and called him out on his bullshit. She said that Urban Meyer and his wife knew all of the details of all of the incidents and Meyer didn’t do shit about it.
Should Urban Meyer be fired for this?
Being fired is too small of a consequence for enabling an abuser. Urban Meyer should be lit on fire in the center of Ohio State’s campus. Fair is fair. That’s called justice.
Before I go any further I should make it suuuuper clear that I do not like any of these old rich college football coaches that make millions upon millions of dollars while their players can’t even afford dinners every night so I might be a tad biased.
Having said that, Joe Paterno let his boy Jerry Sandusky jerk little boys off and was erased from college football history, as he should’ve been. I don’t want to start listing off my hierarchy of human evil but domestic abuse is right at the top of that list.
This is not a matter of ‘minding your own business’. This is someone’s wife coming to you and saying ‘Zach hits me. Please do something about this’. and Urban Meyer saying ‘chill bitch, we have a game on Saturday.’
Fuck Urban Meyer.