The spin from current Ohio State and former Gators coach Urban Meyer has come in the form of a statement on Friday afternoon.
As you are probably aware, Meyer was put on paid leave earlier this week after the reporting of college football insider Brett McMurphy revealed that Buckeyes and former Gators wide receiver coach Zach Smith had been abusing his wife in Gainesville since 2009.
Meyer’s eight paragraph statement is his first comment since Ohio State replaced him for now with co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day. It says in part:
“Over the past several days, I have been portrayed as indifferent to domestic violence and as someone who did not take appropriate action, when warranted. While over three decades of coaching, I have learned to ignore how others define me, I do feel it necessary to share the truth with the Buckeye family.
While at UF & OSU, I have always followed proper reporting protocols & 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..any suggestion to the contrary is simply false.”
Meyer went on to say in the statement that he was essentially caught off guard at last week’s Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. That’s when he was point blank asked about Smith being investigated multiple times for domestic violence, including three years ago.
This after Smith’s wife Courtney had sent text messages with pictures of her abuse to Meyer’s wife, who is an OSU employee also, and to other assistant’s wives, as well.
Meyer further added,
“My intention was not to say anything inaccurate or misleading. However, I was not prepared to adequately discuss these sensitive personnel issues with the media, and I apologize for how I handled the questions.”
However, that will ring hollow with most who are outside of the Ohio State alumni and hardcore fan base. This is particularly because, Meyer knew what Smith was alleged to have done, while they coached together with the Gators in 2009 and then, cannot deny Smith’s documented plea’s for help to the coaching staff.
McMurphy tweeted this response to Meyer’s spin Friday afternoon:
Urban Meyer said he didn’t intend "to say anything inaccurate” about Zach Smith incident. He was asked 9 questions about it at B1G Media Days & said: “I know nothing; never had a conversation about that; who would create a story like that & If I (knew) I would have made a change"
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 3, 2018
Ohio State announced that their investigation into what Meyer knew, what he did or didn’t do and who else should have done something (like his wife for example) about it is underway. And they are using a former Federal prosecutor from that state to head it up.
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