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Urban Meyer says he failed on media day dealing with Zach Smith

04 August 2018

Fired Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith believes it would be "flat wrong" for Urban Meyer to lose his job over his handling of abuse allegations against Smith.

Meyer did fire Smith on July 23, the same day that a pattern of domestic abuse allegations made by Courtney Smith came to light in a report published by college football reporter Brett McMurphy.

In front of the assembled media in Chicago, Meyer said he knew about the 2009 incident, in which Smith was arrested for aggravated battery on a pregnant victim.

The course of action Meyer presented in the statement seemed appropriate in the wake of the allegations: at the time, Zach Smith was accused of committing domestic violence and felonious assault.

"The power of what I say and how I say it, especially regarding sensitive and serious domestic issues, has never been more evident than now".

Meyer admitted that he did not handle the situation correctly during Big Ten media days, saying that his job is to be "clear, compassionate and, most of all, completely accurate". "However, I was not adequately prepared to discuss these sensitive issues with the media, and I apologize for the way I handled those questions". I know nothing about it.

"I explained both sides of the story", Smith said during the interview, which will air on SportsCenter Friday (ESPN, 6 p.m.).

In his Friday statement, Meyer addressed the contradiction.

Courtney said on Wednesday that she told Meyer's wife Shelley-also an Ohio State employee-about the 2015 incident, and Shelley promised to tell Meyer in turn.

Smith also spoke to ESPN, saying he never hit her. Smith said after talking to police in October 2015 about the accusations against him, he returned to work. But Smith was only fired on July 23 after an OH court granted Courtney Smith a domestic violence protective order.

How else, though, did he say what he said without intending to be inaccurate or misleading?

Beyond that, a statement by Meyer and fired receiver coach Zach Smith's media tour raised as many questions as answers. I've never had a conversation about it.

Regarding the photos that show bruises and blood on Courtney Smith, Zach Smith said Friday during an interview on Columbus, Ohio, radio station WXZX: "I'm not discounting that (they are authentic)". 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.

Meyers, who is on paid leave, said in his statement that he intends to fully cooperate with the university as it conducts its own investigation.

Meyer posted a 73-8 record, including one national championship, during his seven seasons at Ohio State.

If that was Ohio State's plan, it failed miserably.

Urban Meyer says he failed on media day dealing with Zach Smith