In the midst of Ohio State's investigation into whether or not head coach Urban Meyer was aware of alleged domestic violence by former assistant Zach Smith, fans of the Buckeyes have gathered to host a rally for Meyer, who is now on paid administrative leave.
Starting around 6 p.m., the rally's organizer, Jeff Hamms - a 49-year-old fan from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, who is also known as "Tennessee Jeff" - got up in front of everyone and gave what he felt was a powerful speech boasting.
Meyer on Friday issued a statement saying he followed protocol at the time of the incident, but that he "failed" when answering questions about it at media days.
The school is investigating Meyer over what he did and didn't know about the alleged serial abuse committed by Smith against his ex-wife Courtney Smith.
Ohio State's policy on sexual misconduct says anyone who supervises faculty, staff, students or volunteers has a duty to report "when they receive a disclosure of sexual misconduct or become aware of information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that sexual misconduct may have occurred involving anyone covered under this policy".
In 2009, when he was a University of Florida assistant, Smith was arrested for aggravated battery on a pregnant victim (Courtney), according to a Gainesville Police Department report (she later dropped the charges).
In the meantime, a "Save Urban Meyer" petition posted Thursday at Change.org has almost reached its goal of 25,000 signatures.
"I know Urban Meyer would never condone a woman being abused", Elliott said. The petition was started by Buckeyes fan Blake Firestone. Smith left Temple after a season to join Meyer's staff at Ohio State. "It's Urban Meyer, and people want to be a part of it to show that they support him".
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