Ohio State Suspends Urban Meyer Three Games

Ohio State Suspends Urban Meyer Three Games

Ohio State football Coach Urban Meyer will be suspended for the first three games of the upcoming season due to concerns over his handling of domestic violence allegations lodged against a longtime assistant and family friend, the school announced Wednesday night.

Speaking after the investigation was announced, Zach Smith said he spoke with Meyer at the time and athletic director Gene Smith also knew about the allegations. Smith is suspended without pay from August 31-September 16.

The summary of Ohio State's investigation resulting in Meyer's suspension stated that Meyer "failed to act appropriately regarding alleged abuse by Zach Smith of his former wife and related allegations that he misrepresented his knowledge of the alleged events at the Big Ten Media Days". Permitting such misconduct to continue is not consistent with the values of the University and reflects poorly on Coach Meyer, Athletic Director Smith, and the University.

On Aug. 6, close to 200 Ohio State fans conducted a rally in support of Meyer at Ohio Stadium, with several holding signs that blamed the media for creating a false narrative.

Meyer will miss Ohio State's games against Oregon State on September 1, Rutgers the following week and No. 16 TCU on September 16 in Arlington, Texas.

The university said Meyer is suspended through September 2, 2018, and for the games on September 1, 8 and 15 without pay.

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Meyer's future had been in question since August 3, the day he was put on administrative leave while the university conducted an investigation into his handling of former wide receivers coach Zach Smith.

The investigation centers on what Meyer knew and did about allegations of abuse against Smith, who was sacked July 23 after his ex-wife sought a protective order. The lead investigator was Mary Jo White, who is known in sporting circles for her work in the National Football League on cases involving Ezekiel Elliott and the New Orleans Saints' "Bounty Gate" case.

The university spent Wednesday deliberating the fate of head football coach Urban Meyer. The deal through 2022, increasing Meyer's salary to $7.6 million in 2018, with annual 6 percent raises.

The assistant coach and his ex-wife have said both Gene Smith and Meyer's wife, Shelley Meyer, an instructor in Ohio State's nursing school, knew of a 2015 instance of alleged domestic violence. Ohio State's Title IX sexual misconduct policy includes reporting allegations of domestic violence made against university employees.

Smith was accused by his ex-wife, Courtney Smith of physical abuse. The case came to light back in late July when Smith was sacked from the university due to his arrest in the case. Zach Smith was sacked last month after she asked a judge for a protective order. The charge was dropped because of insufficient evidence.

At a news conference late last month, Meyer acknowledged awareness of the 2009 arrest, and said he had been told the initial allegation by Courtney Smith wasn't accurate, and that he and his wife had spoken with the Smiths and helped arrange counseling for the couple.

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