Urban Meyer: Ohio State suspends coach for 3 games


Urban Meyer: Ohio State suspends coach for 3 games Urban Meyer Ohio State suspends coach for 3 games

Aug. 22 (UPI) — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer received a three game suspension after an investigation into his handling of abuse allegations against a former assistant.

The Board of Trustees and president Michael V. Drake met on Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio to discuss the findings of the investigations, related to Zach Smith, who was fired in July. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith was also suspended without pay from Aug. 31 through Sept. 16.

“Although neither Urban Meyer nor Gene Smith condoned or covered up the alleged domestic abuse by Zach Smith, they failed to take sufficient management action relating to Zach Smith’s misconduct and retained an assistant coach who was not performing as an appropriate role model for OSU student-athletes,” the school said in a statement.

“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. Their handling of this matter did not exhibit the kind of leadership and high standards that we expect of our athletic director, head coach, assistant coaches and all on the football staff.”

Meyer will not coach the Buckeyes against Oregon State, Rutgers or TCU to start the 2018 season. He has been on administrative leave since Aug. 1. He is under contract with the school through 2022 and is due $7.6 million this season.

Offensive coordinator Ryan Day is the team’s acting head coach in Meyer’s absence.

Meyer spoke after the announcement for the first time since being placed on administrative leave.

“I know that the impact that the events of the last three weeks have had on this institution, an institution that I love, and how challenging this has been for our community, our president — a man I have great respect for — and for that I am deeply sorry,” Meyer said.

“I’m fully aware that I’m ultimately responsible for this situation that has harmed the university as a whole and the department of athletics and our football program.”

“I want to apologize to Buckeye Nation. I followed my heart and not my head. I fell short in pursuing full information because at each juncture I gave Zach Smith the benefit of the doubt.”

“As I reflect, my loyalty to his grandfather, Earle Bruce, who was my mentor and like a father to me, likely impacted how I treated Zach over the years. I did not know everything about Zach Smith, what Zach Smith doing, and I’m pleased the report made this very clear. However, I should have demanded more from him and recognized red flags.”

“I needed to show more care and concern for the entirety of the situation and the people involved. I should have been more demanding of him in the same way I am of my players, other staff members and myself. I should have done more, and I am sorry for that.”

“I did a poor job at media day. It’s a big reason why we’re here today. I was not being as complete and accurate as I should have been at media day, and afterward. But there was no intent to mislead. My role is to set a good example, and in this instant, I did not live up to the university’s standards.”

“The suspensions are tough, but I fully accept them. I wish I could go back and make different decisions, but I can’t. These difficult lessons are a constant reminder of the duties and obligations that I have as a member of this university, and this community.”

“I take this responsibility very seriously, and I will do better. I’ve been a Buckeye my entire life, and for the past six years I’ve work diligently to build a program the great state of Ohio, and Ohio State, can be very proud of. And I appreciate the opportunity to learn from a mistake, and I will work as hard as I ever have to make our strong program even stronger.”

“Thank you very much.”

The Buckeyes host Oregon State at noon on Sept. 1 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.

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