Update: During OSU football head coach’s address at the Big Ten’s media days in Chicago, he admitted to knowing about some of the domestic abuse allegations against his wide receivers coach but not all.
Meyer said he knew about the allegations against Zach Smith’s in 2009 when they were coaching at Florida but did not know about the claims in 2015.
According to Eleven Warriors, Smith was arrested in 2009 for battery on his three-month pregnant wife at the time, Courtney Smith.
However, Courtney decided not to file charges and Meyer stood by Zach, who was a graduate assistant for the Gators at the time.
“In 2009, Zach was an intern,” Meyer said. “As I do any time, and I imagine most coaches or people in leadership positions, when you receive a phone call, first thing you do is tell your boss. Let the experts do their jobs. We’re certainly not going to investigate. It came back to me that what was reported wasn’t what actually happened. So Shelley and I actually both got involved with the relationship with that family, and provided counseling, and wanted to help them moving forward.”
As far as the firing, Meyer said:
“It was in the best interest of our team,” Meyer said. “It wasn’t just my decision, it was a group effort with some of the people that I rely on.
“Core values are very strong,” Meyer added. “So that was a big part of it.”
An Ohio State football coach accused of hitting his wife is hitting the road.
Wide receivers coach Zach Smith, grandson of former head coach Earle Bruce, has been fired following multiple allegations of domestic abuse.
The university made a short announcement Monday night but did not specify why Smith was fired.
College football reporter Brett McMurphy uncovered Smith’s checkered past and made a Facebook post detailing his findings.
“Smith, 34, was arrested Oct. 26, 2015 by the Powell (Ohio) Police Department on felony counts of domestic violence and felonious assault against Courtney Smith,” he wrote.
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The couple divorced September 1, 2016.
But then just this Friday, Courtney Smith filed a domestic violence protection order against Zach Smith.
The ruling, per McMurphy, states: “the court finds that (Courtney Smith) is in immediate and present danger of domestic violence and for good cause the following temporary orders are necessary to protect the persons named (Courtney Smith and her two young children) in this order from domestic violence.”
Besides 2015, Zach Smith was also arrested in 2009.
He was on Urban Meyer’s coaching staff then, too, at the University of Florida.
According to a Gainesville, Florida Police Incident report, Courtney Smith, then 24, stated her husband Zach Smith, then 25, “picked her up by grabbing her T-shirt and threw her against the bedroom wall located upstairs in their apartment.”
Though he denied accusations, Zach Smith was arrested. Courtney chose not to press charges eight days later.
Meyer is scheduled to speak Tuesday at Big Ten’s media days in Chicago.