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Strip clubs, drugs, memory loss: Bulleted list of Urban Meyer investigation

614now Staff



The long await for Urban Meyer’s fate has finally ended: 3-game suspension. Gene Smith joins Meyer on the time-out bench with an unpaid leave from Gene Smith from August 31 to September 16.

Since the repercussion for mishandling former assistant coach Zach Smith’s domestic abuse allegations have been handed down, more details about the investigation have hit the fan.

Here are some key findings, per The Dispatch:


  • Zach Smith took high school coaches and an unnamed Buckeyes coach to a strip club, spending upwards of $600 of his personal funds, while on an OSU recruiting trip in Florida in May 2014.
  • Meyer heard about the incident but did not know how much was spent at the club and failed to report it to the compliance department.
  • Meyer threatened Smith to fire him if it happened again and required a “morality claus” to be put in coaches’ contracts.
  • Powell police investigated Zach Smith for 15 months regarding domestic violence and cyber offenses against his then wife Courtney Smith that lasted through 2016.
  • OSU’s Title IX compliance officer got wind of the investigation and notified Gene Smith who then notified Meyer at a practice. Upset, Meyer and Gene Smith ordered Zach Smith return from a recruiting trip.
  • Meyer and Gene Smith confronted Zach Smith and told him, “if you hit her, you are fired.”
  • Shelley Meyer said she never told Urban Meyer about the text messages Courtney Smith sent to her about Zach Smith’s abuse in 2015 because she doubted the allegations.
  • Investigators’ reaction: “Given the closeness of their relationship and Shelley’s concerns, we believe it is likely that Shelley and Urban Meyer had at least some communication about these allegations in late 2015 and were concerned about them.”
  • In the midst of the divorce in 2016, Zach Smith went off the deep end—showing up late for practices and workouts and lying about attending high school recruiting trips.
  • Zach Smith had sex with a secretary of the football program which went unreported.
  • He took sexually explicit photos of himself while at the White House and the football facilities in April 2015 after the team won a national championship.
  • He also had had sex toys delivered to athletics facilities. Meyer and Gene Smith were aware of this.
  • Zach Smith checked into a drug treatment facility in June 2016 for an addiction to a prescription drug to treat ADHD. Meyer advised Smith to check into the facility.
  • Meyer’s lie about knowledge of the 2015 domestic abuse allegations against Zach Smith was likely a result of his health, incorrect media report, and confusing text messages from staff.
  • Texts show Meyer was told there was no record of any arrest in 2015, contradicting a media report.
  • He told reporters at the Big Ten Media Day that he was not aware of any incident in 2015, though he actually was.
  • Investigators discovered that Meyer has memory issues and sometimes takes medications that impairs his memory.
  • Upon learning of the initial report from Brett Murphy that Shelley had become aware of Courtney Smith’s allegations, staff member Brian Voltolini linked up with Meyer and together, they worked to delete text messages older than a year from Meyer’s phone.
  • When Meyer turned over his phone on August 2, there were only texts from the last year on it.
  • Investigators found the action of deleting messages “concerning.”
  • The report detailed that Meyer and Gene Smith were both required to report issues such as the allegations against Zach Smith to the compliance department. Meyer simply reporting to Gene Smith was not good enough.
  • Meyer and Smith said that the lack of law enforcement or court action played a part in their decision to not take the Zach Smith allegations to the compliance department.
  • Per the report: “Repeatedly, Zach Smith’s conduct was met with reprimands and warnings by Coach Meyer, but never a written report, never an investigation and no disciplinary action until July 23, 2018. While we do not doubt that Coach Meyer respects women and is dedicated to fostering an environment of respect for women in his program, his apparent blind spot for Zach Smith seems to have impaired his judgment and his management of the behavior of at least one of his assistants.”

Read the full report here.

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New Polaris gym raising the Barre

614now Staff



A recently-opened Polaris gym wants to raise the barre on your fitness this year.

Pure Barre, the largest barre franchise in North America, opened its doors in Columbus on January 9 at 1513 Gemini Place.

The new studio will offer members a low-impact, total-body workout using a ballet barre and small pulsing movements to strengthen and tone. Each Pure Barre class is designed as an intense workout that improves endurance, flexibility, and balance. 

Pure Barre Polaris is owned and operated by Amanda and Nathan Bradish, who both graduated from Ohio State University and have lived in Columbus for almost 10 years.

“Barre is a low impact, high intensity workout that is safe on joints while also toning and strengthening your muscles,” said Amanda. “Any age and fitness level can benefit from barre because of its low impact. I’ve been waiting for Pure Barre to finally come to the Polaris area, so I’m excited to combine my passions and be the one to bring it to the neighborhood.”

To give the Columbus community an opportunity to become familiar with the Pure Barre experience, the studio will celebrate its opening with free classes on Feb. 22-23.

Pure Barre Polaris is open daily. The studio can be reached online at or by phone at 614-787-5559.

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Food & Drink

Brewery District bakery to close after 10 years

614now Staff



The Brewery District will be sans a bakery in just a few short days.

After 10 years, Kolache Republic will be serving its last pastry on Saturday, February 8.

"We are truly grateful to our community of customers, friends, family and staff who have supported us in our pursuit to bring a unique food experience to this vibrant city as Columbus’ first and only kolache bakery," wrote Kolache Republic on Facebook.

Other than deciding it was "time to hang up our oven mitts and start a new chapter," the Czech pastry shop did not provide a reason for the closure.

If you're planning on showing a lot of love for Kolache Republic before it closes, Kolache recommends calling ahead for any orders of a dozen or more.

Kolache Republic is located at 730 S High St.

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Former meteorologist Mike Davis to plead guilty on child pornography charges

614now Staff



According to court records and a report from his onetime employer, former 10TV meteorologist Mike Davis will plead guilty to the child pornography charges against him.

In his trial, scheduled for January 30, Davis is expected to plead guilty to four counts of pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor.

Davis is accused of uploading more than 15,000 images of suspected child pornography using a Yahoo email address. He was arrested on September 5 after the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) was tipped off to the alleged activities.

The indictment against him alleges that since 2012, Davis regularly downloaded and emailed to himself videos and images depicting young children engaging in sexual activity.

Davis originally pleaded not guilty to all charges in October 2019. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said no plea deal has been offered in the case and his office will seek jail time for Davis.

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