Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Urban Meyer's Zach Smith explanation doesn't make much sense

Urban Meyer's Zach Smith explanation doesn't make much sense

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is facing questions about his relationship with former receivers coach Zach Smith, who was sacked after an Ohio court granted a domestic violence protection order to his ex-wife. Soon after, more domestic violence allegations involving Smith surfaced, two different arrests from 2015 and one from 2009.

It's an uncharacteristic amount of upheaval for Ohio State so close to the season.

The problem for Urban Meyer is that Smith has worked under him that entire time. He had ties to Smith that went beyond their years of professional association, as the latter is the grandson of former Buckeyes coach Earle Bruce, who was a mentor to Meyer.

In his clarifying comments Tuesday, Meyer said of the 2015 allegations, "I can't say it didn't happen because I wasn't there".

When asked where Smith's actions fell, Meyer said, "There's a difference between a mistake and core values". And there was nothing. Once again, there's nothing - once again, I don't know who creates a story like that.

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Later on Monday, McMurphy reported on a 2015 incident in Delaware, Ohio, in which Zach Smith was arrested on felony counts of domestic violence and felonious assault. No charges were filed, but for Meyer to write off the allegations as nothing, especially considering something had already happened in 2009, is a bit alarming.

Smith, the team's wide receivers coach and lead recruiter, was sacked on Monday, three days after his ex-wife filed a protection order against him in Delaware County.

"I got a text last night that something happened in 2015, and there was nothing", Meyer told reporters. As I do any times, most coaches and people in leadership positions, you receive a phone call, first thing you do is tell your boss, let the experts do their jobs.

"Throughout the entire process, whether it was Khalil or other leaders in our football program, we were in conversations with them - about where we were going, keeping them informed, trying to understand what the best things are for the program", he told the Arizona Daily Star.

"It was a very young couple, and I saw a very talented coach and we moved forward", Meyer said.

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It's not a great answer.

"The decision was made, I think the details that I'm obligated to give I gave", Meyer said. He also played for Meyer at Bowling Green. The decision was made. "This is about all the players here". Of course, he has 100 things that might seem more pressing than keeping tabs on a grown man, but to me, making that personnel decision should come coupled with some level of scrutiny.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer made the right decision firing receivers coach Zach Smith on Monday, but it's the timing of that separation that will direct more scrutiny at the coach, the program and the school as those details are sorted out. With the most recent allegations, Smith's firing nearly seemed inevitable.

The Smiths divorced in 2016. But it's par for the course in how the people in charge handle their business.

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