The Buckeyes coach was placed on administrative leave Wednesday while the university investigates an explosive report accusing him of staying silent after an alleged 2015 domestic abuse situation involving former OSU assistant coach Zach Smith.
Ohio State announced a special working group Thursday night that will direct the investigation into football coach Urban Meyer. "This allows the team to conduct training camp with minimal distraction. I eagerly look forward to the resolution of this matter", he said in a statement.
At the very least, there is strong evidence that Shelley Meyer - also an Ohio State employee as a registered nurse - was aware of multiple accusations of domestic violence against Smith. Courtney Smith, the ex-wife of the recently fired wide receivers coach, said in an interview that she had discussed the incident in 2015 with Shelley Meyer, Urban Meyer's wife.
Smith, who was arrested for aggravated battery on a pregnant victim in 2009 while working for Meyer at Florida, was sacked by Ohio State in July after he was arrested on a criminal trespassing charge. Those messages include pictures of a bruised Courtney Smith. It's not clear how restrictive the paid leave will be for the coach set to earn $7.6 million for the season after getting a raise this year.
At the minimum, in an age where many colleges and leagues and business owners are preaching "no tolerance", these charges are a truly ugly black eye on The Ohio State University and Meyer.
At media days in Chicago last week, Meyer acknowledged the 2009 incident. The Smiths separated in June 2015 and divorced in 2016. "I was never told about anything ... never had a conversation about it, so I know nothing about that". In it, he also says it's "beyond doubt" that Meyer did not cover up a crime or witness one just after he says Ohio State should wait for all of the facts of the case before acting. "No, and I asked some people back at the office to call and say what happened and they came back and said they know nothing about it".