Even as the start of a new season is 24 hours or so away, the focus has (again) (still) been shifted away from Ohio State’s football players on the field and back to a lingering imbroglio off of it.
After a press conference announcing his three-game suspension Aug. 22, Urban Meyer was roundly criticized for his failure to use the public forum to apologize to Courtney Smith, who had accused former OSU wide receivers coach Zach Smith of spousal abuse. Two days later, the embattled Buckeyes head coach released a statement in which he “sincerely apologize[d] to Courtney Smith and her children for what they have gone through.”
Despite the apology, which many deemed as too little, too late, Meyer remained the subject of intense media scrutiny not only for his initial fumbling of the press conference but also for his handling of the domestic abuse allegations levied against his former assistant. Friday morning, Meyer issued yet another statement through his personal Twitter account, writing that “there have been a number of things reported in the media about President Drake’s decision and the Investigative Team’s Report that have not been correct and must be clarified.”
Meyer’s main point, it seems, was to reiterate that he “was not suspended because I knew about or condoned Zach Smith’s alleged domestic abuse.” Additionally, the coach acknowledged that it was “my fault [for] not taking action sooner against a troubled employee about his work-related issues.”
Below is Meyer’s entire statement, in its entirety.
The most recent statement comes one day after an Ohio State Board of Trustee member confirmed in an interview that he stepped down from his post an hour after Meyer’s suspension was announced because he thought the punishment was too lenient. It also comes two days after Zach Smith launched a Twitter tirade blasting the media as well as the university’s handling of Meyer and its “botched investigation.”
Meyer will be suspended without pay for the opener against Oregon State Sept. 1, as well as the Week 2 matchup with Rutgers and the Week 3 showdown against TCU. The coach will also be suspended through Sept. 2; that suspension prevented Meyer from taking part in the Buckeyes’ preparations for the season opener against the Beavers. He will, however, be permitted to take part in all football activities leading up to the Rutgers and TCU games, including practices, player meetings, coaches meetings, etc.