What did Urban Meyer know, when did he know it, and what did he do with the information?
The last question is the most important.
It’s that simple.
What we know is this – former receivers coach Zach Smith was physically abusive to his ex-wife in 2009 and 2015, and likely at points in between that did not result in police complaints. Courtney Smith split from Zach, and Zach continued with threats to the point Courtney requested a domestic violence civil protection order on July 20th.
At that point, Meyer fired Smith, to whom he was fiercely loyal in part due to his being the grandson of former Ohio State coach and personal mentor Earle Bruce.
Meyer lied to the media at Big 10 Football Media Days about whether he knew about the 2015 accusations.
What we remain unsure about is whether Meyer reported whatever he knew about his subordinate to AD Gene Smith or others – as is required by Title IX and internal policies, and that is the only relevant answer necessary to determine whether Meyer should continue as head coach.
If Meyer complied with all Ohio State, Big 10, and NCAA requirements, for what would he be fired?
Trying to help the Smiths as a friend while being compliant with Ohio State Athletic Department policies is all that can be reasonably asked morally or legally of Meyer, and by all accounts it appears both Urban and Shelley Meyer counseled Zach and Courtney Smith.
Why this investigation requires external parties to determine the facts is odd. If anyone should know whether Meyer informed his boss about Zach Smith’s alleged attack in 2015, it would be the boss himself.
If Meyer accurately informed Gene Smith about the accusations of a physical attack in 2015 at or very near the time he learned of it, what else could an employer expect?
This is not a question of whether Meyer, through his continued employment of and relationship with Zach Smith, is somehow supportive of a perpetrator of domestic violence. That seems ridiculous. At least I hope it is.
Whether Meyer complied with protocol established by state and federal law as well as regulations of Ohio State and organizations to which it belongs is all that matters.
That’s it. It’s that simple.
Kent Sterling hosts the fastest growing sportstalk show in Indianapolis on CBS Sports 1430 every weekday from 3p-7p, and writes about Indiana sports at kentsterling.com.