Zach Smith's Misconduct Went Mostly Unpunished, Ohio State Review Finds

Shannon Stapleton  ReutersThe exterior of a building on The Ohio State University campus is seen in Columbus Ohio Aug. 6 2018

Shannon Stapleton ReutersThe exterior of a building on The Ohio State University campus is seen in Columbus Ohio Aug. 6 2018

Meyer texted "I know nothing about this", about a report about a 2015 "felony arrest" of Smith. When the committee searched Meyer's phone, all text messages older than one year were deleted. They become team moms.

Ohio State, already embroiled in separate scandals involving alleged sex abuse by a now-deceased athletics doctor and a diving coach, put Meyer on leave and formed a group led by White, a former Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman, to conduct an investigation.

She asked prosecutors not to press charges against her then-husband under pressure from his family and an attorney who represented members of the football team, she told Stadium. A case can be made that it should have. Only once in 17 seasons has he lost more than three regular season games. They search for solutions within and often look to mom and dad to clean up the mess.

The surreal scene at every turn was indicative of a day that will live in Ohio State lore.

In response to the disciplinary action against him, Meyer said, "I know the impact that the events of the last three weeks have had on this institution - an institution that I love - and how challenging this has been for our community and our president, a man for whom I have great respect". Jerry Emig, the athletic communications director, suggested that Meyer tell the public, "I really don't even recall any details" of a police investigation of Zach Smith in 2015.

Investigators determined: "Although Meyer and Gene Smith failed to adhere to the precise requirements of their contracts, they did so based upon a good faith belief that they did not have sufficient information to trigger a reporting obligations or initiate a disciplinary action against former assistant coach Zach Smith in the absence of law enforcement action". Ohio State is angry and/or disappointed that Meyer kept employing Smith as a Buckeye assistant coach, even after a variety of unscrupulous actions, not all of them related to domestic violence allegations. The investigation called it a "pattern of troubling behavior". However, the report does not identify the other coach. Meyer warned him to not do it again. Meyer admitted to being aware of the 2009 incident. He was late and no-showed on some responsibilities, the report said.

"Permitting such misconduct to continue is not consistent with the values of the University and reflects poorly on Coach Meyer, athletic director Smith, and the university".

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Between 2014 and 2016, Zach Smith's credit cards were declined three to five times, and he was delinquent in paying phone bills and expenses from bowl games.

Gene Smith and director of football operations Brian Voltolini were both surprised by Meyer's comments at Big Ten Media Days. Smith was sacked July 23 after McMurphy reported that his ex-wife, Courtney Smith, filed an order of protection against him in 2015.

Smith was sacked by Meyer in July, after it became public that the assistant coach's ex-wife, Courtney Smith, filed an ex parte against him days before. Smith was sacked last month after he was charged with criminal trespassing in relation to dropping his children off at his ex-wife's home against her wishes.

The prior week at Big Ten Media Day, Meyer had denied any knowledge of the allegation by infamously saying, "I don't know who creates a story like that".

I do not believe that Meyer's negligence and lies amounted to a fireable offense.

The text Meyer got back from his agent: only "a matter of time before he did something that did substantial harm to you or the program".

That blind spot now leaves a permanent mark on Meyers legacy.

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