Fired Ohio State assistant says Urban Meyer firing would be 'flat wrong'

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Meyer's initial comments on the subject-the denial that's coming back to haunt him today-came a day after former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy, who's broken every wrinkle of the story, wrote that Zach Smith had been served an order of protection in 2018.

Ohio State Urban Meyer was placed on administrative leave earlier this week as the university investigates what Meyer knew about the domestic abuse allegations involving former assistant Zach Smith, who was sacked last month.

Ohio State's plan was seemingly to ride the wave of silence into the weekend, to let the latest official tidbit of information in the Urban Meyer-Zach Smith saga be what it released Thursday evening: That the university formed an independent board working group to assist in the investigation of this whole thing.

Amid reports Meyer was close to resigning Friday, he posted a statement confirming he knew Smith was involved in a domestic dispute in 2015 and that he hoped to keep his job.

"Over the past several days, I have been portrayed as being indifferent to domestic violence and as someone who did not take appropriate action, when warranted", Meyer wrote.

Meyer admitted that he did not handle the situation correctly during Big Ten media days, saying that his job is to be "clear, compassionate and, most of all, completely accurate". He apologized for his words at Big Ten Media Days, but ultimately stopped short of saying he swept anything under the rug. "However, I was not adequately prepared to discuss these sensitive personnel issues with the media, and I apologize". A man who, while he denied abusing his ex-wife, said Friday there were times arguments "got out of hand" and he had to "defensively restrain" her?

In his Friday statement, Meyer addressed the contradiction. "And, I did so regarding the Zach Smith incident in 2015".

Smith, the team's receivers coach and lead recruiter, was arrested in 2015 on domestic violence charges against his then-wife Courtney Smith.

Zach Smith was sacked on July 23 after he was served a civil protection order on behalf of Courtney Smith.

How else, though, did he say what he said without intending to be inaccurate or misleading? In the wake of that news, Meyer fired Smith.

Meyer asked fans to support Ohio State coaching staff and players, who will continue preparing for the upcoming football season while Meyer is on leave. If I hit her, I wouldn't even come to work. He said that's when Meyer pulled him off the practice field and asked him, "What the hell is going on?"

"I can't say it didn't happen because I wasn't there", Meyer said at the time.

Courtney Smith told McMurphy: "He took me and shoved me up against the wall, with his hands around my neck".

Smith also explained that Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith called him following the 2015 incident and told him to "get on the next plane home".

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