We’re getting closer to a resolution regarding Ohio State coach Urban Meyer’s long-term status with the program.
Ohio State announced Friday that its investigation into how the football program handled an accusation of domestic abuse against former assistant coach Zach Smith in 2015 would be done on Sunday “as planned.” After the investigation’s completion, the investigators will give a report to Ohio State’s board. You can expect an update on Meyer’s status likely around the time of that board meeting.
Meyer is currently on paid administrative leave. Offensive coordinator Ryan Day is the team’s interim coach.
The independent working group directing the investigation involving Urban Meyer announced today that the investigation will be completed on Sunday, as planned. The investigators will then prepare a report for the working group to be delivered next week.
Following receipt, the working group will share the report with the Board of Trustees in an executive session to be held next week. As required by law, public notice of the meeting will be released at least 24 hours in advance. Following deliberations with the board, and appropriate time for consideration, President Michael V. Drake will announce his decision.
Ohio State’s Board of Trustees had formed a special, independent working group to direct this investigation. Former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson serves as chair of the working group. The investigation is being led by former Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Jo White. White is a senior chair with the national law firm Debevoise & Plimpton and is also a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Additional details will be shared next week.
Meyer was placed on leave on Aug. 1. He admitted on Aug. 3 that he had lied to reporters at Big Ten media days when he said he had no knowledge of a 2015 accusation against Smith, which became public the day before. Smith was fired after allegations of domestic abuse against his now ex-wife in 2009 and 2015 became public.
Meyer said Aug. 3 that he had reported the Smith allegation to the proper channel. In an interview after Meyer’s statement, Smith said he was informed that his ex-wife Courtney Smith had gone to police regarding the accusation from Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith. Zach said Gene called him while he was out recruiting and told Zach to return to Columbus.
Courtney Smith has contended she believed Urban Meyer knew all along about the allegations she made regarding abuse from Zach. She said Shelley Meyer was involved in a text message chain that included details of the allegations.
Day issued a statement Friday afternoon providing an update about Ohio State’s fall practices to date. The team will host an open practice on Saturday. It’s the first open practice to the media all summer, as the school closed practices after Meyer was placed on administrative leave.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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