A group of fervent Urban Meyer supporters rallied at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Monday to back the Ohio State football coach embroiled in scandal over domestic violence allegations against former assistant Zach Smith.
The school is investigating Meyer over what he did and didn’t know about the alleged serial abuse committed by Smith against his ex-wife Courtney Smith.
Urban Meyer supporter calls scandal ‘fake news’
Meyer fans showed up in force on Monday with signs — many of them misguided — backing their embattled coach.
The rally for Urban Meyer at Ohio Stadium pic.twitter.com/4pmRS27X1p
— Ari Wasserman (@AriWasserman) August 6, 2018
While one sign simply reads “We Love Coach URBAN” and another mocks the “Me Too” movement, many of them took aim at ESPN, which had nothing to do with the reporting that led to the investigation into Meyer. One sign reads “ESPN SEC FRAUDS” while another reads “ESPN = FAKE NEWS”
While ESPN, like almost every other U.S. sports media outlet, has reported on the Meyer situation since the scandal broke open last week, it was Brett McMurphy, an independent reporter who was laid off by ESPN, who broke the news that suggested Meyer knew about the allegations against Smith.
Speaker takes on ESPN college football analyst
Meanwhile, a speaker making opening statements chose to focus on ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum, who has been critical of Meyer and predicted that he would lose his job over the scandal.
Ezekiel Elliott’s father makes an appearance
Stacy Elliott, father of Dallas Cowboys running back and former Buckeyes great Ezekiel Elliott, appeared at Monday’s rally.
Stacy Elliott, father of former #OhioState quarterback Ezekiel Elliott, addresses media outside Ohio Stadium during a rally in support of Coach Urban Meyer. #football #UrbanMeyer #buckeyes pic.twitter.com/Glpt3MdvrU
— Joshua A. Bickel (@joshuabickel) August 6, 2018
“I know Urban Meyer would never condone a woman being abused,” Elliott said. “Those who abuse women need to stop right now.
“But, the truth of the matter, based on what we all know, he handled the situation according to how his job required him to.”
Elliott has been an adamant supporter of Meyer since the scandal broke, telling McMurphy to “investigate yourself” last week via Twitter.
I’m so sick of this world! Investigate yourself @Brett_McMurphy So many hypocrites love to throw stones! This is bigger than football! Urban Meyer will be the WINNER!! I stand firm with my coach!!! Almighty God has shown me his heart and how he cares for young people!!!
— Ambassador Elliott (@stacy_elliott) August 2, 2018
Healso posted a video montage supporting Meyer intertwined with clips of Ezekiel with the Buckeyes that concludes with an image from OSU facilities urging people to “treat women with respect.”
— Ambassador Elliott (@stacy_elliott) August 3, 2018
Ezekiel Elliot served a six-game NFL suspension last season over allegations that he abused his ex-girlfriend.
Monday’s rally concluded with a pizza delivery from Papa John’s, according to Cleveland.com.
Pre-paid pizza, ordered by some anonymous person, just delivered to the Urban Meyer rally, which is already over pic.twitter.com/y1nOkRzqCZ
— Doug Lesmerises (@DougLesmerises) August 6, 2018
More from Yahoo Sports:
• NFL HOF reportedly considering requiring inductees to show up
• Dak Prescott on ‘Get Out’ mural: ‘Everybody has their own opinion’
• Terez Paylor: Tyrod good for Cleveland? Just ask the defense
• Dan Wetzel: How Jim Tressel scandal sheds insight on Urban Meyer situation