Ohio State announced Monday that head coach Urban Meyer had fired wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Smith after his ex-wife filed a domestic violence civil protection order against him Monday.
While addressing the media at the podium at the 2018 Big Ten Media Days, Meyer said he was aware of the 2009 incident involving Smith when he was an intern under him at Florida. A Gainesville, Florida police report states Smith was arrested and charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman.
Meyer said he was contacted about the situation in 2009 and stands by Smith, despite terminating him from his role.
“We’re certainly not going to investigate,” Meyer said. “It came back to me that what was reported wasn’t actually what happened.”
The police report obtained by The Lantern states that Smith, “grabbed the victim by her t-shirt, picked her up and threw her into a bedroom wall.”
Meyer said he would not get into specifics on what happened in the alleged incident involving Smith, saying, “The decision was made. I think the details I’m obligated to give, I gave.”
This is the first time Meyer had to fire one of his assistant coaches. Meyer referenced this, mentioning turnover in terms of promotions from assistant coaches to head coaches or promotions to the NFL.
Despite the situation, Meyer praised his coaching staff, saying the coaches are well-equipped to take over in the present after Smith’s firing.
“This is the best group of young coaches I’ve had on both sides of the ball,” Meyer said. “And they’re very involved with our preparation game plan and development of our players.”
Meyer said that the coaching change will be addressed and released in the coming week.