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Football: Former Ohio State assistant Tom Herman was source for Urban Meyer allegations, report says

Ohio State co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman
Credit: Hayden Grove / Lantern TV Sports director

A former Ohio State assistant coach has been identified as the source of a report that head coach Urban Meyer knew of domestic abuse allegations against his former wide receivers coach, according to sports writer and author Jeff Snook.

Tom Herman, now the University of Texas head coach and former offensive coordinator under Meyer, was named by Snook as the person who told former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy about Meyer’s alleged knowledge of domestic abuse from Zach Smith.

Snook’s report states that Herman was “furious” after 2019 five-star receiver Garrett Wilson committed to the Buckeyes in April, which, according to the report, was his motive behind the leaked information.

According to the report, while at Ohio State, Herman encouraged Smith’s now ex-wife Courtney Smith to “go public” with the alleged domestic violence incidents while he was a member of the Ohio State staff. Snook said the Herman family also helped Courtney Smith pay her legal fees.

McMurphy tweeted out a statement on Saturday.

“I have never revealed my sources in my nearly four decade journalistic career & I am not going to start now,” McMurphy said on Twitter. “However, I will say unequivocally that Tom Herman was not my source.”

Herman, through a Texas spokesman, told Brian Davis, a reporter from the Austin-American Statesman who posted it via Twitter, the story was “absolutely untrue” and that he had never spoken with McMurphy about the Ohio State situation.

Herman worked under Meyer at Ohio State as the offensive coordinator and the quarterbacks coach from 2012 to 2014, winning the Broyles award as the top assistant coach in the nation after the Buckeyes won the National Championship in 2014.

Herman declined to comment on the Smith allegations on August 2 in a press conference in Austin, Texas.

“I left the program after the 2015 season, excuse me, the 2014 season and the things that occurred, in my knowledge, happened in late 2015,” Herman said. “I really don’t think it would be fair or appropriate…to comment about a situation that happened in another program while I wasn’t there.”

Neither the Ohio State football program nor the Texas football program could be reached for comment.

Updated at 3:08 on Aug. 11 to include McMurphy’s statement. 

Updated at 3:37 p.m. on Aug. 11 to include information from Brian Davis. 


  1. Snook reported that Courtney Smith threatened to take down her ex and Coach Meyer so she seemed to be the most likely source. Snook then undermines his Courtney Smith narrative to claim Tom Herman was the source. It goes from being Courtney Smith’s revenge plot to being Tom Herman’s revenge plot.

  2. Tim, you are missing some kep points. Courtney Smith was/is friends with Tom Herman’s wife….they are connected. So you are wrong. The two stories are completely inter-related. Need to read up on more details of the situation.

  3. As more facts unfold, i am confident that Urban Meyer will be exonerated. The news organizations are quick to proclaim accusations as the truth before allowing the facts of a situation to come to light. In the “Me Too” era, everyone is quock to assume that the woman is always the victim in domestic violence situations, but that is just simply un-true. Moreover, it is completely possible that an angry person or persons would use accusations as a way to take down someone they dont like….it happens all the time.

  4. What do you get when you cross a lame soap opera with a media induced witch hunt?
    Go Bucks!(written from behind enemy lines near Austin)

  5. Intrigue…

    I keep coming back to the same questions.

    Why did Meyer bring Smith to tOSU when he knew full well what happened at UF?
    Why did Meyer lie (failed in his words… that’s rich) repeatedly at the B1G media days about the ’15 incident that he knew full well about?
    Why did tOSU state this would be wrapped up in 14 days?

  6. Today, unfortunately, innocent before being proven guilty does not always apply. The media needs the “juicy” story for ratings and social media needs gossip.

    Hopefully very soon for students and for those loyal fans, things get back to normal and, Coach Meyer gets back to his earned place. Then we can get back to dis”cussing” the real villains, politicians.

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