Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has been cut off from all Buckeye football activities since being placed on paid administrative leave on Aug. 1.
However, he was allowed to meet with the team and coaches on Thursday with athletic director Gene Smith, so the players and staff could “hear from him and cover interim leadership during the suspension period including the three games he will not attend,” Ohio State spokesman Chris Davey said.
Meyer will not be allowed to attend any practices, meetings, official events or appear in any official capacity at any Ohio State football events while on his suspension, according to an email to Meyer sent by Susan Basso, senior vice president of the office of human resources.
The email also said he will not be allowed to communicate with staff, student-athletes, recruits or others, or “otherwise conduct any business related to your role for this time period.”
It went on to say he will be allowed to resume his head coaching duties on Sept. 3, but that he cannot perform any of those duties for a 24-hour period around the game days of Sept. 1, 8 and 15, and he cannot appear at any pregame activities or the game itself.
Meyer did not receive the official terms of his suspension until Sunday, Davey said.
Basso said in another email that Meyer was authorized by Ohio State to have one opportunity to meet with the team. She said the meeting took place with Smith present on Thursday “for roughly 45 minutes at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.”
When Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave on Aug. 1, he was forbidden from talking to any players or coaches on the football team, among several other restrictions.
Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said during Monday’s press conference that he spoke with Meyer while he was on leave.
Schiano said the discussion was “personal” and not about football.
“Well Urban is, before he’s my boss, he’s a friend. I’ve known him for over 20 years. So when I was allowed to, I did communicate,” Schiano said. “It was about him. Because I was worried about him. I’ll leave it at that.”
Davey said Meyer had limited conversations with coaches including Schiano, and that “limited conversations between Wednesday and Sunday were not in violation of the suspension because they would have occurred before” Meyer received the suspension letter.
In Basso’s email, she said Meyer could have “no further contact with University staff or students related to your role” as head coach after that meeting.
Meyer was suspended for the first three games of the season and will remain suspended without pay until Sept. 2. He will be allowed to resume coaching at practices after that, but cannot be on the sidelines on Saturdays.
The suspension was the result of a 14-day investigation led by Mary Jo White, the former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and current senior chair of Debevoise and Plimpton. The investigation was looking into Meyer’s knowledge of domestic abuse allegations surrounding former wide receivers coach Zach Smith.