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Football: Screenshot of text message allegedly shows Zach Smith admitting to abuse

Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith talks to junior wide receiver Eric Glover-Williams prior to fall camp on Aug. 5. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports Editor

A text message exchange between former Ohio State wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Smith and ex-wife Courtney Smith shows that Zach Smith admitted to abusing Courtney Smith while in Punta Cana, according to a tweet by former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy.

The exchange shows Courtney Smith talking about lies and previous instances of Zach Smith’s abuse, including a time where he allegedly picked her up by the neck and strangled her.

McMurphy tweeted this screenshot out following an interview on 105.7 The Zone where Zach Smith said that he never committed domestic abuse against his ex-wife.

Zach Smith described the relationship as “volatile,” but said he never did anything illegal, saying that he would occasionally restrain her to get out of the situation.

Smith thought his firing was not warranted, and that the problem “was behind closed doors between a husband and wife.”

McMurphy shared screenshots of text messages between Courtney and Zach Smith on his original story, which stated that head coach Urban Meyer knew about allegations surrounding Zach Smith in 2015.

“[Meyer] looked at me and said ‘Zach if you hit her, you’re fired immediately,’” Zach Smith said in an interview on ESPN.

These text messages show Zach Smith threatening Courtney Smith, saying he will find her when she is out.

Zach Smith was fired on July 23 for his alleged domestic abuse.


  1. Mr. McMurphy needs a course in ethics and logic. He has enabled a vindictive woman to destroy her children, her unsophisticated husband, a coach, and an entire football program, all for his own benefit. This is NOT an admission of anything. This is a man groveling. Chats regularly have replies out of order due to delays, the fact the texters are doing other things, being stuck on something said earlier. We have no context here at all and no proof this is even a legitimate screen shot. These things are damned easy to fabricate, just a someone who deals with this stuff every day. Where are the messages leading up to and following this alleged exchange.

    Look, a woman who has been abused for 9 years has dozens of recordings and pictures that substantiate allegations of abuse. In reviewing Ms. Smith’s many empty reports to the police, it is clear they amount to absolutely NOTHING. No recordings. No pictures. No corroboration by police or by witnesses. You hear this stuff in family court all day, every day. Even the most female-biased judges have to dismiss these complaints for lack of credibility. Ms. Smith presents like a narcissistic, entitled brat, not like a devastated victim. Zach Smith presents like an oft-kicked dog by comparison.

    It is not illegal to marry a vindictive, borderline partner and nobody should be fired just because they have a partner who wants that to happen. Meyer and the AD clearly lacked cause to fire him until very recently and may have even let him go unjustly because his situation with his wife had become a PR liability. Meyer has made ONE mistake here–a mole hill out of which McMurphey and Ms. Smith have constructed a toxic mountain: Meyer lied to the press when he should have said “Yes, I know. Yes, I reported it. We did not dismiss him because we had no cause until recently. We acted the moment we felt we could move forward with a dismissal. End of story.

    McMurphy and this site need to refrain from calling this purported text an “admission”. It is no such thing. We don’t know WHAT it is and neither McMurphy nor this paper should be jumping to the conclusion that something is true just because Ms. Smith says it’s true. That’s just institutional sexism and it is a poison that, as much as any other, has led to the destruction of the American family and to its replacement with a PC culture that diminishes the lives of 90% of us to the enrichment of a selfish few.

    • Wow, Les Toolish. Your name should be “More Foolish”, because that is the dumbest couple of paragraphs ever posted. #1 – the way you minimize the abuse and make the claim that NOTHING can be proved is completely idiotic. Have you seen the police reports? Did you know the wife? Exactly. You don’t. So don’t presume to know more than any of us do. All we know is there are many text messages alluding to abuse and other people aware of it. We also know that an incident occurred in 2009 that was properly documented. Finally, we now have a coach who is “admitting” to knowledge of something in 2015. This all adds up to some truth. So buddy, do us all a favor and crawl back under the 1950’s rock you came from. You are no longer relevant in 2018. You are a caveman and belong in a museum. Sincerely, America the Future.

      • The only possible explanation is that this text was captured under iOS7 or iOS8. Which would mean that she sat on this text for 3 years before releasing it? Furthermore she didn’t use it to validate her first claim of abuse in October of 2015? Seems a bit odd.

        Why does the original police report of the first incident list 2 victims, but oddly, the report for the second victim isn’t found?

        Why on that police report does it say “Victim Injured” Yes and then the description of the injuries is blank?

        There are just too many inconsistencies here.

    • You are a sad man and I hope you never produce(d) a son bc the world doesn’t need your idiotic views to be handed down.

    • What news organization ever uses screenshots as proof? Screenshots are easily edited, and can be changed to say anything. A 10 year old would need less than 20 minutes to edit a screenshot and make it say anything they want. Using screenshots, and not a download from the phone, which shows the phone number, time stamp, and actual message itself, is always used by a news organization.

      As for the pictures, same thing. Why was Courtney taking these pictures herself, and not the police? In Ohio, you cannot drop charges, or have someone not arrested when you accuse them of Domestic Abuse. Once the accusation is made, the party has to be arrested. At this point, they are not able to drop the charges, only the state can. The pictures show red areas on her arms, that look consistent with someone grabbing her arms to either move them away, or as in a defensive posture, just as Zach Smith described.

      Courtney Smith has a number is problems with credibility. She called 911 66 times in 90 days. 911 actually stopped responding because they were not finding her credible. She has come to OSU’s practice numerous times drunk, chasing Zach, threatening to blow people up.

      Zach was not charged, not arrested, and never convicted.

      These 2 were in the middle of a custody battle as well. Up to 70% of accusations in a custody battle are false. In those false accusations, it is quite common for the accusing party to fake injuries, destroy property, etc, to make their case.

      For everyone in here taking Courtney’s word for this, without knowing the entire story, SHAME. You are the reason that there are close to 70% of false accusations. You jump the gun, and immedaitely blame the other party, without all the facts.

      In Ohio, if you accuse, you win. If you are about to go through a divorce, you are better off just accusing the other person of violence, because you will automatically win custody, automatically win the house, automatically win everything, no matter how accurate the accusation is.

      Abuse should never happen, and when someone actually does abuse someone, they should be punished, but because of people like you, abuse is minimized as it now becomes a weapon in the arsenol of a divorce.

    • The other shoe will drop on this whole case and we will learn more about Courtney. When she went on TV it was about taking down Urban. She did not even talk that much about Zach. My soon to be ex threatened to tell police I was harassing her unless I agreed to file tax returns that benefited her and we untrue. No kids..or they would have been dragged into it.

  2. Whether any of the alleged abuse actually transpired should be left to the courts. None of Courtney Smith’s allegations are backed by any substantial proof and certainly none that would hold up in a court of law. Courtney Smith’s actions appear to be that of a vindictive harpy who may have miscalculated the outcome of her accusations against Zach. Now that he is unemployed and Courtney realizes she may not get the payout she was looking for, her and her despicable lawyer are setting up a play to seek financial reward from the deep pockets of Ohio State and the NCAA.

    • You are a sad man

      • Travis he is accurate. Screenshots? They are never used as proof. The phone is always examined by a computer expert, and downloaded.

        You obviously are part of the reason up to 70% of accusations during custody battles are false, and used as a ploy in a divorce.

    • Why people don’t see this for what it is. MONEY. PURE SIMPLE MONEY. She’s running out of money and going after Ohio St.

  3. Not surprised it’s a bunch of men on here with incredibly insensitive perspectives towards an abused woman.

    How can it possibly be so difficult for you all to see that she would not have left this man if it weren’t for his behavior? If either of you men have a woman that is unfortunate enough to have married you then you too should be able to realize that they have stuck with you despite boneheaded things you’ve probably done. And that’s because they love you so they endure. So for her to leave him despite his high paying job, wonderful connections and being the father to her children it must have been pretty bad. But no I guess you need to see him punch her in the face before you will admit that she may have been abused. You are sad people. Enjoy living in your bubble and may you never have daughters who grow to be with men like yourselves.

    • So why is it that 70% of accusations during custody battles are false? Your line of thinking Travis is why women use accusations so often to try and win custody battles. Just believe the woman? You’re the problem, not the solution. If a man makes the same accusation, do you really think they are treated equally as a woman? Half the time the cops wouldn’t even arrest the woman, if the man is the one making the accusation.

    • Ok genius. Where is the pictures. Every time she refused to go through not because she was ever beaten cause the police would have made reports and pictures. Show me the proof. Yes the DUMB ASS was a DICK. Going late at night and drunk. Idiot yes.

      But women like this are there makes the real batter d women much harder to face court when others use it for profit

  4. I’m not so sure it was simply a one sided abusive relationship. Maybe the term abuser can blanket a huge variety of behavior or doesn’t according to the people involved I guess but I do know in the state of Ohio both parties are required to complete a co-parenting class during divorce. the basis of the class is to teach each parent to not involve children in their issues with each other such as trashing your ex, using for leverage and anything that is detrimental to the healthy love a child needs to feel from a parent or for a parent. It’s my understanding she called the police on him for dropping their child off in her driveway. No one can tell me that was for any other reason than to punish her ex husband. The real victims are their children and anyone else affected by their toxic twisted relationship.

  5. Appalachian Badass Advocate

    If you have to put your hands on someone as an excuse to get away from a situation, isn’t that a flagrant foul? Or Holding? This man is a football coach, yet couldn’t get away without putting his hands on his partner? He used the word restrain as if that is not domestic violence. So because he didn’t punch her, then he can do what he wants because she deserved it because he thought she was crazy?
    Is that move on the chalkboard in the locker room at OSU?
    Plus her protection order was signed by a judge and her right to protection and victim status is granted by the Attorney General’s office.
    The protections she is granted are not listed in order from most offensive to least. Opinions of law enforcement or anyone else do not matter. It’s a black and white document that was read to him and he was informed, yet felt entitled to break one of the provisions.
    The arm chair psychologists are out in force victim blaming her. Really?
    She deserved it because she’s crazy?
    If she does have a mental health diagnosis, which is nobody’s business anyway, that still never means anyone is entitled to put hands on, restrain, or anything! Never out of anger and never without consent.
    If she does have a diagnosis and is being abused and her rights being disregarded then I hope she files a complaint with the ADA. Purposely abusing someone with a mental health diagnosis is a protected disability. The, “crazy,” label isn’t in the diagnostic manual and is not ever an excuse to violate ADA or HIPPA people. Sorry but welcome to this generation.
    Everyone who screwed up is digging a hole with old excuses that do not match the wording in the Law.
    Well, He didn’t punch her – that is not the line theses days people.
    Now suddenly she has all this power to control the entire situation and he is blameless because he didn’t punch her?
    If she had that much power why couldn’t he go out a back door? Is he out of shape, lost his ability to get away from a woman? Poor guy, she just must have super powers to control him and everything. BS!
    Could he not read the protection document and follow it?
    The rules don’t apply to him apparently.
    So what if the moms say she wants to take them down.
    If this man had kept his hands to himself and followed a judges order she wouldn’t have to fight for her rights.
    Plus, it should be noted that recently OSU claims that the situation with the wrestling dr. Occurred in the 80’s and the world was different then. OSU is looking into the abuse according to this generation.
    If you ask women who grew up with Lucille Ball and are projecting what they think abuse is – then you will get an opinion where the source must be considered.
    Maybe these women should put their two cents in when the judge calls them. Otherwise what they say says more about their ignorance. But the victim blamers will give their statements a lot of power as well to avoid talking about The BEHAVIOR of Zach Smith.
    He can’t control his behavior? Doesn’t have to? Can do what he wants? Wrong.
    He put his hands on her and then violated a DVCPO;
    Take them down Courtney.
    Get some justice!
    Plus if she has all this power to control a man to put his hands on her and to cause him to violate a protection order- maybe she should be the new coach. She can survive abuse and pull everyone out of position, better listen to her.
    Take them down Courtney! Get Justice!
    I got your back!
    I’d march for you any day.

    • So if she was beating on him, hitting him, smacking him, it is OK because she is a woman, and if he restrained her to stop her from beating on him it is wrong because he is a man?

      You are the problem. You don’t know a thing about the situation either do you? Did you know the Powell police stopped going over there because of how many false reports she made? Did you know her own mother states she is lying? Did you know that he checked with his attorney who told him there was no protection order in place, so he was OK to go over there? Did you know he called the police to ask if there was a protection order, and they told him there was not one since he wasn’t served? Did you know that she had multiple reports filed on her because of her violent tendencies?

      Of course you didn’t. Because you’re a sexist pig, who just assumes a woman is always the victim.

      It is idiots like you who make it possible for women to just accuse a man of domestic violence, and automatically gain custody.

      Why spend thousands in a divorce? You can just accuse a man of violence, and you will get custody, the house, everything, based off an accusation, no matter how true it is.

  6. Appalachian Badass Advocate

    He’s the primary abuser period.
    Key word – if
    If she were to put her hands on him then…
    She didn’t.
    He did.
    Was she arrested for false reporting?

    • He made numerous reports for her attacking him and she wasn’t arrested because she is a woman.

      Using the same logic you idiot, he isn’t guilty either. He wasn’t arrested either for Domestic Violence.

      You just assume he is guilty because he is a man.

      The police stopped even coming for her reports because of how many times she lied.

  7. Appalachian Badass Advocate

    Brent Murphy was cited as the source in the Sports Illustrated article confirming that Mr. Smith was served. It’s also on Brent’s FB page.
    It’s a reliable source.
    Well have to see what the Judge says in September.

  8. The criminal trespass is why he got fired and calling the police does not make the other party the instant primary abuser. I honestly know of no man that would call the police on his wife short of her maybe chasing him with a knife or gun. That is the culture we are part of. Comes with the underlying expectations of being a “MAN”.
    I see things in this that tells me they are both abusers . I’ll tell you how I recognize it, I grew up with it. I love my mom dearly but she played the victim when it was to her advantage. I remember thinking lots of times how wrong it was. The only true victims are their children….they are worthy of marching for but those two adult fools deserve nothing until they can get it together for their children.

  9. They both stayed in the relationship to long. She was much to blame as he. From what I can tell she is lying and has a drinking problem, substance abuse counseling. He did put his hands on her and is to blame, anger management. Parenting class for both. They both should be convicted of domestic battery. However what does that do for their kids, and the both of them as well. Parenting plan, with drop off under a camera or eye witness. Don’t talk to other if it does not relate to the kids. Mediation first if the parenting plan order does not cover a sistitauon. To court should mediation not solve their parenting issue is the follow on remedy. Move forward raise your kids, stay away from each other, just like you knew then, same still holds true now. Do not get back together unless you like hitting each other, losing your kids, and jail.

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