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Football: Urban Meyer gets put on paid administrative leave during Ohio State investigation

Urban Meyer is greeted by Wolverine fans upon his entrance to the field prior to the game against Michigan on Nov. 25 in Ann Arbor. Ohio State won 31-20. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for Design

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer will be placed on paid leave while the university looks into allegations made suggesting Meyer knew about domestic violence cases involving former wide receivers coach Zach Smith, according to a statement from the university.

The university is conducting an investigation into these allegations. During the inquiry, Urban Meyer will be on paid administrative leave,” the statement said. “We are focused on supporting our players and on getting to the truth as expeditiously as possible.”

The statement also said that offensive coordinator Ryan Day will serve as acting head coach while the investigation is underway.

The report by former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy detailed allegations against Smith from 2009 and 2015 by Smith’s ex-wife, Courtney Smith. The report included screenshots of text messages between Courtney Smith and Urban Meyer’s wife, Shelley Meyer.

“(Ohio State athletic director) Gene (Smith) and I agree that being on leave during this inquiry will facilitate its completion,” Urban Meyer said in a statement. “This allows the team to conduct training camp with minimal distraction. I eagerly look forward to the resolution of this matter.”

Meyer said at Big Ten Media Days that he was aware of the 2009 incident, but that he believed it had been resolved, and that he had never been told anything about the 2015 incident.

Smith was fired by Meyer on July 23 after the allegations of domestic violence surfaced.

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