While appearing on Columbus area radio station 105.7 The Zone, former Ohio State wide receiver coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Smith said athletic director Gene Smith knew about the domestic abuse allegations made against him in 2015.
Zach Smith said he found out about the allegation from October 2015 from Gene Smith. He was told, “to be on the next flight home” when he was on the road recruiting by Ohio State’s athletic director.
Zach Smith said in the interview that Gene Smith found out about the allegations because he believes “the Powell Police Department contacted Ohio State” and not Urban Meyer specifically. He also said many people knew about the allegations that were brought to the police department and that Meyer’s statement during Big Ten Media Days was a reaction to the allegation that he was arrested in 2015, which he said never happened.
On ESPN, Zach Smith said that if Meyer lost his job because of these allegations, “it would be dead wrong” and that he doesn’t know “what else Urban Meyer could have done.”
Breaking silence for the first time since he was fired from Ohio State on July 23, Zach Smith said he never committed domestic abuse against his ex-wife Courtney Smith, calling the relationship “volatile” and “toxic.”
In the interview with 105.7 The Zone, he said there were times where he would have to restrain her or “defensively move out of the situation.” Zach Smith also said there were times he would have to sleep at Ohio State’s football offices.
Zach Smith said he does not think the situation involving him and his ex-wife Courtney should have led to him being fired from his position with the team.
“I don’t think it was warranted,” Smith said in the radio interview. “The problem was it was going to be unfair for the players, the fans, the whole university, to go through the media uproar.”
He said he still believes that nothing he did was illegal and, “it was behind closed doors between a husband and wife.”
Meyer released a statement on Twitter saying that he knew about the 2015 allegations involving Zach Smith and that he took appropriate action at the time.
When Zach Smith read Meyer’s statement on ESPN, he said “that’s who he is right there, it was just, accurate.”
This story was updated at 6:33 p.m. to include quotes from Zach Smith’s ESPN interview.