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Ohio State trustee resigns over handling of Urban Meyer

 

Urban Meyer speaks at a press conference as he fields questions about his handling of the Zach Smith domestic abuse allegations on Aug. 22, 2018. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

A week after Ohio State suspended head football coach Urban Meyer for three games, a member of the Board of Trustees has resigned citing the punishment as being too light.

Jeffrey Wadsworth emailed his resignation to University President Michael Drake and the board chairman, Michael J. Gasser, shortly after the suspension was announced.

“The decision regarding the Urban Mayer issue by the University today was, with the exception of myself, supported in large part by the Trustees. Since I fundamentally disagree with the outcome it would be hypocritical of me to continue as a Trustee,” Wadsworth’s email, provided to The Lantern by Ohio State, said. “As of today, I am going to resign from my role as a Trustee.”

Wadsworth told the New York Times, while declining to give specifics, that the meeting to decide Meyer’s punishment started with everyone having a chance to talk, and that while there were differing opinions, discussion quickly shifted to suspension length.

The Lantern reached out to Wadsworth for comment, but had not heard back by the time of publication.

“You read the report,” Wadsworth told the Times, “and there’s seven or eight things about emails, memory loss, hearing things five times, and to me, that raised an issue of standards, values — not how many games someone should be suspended for.”

Ultimately, the board announced late in the night that Meyer would be suspended for three games, but could return to practices Sept. 2.

Wadsworth said he left the meeting during the lunch break when it became clear the discussion was moving somewhere he couldn’t agree with and learned of the decision that night and decided to resign.

“I heard enough in the meeting to persuade me that I do not want to be a party, through endorsing today’s decision or remaining on the Board, to implicitly or explicitly support current or future actions on such issues,” Wadsworth’s email said.

The university released a statement on Thursday, wishing Wadsworth the best.

“The president and the board of trustees had a frank and comprehensive discussion last week. A wide variety of perspectives were expressed in reaching a consensus,” the statement said. “Mr. Wadsworth has been an exceptionally valuable member of the board. His service to the university is deeply appreciated, and we wish him the very best.”

6 comments

  1. It’s pretty obvious that this whole thing was a set up. If Smith’s wife suffered abuse, she should have gone directly to the police not Meyer’s wife. Meyer, like any manager, is not responsible for the actions of an employee. In that case Obama would be responsible for Smith’s gross pictures of himself at the White House.

    These days everything is political. Ohio is mostly a Republican state. The left wants to see Ohio punished. Most likely Wadsworth will turn out to be a Democrat activist who never should have been a trustee in the first place. Good riddance.

  2. Best news I’ve heard today….. one down,two to go.He didn’t get his way and he went home.The administration at my alma mater is fractured and very self- indulgent…. Drake and Gene Smith can’t treat people the way they do unless the main man on the BoT backs their play.Wadsworth is the major support allowing Drake to abuse people with countless investigations and always available Title IX.We need competent folks from Ohio running our midwestern land grant college.It’s spelled OH—IO.We are not BO-TO …Berkeley on the Olentangy.The way in which we deal with in house problems needs a new direction.Best of luck to all involved in improving decision – making. The mission of the school is to educate students. The sooner we return to that the better..Go Bucks

  3. Here is one person that has integrity and courage. Such a negative and disgusting reflection on the school. Trump said he could kill someone on the streets and people would still love him. Same is true with football, people lose their minds when it comes to winning games, no matter what goes done anything is forgiven.

  4. Self proclaimed self righteousness is phony b’loney. If this person had any guts he would fight on as a board member… yet he quits…. gutless wonder.

  5. Basically, Wadsworth thumbed his nose at the entire board and university because others did not see things the same way as he did. He did not even have the courage or commitment to remain in the meeting when he saw that things were not going according to his liking. His actions are akin to those of a small child who decides to take their ball and go home.

    Given that his term was up next May and he was appointed by Strickland, he probably knew that he would not be reappointed so pulled this grandstand play to try to endear himself to those calling for Urban’s head.

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