Urban Meyer and Gene Smith listen as President Drake speaks at a press conference on on Aug. 22, 2018. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Head coach Urban Meyer released a statement on Friday discussing his demeanor during the press conference announcing his three-game suspension from the football program on Wednesday.

In this statement, Meyer apologized to Courtney Smith, ex-wife of former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith, who was fired on July 23 for domestic violence allegations.

“Let me say here and now what I should have said on Wednesday: I sincerely apologize to Courtney Smith and her children for what they have gone through,” Meyer said in the statement.

Meyer also said he reminds coaches and players of the seriousness of domestic violence and he extends empathy to all women, men and families affected by domestic violence.

Meyer said his “words and demeanor” during Wednesday’s press conference did not depict his concern towards the allegations.

“I was taught at a very young age that if I ever hit a woman I would be kicked out of the house and never welcomed back,” Meyer said in the statement. “I have the same rule in my house and in the Football Program at Ohio State.”

Meyer said in the statement, through what he considers as a learning experience, he fully intends to use his voice to more effectively be a part of a solution to domestic violence.

Meyer was suspended for three games, and can return to the team following the Sept. 1 game against Oregon State for weekly practices. Athletic director Gene Smith is suspended without pay until Sept. 16.