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Urban Meyer investigation ‘finished when it’s finished,’ President Drake says

Urban Meyer watches from the sideline in the third quarter of the 2017 Cotton Bowl against University of Southern California on Dec. 29 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Ohio State won 24-7. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

Ohio State said on Aug. 5 that it would wrap up its investigation into head football coach Urban Meyer’s response to domestic abuse allegations against a former coach in 14 days.

On Thursday, University President Michael Drake said in an interview with WOSU’s All Sides with Ann Fisher that the investigation will “be finished when it’s finished.”

“What we’re thinking of is doing a good investigation,” Drake said. “There’s a great deal of interest in this investigation, so we wanted to make sure we had really good information. And there’s time pressure, we wanted to make sure we have that information as quickly as possible … about two weeks. That’s our projected goal.”

Ohio State placed Meyer on paid administrative leave on Aug. 1 shortly after announcing it was going to look into whether the head coach knew about and properly handled reports of domestic abuse from former wide receivers coach Zach Smith in 2015. Smith was fired on July 23 after his ex-wife, Courtney, filed a domestic violence civil protection order against him.

The independent group hired by the university to oversee the investigation is chaired by former Ohio House speaker Jo Ann Davidson. It is responsible for directing the work of the investigative team, which is led by former Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Jo White, who is also the senior chair for the law firm Debevoise and Plimpton.

If the investigation finishes on time, it would conclude by the end of Sunday.

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