OSU suspends head football coach Urban Meyer 3 games without pay

OSU suspends head football coach Urban Meyer 3 games without pay

COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) - Urban Meyer will keep his job but has been suspended for the first three games of the Ohio State football season without pay.

The OSU board of trustees spent nearly 12 hours in executive session Wednesday.

"I am fully aware of the situation that has harmed the university as a whole," Meyer said Wednesday night. "I followed my heart, not my head. I gave Zach Smith the benefit of the doubt. I didn't know everything about what Zach Smith was doing. I should have recognized the red flags. I am deeply sorry."

OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith has been suspended without pay from Aug. 31 through Sept. 16.

"I fully support the findings of the report and the subsequent actions that have been taken," said Smith. "I understand that I could have done a better job. I sincerely apologize."

The Buckeyes face Oregon State, Rutgers and No. 16 TCU the first three weeks of the season.

Meyer had been on administrative leave after a report suggested he knew about an alleged domestic violence incident involving ex-assistant Zach Smith.

Smith was arrested on charges of the alleged felonious assault of his then-wife Courtney Smith in 2015.

Ohio State's Board of Trustees had formed a special, independent working group to direct an investigation. Former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson served as chair of the working group.

Statement from the OSU Board of Trustees:

"Although neither Urban Meyer nor Gene Smith condoned or covered up the alleged domestic abuse by Zach Smith, they failed to take sufficient management action relating to Zach Smith's misconduct and retained an Assistant Coach who was not performing as an appropriate role model for OSU student-athletes. Permitting such misconduct to continue is not consistent with the values of the University and reflects poorly on Coach Meyer, Athletic Director Smith, and the University. Their handling of this matter did not exhibit the kind of leadership and high standards that we expect of our Athletic Director, Head Coach, Assistant Coaches and all on the football staff."

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