Urban Meyer Placed on Leave While Allegations Investigated

He may have known about domestic violence accusations involving assistant coach
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2018 3:24 AM CDT
Updated Aug 2, 2018 6:47 AM CDT
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer speaks at the Big Ten Conference NCAA college football Media Days in Chicago, Tuesday, July 24, 2018.   (AP Photo/Annie Rice)
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(Newser) – One of college football's most successful coaches has been placed on paid leave during the investigation of allegations that could result in his firing. Ohio State says it is looking into claims that Urban Meyer was aware in 2015 of domestic violence allegations involving former assistant coach Zach Smith, the New York Times reports. The university announced that Meyer had been placed on leave hours after former ESPN journalist Brett McMurphy published a report on Facebook alleging that Meyer's wife, Shelley, had known in 2015 about two domestic violence incidents involving Smith and his now ex-wife, Courtney Smith. McMurphy said his report was backed up by text messages.

"Shelley said she was going to have to tell Urban," Courtney Smith said in an interview, per the Dayton Daily News. "I said, 'That’s fine. You should tell Urban. We can’t have somebody like this coaching young men." Smith was fired last week after a court granted Courtney Smith a domestic violence restraining order. Meyer could lose his $7.6 million-a-year job if he is found to have violated Ohio State's Title IX sexual misconduct policy on reporting domestic violence allegations, the AP reports. In a statement, Meyer said placing him on leave was a good move. "This allows the team to conduct training camp with minimal distraction," he said. "I eagerly look forward to the resolution of this matter." (Read more Urban Meyer stories.)

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