Meyer, Jordan, Ohio State blackeyes: Darcy cartoon
Meyer, Jordan, Ohio State blackeyes: Darcy cartoon
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Ohio State University’s morality losing streak has been extended. Urban Meyer being put on paid leave over allegations he failed to report domestic abuse claims against an assistant, followed eight former wrestlers accusing former assistant wrestling coach Rep. Jim Jordan of also turning a blind eye to their claims of sexual abuse by a team doctor.
The Meyer’s story broke as OSU continues to conduct an investigation into sex abuse claims against the late athletic department doctor, that now extends beyond the wrestling team.
This season, Ohio State should maybe play under the moniker “Blackeyes” instead of Buckeyes. It appears highly unlikely Meyer will be coaching the OSU Blackeyes in 2018
Zach Smith was fired as wide receivers coach days after his ex-wife, Courtney, filed a domestic violence protection order against him, and after a record of domestic abuse incidents, dating back to 2009, were reported.
Courtney Smith alleges she confided to Meyer’s wife Shelly, about a 2015 domestic violence incident. Text messages between the two included photos of a bruised Courtney Smith.
Smith believes Urban Meyers knew of the 2015 incident. “I do believe he knew, but instead he chose to help the abuser and enable the abuser and believe whatever story Zach was telling everybody”
Courtney Smith: OSU never investigated known allegations
“No one from the university came to me and asked me for my side of the story, claimed Courtney Smith. “They knew there was an investigation going on and not once did anyone call me and ask me what happened.”
Meyer denies knowing about 2015 incident but knew about 2009 charge.
Urban Meyer denied knowing about the 2015 incident Courtney Smith told his wife about. “I was never told anything.”
But Meyer did acknowledge knowing about a 2009 incident for which Smith was charged with a felony for domestic violence against his then pregnant wife. Meyer said he and his wife tried to help the Smiths find counseling. Courtney Smith ultimately declined to press charges in 2009.
In 2009, Smith was serving as a graduate assistant under Meyer in Florida. Despite being charged with a felony domestic violence, Meyer didn’t fire Smith and hired him at Ohio State in 2012 with a salary of $340,000.
From 2012 to 2018, there were nine police reports of domestic violence involving the Smiths, who divorced in 2015. According to Courtney Smith, many of the incidents were witnessed by the couples offspring. She said all the coaches wives knew she was being abused.
Meyer could be fired with cause under his contract.
Under the Meyer’s contract extension, the university can fire him for cause for failure to report the domestic violence claims.
“Coach shall promptly report to Ohio State’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics any known violations of Ohio State’s Sexual Misconduct Policy (including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate violence, and stalking) that involve any student, faculty, or staff that is in connection with a university sponsored activity or event.”
Smith is the grandson of Meyer’s mentor, former OSU coach, Earl Bruce. Bruce gave Meyer his start in coaching and Meyer’s returned the favor by hiring Smith.
Regardless of the personal Smith-Bruce-Meyer’s connection, Meyer’s showed horrible judgement in not firing Smith in 2009 and then hiring him, at $340,000, no less, in 2012.
Smith was considered a run of the mill coach. That Meyer would risk his reputation, the school’s reputation and his huge salary, over an average coach with a long record of domestic abuse incidents, is stunning.
Incredibly, Meyer claimed firing Smith after the domestic violence protection order was filed was a “very tough call.” It shouldn’t be a tough call for OSU to fire Meyer for demonstrating such tone-deaf, poor judgment.
Sports pundits are speculating that Meyer will land in the NFL after being fired. Maybe, maybe not. While I could see him with a team like the Bengals, the NFL may not be quick to hire him after the leagues own domestic violence sandals.
Report: Jordan pressured retired coach to get accusers to recant.
Look for Rep. Jim Jordan to enter into the official Congressional Record a thank you note to Urban Meyer for drawing attention away from the allegations against Jordan.
NBC News reports that retired Ohio State wrestling coach Russ Hellickson tried to get two of the eight former wrestlers who accused Jordan of ignoring sex abuse complaints, to recant their stories.
The wrestlers told NBC that in text messages, Hellickson said that he could get their recantations out into the press, and that he was being pressured to do so by Jordan. Jordan is trying to replace Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House.
Maybe OSU should rehire Tressel.
Next to Meyer and Jordan being accused of turning a blind eye to domestic violence and sex abuse, Jim Tressel turning a blind to players trading “gold pants” and jerseys for tattoos is pretty tame, and would be welcomed.