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The Latest: Smith says he told Meyer about abuse allegations

August 3, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The latest on Ohio State’s investigation of coach Urban Meyer’s handling of domestic violence claims against an assistant coach (all times local):

6:45 p.m.:

Fired Ohio State assistant Zach Smith tells ESPN he told coach Urban Meyer about domestic abuse violations in 2015 but didn’t share details with him.

Smith says he believed it was an issue between him and his wife and that Meyer didn’t need to be kept in the loop. Smith said, however, that Meyer warned him at the time that he would be fired if Meyer found out that Smith had hit his wife.

Smith acknowledged that his marriage was “toxic” but denied abusing his ex-wife Courtney, saying he was “never offensive, never aggressive.”

Courtney Smith said in interviews this week that physical abuse was ongoing. Zach Smith claimed any wounds she suffered were caused when he tried to defend himself from her aggression.

Meyer was put on administrative leave this week while the university investigates his handling of the situation.

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5:50 p.m.

Ohio State has opened fall practice without coach Urban Meyer.

The team practiced without pads on Friday under acting coach Ryan Day. A statement from the university says 110 players participated.

Meyer was put on paid leave this week while the university investigates his handling of domestic abuse allegations against fired assistant coach Zach Smith.

Meyer tweeted a statement Friday, saying he reported allegations in 2015 and followed proper protocols in doing so. He says he misspoke when he told reporters last week that he hadn’t known about the allegations.

Smith said in a radio interview that Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith had been aware of the allegations. He also said he never threatened his wife as she contends. The two divorced in 2016 and she recently obtained a protective order against him.

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5:35 p.m.

Former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith says Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith knew about 2015 domestic violence allegations against him.

In an interview with Columbus radio station 97.1 The Fan, Smith says he “made mistakes” but didn’t threaten his ex-wife Courtney as she contends.

Smith’s interview came shortly after coach Urban Meyer tweeted a statement saying he knew about the allegations and followed proper reporting protocols. He says he misspoke when he told reporters last week that he hadn’t known about it.

Meyer is on paid leave while Ohio State investigates the issue.

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5:05 p.m.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer says he misspoke at Big Ten media days last week when asked about his knowledge of 2015 domestic abuse allegations against a fired assistant.

In a statement released on his Twitter account Friday, Meyer says he followed proper reporting protocols regarding the allegations that assistant coach Zach Smith had abused his wife. But he said he “failed in his words” when he told reporters he hadn’t been aware of the accusations.

He added he found himself “not adequately prepared to discuss these sensitive personnel issues with the media.”

Ohio State put Meyer in paid leave and launched an investigation after reports this week that Smith’s ex-wife, Courtney, had shared details of alleged 2015 abuse with Meyer’s wife Shelley.

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4:45 p.m.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer says he followed proper reporting protocols regarding domestic violence allegations against an assistant coach in 2015.

Meyer posted a statement addressed to Buckeyes fans on Twitter on Friday, his first extensive comments since being placed on paid administrative leave by Ohio State on Wednesday.

The university is investigating what Meyer knew about allegations made by the ex-wife of Zach Smith, who was fired last week by Meyer.

Meyer said at Big Ten media days in Chicago last week that he was unaware of allegations made by Courtney Smith in 2015 against Zach Smith that were reported to the police. Courtney Smith has also said she told Meyer’s wife, Shelley, about the incidents in 2015.

Urban Meyer says his intention at media day was not to say anything inaccurate and he apologized.

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