Ohio State’s first step in handling Urban Meyer crisis: Ban media

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State closed ranks across the rollout of its soccer season because the college investigates whether or not coach City Meyer failed to report domestic abuse allegations, a scandal hitting a college already accused of not dealing with as much as sexual misconduct allegations in opposition to a sports activities physician.

The Buckeyes deliberate to open their first soccer follow Friday with out Meyer, who was placed on administrative depart through the probe and likewise suspended from an endorsement deal by restaurant chain Bob Evans. It’s not clear how restrictive the paid depart can be for the coach set to earn $7.6 million for the season after getting a increase this 12 months.

Ohio State officers mentioned Thursday that reporters could be barred from soccer practices till at the very least subsequent week, and college trustees introduced {that a} six-member committee will head up the investigation.

Co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day has been named appearing head coach.

“As a result of ongoing investigation, soccer coaches and student-athletes is not going to be out there for interviews till additional discover and all practices can be closed,” Ohio State spokesman Jerry Emig mentioned in an e mail.

Meyer’s future with some of the storied packages in faculty soccer relies on how he managed allegations that Buckeyes assistant and recruiting coordinator Zach Smith abused his ex-wife, Courtney Smith — answering the questions of what Meyer knew and when.

Courtney Smith alleged Wednesday that she advised Meyer’s spouse, Shelley, concerning the abuse in textual content messages and cellphone conversations in 2015 and that Shelley Meyer indicated she would inform the pinnacle coach. Courtney Smith’s allegations — together with the textual content messages — have been reported by former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy on his Fb web page and in a video interview with Smith.

“In 2015 I got here ahead with it,” Courtney Smith mentioned within the interview. “I advised Shelley, I despatched her some photos (of her accidents), I spoke to her on the cellphone.”

Meyer advised reporters final week that he didn’t know something concerning the 2015 incident. It isn’t clear what contact Meyer had, if any, with college officers concerning the scenario till Smith was fired final month. Smith has by no means been criminally charged.

Individually, a court docket listening to for Zach Smith was postponed Thursday on a home safety order sought by his ex-wife. She requested for the order after a July 20 disagreement and the court docket motion resulted in Zach Smith being fired from Ohio State, the place he was set to make $340,000 for the 2018 season. The Smiths are due in court docket in September and their legal professionals didn’t reply to messages in search of remark Thursday.

Ohio State is investigating Meyer whereas additionally dealing with three federal lawsuits about its response to allegations of groping, leering and different misconduct by a deceased athletic division physician who handled wrestlers and different college students for 20 years. The lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss say Ohio State facilitated the abuse by ignoring complaints.

Since Ohio State introduced an impartial investigation in April, greater than 100 former college students have come ahead with accounts of sexual misconduct by Strauss. The allegations vary from 1979 to 1997 and contain male athletes from 14 sports activities, in addition to his work on the scholar well being heart and his off-campus medical workplace.

The questions confronting Meyer contain whether or not he vouched too strongly for a coach he’s thought of household. The 34-year-old Zach Smith is the grandson of Meyer’s mentor and former Ohio State coach Earle Bruce. He performed for Meyer as a walk-on at Bowling Inexperienced, labored for him at Florida and was employed because the huge receivers coach when Meyer got here to Ohio State in 2012.

Meyer acknowledged final week that he had been conscious of a 2009 domestic-abuse incident in Gainesville. He mentioned he and Shelley recommended the couple and allowed Zach Smith to stay on his workers.

Meyer ended up because the Ohio State coach due to a earlier soccer scandal. Coach Jim Tressel was fired in 2011 for mendacity to the NCAA and the college about guidelines violations dedicated by a few of his gamers.

The Ohio State probe bears similarities to scandals previous for different big-time faculty packages, centering on whether or not a workforce’s chief correctly reported potential wrongdoing. The similarity prompted the son of late Penn State coach Joe Paterno to weigh in together with his opinion about public response criticizing Meyer, evaluating Meyer’s scenario with the Jerry Sandusky youngster intercourse abuse scandal.

Jay Paterno, who was an assistant coach to his father and is at the moment an elected Penn State trustee, mentioned in a weblog publish that “we must always anticipate details” earlier than calling for the Buckeyes coach to be fired.

Joe Paterno’s four-decade profession as Penn State coach ended when he was fired amid questions on how a lot he knew about Sandusky’s previous crimes and whether or not he acted appropriately with allegations he was advised of by an assistant coach.

“As Penn Staters, we’ve seen the forces of innuendo, implication and allegation injury the lives and careers of fine harmless individuals,” Jay Paterno wrote, saying Individuals ought to demand extra.

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