Ohio State fan starts 'Save Urban Meyer' petition with almost 25,000 signatures

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Ohio State released a statement Sunday night announcing the formation of an "independent working group" to conduct their investigation into Urban Meyer.

Mary Jo White of the national firm Debevoise & Plimpton is leading the investigation, the university said.

The investigation's findings will be passed on to Ohio State president Michael V. Drake, who will make any decisions in consultation with the university's board of trustees, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Smith has never been criminally charged or convicted.

On Friday, Meyer acknowledged that he had "failed" to be "completely accurate" in comments he made at a Big Ten media days session the week before. "We look forward to sharing the results of this investigation and any action the university may take".

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While ESPN, like nearly every other US sports media outlet, has reported on the Meyer situation since the scandal broke open last week, it was Brett McMurphy, an independent reporter who was laid off by ESPN, who broke the news that suggested Meyer knew about the allegations against Smith.

Two weeks ago, Meyer told reporters that he had no previous knowledge of the 2015 incident involving Smith and his wife at the time, Courtney Smith. Smith said he discussed the 2015 allegations with Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith.

"While an assistant coach at Florida in 2009, I was aware that there was an issue in the personal life of Zach and Courtney Smith", Addazio said in a statement to the Boston Globe. "It's Urban Meyer, and people want to be a part of it to show that they support him".

Ohio State opened preseason practice on Friday and starts the season September 1 against Oregon State.

Offensive coordinator Ryan Day was named as the team's acting head coach while Meyer is on leave.

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