Urban Meyer Apologizes For 'Misleading' Domestic Violence Response

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In this April 14, 2018, file photo, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer watches the NCAA college football team's spring game in Columbus.

Smith, who allegedly abused his wife, Courtney, while on Meyer's staff at both Florida and Ohio State, was not fired until last month despite Meyer's wife knowing about the abuse, according to a bombshell report.

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. Now, he seems to be backtracking, admitting he "failed" after denying he knew of the 2015 allegations.

"If this scenario is accurate, then Meyer and Ohio State are in a much better position to resolve the matter with some type of mutual acceptance of responsibility and modest penalty or corrective measures", said Stu Brown, an Atlanta-based attorney who frequently deals with colleges and coaches in NCAA issues.

"Unfortunately, at Big Ten Media days on July 24, I failed on many of these fronts", he said in his statement.

Meyer denied any intention to deceive in the statement released on his Twitter account, saying that he, "was not adequately prepared to discuss these sensitive personnel issues with the media". As the son of an wonderful woman and the husband to another and, as the father of two incredible young women, those who know me best know the admiration and respect I have for all women. He said that's when Meyer pulled him off the practice field and asked him, "What the hell is going on?"

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Meyer's initial comments on the subject-the denial that's coming back to haunt him today-came a day after former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy, who's broken every wrinkle of the story, wrote that Zach Smith had been served an order of protection in 2018.

"I can't say it didn't happen because I wasn't there", Meyer said at the time.

Meyer said he believes he will be vindicated once all of the information comes out. The couple divorced in 2016.

Smith, the grandson of late Buckeyes coach Earle Bruce, a mentor to Meyer, played for Meyer when he was coach at Bowling Green in 2001-02.

A clause in Meyer's new contract, which raised his salary to $7.6 million this year and runs through 2022, also requires him to "report to Ohio State's Title IX athletics any known violations" of the sexual misconduct policy involving students, faculty or staff at the risk of being fired with cause. Smith also was a graduate assistant for Meyer at Florida for five seasons. A special, independent board, which will investigate Meyer, was announced by Ohio State's board of trustees Thursday.

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