The criminal case that sent the Ohio State football program and its head coach hurtling into controversy this offseason has come to an end.
According to court documents, former OSU assistant Zach Smith has pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Smith had been cited for criminal trespassing in May; in exchange for his plea agreement, that charge was dropped.
The Delaware County (OH) judge overseeing the case ordered Smith to pay $289 in fines and court fees. Additionally, Smith’s ex-wife, Courtney Smith, received a three-year protection order against her ex-husband. On Twitter, however, and continuing his social media beef with college football reporter Brett McMurphy, Zach Smith took issue with his ex-wife being “awarded” a protection order, writing that he “REQUESTED the Mutual Order for LIFE” but was advised by his legal team “to just do a 3-year (protection order).”
“AND I pled ‘guilty’ to a minor misdemeanor to avoid the cost of a trial because they wanted to end this,” Smith added.
In mid-July, reports surfaced that showed Zach Smith had been cited for criminal trespassing in May of this year in connection to an alleged domestic incident involving his ex-wife. Not long after, other reports that Smith had physically abused his ex-wife helped lead to the Buckeyes firing him as OSU’s wide receivers coach on July 23.
As he has done repeatedly, Smith again denied every abusing his ex-wife.
“As I have stated from day one, I was falsely accused of very serious allegations that should not be taken lightly,” Smith wrote in a lengthy statement posted to Twitter Tuesday evening. “Domestic Violence is a horrific crime and as a father to two beautiful daughters of whom I adore, I have been destroyed over the public perception and media’s spin on things that came out. …
“This practice of ruining a human being and their family before truths can come out is archaic and directly opposed to how the judicial process is designed to work.”
Courtney Smith had claimed in interviews that Urban Meyer was aware of the allegations of domestic abuse, which dated back to when Meyer and Zach Smith were at Florida. The head coach had initially denied he knew of incidents of abuse in 2015, although he subsequently clarified that he had “failed” to be “completely accurate” when confronted with questions at the Big Ten Media Days in late July.
As part of the fallout from the domestic situation, Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave in early August as questions into his handling of domestic abuse allegations made against his now-former assistant coach surfaced. The university launched an investigation into Meyer’s actions and, as a result of that investigation, the coach was suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season.
Zach Smith has never been convicted of domestic violence. Courtney Smith’s mother had previously gone on the record to state that she doesn’t believe her ex-son-in-law every intentionally abused her daughter.