One of the most polarizing figures in college football in 2018 is back in the news yet again.
First reported by Kyle Rowland of the Toledo Blade, former Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith was arrested Thursday afternoon after violating a civil protection order obtained against him by his ex-wife. The incident that led to the arrest occurred at an elementary school in Ohio when Smith went to pick up his children.
WBNS in Columbus writes that “[t]he sheriff’s office said Smith’s wife was at the school on Thursday and he was not to pick up their children until after 6 p.m.”
In a statement, Smith’s attorney blasted what he described as an “[a]bsolutely malicious move” by his client’s ex-wife, saying that she is “in contempt of court for not giving… the kids to him last night which she was supposed to.”
“Just very sad for the children,” the lawyer, Brad Koffel, added.
Despite it being a “very tough call,” Smith was fired by Urban Meyer on July 23 of last year after allegations of domestic abuse, both at Florida in 2009 and again at OSU in 2015, surfaced in multiple media reports. That was the same day reports first emerged that a civil protection order was in place against Smith.
Smith has consistently denied that he ever abused his ex-wife, either physically or mentally, during their marriage. Courtney Smith’s estranged mother has previously backed up her former son-in-law’s version of events.
As part of the fallout from that domestic situation, Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave Aug. 1 as questions into his handling of domestic abuse allegations made against his former assistant coach surfaced. The university launched an investigation into Meyer’s actions the day after the head coach’s leave was announced, with the university ultimately suspending the coach for the first three games of the 2018 season without pay as a result of that probe.
In a statement Aug. 3, Meyer claimed that he has “always followed proper reporting protocols and procedures when I have learned of an incident involving a student-athlete, coach or member of our staff by elevating the issues to the proper channels.”
On Dec. 3, Meyer announced that he would be retiring, effective New Year’s Day following OSU’s appearance in the Rose Bowl.