Zach Smith

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Ohio State announces meeting “to discuss personnel matters” related to Urban Meyer investigation

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Ohio State’s Board of Trustees will hold a public meeting Wednesday morning to discuss what is being described as “personnel matters related to the investigation involving Urban Meyer. It will be at this time the investigative team will share its findings to the board, which will be used to determine what happens next at Ohio State with possible regard to the future of Meyer as head coach of the Buckeyes. The meeting is scheduled for August 22 at 9 AM at Ohio State’s Longaberger Alumni House.

For now, this is the only update on the situation and it remains to be seen what this means for Meyer and his future. The future of athletics director Gene Smith will also be under a microscope following allegations, including from Meyer and former wide receivers coach Zach Smith, that Gene Smith was aware of the allegations of domestic abuse by the former assistant coach.

Speculating either way on this would be unwise without insight on what exactly was discussed and discovered by the team leading the investigation into Meyer after Meyer was accused of withholding information about Zach Smith’s behavior with his wife. However, it is fair to assume we will get some concrete answers to some lingering questions on Wednesday, for better or worse.

Ohio State wrapped up its investigation process over the weekend, and an update was expected to happen shortly after the investigation process wrapped up. The reason for waiting a couple of days may be to ensure trustee members will be available and any information received in the investigation process has time to be sorted and prepared as best as possible.

So, in brief, no decisions are being made today. Check back on Wednesday.

Report: Ex-Ohio State assistant Zach Smith was arrested in 2013 for OVI

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Former Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith was arrested in 2013 for a drunk driving offense, according to documents obtained by The Toledo Blade. According to the report, Smith was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and refused to take a breathalyzer test.

The arrest occurred in the early morning hours of February 23, 2013 after being pulled over for speeding (67 mph in a 50 mph zone). The officer on the scene asked Smith to exit the vehicle and noted signs of being under the influence of alcohol, among them the odor of alcohol. Multiple field sobriety tests were conducted before the arrest, and Smith was released on bail to his father at 4:20 a.m. the same morning.

Smith was later found guilty of physical control. A charge of OVI was amended and the charge for speeding was dismissed. Smith was fined $375 and had a license suspended for 180 days. According to Brett McMurphy, the judge who reduced Smith’s charges had some close Ohio State connections that are worth noting.

This 2013 incident was previously unreported, so news of this 2013 arrest came to light following a request for records by The Toledo Blade.

UPDATE: According to ESPN, Smith claims he kept Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer in the dark regarding the 2013 incident. Although his license was suspended, he was given allowance to drive for work.

Smith was fired by Ohio State last month following the revelation of prior alleged domestic abuse by Smith from 2015. Head coach Meyer is currently on administrative leave while Ohio State investigates the situation.

Ohio State sets 14-day timeline for Urban Meyer investigation

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Late Sunday night, Ohio State released an updated statement regarding its investigation into the allegations made against head coach Urban Meyer related to his knowledge of domestic abuse by a former assistant coach. According to the statement from Ohio State, a conclusion to this investigation is expected within 14 days.

Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson has been assigned the role of the chairwoman for the working group, which was previously announced by the university late last week. Once the investigation is completed, the university president will make an ultimate decision on what happens next following a consultation with the Board of Trustees. It is unclear if the board and president will make their decisions within the 14-day time span, although the way the statement is worded suggests that may not be the case. If the investigation takes 14 days in full to complete, then a decision may be at least another day away from being made, whatever that may be.

“Ohio State is committed to a thorough and complete investigation,” Davidson said in a released statement. “We look forward to sharing the results of this investigation and any action the university may take.”

It is clear, however, Ohio State is working to bring some resolution to this situation ahead of the football season. To some, it may appear Ohio State is rushing this process in order to have the football team in position to begin the season knowing who exactly will be the head coach, whether it be Meyer returning from his administrative leave or interim head coach Ryan Day (or somebody else?) leading the Buckeyes. But a two-week time span to review the facts already known and any information previously reported feels appropriate for a comprehensive review as long as all parties involved are transparent and forthcoming in their stories.

After initially stating he was unsure how a story like this was even manufactured at Big Ten media day, Meyer has since announced he was aware of the alleged domestic abuse by former wide receivers coach Zach Smith. Furthermore, Meyer claimed to report the news up the chain of command, thus putting the focus on athletics director Gene Smith. Zach Smith also confirmed Gene Smith was aware of the situation. Zach Smith continues to deny he committed acts of domestic abuse against his wife but has admitted confrontations between the two had gotten physical at times and those interactions may have resulted in scratches and bruises and more even though Smith claims any injuries he was responsible for were in acts of self-defense.

Ohio State’s football season begins on September 1 at home against Oregon State. Kickoff is in 26 days. By then, we should know who the head coach of Ohio State will be, one way or the other.

Tulsa adds former Baylor QB Zach Smith

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Former Baylor quarterback Zach Smith has found his new football home. On Monday, Tulsa announced it has officially added Smith to the football program as one of six December signees who are now attending classes at Tulsa starting this week.

Smith will have to sit out the 2018 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but he will eventually help pad the quarterback depth for the program once he becomes available. A year off from playing also gives Smith time to adjust to his new program, learn the playbook, and establish a new relationship with his new teammates. Smith made the decision to transfer out of Baylor in December after the season ended in Waco.

Smith started 10 games for Baylor, including four in 2016 in place of an injured Seth Russell. Smith started six additional games for Baylor this past season. He left Baylor with 2,997 passing yards and 21 touchdowns for the Bears.

Toddler’s text among Ohio State’s 47 self-reported violations

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Many schools self-report numerous minor infractions to the NCAA on a regular basis. Ohio State has reported a total of 47 rules violations to the NCAA over the last year, and one of them may show just why parental controls on cell phones is a good idea.

Among the 47 violations reported by Ohio State to the NCAA is a text message to a recruit sent from the phone of wide receivers coach Zach Smith. But Smith says it was not he who sent the text, but his four-year old son. As the claim goes, Smith’s son picked up his phone when a recruit allegedly called the receivers coach. Upon picking up the phone, Smith’s son allegedly sent an automatic text reply.

Fortunately, the NCAA actually showed a good sense of humor about the whole incident and decided not to bother reviewing the case. But perhaps this should serve as a lesson about the importance of locking your phone and enabling any child-proof features on a phone for college football coaches.

The violations reported by Ohio State span all sports. According to The Lantern, just two are tied to the football program. In addition to the toddler text message, Ohio State reported a violation of impermissible on-campus contact in late September. Head coach Urban Meyer reportedly had contact with a junior college athlete on campus.