Ohio State suspended head football coach Urban Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith on Aug. 22, ending its investigation into how much and when Meyer and Smith knew of domestic violence allegations involving former assistant coach Zach Smith. Here's our complete coverage.
Dec. 11: Powell police release records in Zach Smith case
Records released Monday by the Powell Police Department show the complexities in bringing charges related to domestic violence allegations against former Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith. The records include interview videos and thousands of pages of summaries, text messages, subpoenas and a grand jury report, among other items, from the department’s 2015 investigation following complaints by Smith’s now ex-wife, Courtney Smith.
Dec. 4: Urban Meyer to step down as coach after Rose Bowl
The Urban Meyer coaching era at Ohio State will end with the Rose Bowl vs. Washington on Jan.1, the school confirmed for The Dispatch on Tuesday, and the Ryan Day era will begin in earnest.
Oct. 23: Ex-Ohio State coach Zach Smith and ex-wife reach agreement on criminal charge
The criminal trespass case that launched a summer of turmoil and engulfed the Ohio State football program in controversy ended quietly Tuesday in Delaware County Municipal Court.
Sep. 16: Urban Meyer: Smiths both told me 2009 incident wasn’t domestic violence
DALLAS – In his first interview since his suspension as Ohio State coach, Urban Meyer apologized for mistakes he said he made in handling the Zach Smith domestic abuse allegations. In a talk with Tom Rinaldi that aired Sunday morning on ESPN, Meyer said he was told by both Zach and Courtney Smith that the 2009 incident in Gainesville, Fla., was not domestic violence.
Aug. 30: Ohio State trustee resigns over Urban Meyer decision
An Ohio State University trustee resigned last week, saying it would be “hypocritical” of him to continue after he fundamentally disagreed with the board’s decision to suspend head football coach Urban Meyer for three games. Jeffrey Wadsworth says he was the "lone voice" of dissent in colling for a harsher punishment.
Aug. 29: Report details allegations of longtime abuse by Zach Smith
When Powell police were called to her home in October 2015, Courtney Smith outlined a history of violent acts that she says had long made her fear for her life at the hands of her soon-to-be ex-husband. A police incident report says Smith told Officer Ben Boruchowitz that she was making the report on Oct. 26, 2015, because Zach Smith, then an Ohio State assistant football coach, had come to her condominium the night before and started verbally abusing her, then pushed her into a wall and took their young son with him against her objections.
Aug. 29: Zach Smith lashes out on Twitter
Zach Smith criticized an advocate against domestic violence and selected members of the media in a series of Twitter posts Wednesday.
Aug. 28: Strip club visit included Tom Herman
Ohio State on Tuesday confirmed that former offensive coordinator Tom Herman was the assistant coach who accompanied former Buckeyes receivers coach Zach Smith to a Florida strip club in 2014.
Aug. 28: Report: Urban Meyer met with Buckeye football team, coaches last Thursday
Ohio State spokesman Chris Davey told The Dispatch that the university authorized Meyer to meet with the team and he had “brief, limited conversations” with the coaching staff, specifically mentioning defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, about leadership and the transition. Davey said Meyer was inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for about 45 minutes.
Aug. 27: Rob Oller commentary | How much more college coaching can Meyer take?
Included in the heated conversations centering on Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is the debate over job responsibilities. How much should Meyer, or any college football coach, be expected to know about every detail involving the program? A little? A lot? Everything? One side argues that Meyer should not have to monitor the marital status of his assistant coaches. The counter is that as overseer of OSU football, Meyer must keep an eye on everything.
Aug. 27: Meyer’s texts raise open-records question for Ohio State
Any attempt by Ohio State coach Urban Meyer to eliminate work-related text messages on his university-issued phone to hide information would be illegal, open records experts said following a two-week investigation into his handling of domestic violence allegations against an assistant coach.
Aug. 25: Michael Arace commentary | Message to Meyer, Precourt: It’s never too late to do right thing
Urban Meyer’s most recent statement, released in time for the evening-news cycle Friday, shows a measure of humanity that had been lost amid the madness of the most recent Ohio State scandal. Good on Meyer.
It’s never too late to do the right thing.
Aug. 24: Ohio State investigation | Urban Meyer apologizes to Courtney Smith in statement
Urban Meyer released a statement Friday in which the Ohio State football coach apologized for his “words and demeanor” regarding domestic abuse during Wednesday night’s news conference about his three-game suspension, and he also specifically apologized to Courtney Smith.
Aug. 23: Urban Meyer investigation | Items in Ohio State’s report may catch NCAA’s eye
Throughout the investigation that resulted in the suspensions of Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith, it appeared that possible NCAA violations were not part of the equation. But the findings of the investigatory committee show two instances that could draw NCAA attention.
Aug. 23: Ohio State investigation: Gene Smith’s lawyer says client, Urban Meyer were sacrificed
An attorney who represents Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith lashed out at the punishment given to his client and Buckeyes football coach Urban Meyer on social media Thursday. Rex Elliott said the suspensions given to Meyer and Smith were the result of public pressure.
Aug. 23: Urban Meyer, Gene Smith ‘apologized to wrong constituency,’ domestic violence experts say
After they were suspended for the way they handled domestic-abuse allegations against an assistant coach, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and football coach Urban Meyer both looked to Buckeye Nation. Smith thanked Buckeye Nation and “humbly” asked for its continued support. Meyer apologized to Buckeye Nation. Domestic-violence experts, hoping the university would take the opportunity to focus on a pervasive social ill, cringed.
Aug. 23: Investigation report details strip club visits, memory loss and drug abuse
Former Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith took high school coaches to a strip club on recruiting trips, abused a drug and was the subject of a Powell Police Department investigation, according to the investigative report released by Ohio State late Wednesday night. Investigators discovered that Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer threatened to fire Smith multiple times but never did. And that Meyer has memory issues and sometimes takes medications that impair his memory.
Aug. 23: Betting odds shift on Ohio State after Urban Meyer suspension
Coach Urban Meyer will miss Ohio State’s first three games because of suspension and won’t be at practice until Sept. 3, yet something interesting happened Thursday in regards to the odds of the Buckeyes’ having major success this season. They improved.
Aug. 23: Rob Oller commentary | Never mind his heart; can we trust Meyer’s head?
Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer followed his heart instead of his head. Big mistake. His heart led him astray. But there is evidence Meyer’s head is not such a great navigator, either.
Aug. 23: Michael Arace commentary| Urban Meyer’s apology missed the mark
On Wednesday, a day after Ohio State announced the “creation of a central office for responding to sexual- and gender-based harassment, violence and other forms of discrimination and harassment,” the university’s board of trustees met to respond to a real-life case of sexual- and gender-based harassment, violence and other forms of discrimination and harassment.
How’d they do?
Aug. 23: Ohio State students satisfied with Meyer punishment
"I think it’s just what the school had to do. It’s tough, but I understand why,” said freshman Kyle Milliron.
“I think Urban made a judgment error. . . . Zach probably should’ve been fired a while ago,” said Ohio State graduate Brandon Rohrig.
Aug. 23: News conference podcast: Ohio State suspends Urban Meyer, Gene Smith
Listen to the full media press conference when the news broke late Wednesday night that Urban Meyer, Gene Smith would both be suspended. Hear from Ohio State President Dr. Michael V. Drake, head football coach Urban Meyer, athletic director Gene Smith, and investigation team leader Mary Jo White.
Aug. 22: Photos | Urban Meyer press conference
Ohio State President Michael V. Drake, athletic director Gene Smith, and head football coach Urban Meyer appeared at a news conference Wednesday night to discuss the results of the special investigation.
Aug. 22: Ohio State suspends Urban Meyer, Gene Smith
Urban Meyer will remain as Ohio State’s football coach, but he and athletic director Gene Smith both are being suspended for their handling of domestic-abuse accusations against former assistant coach Zach Smith. Ohio State President Dr. Michael V. Drake made the announcement Wednesday evening after meeting more than 11 hours with the university’s board of trustees and a team that investigated the allegations.
Aug. 22: Ohio State students satisfied with Meyer punishment
Students were texting one another all day to keep up-to-date on developments with Meyer. Several students said they didn’t want to share their opinions about the university’s decision because it has been a polarizing topic.
Aug. 22: Rob Oller | Urban Meyer investigation is over, but emotions still linger
Finally, it's over, but reaching the finish line took a while and left marks that felt more like scars.
Aug. 22: Ryan Day, players to carry on without Urban Meyer
Ryan Day’s serving as the acting head coach for the Ohio State football team now will run through the first three games of the season after Urban Meyer was suspended.
Aug. 21: Ohio State will decide Urban Meyer's fate Wednesday
Ohio State University announced that leadership will meet Wednesday to decide the fate of head football coach Urban Meyer. Meyer was placed on paid leave while the school investigates what he knew about allegations of domestic violence involving former assistant coach Zach Smith.
Aug. 21: Rob Oller | Urban Meyer must answer for why he kept Zach Smith on Ohio State staff
As we enter the home stretch of The Investigation — the past two weeks have felt more like two months, no? — one question keeps calling out: Why did Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer keep Zach Smith on his staff?
Aug. 21: Ohio State football | Urban Meyer investigation described as ‘thorough’
Four people who were interviewed as part of an investigation into how Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer handled allegations of domestic abuse by a former assistant coach characterized the process as “extremely thorough.”
Aug. 20: State delays request for $500,000 for Meyer investigation
The state attorney general’s office has delayed asking permission for Ohio State University to spend up to $500,000 on the Urban Meyer investigation. The request was scheduled to go before the state Controlling Board to approve payment to New York-based law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, with an hourly rate not to exceed $1,620. A number of lawmakers on the board said they had questions about the payment.
Aug. 19: Alan Miller: Dispatch pushes back again when records kept from public
The Dispatch has asked the Ohio Court of Claims to review action by the city of Powell, which refuses to release records surrounding a 2015 incident in which former Ohio State assistant football coach Zach Smith was accused of domestic violence. Powell’s police department has released only a bare-bones incident report from the Oct. 25, 2015, complaint against Smith by his then-wife, Courtney.
Aug. 18: Ohio State: Investigation into Urban Meyer will be completed Sunday
Ohio State University announced Friday that the investigation into head football coach Urban Meyer’s response to domestic abuse allegations against former assistant coach Zach Smith will be completed Sunday, meeting the 14-day timetable the school set for itself when announcing details of the probe.
Aug. 17: Urban Meyer investigation: Michael Drake says inquiry will be ‘finished when it’s finished’
Ohio State University president Michael V. Drake said on Thursday that the investigation into football coach Urban Meyer’s response to domestic abuse allegations against a former assistant might not end by Sunday
Aug. 15: Rob Oller | Anger over Ohio State saga becomes exhausting
We are within days of knowing the facts gathered by the six-person committee investigating the extent of knowledge Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer had regarding domestic-abuse allegations against former OSU assistant coach Zach Smith.
Aug. 15: Ohio State football recruits still committed despite controversy
It’s week 3 of Urban Meyer’s paid administrative leave from coaching the Ohio State football team. But as far as the commitments to the Buckeyes’ next two recruiting class are concerned, it is business as usual.
Aug. 15: Dispatch complaint seeks Powell’s release of Zach Smith police report
The Dispatch has filed a public-records complaint in the Ohio Court of Claims as the city of Powell refuses to release records of a 2015 incident in which former Ohio State assistant football coach Zach Smith was accused of domestic violence.
Aug. 14: Archie Griffin impressed with Buckeyes’ work despite the distractions
Archie Griffin doesn’t want to comment on the investigation going on with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer in regards to the Zach Smith-Courtney Smith situation.
Aug. 14: Zach Smith meets with lawyers for ‘several hours’
Former Ohio State assistant football coach Zach Smith spent several hours on Tuesday meeting with the investigators for the committee probing Urban Meyer, Smith’s attorney told The Dispatch.
Aug. 13: Courtney Smith speaks with Ohio State investigators
Courtney Smith spoke on Monday with the investigative team hired by Ohio State's board of trustees examining football coach Urban Meyer's handling of her 2015 domestic abuse allegations.
Aug. 13: Zach Smith failed to tell Meyer about 2013 OVI arrest
The attorney for Zach Smith said the former Ohio State assistant coach did not tell football coach Urban Meyer about his 2013 arrest for speeding and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Aug. 11: Zach Smith to meet with university investigators soon
Zach Smith was fired on July 23 in the wake of allegations that he had committed domestic abuse against his now ex-wife Courtney Smith.
Aug. 10: Debate continues over Powell's refusal to release report involving Zach Smith
Powell's police chief has provided conflicting accounts of whether a high-profile domestic-violence case from almost three years ago is open or closed. And the city continues to refuse to release details.
Aug. 9: Ohio State outlines Urban Meyer’s restrictions during leave
Urban Meyer is not permitted to have any contact with Ohio State coaches or players during his paid administrative leave, a university spokesman said Thursday. He also is not allowed to use university-issued communication devices nor enter the Woody Hayes Athletic Center or any other campus building.
Aug. 9: Ohio State investigation of Urban Meyer puts Gene Smith in spotlight, too
Gene Smith, Ohio State’s athletic director, is highly regarded in the NCAA and has brought millions in revenue to Ohio State’s athletic coffers. But that might not mean much if he is found to have been negligent in handling allegations of domestic abuse against former assistant football coach Zach Smith. Head coach Urban Meyer, who fired Zach Smith on July 23, also is under investigation.
Aug. 8: Rob Oller | Coaches can no longer hide truth in today’s world
According to Care.com, the going rate for babysitter pay in Columbus is $14 an hour, which makes Urban Meyer the richest nanny in the city. The Ohio State football coach collects a jaw-dropping $868 per hour — 24 hours a day, 365 days a year — to watch the Buckeyes. That buys Meyer a lot of Kraft macaroni-and-cheese dinners. It also buys him plenty of headaches. But don’t feel sorry for him. He asked for it.
Aug. 7: Ohio State football: Urban Meyer’s absence doesn’t distract Buckeyes at practice
Except for the absence of head coach Urban Meyer, it was business as usual for the Ohio State football team at practice on Tuesday morning.In charge was acting head coach Ryan Day, the Buckeyes’ quarterbacks coach and one of their offensive coordinators, as practice ensued in front of media members for the first time in this camp, now in its fifth day.
Aug. 7: Courtney Smith hasn’t been contacted by university on her abuse allegations, attorney says
Julia Leveridge, Smith’s attorney, said that Courtney Smith will not comment until the two legal matters — a criminal trespass charge against Zach Smith and civil protection order that Courtney Smith filed — are resolved. Leveridge said that Courtney Smith’s focus remains on caring for her young children and continuing her nursing studies.
Aug. 7: Ohio State fans rally for Urban Meyer as Powell police correct the record
Concerns about two Powell Police Department reports for the same 2015 domestic-violence incident involving a former Ohio State University assistant football coach are the result of an officer mistakenly checking an “arrest” box on a form.
Aug. 6: Woman leading investigation into Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is familiar with high-profile cases
She’s prosecuted terrorists and mob bosses. She ran the powerful U.S. agency overseeing financial markets. She’s a frequent resource for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. But for central Ohioans, power attorney Mary Jo White’s most important role might be this one: leading the investigation into Ohio State University head football coach Urban Meyer.
Aug. 6: Ohio State football | Brian Hartline will be paid $105,000 to coach receivers this season
Brian Hartline will make $105,000 as interim receivers coach for Ohio State this season, according to information released by Ohio State on Monday. The contract runs through Dec. 31 and includes the customary $600 per month automobile stipend for a full-time assistant, plus six tickets to each Ohio State home football game.
Aug. 6: Rob Oller | Ohio State has chance to make good from mess
If Urban Meyer stays, or even if he goes, there is need to further educate athletes specifically on the destructive nature of domestic abuse. Some efforts are being made to do so, including university-wide mandatory training on sexual misconduct, but where football is concerned, it is too easy to give lip service to “peripheral” issues. Use Zach Smith’s downfall as a teachable moment. Do more in connecting the football program to any number of domestic violence awareness organizations in Columbus.
Aug. 5: Urban Meyer investigation expected to conclude in 14 days
Ohio State released some details late Sunday night about its committee investigating football coach Urban Meyer and said it expects the investigation to be completed within 14 days.
Aug. 5: Urban Meyer’s close relationship with Earle Bruce, Zach Smith reaches far into past
Zach Smith has known Urban Meyer as long as he can remember. As Earle Bruce’s grandson, Smith grew up knowing the mutual love and respect his grandfather and Meyer shared, which began with Meyer getting his first college coaching job under Bruce at Ohio State in 1986.
Aug. 5: Analysis: Still many questions to be answered in Ohio State case
In a 492-word statement on Twitter, Urban Meyer admitted that he had “failed on many ... fronts” when he said falsely in Chicago on July 24 that he knew nothing about the 2015 domestic abuse accusations against Zach Smith, an assistant on his football coaching staff at Ohio State University.
Aug. 4: Urban Meyer investigation: Transcript of Zach Smith interview
Zach Smith spoke publicly for the first time on Friday in the aftermath of his firing as Ohio State wide receivers coach amid accusations of domestic abuse against his ex-wife.
Aug 4: Michael Arace: Ohio State leadership deficit apparent in athletic scandals
Urban Meyer pushed back hard on Ohio State Friday afternoon. This is a smart move on his part because there is a leadership vacuum at the great state university. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
Aug. 4: Analysis: Still many questions to be answered in Ohio State case
The prolonged silence of Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and former wide receivers coach Zach Smith ended dramatically and almost simultaneously Friday afternoon. But plenty of questions remain, for them and others. Meyer's chances of being reinstated from his paid administrative leave will depend on the answers.
Aug. 4: Ohio State football/Urban Meyer investigation: Transcript of Zach Smith interview
He spoke with Dispatch Ohio State football beat writer Bill Rabinowitz in a wide-ranging interview that included discussion of the allegations, his termination and head coach Urban Meyer’s involvement in the matter.
Aug. 3: Urban Meyer says he mishandled his answer regarding Zach Smith allegations
Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer wrote on Twitter on Friday that he mishandled his answer last week during Big Ten media day about Zach Smith’s 2015 domestic-abuse accusation and that he did act appropriately regarding it.
Aug. 3: Read the full statement from Urban Meyer
"My heart is heavy today as I witness the toll that events of the past week have taken on the Buckeye Family and the university community that I love so dearly."
Aug. 3: Powell police refuse to release report involving Zach Smith
Powell police are refusing to release records of a 2015 incident in which Zach Smith’s then-wife accused him of assaulting her. Public-records experts say those files should be open to the public under Ohio law.
Aug. 2: Ohio State announces committee to investigate Urban Meyer
The Ohio State University board of trustees announced on Thursday night a six-person special independent working group to investigate head football coach Urban Meyer.
Aug. 2: Ohio State's actions must match message on domestic violence, experts say
From special classes for athletes to the famed “core values” painted on a wall in the football complex, Ohio State University works to cultivate a no-tolerance message when it comes to relationship abuse.
Aug. 2: How Title IX could determine whether Urban Meyer coaches again
On March 27, Urban Meyer signed a two-year contract extension that increased his salary by $1.2 million to $7.6 million per year.
Aug. 2: Many Buckeye fans jump to Meyer’s defense on Facebook, Twitter
After news broke Wednesday that Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer had been placed on paid administrative leave, legions of fans rushed to his defense.
Aug. 2: Video: Fans react to investigation
Opinions about Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer's future at Ohio State are varied. The Dispatch talked with several people at the Ohio Union after Meyer went on paid administrative leave during an investigation into whether he knew about domestic violence involving assistant coach
Aug. 2: Michael Arace: Defend Urban Meyer if you like, but if he knew about abuse, he should be fired.
Meyer has been placed on paid administrative leave — often defined as “negotiating a buyout” — as the university investigates a domestic abuse case: One of Meyer’s assistants, Zach Smith, is accused of physically and/or psychologically abusing his ex-wife. Did Meyer know about it, and if so, when?
Aug. 2: Bob Evans Restaurants suspends "breakfast coach" Urban Meyer
Bob Evans Restaurants has suspended its deal with Urban Meyer only days after announcing that the Ohio State head football coach would be the star of its fall advertising campaign.
Aug. 1: Urban Meyer placed on administrative leave
Ohio State placed Meyer on paid administrative leave as head football coach on Wednesday after reports surfaced that appeared to contradict his contention he did not know in 2015 that receivers coach Zach Smith — Bruce’s grandson — had been accused by his now ex-wife of abuse.
Aug. 1: Video: Dispatch reporter Tim May talks about the investigation
Columbus Dispatch football beat writer Tim May updates with the latest on Urban Meyer being placed on paid administrative leave. The ex-wife of assistant coach Zach Smith says she shared texts with Ohio State football coaches' wives regarding domestic abuse.
Aug. 1: Pressure on Ohio State to do the right thing
They’re asking, “What did Urban Meyer know and when did he know it?” They’re speculating about whether Meyer, the Ohio State football coach, lied to the world during the Big Ten media gathering last week. They’re cautioning not to jump to conclusions until all the facts are known.
Aug. 1: Ryan Day named Ohio State football interim coach
The impromptu promotion came after Urban Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave pending a university investigation into what he knew about domestic abuse allegations against fired assistant coach Zach Smith.
July 26: Brian Hartline named interim WR coach
Ohio State named Brian Hartline interim wide receivers coach on Thursday morning to replace receivers coach Zach Smith, who was fired on Monday.
July 24: Zach Smith fired amid allegations of domestic violence
“Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has announced the termination of wide receivers coach Zach Smith,” a brief statement from OSU read. “Coaching staff adjustments will be announced at a later date.”
July 24: Urban Meyer on Zach Smith firing: "I had to make a change."
Urban Meyer fired his longtime receivers coach Zach Smith on Monday, and the Ohio State football coach on Tuesday morning explained his action as something that had to be done for the good of the program.
July 24: Powell police called to home of wife of fired Ohio State coach twice in 2015
Two incident reports provided by the Powell police department on Tuesday detailed a visit to Courtney Smith’s home on Oct. 26, 2015, for suspicion of domestic violence and felonious assault. Fourteen days later, police were called to the residence on a complaint of menacing by stalking.
July 18: Attorney says Ohio State assistant football coach was doing "what he was supposed to do"
Ohio State receivers coach Zach Smith appeared in Delaware Municipal Court on Wednesday afternoon to face a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespassing. He had already pleaded not guilty.