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.”
The two-week investigation that wrapped up Sunday was charged with determining whether Meyer responded properly to allegations made in October 2015 by Courtney Smith against her now-ex-husband, Zach Smith.
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Meyer, who is on paid administrative leave, has said he followed proper protocols.
The Ohio State board of trustees was briefed on the investigative team’s findings on Monday. The board will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday to review and discuss the report. University president Michael V. Drake will decide Meyer’s fate.
How Drake will rule obviously remains to be seen. But four of those interviewed — they requested anonymity due to rules of non-disclosure set forth by the investigative team — indicated it won’t be for lack of information. All four said they were impressed by the depth of the investigation.
For example, it was revealed in a social media report last Friday that sources said Zach Smith had a sexual encounter with a female OSU football office worker in his office in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. But it apparently was no bombshell to the investigators, who at that point already were wrapping up their work.
“That was not a secret,” said one of the witnesses who spoke to The Dispatch, indicating the woman’s name had come up during earlier questioning.
It’s known that the investigators spoke with at least Meyer, Zach Smith and Courtney Smith, as well as Lynn Bruce, Zach Smith’s mother, and Tina Carano, Courtney Smith’s mother.
But insiders said many more witnesses were called, including members of the Ohio State athletic administration, the OSU football administrative office and the coaching staff.
“It seems like they turned over pretty much every rock you could think of,” one of the witnesses told The Dispatch. “Their attention to detail was impressive.”
None of the four provided specifics, concerned that details could identify them to investigators. And none would hazard a guess as to how the final ruling will go in regard to Meyer.
But all four said the inquiries were wide-ranging. They did not simply zero in on what Meyer knew of — and how he handled — the allegations of domestic violence brought in October by Courtney Smith against Zach Smith, who was neither arrested nor charged by Powell police.
According to those interviewed, investigators asked questions ranging from how business was conducted in the Woody Hayes center on a daily basis to how Meyer dealt with questions about the 2015 incident when first confronted with them at Big Ten media days on Aug. 24 in Chicago.