A morals clause in Urban Meyer's contract with Ohio State, which was part of the university’s investigation into the handling of former assistant coach Zach Smith, is also in Chris Holtmann's contract.

Among the issues at play in the Urban Meyer saga at Ohio State has been a special section in his contract. Dubbed the “morals clause,” it was added in April and was a vital part of the university’s investigation into the program and its handling of former assistant coach Zach Smith.

As it turns out, the same clause is in head men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann’s contract. It’s the fifth point under the heading “Coach’s Specific Duties and Responsibilities” that addresses everything Holtmann must do in order to continue in his job.

Other points include language stipulating that the primary goal is for student-athletes to earn their degrees and also to develop into the best players they can be while also maintaining concern for their health and safety throughout their time at Ohio State. Compliance with and knowledge of local, national and NCAA laws and bylaws are emphasized as well.

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Then comes paragraph 4.0 (e), which reads:

“Coach shall promptly report to Ohio State’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics any known violations of Ohio State’s Sexual Misconduct Policy (including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate violence and stalking) that involve any student, faculty, or staff or that is in connection with a university sponsored activity or event. If Ohio State’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics is not available, then Coach shall make such report promptly to Ohio State’s Title IX Coordinator. Any emergency situation should be immediately reported to 911 and/or law enforcement. For purposes of this Section 4.1(e), a “known violation” shall mean a violation or an allegation of a violation of Title IX that Coach is aware of or has reasonable cause to believe is taking place or may have taken place.”

Contracts for Holtmann’s assistants have been agreed upon but have not been finalized, so it is not known whether the clause is in their contracts. Former Ohio State coach Thad Matta had no such clause in his contract.

Further in Holtmann’s contract lie the consequences should he fail to uphold paragraph 4.0 (e). They fall under the header “Termination.”

“Failure by Coach to promptly report to Ohio State’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator – Athletics or Ohio State’s Title IX Coordinator any known violations of Ohio State’s Sexual Misconduct Policy (including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate violence and stalking) that involve any student, faculty, or staff or that is in connection with a university sponsored activity or event. For purposes of this Section 5.1(p), a “known violation” shall mean a violation or an allegation of a violation of Title IX that Coach is aware of or has reasonable cause to believe is taking place or may have taken place.”

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy