Urban Meyer issued a statement of apology on Friday evening for what he essentially called an insensitive performance in Wednesday’s news conference announcing his three-game suspension. The vast majority of these arrived before that mea culpa, although it’s hard to imagine that his words could move many needles. 

Editor: Ohio State is stained forever. How embarrassing that the school told the world that winning football games is worth compromising your morals. How embarrassing that a rally was held for a man who covered up for a wife-beater, and not one rally was held in protest of spousal abuse.

How embarrassing that Urban Meyer still doesn't understand the weight of the situation, how covering things up is not OK. Meyer was embarrassing with his sad performance.

The fanboys in this town — and I mean you, the grown men and women who say "we" when talking about the football team — all need to shut up trying to justify this joke of a sentence. You act like Meyer is the victim, not the woman who is scared for her life.

The same school that fired its basketball coach because he didn’t win enough but brought integrity and honor to the job keeps the coach who deleted texts, lied and sided with a bum because the bum’s grandpa was also a football coach.

Now, this former proud university and this pathetic fan base is known to the entire world as the folks who put football above domestic abuse, integrity and the moral high ground. Stained forever. Congrats.

Mitchell Moller, Gahanna

Mr. Stein: I heard people “talk the talk” at the Ohio State news conference and am surprised no one said they were actually putting their talk into action.

Wouldn’t Mr. Smith and Mr. Meyer benefit from agreeing to attend domestic-violence training? Perhaps then they would learn more about what they could have recognized (those red flags) and should have done and will do in the future?

And wouldn’t they benefit from additional instruction on Title IX requirements? And wouldn’t a generous contribution to a domestic-violence organization put their words into action, and help victims right now?

If I would have heard these things or something similar, I would probably feel better about this mess. As Maya Angelou said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Charles Zalac, Columbus

Editor: Let me get this straight: A woman charges her husband with abuse, which he denies. The police investigate, but no charges are filed. Still, the husband loses his job, and his career is probably destroyed.

Then the husband’s boss is disciplined because he didn’t do more. Then the organization for whom the husband worked is held up to ridicule — all because of the unsubstantiated allegations of an angry woman.

Does anyone else see some excesses here?

Al Holtsberry, Groveport

Ray: The only things Urban Meyer is sorry about is that he got caught lying and his shockingly poor decision-making skills were exposed. I thought Meyer’s arrogant, lawyer-speak response to his suspension was pathetic.

I guess OSU’s new standard is if you win but don’t exactly live up to your contract, we’ll pretend we care by slapping you on the wrist. Oh, and the next time I’m caught lying, I’ll just say I was “not intentionally untruthful.” When is someone “intentionally untruthful”?

And nice touch, Urban, deleting those old text messages.

Mickey Geslak, Lewis Center

Editor: Tattoos were responsible for the firing of Jim Tressel, yet improper acts of domestic violence not acted upon result in a minimal three-game suspension for Urban Meyer and a similar punishment for AD Gene Smith.

It seems like the death sentence for Tressel vs. a parking violation for Meyer and Smith. What happened to justice?

Sheldon W. Switkin, Bexley

Editor: The incident concerning Zach Smith, Urban Meyer, OSU and many others is nothing more than political correctness gone amok. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? We the people now convict and punish just on allegations of wrongdoing.

If our legal system finds that Zach Smith did abuse Courtney Smith, then he needs to suffer the consequences. I have no tolerance for abusive people. But Mr. Smith was not arrested, tried or convicted of abuse, at least up to this point. Right now it is a case of he said, she said.

I do not know the truth; do you? The university, coach Meyer, etc., should not have been involved whatsoever in the private lives of the Smiths unless abuse was reported to have happened on university property or unless Smith’s job performance suffered in some way.

We the people are guilty of being the judge, jury and executioner. And we are guilty of trying all involved in the court of public opinion. And we do it every day and to anybody. What should be our punishment for those offenses?

Thomas Oppenheimer, Columbus

Ray: I would be ashamed and embarrassed if three leaders from my school (the University of Iowa) conducted a press conference in a similar manner to the one Ohio State conducted this past week.

Sometimes a very large ego and forgetting the true mission of an organization can get in the way of saying and doing what is right.

Jim Burke, Dublin

Editor: I’m so tired of hearing and reading about how Urban Meyer didn’t do this and didn’t do that while Zach Smith’s wife was making her allegations.

Please address what the Powell police found out, and if Zach Smith was guilty, why hasn’t he been charged? Why is all of this up to Urban Meyer to investigate and determine what is going on — and then “do the right thing”?

Until I understand what all has been done through the Powell police department, I don’t feel the coach is responsible for all of this.

Christine A. Long, Dublin

Mr. Stein: Sorry! Urban was exonerated by the investigative committee. This whole show was political to save face with the university. No suspension for Urban was warranted. Gene Smith is Urban’s boss, and he is the one who should have been penalized more — or fired.

Urban didn’t want to be there (Wednesday) night, and his speech was written for him. No sincerity. He wouldn’t shake Drake’s hand afterward!

I believe Gene Smith’s suspension was an afterthought negotiated when Urban balked at Drake’s recommendation for his suspension.

Dave Stock, Canal Winchester

Editor: No one reports the news today — they just use their platform to give an opinion.

Coach Meyer did what anyone who has coached, supervised or managed people have done many times. He made a mistake in giving Zach Smith a long rope. As it turned out, he wasn’t worthy of that generosity. Call it a blind spot, loyalty, whatever you want. It happens all the time. So what!

The race to be first and the utter joy of trying to slay a giant is now the role of most of the media. Many are vultures who prey on people and can’t wait to bring them down. Ask our president about that.

This story should be over. A committee was formed, a decision and punishment was handed down, and we all have moved on. Oh, except for most of the media. Keep it going until you get bored and then look for someone else to prey on.

Oh, the hypocrisy! Our players and current coaches need to be the focus now.

Jeff Black, Pickerington

Editor: As a graduate of the Ohio State nursing program, I wonder about the fate of Shelley Meyer. She is an instructor at the School of Nursing and has a duty and an obligation to report domestic violence.

Can she assure us that she, too, went up the chain of command regarding her knowledge of the abuse? If not, she violated the public’s trust and showed poor judgment for future public-health workers. She should be fired.

Laurel Hook, Crystal Lake, Ill.

Editor: Being a big fan of OSU sports (football in particular), I now look at coach Meyer in a different light than I used to. As I heard someone say recently, this will now be a part of his legacy as coach at OSU. To me, this is very sad but, oh, so true.

Evelyn Darr, Reynoldsburg

Editor: The Ohio State University will now be recognized as The Urban School of Deception.

When the three stooges looked into the eyes of all of us and asked us to believe how contrite and remorseful they were that their beloved university had been exposed and embarrassed, they assumed we were all blind, gullible football-crazed morons whose only concern was winning. So wrong that these three administrators played us for fools!

Urban, do you want us to believe that your wife never shared pictures, facts or conversations with you regarding one of your cowardly coaches abusing his wife? Why the deleted text messages? It’s hard to imagine the wife of a multimillion-dollar coach not wanting him to know.

Really, Urban you have only in recent years looked at spousal abuse the way you do today? Possibly either Earle Bruce or your dad or even your own wife would have told you that since the dawn of civilization it has been and will always be repugnant cowardly hideous behavior for any man to either verbally or physically hurt a woman!

Study the playbook of life: No. 1, do the right thing. No. 2, always tell the truth. No. 3, respect women. Urban, you have failed miserably on the first three, so why go on?

Could you have at least looked into the cameras and told Courtney Smith how sorry you were? Or do you not believe that she was abused? Possibly the pride of an old man building his legacy got in the way. So sorry that this has been so hard on you, but how about Courtney? It must have been a rose garden for her. That’s right, she’s disposable — only a wife of a coach hired twice by Urban Meyer.

Nicole Brown Simpson sought out help also, but her resume didn’t equal that of a football god! So her pleas were ignored. The man that you see in the mirror is you, Urban, and unless you wear your glasses, you will never see the pathetic, deceitful excuse of a man seeking to build his wealth and legacy by stating he wishes he could have done things differently because you got exposed, and the other two figures in the mirror are the two men that should have asked for your resignation or, better yet, told you to go silently away.

Linda Butler, via email

Sports editor: Ohio State handled the Urban Meyer matter in a terrible manner. Urban Meyer didn’t deserve any suspension at all.

The PC platitude that a football coach is responsible for the out-of-school behavior of an assistant coach on his staff is ridiculous.

Urban obviously reported the matter to Gene Smith. What else could he have done? A football coach, even at a major university, is not a guidance counselor or marriage counselor.

I would imagine that Urban Meyer has nearly 150 football players, assistant coaches and staff members to supervise. It is an impossible task to emphatically state that the man must keep track of and dictate the private lives of that number of people.

As for Zach Smith, the man was not even charged with a crime, nor has anything been definitively proved about what occurred in the Smith marriage. I don’t know what occurred, you don't know what occurred, and Urban Meyer certainly had no way of knowing what occurred.

Perhaps a far more serious question is whether Zach Smith should be permanently barred from working at Ohio State over this situation. The university seems to have violated fundamental principles of due process of law in doing so — innocent until proven guilty.

Even if this man has an abuse or anger issue, should he be unable to find a job anywhere? If the university wants to pry into a private matter in this detail, perhaps there is a commensurate duty to let the man work, and assist him with any necessary counseling and direction.

The only possible mistake that Urban Meyer made in this situation was in his response to questions at the Big Ten news conference day concerning this topic. I wish that Urban would have had the initial reaction to simply tell the press at the news conference that the topic was none of their business, and a personal family matter in the Smith marriage.

The pious and sanctimonious position of your newspaper and reporters concerning this entire situation is curious and deplorable. A wise and omniscient visitor to this planet once said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.”

Shame on Ohio State, and free Urban Meyer.

Let’s get on with the football season. Go Bucks!

Ray Eichenberger, Reynoldsburg

Mr. Stein: I am writing to express my disappointment with the way OSU handled its news conference on Wednesday. Based how they looked onstage, OSU should have told Gene Smith and Urban Meyer their fate and canceled the news conference and rescheduled it for Thursday afternoon.

That would have allowed Smith and Meyer to compose themselves in a manner differently than Gene Smith slumping down in his chair looking like a bad dog that had done wrong and Meyer’s obvious look of total disbelief, (angry) that he was given a three-game suspension.

OSU did not, in my opinion, touch on the true victim, Courtney Smith, as much as the non-victims and that being — Buckeye Nation. With all the great minds at this prestigious university, you would think they would have come up with a better way of handling the situation.

I feel for Courtney Smith and the abuse she has endured over the years, as well as Gene Smith and Urban Meyer not given a day to compose themselves and speak to reporters in a better frame of mind.

Knowing that the eyes of the nation are upon OSU, too bad the university fumbled the ball so badly.

David Frericks, via email

Ray: Chairwoman Mary Jo White is certainly flexible for a 70-year-old, at least intellectually.

Out of one side of her mouth, she states that both Urban Meyer and AD Gene Smith monitored the progress of the 2015 police investigation of Zach Smith “for months.” And then, practically in the same breath, White claims Meyer was not “intentionally untruthful” in declaring at the Big Ten media day in Chicago that he “knew nothing” about the 2015 investigation.

Sure sounds like a big fat lie to me, but what do I know? Take the podium, Mary Jo! For mental gymnastics, I’ve gotta give you a 10. Perhaps you can share the gold medal with OSU’s board of trustees.

Thad Woodman, Westerville

Editor: Now that the investigation is complete and the board has acted, I have to weigh in. I do not condone abuse of any kind but have to ask: What was/is Courtney Smith’s agenda? Her timing and mode seem suspect.

Susan Henderson, via email

Mr. Stein: Now that the $500,000 investigation of Meyer is (somewhat) over, I want to focus my rant on Zach Smith.

Sir, you are the one that started this. You sound like a selfish, narcissistic, spoiled brat. Through the years, you took advantage of all that you were given. Most of us have to struggle in life, and work hard for what we get.

Hopefully, you have apologized to your family, your ex, and Coach Meyer. I don't want to hear excuses on why you acted the way you did.

Chris Beale, London

Editor: This is a sad day for any Ohioan who has compassion and concerns for spousal abuse and the abuse of women. This was an opportunity for OSU to demonstrate their support on these issues. Too bad that they let the football team, athletics and negative publicity get in their way.

They may have wanted to “save” their reputation, but I believe that they damaged it more than saving anything.

The findings of the investigation committee included that Gene Smith and Urban Meyer “failed to adhere to the precise requirements of their contracts when they concluded that they needed to await a law enforcement determination to file charges.” This statement alone recognizes and identifies a “breach of contract.”

It further stated that the committee believed that they had acted in good faith “other than the misunderstanding of the requirements triggering reporting obligations.” I’m sorry, but any law student knows that ignorance is not a plea of innocence.

Both men had breached their contract and should have been dismissed — for cause!

But it seems like the trustees and President Drake, who made the decision, felt that the reputation of the football program would be irreparably harmed. What about Courtney Smith?

And then the punishment? Suspension without pay until Sept. 2 and for two games after that (Meyer) and suspension without pay for 17 days (Smith). I think the TV stations stated that Meyer makes about $21,000 a day, and who know what Smith makes, but I am sure that it is more than $2,000 a day.

Thus OSU will save about $500,000 rather than over $30 million. I also wonder what effect these suspensions will have on their bonuses, which exceed what their actual yearly salaries are. My guess is NONE.

Truly, a sad day for Ohio, and especially for abuse victims.

Frank T. Rupnik, Powell

Sir: The fiasco at Ohio State University has concluded with shame. I have a hard time figuring out the difference between “not deliberately lying” and “lying.” Football at OSU takes priority over everything.

Meyer will now be around to oversee the removing of black stripes from football players' helmets. The black cloud that hangs over Ohio Stadium will remain.

Jerry Moore, via email

Editor: Has Shelley Meyer been fired from her job as clinical nurse at OSU for not reporting domestic abuse to her superiors?

If not, why isn’t anyone demanding it? Wasn’t she employed by the university and isn’t it her duty, according to Title IX?

Gid Rowell, via email

Editor: You lead the largest university in a populous state. Colleges and universities are intended as venues of “higher learning.” Many lessons are taught in these formative years in a young person’s life.

Your university has just taught everyone that you value football over the safety of women, to not even reach the issue of RESPECT for women.

Shame on you!

Jeffrey Berchenko, via email

Editor: I have an idea. How about the NCAA making it mandatory that every college coach should undergo a half-million-dollar investigation by an independent law firm? Then let’s make that investigation public for everyone to see (especially ESPN).

Since these coaches are part of the human race, I can pretty much assume a good law firm is going to find some, let’s say “dirty laundry.” Then let’s use our hindsight, which is always 100 percent correct, to criticize these coaches for their mistakes.

In fact, if we want to be politically correct, let’s suspend some of those coaches, especially the successful ones. What do you think?

Peter Laframboise, Dublin

Editor: It is in the university’s best interests to fire Urban Meyer and Gene Smith.

Meyer and Smith knew about or willfully ignored credible, serious allegations of domestic violence against their employee, Zach Smith. Wake up, Ohio, that’s not socially acceptable in 2018 America.

Meyer and Smith also tried to cover it up. Independent investigators have determined, in essence, that Meyer lied about meeting with the victim, Courtney Smith, in 2009 and he has made spurious claims that she recanted the abuse allegations. Meyer lied, I think, about what he knew of his wife’s discussions with the victim and also deleted text messages to hide it. Then he lied to the press about what he knew at Big Ten media days to cover it up further.

Still to this day, he can’t apologize to the victim because his whole strategy to get through this mess is to cast doubt on the victim’s otherwise-credible allegations of abuse in the first place.

Absent some earth-shattering evidence that there was never any abuse, Meyer and Gene Smith should go. Ohio State football has been in contention for championships just about every year since at least 1942, and we can carry on without these guys.

What President Drake and the board of trustees are doing is risking serious embarrassment for the university and their own personal reputations.

David Ebersole, via email

Editor: The investigation is over. A top-notch group of highly competent and respected individuals was assembled to perform a very distasteful task. From all accounts, they were extremely diligent and took the task at hand very seriously, as they should.

Nothing in Columbus is more important than Buckeye football, but …

There are still a lot of questions that haven’t been answered. Was there actually domestic violence/abuse committed? If so, why weren’t charges pursued by the Powell police department? Why did The Dispatch have to go to court to get access to what should be public information by now, especially when legal experts are all agreeing and scratching their heads over this?

I am really looking forward to The Dispatch reporting what they find out when they finally get the information they are seeking, but …

I am a little confused by one small item. The president of OSU is the supervisor of Gene Smith, who is the supervisor of Urban Meyer, who was the supervisor of Zach Smith. In every position that I have held, where I was in a supervisory or managerial role, I was held accountable for the actions of those who reported to me, even when I reported the misdeed or wasn’t aware of what happened.

That was confirmed, to some degree, by the trustees’ decision to suspend Gene Smith and Urban Meyer, but what about the higher-ups? And what about other coaches and employees of OSU who interacted with Zach Smith? Why aren’t they being held accountable?

I think a lot of people are thinking these same questions, but …

The bottom line is that the coach showed extreme class by standing with his university president’s decision. Unfortunately, since two people couldn’t handle their own business, hundreds of student/athletes have been adversely affected, even though they had nothing to do with this situation.

If I was a Twitter user, I would probably finish this by saying, “Sad.”

Scott V. Alexander, Columbus

Mr. Stein: Was it my imagination, or was Coach Meyer blinking in Morse code T-O-R-T-U-R-E during that painful presser? (With apologies to Adm. Jeremiah Denton.)

Doug Shevelow, Pickerington

Editor: I am not a lawyer, but I think Title IX is unconstitutional. It takes due process out of the domain of the law and justice system set up by the Constitution.

Title IX requires our citizens to report alleged sexual or abusive offenses against fellow citizens and report it to higher-ups in their organization. If a citizen doesn’t report an alleged offense, then the organization forms a committee. And that committee makes a judgment. Not on the alleged offender, but on the citizen who didn’t report the alleged offense.

It’s like McCarthyism, the book “1984” and the Nazis who had their citizens report where Jews lived. It’s very scary to me. Our government has run amok.

Dick Smith, via email

Editor: Help me understand this. Jim Tressel got fired from OSU for the tattoo-gate incident and Gene Smith gets to keep his job after pleading his ignorance that this was happening.

Then with the Zach Smith domestic abuse-charge, which Gene Smith now fully acknowledges he was made aware of in 2015 and which is a much more high-profile issue in today’s society and something far worse, and he gets to keep his job with a small slap on the wrist in the form of a suspension.

If I understood correctly, I believe he said he made a mistake because he didn’t acknowledge the domestic charge in 2015 as being a big enough red flag to get others involved? Really?

How is it that these scandals continue to happen under the watch and leadership (?) of Gene Smith, and he continues to evade further punishment, namely to be fired?

The buck stops with him in the OSU athletics department, and he needs to be held more accountable for this by the public, and President Drake should be ashamed for not doing so.

And to have done a background check on Zach Smith before he was hired and not know about the 2009 domestic charge against him? Huh? Wouldn’t you think that a major university the size of OSU would know better? Shame on them.

For Gene Smith to say that they have to do a better job in this respect is an understatement, to say the least.

Mike Cirner, Dublin

Editor: This is what you call a totem pole of importance and it’s absolutely unbelievable that women are on the bottom when it comes to justice. Ohio State should have its football program sanctioned by the NCAA and Meyer, being responsible, should be fired.

Where are the women and girls of Ohio State? Have they accepted this decision over and above how a woman should be treated, or is it all right with them for men like Smith to beat up on them?

Alan Cribb, via email

Editor: Former OSU student Brandon Rohrig couldn’t have said it better while awaiting the announcement of the suspension of Urban Meyer when he stated, “I feel like we’re waiting for the billows of white smoke, like the announcement of the new pope” (“Buckeyes sound off on Meyer suspension”, Thursday’s Dispatch).

Oh, if it were but truly hyperbole. It is without question that on the heels of the disappointing saga that led to the demise of coach Jim Tressel, followed by a rare stint of mediocrity under interim coach Luke Fickell, that pope Meyer was greeted by OSU fans with all of the fanfare and lofty expectations of a new pontiff.

And boy, did he deliver. Since arriving in November 2011, Meyer teams have lost exactly eight games in seven seasons. They have been crowned division champions multiple times and won the national championship with a team so deep in talent and preparation that they did so with a third-string quarterback.

But the aura of Meyer just may extend far beyond just football.

I recently tuned in to an interview with OSU president Michael Drake and he was delineating various points of pride at OSU, including the increasing numbers of new student admission applications to the Columbus campus.

The year Meyer arrived in 2012, fall admission applications numbered 28,675. In 2013, they numbered 35,475. In 2015, 45,919, and most recently, in 2017, 52,427. Coincidence or causation?

There is little doubt that Buckeye football is an enormous, powerful machine, with strong roots in alumni, in the national phenomenon that is Buckeye Nation, in national reputation and name recognition, in fundraising and yes, in student recruitment, which leads directly to revenue.

Yes, Urban Meyer was suspended, but was not fired. And I believe that what was at the heart of that decision just may have extended far beyond just football.

Christopher A. Dalheim, Galena

Editor: I’m a pastor in Houston, and a proud member of the Buckeye Nation. I’ve watched from afar the news developing out of Columbus related to Urban, Gene and the football program.

Here’s the problem: Society and social reform evolve, and it’s critical that we consider consequences in light of the “rule of the land” at the time the said offenses occur.

Take today's platform: In light of the #MeToo movement and to overlay that on a 2015 event is simply not valid. At that period of time, it was “best practice” to escalate quickly to the officials, which in this case would have been the police. Of course, there has to be internal communication, as well, so no one gets surprised and the advantage of having multiple perspectives exist to make a stronger decision.

That said, it is only in the past year that we’re seeing the NCAA/NFL holding its leadership to a standard higher than the law of the land. I don’t know how that is possible unless it’s clearly stated ahead of time and staffed accordingly by the university.

From a pastoral perspective, I can tell you there are always at least three versions of the truth, and to default to the strongest position or penalty without consensus holds those charged to an unrealistic standard of compliance. Let’s not let the dull roar of the news determine the consequences by putting all in a defensive position.

I think Urban got the short end here and am wondering how many more lives Gene Smith has.

Fred Rake, The Woodlands, Texas

Sports editor: Michael Arace must be deeply disappointed that Urban Meyer was only suspended.

He clearly had written opinions that showed he was pushing hard for dismissal; he even lumped Meyer in with perverts Dr. Richard Strauss and Will Bohonyi, as if he were just as guilty. How about a suspension or dismissal for Arace?

Memo to Urban: Don’t talk to the media! Woody had it right!

W.J. Harper, Columbus

Ray: President Michael V. Drake and the board of trustees have sent a clear message to OSU football coaches:

Permit the trading of trinkets for tattoos, and you are out of here. Hire, nurture and tolerate domestic abusers, and you get a short, unpaid vacation while the team plays the cupcake part of its schedule.

Brent D. Rosenthal, Westerville

Letters: Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer’s three-game suspension is a joke. For not reporting and lying about the domestic abuse of wide receivers coach Zach Smith is a serious violation of school policy, and Meyer should have been fired for it.

Ohio State obviously cares more about winning football games than the welfare of women. What a terrible message Ohio State is sending women.

Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Editor: What is a firing offense? Should football coaches be held to a higher standard than the president of the USA?

Virtually everyone agrees that getting complete and reliable information before making an important decision is a good idea. But the decision relating to coach Urban Meyer needs to be put in proper perspective. The key question comes down to whether lying on one occasion to the public is a firing offense.

Meyer lied, but later came clean admitting he failed and reported that he passed along what he knew to those higher up in the OSU administrative hierarchy. Meyer’s offense is lying publicly at one press conference.

Now, contrast this behavior to that of President Trump, who is a certified, habitual and chronic liar who has never, not once, come clean on anything. If Meyer is to be terminated, what do the people of Ohio think should be done to the President and his menagerie of lying lawyers, cohorts, relatives and spokespersons?

Urban Meyer is a good coach, but I am not one of his fans, nor am I a fan of any university where he coached. Instead, I am an Alabama fan, having served on the faculty there for many years.

My purpose in writing is to urge that things in Columbus be put in proper perspective and the real culprits held accountable. Meyer made a mistake, which is minuscule in comparison to the continuing lies and obfuscations of the president and those surrounding him in the White House.

John P. Formby, Port St. Joe, Fla.

Ray: As a former college athlete, college coach, college athletic conference commissioner and for 23 years a college athletic director, I ask who is in charge at OSU?

For the 13 different colleges at which I was affiliated during my 46 years, once the athletic director was informed of a situation regarding one of his teams, he became the primary person to report the situation to. The coach was then out of the loop regarding reporting, decision-making responsibility.

Urban Meyer got the shaft at OSU to cover for Gene Smith.

Dave Waples, Kennesaw, Ga.

Editor: C’mon, Columbus, are you really still in your college days? This crap with Meyer makes me laugh and look in embarrassment at the same.

Get real, he is a college coach for a school. College sports are at a minor-league level at best. Would you go this berserk if the Clippers fired their manager? No.

The media camped out at school until the decision comes through just shows how ridiculous it is. Rah, rah, go Bucks and OH-IO at every corner is unbelievable.

Give me the sports where the guys get paid, are at the highest level, and where you do not know anybody on the team except two or three guys.

Tom Padovan, Columbus

Mr. Stein: I want you to know that I think The Dispatch has handled the news swirling around the Urban Meyer/Zach Smith/Courtney Smith controversy as well as any media outlet can be expected.

I also want to commend your writers, Michael Arace and Rob Oller, in trying to inject some realistic perspective into this whole affair. I do not envy your having to manage the flood of angry and factually challenged communications coming to you through social media and conventional (e.g., “snail mail”) communication channels.

After reading the Mailbox (Aug. 12), I am astounded that Tom Driscoll is so angry (and unsympathetic towards a potentially abused spouse) over his football watching being disrupted; Jay Green, who thinks Sioux Falls is in North Dakota; and last but not least Donald DePalma, who thinks the OSU band director reports to Gene Smith, the athletic director.

These people truly need to calm down and count to 10.

Hopefully, the special investigative commission and the OSU Board of Trustees’ decision will deflect much of the vitriol away from your enterprise, but I may be engaging in wishful thinking.

Paul Burnam, Westerville

Mr. Stein: A decision on the employment status of Urban Myer is pending (at this writing), yet I am curious if you feel that The Dispatch is afraid of reprisals in conducting more significant journalistic, investigative reporting?

Jeff Grossett, via email

Editor: OSU has a history of an insecure identity. They fire nearly all their head football and basketball coaches sooner or later and their presidents because of their insecure national image.

It was a good sign that President Drake announced he alone would make the final decision. The question is how confident is he, because he may soon be on the chopping block for some minor infraction.

John Seiling, via email

Editor: I read Rob Oller’s commentary online periodically. With all the unknowns surrounding the Urban Meyer situation, I find it odd that nobody has the answer to the question of why Meyer kept Zach Smith on staff with all Smith’s reported issues.

All one has to do is to watch and listen to the eulogy that Urban Meyer gave at Earle Bruce's funeral. There is a story Meyer tells about him being very frustrated at a player he was coaching while at Colorado State. Meyer finally had enough and went to talk to Earle Bruce about the player.

Bruce basically told Meyer to NEVER give up on a player. NEVER. If Meyer gave up on a player, then Meyer would be replaced as a coach.

So did Meyer apply this philosophy to his staff as well — never giving up on Smith until the very end when the walls were closing in? I believe Meyer felt he was honoring Earle Bruce, not because of the family ties with Smith, but with the coaches’ philosophy of never giving up on a player.

I do recommend you listen to the eulogy that I referenced above and would be interested if your take on it is similar to mine.

I personally do not have an opinion on what the ultimate decision will be with regards to Meyer’s future at OSU. It will not affect my life, no matter what happens.

Dave Bright, via email

Editor: It is obvious Rob Oller will not rest easy until Urban Meyer is convicted of some wrongdoing in the case of Zach Smith. Perhaps Urban refused Oller an interview when Oller needed it most.

Whatever the reason, I hope he ends disappointed.

Dick Wood Sr., via email

Editor: I am compelled to write this in response to the recent suspension of coach Urban Meyer. It is ridiculous. The coach is responsible for what happens on the field and in the locker room.

Where is it written in a coach’s college football contract that he is responsible for the coaches' and players' actions off the field? This would place his job and livelihood in jeopardy because of what players or coaches do when not in his presence or behind closed doors.

What is next if this coach is fired? Hypothetically all who teach children that go to school, then later decide to vandalize property off the school grounds, out of the teacher’s sight and authority, could be held responsible for the offender’s actions.

What next? People who go to church, not everyone who goes to church is an angel. So if a couple goes home and fights and can’t get along, is it the pastor’s fault? Should he be held accountable for all the actions of the people who attend his church?

Douglas F. Hitchens, via email

Editor: My conclusion from your letters (last Sunday) is that if these letters are a credible sampling of what you received this week, then your readers are delusional. That is the best word I can think of to describe them.

Some of them (Dugan) are also either just really, really stupid or have been so completely brainwashed from years of scarlet and gray that they just can’t think clearly.

Jim Burke, Dublin

Editor: I’m so tired of hearing (and reading) about how Urban Meyer didn’t do this and didn’t do that while Zach Smith’s wife was making her allegations.

Please address what the Powell police found out and if Zach Smith was guilty, why hasn’t he been charged? Why is all of this up to Urban Meyer to investigate and determine what is going on — and then “do the right thing”?

We have since found out that Zach Smith was not being honest with Coach Meyer or keeping him updated on all that was going on.

As a rape victim in 1988, I can tell you that the Columbus police department did an excellent job of keeping me updated and catching the repeat offender. I am in no way saying that all or some of these allegations against Mr. Smith didn’t happen but it would put to rest a lot of questions that many people have if someone from the Powell police department could explain why no charges have been filed or if there will be charges.

Until I understand what all has been done through the Powell police department, I don’t feel the coach is responsible for ALL of this.

Christine A. Long, Dublin

Editor: Lost in all this talk about what Urban Meyer did or didn’t do and after hearing enough to learn that Zach and Courtney Smith are both absolute misfits, the unaddressed tragedy in all this is their two children caught in the middle.

OSU officials bent over backward not appear insensitive toward a perceived victim; but if I were a child service professional watching all this, I'd be doing some investigating and do what is best for those kids.

Dennis M. Singleton, Dayton

Editor: Finally, the great brain trust at OSU, after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours, finally solved the overall perception problem the university is facing about a deceased doctor who was sexually abusing students, a diving coach coercing students into having sex with him, and a coach who was apparently inept as a marriage counselor.

Yes, let’s show the world how we dish out severe consequences for, what? A coach that wasn’t overseeing what goes on in the confines of an assistant’s own home? So does that mean university president Michael V. Drake is now responsible for knowing what every employee working for OSU is doing 24/7?

Actually, today’s electronic equipment is probably able to provide that information, but please, Mike, resist the urge. Often quoted from the U.S. Declaration of Independence is the term “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” but it really makes you wonder how Drake and the board interpret the word liberty. Apparently they understand it to mean partial liberty.

And by the way, I think you could have picked just about anyone off the streets of Columbus, and they could have arrived at a better solution in about 10 minutes to the Urban Meyer problem than the board of trustees and Mike Drake.

Roy Lucas, Columbus

Editor: I have been watching and listening to the media for three weeks. It’s funny, no one reports the news today — they just use their platform to give an opinion.

I think some of your reporters have been fair and balanced. Some not so much! Also, some of the local radio voices have been fair and some are idiots.

Coach Meyer did what anyone who has coached, supervised or managed people have done many times. He made a mistake in giving Zach Smith a long rope. As it turned out, he wasn’t worthy of that generosity. Call it a blind spot, loyalty, whatever you want. It happens all the time. So what!

The race to be first and the utter joy of trying to slay a giant is now the role of most of the media. Many are vultures who prey on people and can’t wait to bring them down. Ask our president about that.

This story should be over. A committee was formed, a decision and punishment was handed down, and we all have moved on. Oh, except for most of the media. Keep it going until you get bored and then look for someone else to prey on.

The Michigan State, North Carolina, Miami and Baylor stuff lasted a couple days. We shall see how long this last.

What’s scarier? A media member who prints one side of a story and doesn’t vet anyone, or a coach who is loyal to a fault to an employee who proved not worthy of that loyalty? The media hates to be lied to!

Oh the hypocrisy! It’s laughable. Our players and current coaches need to be the focus now.

Jeff Black, Pickerington

Editor: I agree wholeheartedly with Laine Zalac’s comments of Friday (letters to the editor) regarding what Urban Meyer should have said instead of what he did say. Zalac’s words are much more appropriate than what coach Meyer had to say.

He had to know he would be asked about Mrs. Smith and should have been better prepared with more appropriate words. By this I mean, man up and apologize publicly to Mrs. Smith for his neglect and the part he had in the playing out of this scenario.

Being a big fan of OSU sports (football in particular), I now look at coach Meyer in a different light than I used to. As I heard someone say recently, this will now be a part of his legacy as a coach at OSU. To me this is very sad but oh so true.

Evelyn Darr, Reynoldsburg