OSU probe of Meyer expected to conclude in 14 days

Bill Rabinowitz

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.

According to a statement released by the university, former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson will serve as chairwoman of the six-person working group. It also includes Ohio State trustees Alex Fischer, Janet Porter and Alex Shumate, as well as former acting U.S. Deputy Attorney General Craig Morford and Carter Stewart, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.

Meyer was placed on administrative leave on Wednesday after reports surfaced that contradicted his contention he did not know in 2015 that receivers coach Zach Smith had been accused by his now ex-wife of abuse. Meyer acknowledged later that he did not truthfully answer questions regarding the alleged incidents.

Decisions based on the investigation’s findings will be made by OSU president Michael V. Drake in consultation with the board of trustees.

Mary Jo White, former chairwoman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, will lead the investigative team.

Davidson, 90, served as Ohio’s Speaker of the House from 1995 to 2000, the first woman to serve in that capacity.

White, 70, was head of the Securities and Exchange Commission from 2013 to ’17. Last year, she served on an NFL external advisory panel on domestic violence that investigated allegations against current Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. The former Buckeye was suspended for six games.

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

Ohio State’s season begins Sept. 1 against Oregon State. The Buckeyes began practice on Friday with offensive coordinator Ryan Day serving as acting coach.

Meyer released a statement on Twitter on Friday admitting that he lied at Big Ten media days in Chicago when he denied knowledge of the accusations of domestic abuse against Smith. Meyer fired Smith the day before that.

But Meyer said, without providing details, that he has always followed “proper reporting protocols and procedures” at Ohio State and did so in the Smith case.