Meyer denies tampering with cellphone, texts

Bill Rabinowitz

Among the revelations in the 23-page summary of findings from the Ohio State investigation into Urban Meyer’s handling of the Zach Smith matter, two in particular raised questions.

One described skepticism by investigators about the change in the settings of Meyer’s cellphone to delete text messages older than one year.

On Aug. 1, a news report said that Meyer and his wife, Shelley, had been aware of allegations by Courtney Smith in 2015 of domestic abuse by Zach Smith, then the OSU receivers coach. That night, according to the investigators’ summary, Meyer and OSU director of football operations Brian Voltolini discussed the article and discussed how to adjust the setting on Meyer’s phone to delete old messages.

Meyer said during his news conference on Monday that he did not delete texts and that the setting had been changed months earlier by an Ohio State IT employee. He said it is common for him to exchange texts with more than 100 recruits a day, and the messages often include video. He also said that such texts, combined with family videos, used up his storage.

“What happens is, my phone started locking up throughout the spring,” Meyer said. “And an IT person would take my phone and whatever he did, he did to increase the storage capacity. I found out several months ago, I think late spring is what I was told, is that he had changed my setting to one year.

“Once again, I never changed the setting on my phone. I never changed the text messages on my phone. And when I heard that — (though) I highly respect the report — I would never do that, and I did not do that.”

The 23-page report also stated that Meyer’s misstatements during the Big Ten’s media gathering could be partly attributed to “significant memory issues” that required medicine that “can negatively impair his memory, concentration and focus. All of these factors also need to be considered in weighed in assessing Coach Meyer’s mindset on July 24th.”

Meyer has arachnoid cysts that can flare up in times of stress. They would cause major headaches early in his coaching career before he better learned to control his temper.

Before the start of spring practice in 2014, Meyer had surgery to relieve pressure from cysts.

“I’ve had heavy some pretty meds at times,” Meyer said, “but it certainly doesn’t impact the way I coach. I’m very healthy.”


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