The Latest: Ohio St. to keep reporters away amid Meyer probe
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on Ohio State's investigation of coach Urban Meyer's handling of abuse claims against an assistant coach (all times local):
Ohio State plans to keep reporters away from its football team while it investigates coach Urban Meyer's handling of a longtime assistant accused of domestic violence.
The university canceled a media availability set for the opening of preseason practice on Friday.
Ohio State had planned to allow the media to watch and record the first part of practice on Friday and then interview selected players and coaches afterward. But that changed Thursday, with a spokesman saying in an email that "due to the ongoing investigation, football coaches and student-athletes will not be available for interviews until further notice and all practices will be closed."
Ohio State is investigating claims that Meyer's wife knew about 2015 allegations of abuse against former Buckeyes assistant Zach Smith, who was fired last week. Meyer told reporters last week that he didn't know about the 2015 allegations until just before Smith was fired.
A contract extension given to Ohio State coach Urban Meyer in March could provide grounds for the university to fire him over the handling of a longtime assistant accused of domestic violence.
The extension signed March 27 added a requirement to Meyer's contract that he immediately report any "known violations" of Ohio State's sexual misconduct policy. The contract lists "intimate violence and stalking" as violations.
Meyer is on administrative leave while Ohio State investigates claims that Meyer's wife knew about 2015 allegations of abuse against former Buckeyes assistant Zach Smith, who was fired last week.
Meyer previously told reporters last week that he was never told anything about the incident that resulted in injuries to Smith's ex-wife, Courtney.
The extension also increased Meyer's salary to $7.6 million for 2018, an $800,000 raise over what he was scheduled to earn.
Smith was set to make $340,000 in 2018 before his firing, a $40,000 increase from his salary for the 2017 season.
Ohio State expects to open fall camp as scheduled on Friday — but without coach Urban Meyer.
Meyer was put on administrative leave on Wednesday over the handling of a longtime assistant who has been accused of domestic violence. Co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day will run the team while Ohio State investigates claims that Meyer's wife knew about 2015 allegations of abuse against former Buckeyes assistant Zach Smith, who was fired last week.
Meyer told reporters last week that he didn't know anything about the incident that resulted in injuries to Smith's ex-wife, Courtney.
Meyer's wife, Shelley Meyer, is an instructor at Ohio State and a registered nurse.
Both Meyers could be in violation of Ohio State's Title IX sexual misconduct policy on reporting allegations of domestic violence made of university employees.
Coincidentally, Zach Smith is scheduled for a hearing Friday on a domestic protection order his ex-wife sought on July 20. His attorney didn't respond to messages Thursday.
Urban Meyer's Ohio State program has been one of the best in college football and for the most part has avoided major off-field issues and player behavior problems that tarnished his championship teams at Florida.
Now Meyer appears to be in jeopardy of losing his job as Buckeyes coach over the handling of a longtime assistant who has been accused of domestic violence.
Ohio State placed Meyer on paid administrative leave Wednesday while it investigates claims that his wife knew about allegations of abuse against former Buckeyes assistant Zach Smith, who was fired last week.
Smith's ex-wife, Courtney Smith, told Stadium that she told Shelley Meyer in 2015 that Zach Smith had assaulted her. Courtney Smith provided text messages to former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy between her and Shelley Meyer about Zach Smith's behavior, and threatening text messages she said were sent to her by Zach Smith.
Courtney Smith said she did not know if Shelley Meyer told Urban Meyer about the allegations against Zach Smith, who has never been convicted of a crime or charged with assaulting his ex-wife.
Zach Smith's attorney, Brad Koffel, said in a statement to ESPN: "Once he gets his chance to tell his side of events, don't be surprised when it is corroborated by every police who ever responded to Ms. Smith's calls."
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