Meyer says he followed protocol for 2015 abuse allegations


Associated Press

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer today insisted he followed proper reporting protocols regarding domestic violence allegations against an assistant coach in 2015, defending himself and his storied career in his first extensive comments since he was put on paid leave earlier this week amid a university investigation.

Meyer posted a statement addressed to Buckeyes fans on Twitter today as his team, expected to be one of the best in the nation, opened practice for the upcoming season without their coach.

The university is investigating what Meyer knew about allegations made by the ex-wife of Zach Smith, who was fired last week by Meyer – and what the coach did about it.

"Over the past several days I have been portrayed as being indifferent to domestic violence and as someone who did not take appropriate action when warranted," Meyer said.

"Here is the truth: While at the University of Florida and now at the Ohio State University I have always followed proper reporting protocols and procedures when I have learned of an incident involving a student-athlete, coach or member of our staff by elevating the issues to the proper channels. And I did so regarding the Zach Smith incident in 2015. I take that responsibility very seriously and any suggestion to the contrary is simply false."

At Big Ten media days last week, Meyer said he knew of an incident involving the Smiths in 2009 and that he and his wife, Shelley Meyer, addressed it with the Smiths. He was also asked about a 2015 incident alleged by Courtney Smith, who also said she told Meyer's wife about those incidents.

"I can't say it didn't happen because I wasn't there," Meyer said at the time. "I was never told about anything and nothing ever came to light. I've never had a conversation about it. I know nothing about it. First I heard about that was last night. No, and I asked some people back at the office to call and say what happened and they came back and said they know nothing about it."

Meyer said his intention at media day was not to say anything inaccurate and he apologized.

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