COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State on Wednesday evening suspended head soccer coach City Meyer three video games for mishandling home violence accusations, punishing one of many sport’s most outstanding leaders for retaining an assistant on workers for a number of years after the coach’s spouse accused him of abuse.
The transfer adopted a two-week investigation into how Meyer reacted to accusations that former Buckeyes assistant Zach Smith abused his ex-wife, Courtney Smith. Zach Smith was fired final month after she requested a choose for a protecting order.
Courtney Smith alleged her husband shoved her towards a wall and put his fingers round her neck in 2015. The college put Meyer on paid depart and commenced an investigation after Courtney Smith spoke out publicly, sharing textual content messages and pictures she traded in 2015 with Meyer’s spouse, Shelley Meyer. Shelley Meyer is a registered nurse and teacher at Ohio State.
Trustees mentioned the choice to punish Meyer in a marathon assembly Wednesday whereas Meyer awaited the choice.
The investigation prompted a tweet from Meyer through which he insisted he adopted correct protocols after studying of the 2015 accusations. However he additionally acknowledged mendacity to reporters per week earlier when he stated he hadn’t heard of the incident till shortly earlier than he fired Zach Smith.
The probe instantly centered on the query of what Meyer knew and when. Meyer stated in his tweet that he at all times elevated points by the right channels, and did so with the Smith scenario in 2015. That contradicted what he instructed reporters at Huge Ten media day per week earlier: “I used to be by no means instructed about something and nothing ever got here to mild. I’ve by no means had a dialog about it. I do know nothing about it.”
Talking after the investigation was introduced, Zach Smith stated he spoke with Meyer on the time and athletic director Gene Smith additionally knew concerning the allegations.
Zach Smith stated Meyer instructed him he could be fired if the top coach came upon Smith had hit his spouse.
Zach Smith — the grandson of late Ohio State coach and Meyer mentor Earle Bruce — has by no means been criminally charged or convicted of abuse. He has a cost of prison trespass pending, and the Smiths are due in court docket subsequent month for a listening to on a restraining order Courtney Smith was granted July 20.
Meyer was heading into his seventh season at Ohio State, the place he’s 73-Eight with a nationwide title in 2014 and two Huge Ten Convention championships. Ohio State’s Title IX sexual misconduct coverage contains reporting allegations of home violence made towards college workers.
Violating that coverage permits Meyer to be fired with trigger, in response to provisions positioned in his contract when it was prolonged in April by two years. The deal by 2022, growing Meyer’s wage to $7.6 million in 2018, with annual 6 % raises. Meyer had about $38 million left on his contract.
Ohio State’s season begins Sept. 1 with a sport towards Oregon State in Columbus.
In 2009, Zach Smith was accused of aggravated battery on his pregnant spouse whereas he was working a graduate assistant for Meyer at Florida. The cost was dropped due to inadequate proof.
The Smiths separated in June 2015 and divorced in 2016.
Meyer is likely one of the most achieved coaches in faculty soccer historical past, with three nationwide championships and a 177-31 document in 16 seasons at Bowling Inexperienced, Utah, Florida and Ohio State, the workforce he grew up rooting for in Northeast Ohio.
Meyer received nationwide championships with Florida in 2006 and ’08, however his groups additionally had greater than two dozen gamers get into bother with the regulation. He resigned twice at Florida, citing well being causes, first within the 2009 season after the Gators misplaced the Southeastern Convention championship sport whereas attempting to repeat as nationwide champs. He modified his thoughts quickly after and coached one other season. The Gators went 8-5 in 2010, and afterward, Meyer stepped down for good.
Meyer was out of teaching for a season however was employed by Ohio State in November 2011. The Buckeyes had fired Jim Tressel, one other nationwide championship-winning coach, earlier than that season for mendacity to the NCAA and college about guidelines violation dedicated by a few of his gamers.
Since returning to teaching, Meyer’s program has been one of the vital dominant in faculty soccer, and his gamers have largely stayed out of main bother.
Meyer confronted some criticism in 2013 for permitting operating again Carlos Hyde to return to the workforce after he was charged with hanging a girl in a bar. The case was dropped by police when the girl selected to not pursue costs, however Hyde was suspended three video games.
The Meyer investigation price $500,000 and was performed by the nationwide regulation agency Debevoise & Plimpton.
Ohio State started investigating Meyer whereas additionally going through three federal lawsuits about its response to allegations of groping, leering and different misconduct by a deceased athletic division physician who handled wrestlers and different college students for 20 years. The lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss say Ohio State facilitated the abuse by ignoring complaints.
Since Ohio State introduced an impartial investigation in April, greater than 100 former college students have come ahead with accounts of sexual misconduct by Strauss. The allegations vary from 1979 to 1997 and contain male athletes from 14 sports activities, in addition to his work on the pupil well being heart and his off-campus medical workplace.
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