The six-member panel appointed to investigate Ohio State Head Football Coach Urban Meyer is loaded with insiders who have watched Buckeye football games from the university suite and traveled to bowl games.
The panel includes three current trustees — Columbus Partnership chief executive Alex Fischer, business attorney Alex Shumate and hospital administrator and consultant Janet Porter — as well as former trustee Jo Ann Davidson, a well-connected Republican leader. The other two members — Craig Morford and Carter Stewart — are former U.S. Department of Justice officials.
Trustees and former trustees are invited to the university suite at Ohio Stadium for home games and to travel to bowl games. Records show that Davidson, Shumate and Fischer have traveled to multiple bowl games as part of the university’s official party over the past decade. Stewart was a guest in the university’s stadium suite in 2012, records show.
“Most people in Columbus are supportive of Ohio State at some level, some more, some less. It would be unusual and difficult to cobble together a group of people that didn’t have opinions about Ohio State as an institution,” said Mark Weaver, an attorney and crisis communications consultant. “So it’s no surprise that people of this caliber would already have some involvement with Ohio State.”
He added: “This feels like a good mix to me.”
The panel hired an investigator: Mary Jo White, former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York and current chair of the national law firm Debevoise & Plimpton.
The investigation is expected to be completed within 14 days, the university said on Sunday. The panel will provide advice and consultation to the full board of trustees.
After the investigation, OSU President Michael Drake will make a decision in consultation with the trustees.