Jeffrey Wadsworth told The New York Times he quit the Ohio State board of trustees following its decision to suspend football coach Urban Meyer last week.
The former Batelle CEO cited “an issue of standards, values” in explaining his decision..
He apparently was concerned a more severe punishment was not more seriously considered for Meyer, who was suspended without pay for six weeks and will miss Ohio State’s first three games of the season.
Wadsworth left the meeting when the board broke for lunch.
“It became clear to me where we were, discussing penalties, and I wasn’t ready to do that,” he said, explaining his early departure. “I was in a different place.”
He “had larger concerns,” he said: “I felt that getting into a limited number of games that was a suspension missed the point of a bigger cultural concern about ‘What message were we sending?’ ”
Wadsworth had been a member of the board since June 2010 when he was appointed by Gov. Ted Strickland. His term was to be up next May.
Meyer’s punishment was announced late on the night of August 22 after the board deliberated for nearly 12 hours about the results of an independent investigation into how the coach handled allegations assistant coach Zach Smith had abused his wife.
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The investigators concluded Meyer had not tried to cover up the allegation, but their report also raised some eyebrows in noting Meyer had seemed interested in deleting texts that were more than a year old from his phone and was found to have memory issues resulting from medication.
Meyer’s punishment was ultimately a result of failing to properly manage Smith in light of “a pattern of troubling behavior” including “promiscuous and embarrassing sexual behavior, drug abuse, truancy, dishonesty, financial irresponsibility, a possible NCAA violation, and a lengthy police investigation into allegations of criminal domestic violence and cyber crimes.”
The Battelle Memorial Institute is a non-profit research and development powerhouse adjacent to the OSU main campus and just down the street from Ohio Stadium.
Wadsworth, who has doctorate degree in metallurgy and another doctorate in engineering, came to the U.S. from England and has worked at Stanford University, Lockheed Missiles and Space Co and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He has written nearly 300 scientific papers and one book and holds four U.S. patents.