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OSU’s Urban Meyer put on leave over investigation into domestic violence allegations against ex-assistant

>>PHOTOS: Urban Meyer through the years

UPDATE @ 6:15 p.m.: Ohio State University has announced that Urban Meyer has been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation into the domestic violence allegations continues.

»RELATED: Social media reacts to Meyer news

Offensive Coordinator Ryan Day will serve as acting head coach, according to the university.

»RELATED: Who is Ryan Day, the Buckeyes’ acting head coach?

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Meyer is 73-8 in six seasons at Ohio State, including 47-3 in Big Ten play.  He led the Buckeyes to the 2014 national championship.

INITIAL REPORT

Urban Meyer knew of domestic violence allegations against Zach Smith in 2015, according to a new report by college football insider Brett McMurphy on Wednesday.

McMurphy reported he obtained text messages sent by Courtney Smith, the ex-wife of Zach Smith, to Shelley Meyer, the wife of the Ohio State Buckeyes coach.

According to McMurphy, the text messages, an interview with Courtney Smith and other information prove Meyer knew about the allegations against Smith, the wide receivers coach who spent six seasons on Meyer’s staff and was fired on July 23. Meyer’s mentor was late Ohio State coach Earle Bruce, who was Zach Smith’s grandfather.

At Big Ten Media Days in Chicago in July, Meyer spoke about the 2015 allegations.

“I got a text late last night something happened in 2015,” Meyer said. “And there was nothing. Once again, there's nothing. Once again, I don't know who creates a story like that.”

Meyer also said he would have fired Smith in 2015 if he had known about the incidents.

“I was never told about anything,” he said. “Never anything came to light, never had a conversation about it. So I know nothing about it.”

Courtney Smith told McMurphy all the coaches’ wives knew of the abuse. She also did an interview with the Stadium network about the situation. In a clip posted Tuesday, she said she told Shelley Meyer about the physical abuse in 2015.

“Shelley said she was going to have to tell Urban,” Courtney said. “I said, ‘That’s fine. You should tell Urban. We can’t have somebody like this coaching young men.’”

Courtney told the network Shelley Meyer never told her whether she talked to Urban Meyer.

“She would reach out to me, ask me how I’m doing, tell me she was worried, if I needed anything she was there,” Courtney said. “When somebody is crying out for help, I believe the coach, the coach’s wife have a duty to do something to help instead of worrying about winning games or who his mentor is and who is family is and trying to protect that. Somebody’s safety and the safety of their children and the environment that they’re in needs to be more important.”

 

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