Ohio State announced football coach Urban Meyer will remain suspended until Sept. 2 and will not be allowed to coach the Buckeyes in their first three games.
That comes after an independent investigation found he “did not exhibit the kind of leadership and high standards” the university expects in regards to the handling of former assistant coach Zach Smith.
OSU director of athletics Gene Smith also was handed a suspension that will last from Aug. 31-Sept. 16.
“I fully support the findings of the report and the subsequent actions the university has taken,” Gene Smith said in a press conference late Wednesday night. “I have ultimate authority and responsibly and oversight and accountably in our athletic department, particularly the football program, and I understand I could have done a better job in this particular instance.”
Meyer asked if he deserves to be suspended: “I trust and support our president.”
“I know the impact of the last three weeks have had on this institution, the institution that I love and how challenging this has been for our community and our president, a man I have great respect for, and for that I am deeply sorry,” Meyer said. “I’m fully aware that I’m ultimately responsible for the situation that has harmed the university as a whole and our department of athletics and our football program.”
The news came after an all-day meeting of the school’s board of trustees.
“Based on the independent investigation, I want to say clearly we believe Urban Meyer did not and does not condone domestic abuse,” university president Dr. Michael Drake said. “However, he did fail to take sufficient management action regarding Zach Smith and he was not as complete and accurate at media day and didn’t uphold the high standards and values of the university on that day.”
Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave Aug. 1 after a report he knew of allegations Zach Smith abused his wife, Courtney.
Zach Smith was fired on July 23 after being charged with criminal trespassing. He was also served with a civil protection order.
Ohio State opens the season at home against Oregon State on Sept. 1. Meyer will miss that game, as well as the home contest against Rutgers a week later and a neutral-site game against TCU on Sept. 15.
The Ohio State board of trustees meeting to discuss the fate of football coach Urban Meyer was still going through the middle of the afternoon.
The coach arrived at the Longaberger Alumni House in the morning, and he was joined by his wife, Shelly, at around 2:30 p.m.
Little information has been provided, though the room where the board met initially has been taken down and appears to be set up for a press conference.
Clark Kellogg, a member of the board and a former Ohio State basketball star, appeared outside the meeting room at around 2 p.m. and reported, “Progress being made,” when asked for an update.
Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith arrived just after 5 p.m., but did not comment before entering the meeting.
Ohio State practicing football on the other side of these trees. Can hear it from building where Meyer case being discussed pic.twitter.com/poWDF4Q6jO
As expected, the Ohio State board of trustees convened a special meeting at 9 a.m. to discuss the findings of an investigation into how football coach Urban Meyer and others handled allegations of domestic abuse by an assistant coach.
Chairman Michael J. Gasser spoke for about two minutes, thanking the investigators and members of the “independent working group” who oversaw their work.
“I hereby move the board recess into executive session to discuss personnel matters regarding the employment, compensation and discipline of public officials,” Gasser said.