SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg discusses the latest from Ohio State, where Urban Meyer backtracked and Zach Smith broke his silence.
USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State is entering the second week of a planned 14-day investigation into what football coach Urban Meyer did or did not know about former assistant coach Zach Smith’s alleged domestic abuse.
Meyer has been on administrative leave since Aug. 1.
Here is what we know heading into the stretch run of the investigation:
Smith will meet with investigators
It’s expected to happen early this week. Smith’s attorney, Brad Koffel, told USA TODAY Sports via email on Sunday that his client would be cooperative. “He did nothing wrong,” Koffel said.
Smith was fired July 24 after allegations of domestic abuse against his now ex-wife Courtney. He was never charged. Koffel also confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that Smith will ask for his job back.
“He did violate any terms of his contract,” Koffel said.
Impact on recruiting
Oak Park (Michigan) high school quarterback Dwan Mathis, committed to Ohio State for 2019, told the Detroit Free Press that he is going regardless of Meyer’s fate. “It’s the best situation for me,” he said.
Detroit (Michigan), King wide receiver Rashawn Williams had visited OSU and his mother Rahtina, told the Free Press she wants to see how “everything plays out” before the family makes a decision.
Bay City (Michigan) Central wide receiver Devell Washington and East Kentwood (Michigan) offensive guard Dallas Fincher, both weighing OSU offers, are also taking a wait-and-see approach.
Herman disputes report
Texas coach Tom Herman, a former Ohio State assistant coach, told the Austin American-Statesman that he wasn’t the source that suggested to Brett McMurphy to talk to Courtney Smith.
“It is absolutely untrue,” Herman told the American–Statesman. “Neither, I, nor anybody in my family, has ever communicated with McMurphy about the situation at Ohio State.”
The denial came in response to an unnamed source in a report from author/sportswriter Jeff Snook alleging Herman had leaked the story out of anger over a recruit committing to OSU. McMurphy said he won’t reveal his source but said it wasn’t Herman.
No word from Meyer, his coaches or players
Meyer has not spoken publicly since he was placed on leave. He did issue a statement saying he had followed “proper reporting protocols” when he became aware of allegations against Smith. He did not reveal to whom he made his report.
OSU coaches and players are not being made available to the media while this investigation continues. Per terms of his leave, Meyer is not allowed to be on campus or communicate with his players or coaches. He doesn’t even have access to his university email account, according to cleveland.com.
While Meyer is still not around the team, the Buckeyes are preparing for their opener Sept. 1 at home against Oregon State.
On Saturday, Terps head coach DJ Durkin became the second Big Ten coach placed on leave in the wake of a damning ESPN report that alleged a culture of fear and intimidation in College Park, Md. Coincidentally, Durkin is a former Meyer assistant at Florida and Bowling Green.