Ohio State University put a 14-day timetable on its investigation into head football coach Urban Meyer’s handling of an assistant coach’s alleged domestic abuse, the school announced Sunday night.
Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday after the ex-wife of former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith said in an interview she had been in repeated contact in 2015 with Meyer’s wife regarding alleged abuse by her then-husband.
On July 24, Meyer had denied knowledge of Zach Smith’s alleged 2015 abuse while acknowledging he knew of Smith’s alleged 2009 abuse that occurred while Smith was on Meyer’s staff at the University of Florida. Smith was fired on July 23.
Meyer admitted Friday that he knew of both alleged incidents at the time and “followed proper reporting protocols and procedures,” acknowledging that his recent statements were inaccurate.
He apologized for his recent comments and said that he “failed in my words.”
The school press release issued Sunday night indicated that former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson was appointed to head up the “independent working group” looking into Meyer’s actions. Her committee includes former acting U.S. Deputy Attorney General Craig Morford, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart and current university trustees Alex Fischer, Janet Porter and Alex Shumate.
“Ohio State is committed to a thorough and complete investigation. We look forward to sharing the results of this investigation and any action the university may take,” Davidson said in the statement.
The committee’s investigative team will be led by former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Jo White, a senior chair with the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton and a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
“Decisions about actions, based on the findings of the investigation, will be made by the president of the university (Michael V. Drake) in consultation with the board of trustees,” according to the school’s statement.
Offensive coordinator Ryan Day is serving as the acting head coach for the Buckeyes, who host Oregon State on Sept. 1 in the season opener.
--Field Level Media