August 12, 2018 / 4:44 AM / a year ago

Report: Zach Smith to meet with OSU investigators; Texas' Herman denies involvement

The man at the center of the Urban Meyer controversy at Ohio State is expected to meet with university investigators next week.

The attorney for fired assistant football coach Zach Smith confirmed the meeting on Saturday, ESPN reported.

Meyer fired Smith, the wide receivers coach, in July when news emerged that Courtney Smith had sought a protection order against her ex-husband. That brought to light allegations of domestic abuse that occurred in 2015. How Meyer responded to those allegations led Ohio State to put the coach on paid administrative leave, pending a review.

Smith’s attorney, Brad Koffel, said his client will answer questions.

“We’re not trying to run from the truth, but we’re not the only ones with warts on us,” Koffel told ESPN.

Smith has never been convicted of any domestic violence-related charges, including accusations from 2009 when he was on Meyer’s staff at Florida.

Mary Jo White, an attorney who has led investigations on behalf of NFL teams in past, is in charge of the investigative committee. The group began its work last week with the interviews of some Ohio State employees and is expected to wrap up its review by Aug. 19. In the meantime, Meyer is not allowed to have any contact with his coaches or players, or use any Ohio State facilities or equipment.

Meyer was initially placed on paid administrative leave on Aug. 1 following reporting from Brett McMurphy that indicated that Meyer knew of the allegations against Smith since 2015. The details of how that report may have surfaced drags in a wider swath of college football coaches.

A report published on Facebook on Saturday said University of Texas coach Tom Herman tipped McMurphy to look into Smith’s relationship with his ex-wife Courtney and multiple allegations of physical abuse. Herman, through a spokesman, said Saturday that report was “absolutely untrue” and denied that both he and his wife, Michelle, contacted McMurphy.

“Neither I, nor anybody in my family, has ever communicated with Brett McMurphy about the situation at Ohio State,” Herman said.

Herman was Meyer’s offensive coordinator at Ohio State from 2012-14, along with Smith, who was part of the offensive staff. Michelle Herman and Courtney Smith had previously had a relationship that included Michelle Herman offering Courtney Smith financial assistance in 2017.

—Field Level Media

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