August 01, 2018
The ex-wife of former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith says she told Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer’s wife in 2015 that her husband had assaulted her, an incident Meyer said last week he was unaware of.
Courtney Smith gave an interview to Stadium and provided text messages to former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy between her and Shelley Meyer and with the wives of other Buckeyes coaches. Courtney Smith also provided threatening texts she claims came from her ex-husband.
Ex-wife of Ohio State assistant fired for abuse says Urban Meyer knew of case
“Shelley said she was going to have to tell Urban,” Courtney Smith told Stadium. “I said: ‘That’s fine, you should tell Urban.’”
Messages left with Ohio State on Wednesday were not returned.
Zach Smith was fired last week after an Ohio court granted a domestic violence protective order to Courtney Smith.
Zach Smith was charged in May with misdemeanor criminal trespass. At the time of the charge, Zach Smith’s attorney said Courtney Smith had accused him of driving to her apartment after she told him they would meet elsewhere so he could drop off their son. Zach Smith pleaded not guilty last month. A hearing has been scheduled for Friday.
Zach Smith was accused of aggravated battery on his then-pregnant wife in 2009 while he was a graduate assistant on Meyer’s staff at Florida. The charge was dropped because of insufficient evidence. Urban Meyer brought Smith, the grandson of late Buckeyes coach Earle Bruce, to Ohio State in 2012.
Two police reports filed in 2015 in Ohio’s Powell County, after the Smiths separated in June of that year, accused Zach Smith of abuse. Charges were never filed.
At Big Ten media days, Meyer said he knew of the incident in 2009 and he and Shelley Meyer addressed it with the Smiths. Asked about the 2015 incident alleged by Courtney Smith, Meyer said:
“I can’t say it didn’t happen because I wasn’t there. I was never told about anything and nothing ever came to light. I’ve never had a conversation about it. I know nothing about it. First I heard about that was last night. No, and I asked some people back at the office to call and say what happened and they came back and said they know nothing about it.”
The Smiths divorced in 2016.
Ohio State signed Meyer to a two-year contract extension in April that will pay him $7.6m for the 2018 season and keep him at the Columbus school through 2022. That figure makes him not only the highest-paid state employee in Ohio, but the highest-paid public-school football coach in the United States.
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