Ohio State expects to have its Urban Meyer investigation wrapped up inside 14 daysAugust 6, 2018
In a statement released late Sunday night, Ohio State announced that it plans to have its investigation into coach Urban Meyer and what he did or did not know regarding former assistant Zach Smith’s history of alleged domestic violence wrapped up at some point over the next 14 days.
Ohio State put Meyer on paid administrative leave last week as it planned to convene an “independent working group” that would hire an investigative team to look into allegations that Meyer was aware of Smith’s troubled past both in 2009 when he was a graduate assistant at Florida and again in 2015 following an incident with Smith’s now-ex wife Courtney. The Buckeyes fired Smith ahead of 2018 Big Ten Media Days, an event at which Meyer claimed he had no prior knowledge of Smith’s past and chided college football reporter Brett McMurphy, who accurately reported the story.
That all changed Friday when Meyer and Smith blitzed the media, the former with a statement sent via his Twitter account and the latter in a pair of extensive interviews. Meyer only apologized for a poor and inaccurate press conference appearance, while Smith denied the alleged abuse and confirmed that he indeed had a conversation with Meyer in 2015 about the incident. Both men attempted to pass the buck to Ohio State administration. Here’s what we do and don’t know about the situation at this time.
The statement Ohio State shared late Sunday goes into further detail about its working group, investigation and how the university will ultimately make a decision regarding Meyer’s status going forward.
A newly convened, independent working group – formed by the university’s Board of Trustees to direct the investigation involving Urban Meyer – met late last week, appointed a chair, and engaged an investigative firm.
Former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson will serve as chair of the working group, which 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.
The group was formed to direct the work of the investigative team and be available to provide consultation and advice, and to assist with communication to the full board on the matter.
Decisions about actions, based on the findings of the investigation, will be made by the president of the university in consultation with the Board of Trustees.
Former Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Jo White will lead the investigative team. White is a senior chair with the national law firm Debevoise & Plimpton and is a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
“Ohio State is committed to a thorough and complete investigation,” Davidson said. “We look forward to sharing the results of this investigation and any action the university may take.”
The investigation is expected to be completed within 14 days.