Urban Meyer and Gene Smith Suspended

posted by Lori Schmidt - 

Ohio State has announced that football coach Urban Meyer is suspended through September 2, and will be suspended for the first three games of the Buckeye football season without pay. Athletics director Gene Smith is suspended without pay from August 31-September 16. 

Meyer had already been placed on paid leave while Ohio State conducted an investigation into how the Buckeye football program handled domestic violence accusations against former assistant Zach Smith, who was fired July 23.  

A working group looking into the matter was chaired by former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson and included three independent members and three current university trustees

In addition to providing "consultation and advice, and [assisting] with communication to the full board," they also oversaw the efforts of lead investigator Mary Jo White, former head of the Security and Exchange Commission, and the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton.

The final decision, however, was left to school president Michael Drake and the Board of Trustees. 

Although Coach Meyer and Athletic Director Smith failed to adhere to the precise requirements of their contracts when they concluded that they needed to await a law enforcement determination to file charges before they reported the otherwise disputed claims of spousal abuse against Zach Smith, they did so based upon a good faith belief that they did not have sufficient information to trigger a reporting obligation to initiate a disciplinary action in the absence of law enforcement action.

During the time Meyer is away, offensive coordinator Ryan Day is serving as acting coach. He's led all the practices during fall camp, which started August 3.

Friday of last week, Day thanked "members of the Ohio State University Administration and Athletics Department for their guidance and support."

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