Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer has been suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season, Ohio State's Board of Trustees, along with university president Michael Drake, announced late Wednesday. The 20-member board plans to meet in private on Wednesday morning, August 22, 2018, in Columbus to decide whether Meyer should be punished for his handling of domestic-abuse allegations against a former assistant coach.
Meyer will miss the Buckeyes' games against Oregon State, Rutgers, and TCU before returning for Tulane.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith was also suspended from August 31 to September 16.
Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith also was suspended without pay from August 31 through September 16. "Once again, I don't know who creates a story like that".
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The assistant coach and his ex-wife have said both Gene Smith and Meyer's wife, Shelley Meyer, an instructor in Ohio State's nursing school, knew of a 2015 instance of alleged domestic violence. That included an incident in 2015 in which Smith was not arrested.
"I followed my heart and not my head", Meyer said, quickly reading a written statement to reporters during a news conference after his punishment was announced. Smith and his ex-wife Courtney Smith had a troubled history: Smith was arrested in 2009 and charged with battery when he coached at the University of Florida, and in 2015 was arrested and charged with domestic violence.
Courtney claims she told Urban Meyer's wife about the abuse - but no action was ever taken by the University.
Co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day has been serving as the Buckeyes' interim coach for the last three weeks and is expected to maintain that role through Week 3 of the 2018 season.
Violating that policy allows Meyer to be fired with cause, according to provisions placed in his contract when it was extended in April by two years. "We're fine, '" Zach Smith told ESPN. The charge was dropped because of insufficient evidence.
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That report also mentioned an incident from 2009 when Smith was an intern on Meyer's staff at Florida.
Trustees discussed the decision to punish Meyer in a marathon meeting of more than 12 hours Wednesday while Meyer awaited the decision.
Meyer hasn't been allowed on campus during his leave, which also barred him from speaking with players, coaches and others associated with the football program. The case was dropped by police when the woman chose not to pursue charges, but Hyde was suspended three games.
This situation has sent powerful shockwaves across the college football landscape.
Since Ohio State announced an independent investigation in April, more than 100 former students have come forward with accounts of sexual misconduct by Strauss.
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