Former Ohio State coach Zach Smith breaks silence on domestic violence allegations


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Fired Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith denied ever abusing his then-wife, allegations he said in a radio interview Friday that athletic director Gene Smith was aware of in the immediate aftermath of an alleged incident in 2015.

Smith was fired last month after allegations of stalking, trespassing and harassment were made by Courtney Smith as part of a protective order she was granted. Courtney Smith alleged in interviews this week and in police and court records obtained by USA TODAY Sports that Zach Smith had abused her on multiple occasions.

Those revelations led Ohio State to put head coach Urban Meyer on paid administrative leave this week as the school’s board of trustees conducts an investigation of how Meyer and others handled the allegations against Smith.

“I’ve never committed domestic abuse against her,” Smith said on WXZX-FM.

MORE ON OHIO STATE SCANDAL

  • REVERSE COURSE: Meyer says he knew about and reported 2015 incident
  • SHIFTING FOCUS: Meyer and Smith defenses put spotlight on Ohio State AD
  • MONEY MATTERS: New contract provisions could pose a problem for Meyer
  • TOP CANDIDATES: Bob Stoops and other possibilities for the Ohio State job

Zach Smith said that Gene Smith pulled him off the road during a recruiting trip after the allegations — which did not result in criminal charges — were brought to his attention in 2015.

“Gene Smith said I have to be on the next plane back,” Zach Smith said.

Meyer put out a statement earlier Friday in which he said he misspoke at Big Ten Media Day last week when he said he had no knowledge of the 2015 accusations.

“My intention was not to say anything inaccurate or misleading,” Meyer said. “However, I was not adequately prepared to discuss these sensitive personnel issues with the media and I apologize for the way I handled those questions.”

Meyer added that he routed the allegations surrounding the 2015 incident “to the proper channels.” Meyer did the same in 2009 when Smith, then a graduate assistant under him at the University of Florida, was arrested in Gainesville, Fla., on suspicion of domestic violence. Prosecutors didn’t pursue the two felony charges Smith faced.

Smith said in an interview on ESPN that Meyer threatened to fire him both in 2009 and 2015 if he found out that he struck Courtney Smith.

Smith said in the radio interview he was terminated because of the “media uproar.”

“It’s a move they had to make,” Smith added. “I don’t think that I deserved it, but it wasn’t wrong.”

Follow A.J. Perez on Twitter @byajperez.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


Source link

What's Your Reaction?

Cry Cry
0
Cry
Cute Cute
0
Cute
Damn Damn
0
Damn
Dislike Dislike
0
Dislike
Like Like
0
Like
Lol Lol
0
Lol
Love Love
0
Love
Win Win
0
Win
WTF WTF
0
WTF

Comments 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

More From: Sports

DON'T MISS

Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Countdown
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format