The wheels of the Ohio State saga keep spinning, and they rolled all the way to Austin, Texas, on Tuesday night.
Ohio State confirmed to multiple outlets, including the Columbus Dispatch and ESPN, that Texas coach and former Buckeyes offensive coordinator Tom Herman was with OSU wide receivers coach Zach Smith in 2014 at a trip to a strip club in Florida that was apparently attended by high school football coaches.
The $600 trip was mentioned in the 23-page report released by Ohio State last week, though the name of the assistant that attended with Smith was withheld from the expense report. OSU did not have to release the name but seemingly did so willingly on Tuesday. Smith did not request to be reimbursed by the school for the excursion, and it is unknown whether he or Herman paid for any of the high school coaches at the club, a move that could be considered an NCAA violation.
Herman was Ohio State’s offensive coordinator from 2012-14, and he was an integral part of the Buckeyes’ national championship run in his final season in Columbus. That season included the injury to quarterback Braxton Miller in fall camp, another to replacement J.T. Barrett in November and third-string quarterback Cardale Jones leading the Buckeyes to wins in the Big Ten Championship Game, Sugar Bowl national semifinal and first College Football Playoff National Championship.
Smith was fired by Ohio State in July after reports surfaced of domestic violence allegations against Smith filed by his ex-wife, Courtney Smith. Included in those allegations are a 2009 incident at Florida when Zach Smith was on Meyer’s staff and a 2015 incident when the two were at Ohio State.
Meyer initially denied knowing of the 2015 incident at Big Ten Media Days in July but later admitted to knowing of the incident on Aug. 3 — two days after he was put on paid administrative leave by Ohio State.
It was announced last week — shortly before the 23-page report was released by Ohio State — that Meyer will be suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season. He will, however, be be allowed to coach the team in practice starting Sept. 3 ahead of its Week 2 and Week 3 games.
Ohio State opens the 2018 season at home on Saturday against Oregon State.