Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer reportedly had knowledge of domestic abuse allegations against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith in 2015, according to college football insider Brett McMurphy.
McMurphy wrote that he obtained text messages sent by Smith’s ex-wife, Courtney Smith, to Meyer’s wife and the wives of other Ohio State coaches.
Per McMurphy, the texts show Meyer knew about the situation, and Courtney Smith added, “All the [coaches’] wives knew. They all did. Every single one.”
Smith was fired last month after he was charged with criminal trespassing in relation to dropping his children off at his ex-wife’s home against her wishes.
Courtney Smith’s comments conflict with statements made by Meyer at Big Ten Media Days last month.
According to McMurphy, Meyer said he would have fired Smith in 2015 had he known about the situation: “I was never told about anything. Never anything came to light, never had a conversation about it. So I know nothing about it. I asked people back at the office to call and see what happened, and they came back and said they know nothing.”
With regard to her conversations with Shelley Meyer, Courtney Smith said, “Shelley said she was going to have to tell Urban. I said, ‘That’s fine, you should tell Urban.’ I know Shelley did everything she could.”
McMurphy also acquired text messages from 2015 between Courtney Smith and Lindsey Voltolini, who is the wife of Ohio State football operations director Brian Voltolini.
In those texts, Voltolini told Courtney Smith that Zach Smith denied everything during a conversation with Meyer.
Courtney Smith told McMurphy of the events in 2015 that sparked her text: “He took me and shoved me up against the wall, with his hands around my neck. Something he did very often. My (then 3-year-old) daughter was clinging to my leg. It obviously registered with him what he was doing, so he took my (then 5-year-old) son and left. So I called the police.”
Zach Smith was never charged with domestic violence in that case.
Along with the texts McMurphy obtained, Courtney Smith provided him with photos that showed her with bruises and cuts.
Zach Smith served as Meyer’s wide receivers coach from 2012 until his firing last month. He previously served on Meyer’s staff at Florida from 2005-2009.
Smith was replaced by former Ohio State wide receiver Brian Hartline on an interim basis at OSU.