Editorial: Ohio State controversy impacts college football

By Jared A’Latorre, Sports Editor

The college football world is storming with controversy surrounding the recent investigation of head coach Urban Meyer from Ohio State.

As for myself, there have been many viewpoints on this subject. Ohio State, one of the most historic programs in football, is under fire to hand their head coach a three-game suspension.

Here’s how it all started. Myer’s assistant coach Zach Smith was arrested in July of this year for trespassing and violating the terms of his divorce. As a result, Smith was fired.

Then, former ESPN journalist Brett McMurphy reported that Smith was arrested in 2009 for assaulting his then-wife Courtney.

At that time, Smith was also Meyer’s assistant only they were at the University of Florida.

McMurphy then found a police report in Ohio stating that Smith was arrested again in 2015 for abusing his next wife (now one of his ex-wives).

This occurred during his tenure at Ohio State, which is the team currently led by Meyer.

McMurphy interviewed Smith’s ex-wife, and he discovered that the wives of other Ohio State coaches knew about these incidents, including Meyer’s wife, Shelly.

The controversy truly began when Meyer denied being aware of the abuse.

When referring to a 2015 incident of Smith abusing his wife, Meyer said there was “nothing.” Meyer even questioned the credibility of the story by saying, “I don’t know who creates a story like that.”

Part of Meyer’s contract is the duty to report any kind of violation to the Title IX leader or the deputy coordinator for athletics. This includes domestic abuse.

The school’s policy even states that employees must report any kind of violence that involves students or staff.

This is the part that makes the denials hard to believe.

Meyer had stated a few weeks back that he had no knowledge of the 2015 incident regarding his assistant. However, Smith’s ex-wife came out to show the text messages that she had with Meyer’s wife specifically regarding the abuse.

It’s unbelievable to think that the leader of the squad could not have heard about this incident.

Unsurprisingly, Myer admitted that he did, in fact, know but was hesitant to say anything that could have been misleading.

Even the Board Committee came out and said that Meyer knew about the incident.

Therefore, when Meyer was questioned about the situation, he lied to the public by saying there was nothing to acknowledge about the abuse.

Meaning, Myer violated Title IX and allowed an abusive husband to torment two wives for three years because he didn’t want to be misleading.

After all this, coach Meyer was given a suspension for only the first three games of the season.

I’m not going to bash Meyer and preach that he should have been fired.

At the very least, however, he handled the situation extremely poorly and did not abide by Ohio State’s values, or any set of values for that matter.

As for Smith, he may never coach again. Then again, maybe he will. Sometimes, people get second chances on the field, but he’s already had that second chance with his ex-wife, so hopefully not.

After the first three games, it’s possible that everybody will move on and forget this happened.

Coach Meyer is a coaching legend. He’s won three national championships with the University of Florida and Ohio State.

Meyer is successful and powerful. He is one of a handful of elite individuals who have the power to only get a slap a wrist for these kinds of infractions.

Almost any other coach would have received the boot in a flash.

Regardless of his fears of making misleading statements or not having knowledge of every detail, Meyer should have said something.

This is an embarrassing moment for Meyer’s career. This controversy will haunt him for a while, and it won’t go away anytime soon.

Preaching how he should’ve have been fired may cross the line, but three games are certainly not enough

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