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Urban Meyer Suspended Three Games, Will Not Coach Against Oregon State

Athletic Director Gene Smith also suspended through September 16th.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Football Media Day Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer has been suspended for the first three games of the football season after a review by a special independent board about his actions in regards to former assistant Zach Smith’s spousal abuse.

“I followed my heart, not my head,” Meyer stated, “and gave Zach Smith the benefit of the doubt.” Meyer cited his relationship with Zach Smith’s grandfather as clouding his judgment. “I am fully aware that I am ultimately responsible for this situation.”

The suspension means that Meyer will miss Ohio State’s games against Oregon State, Rutgers, and TCU. Offensive Coordinator Ryan Day has been serving as the Buckeyes’ interim head coach since Meyer was first placed on leave on August 1st, and will continue to fill that role.

The board found that

  1. Meyer was aware of the 2015 allegations against Zach Smith, having been informed by Gene Smith.
  2. That Coach Meyer and Gene Smith did not report the allegations against Zach Smith to compliance.
  3. Despite Meyer’s awareness of the situation, Meyer did not deliberately lie at Big 10 Media Day this past July.
  4. Coach Meyer has a sincere commitment to women’s safety at Ohio State.
  5. There were a number of instances of problematic conduct by Zach Smith during his time at Ohio State.

A full written report will be released later tonight.