Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer was suspended for three games to start the 2018 season for his mishandling of the domestic abuse allegations surrounding former wide receivers coach Zach Smith. Meyer issued a statement regarding the suspension shortly after the news surfaced, but it was not well-received. Now, he is changing his tune.
“My message for everyone involved in this: I’m sorry that we’re in this situation,” Meyer initially said. “I’m just sorry we’re in this situation.”
Now, he’s directly apologizing to Courtney Smith and her children in a new statement.
“My words and demeanor on Wednesday did not show how seriously I take relationship violence,” Meyer said in a message sent from his official Twitter account. “Let me say here and now what I should have said on Wednesday: I sincerely apologize to Courtney Smith and her children for what they have gone through.”
— Urban Meyer (@CoachUrbanMeyer) August 24, 2018
Among the people who blasted Meyer and Ohio State of the entire mess were ESPN’s Bob Ley and Michelle Beadle.
“Dr. Drake, it is time to buy some new golf clubs, because you sir, are likely on borrowed time. The story, which should be about Zach and Courtney Smith, is instead about power and money—the power of a major college football coach, and the money generated when that program wins, even when it is led in practice next month for games two and three by a coach serving an unpaid suspension,” Ley said. “I am losing count in the ways the Ohio State is both feckless and beyond tone-deaf, but I fear that counting has just begun.”
Beadle added, “You couldn’t even muster that, which tells me everything I need to know. That you have zero culpability in this and you don’t think anything wrong happened., which is why I think the entire thing is a farce.”
The Buckeyes kick off their 2018 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 1 against Oregon State.