Skip to main content

Ohio State's Full Report Addresses Zach Smith's Relationship With Football Secretary

A general view of the Ohio State buckeyes football stadium.

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 19: Ohio State Buckeyes take the field prior to the game against the Northern Illinois Huskies at Ohio Stadium on September 19, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images)

After last night's press conference, in which Ohio State announced a three-game suspension for Urban Meyer, it released the findings from the investigative body that looked into the handling of the allegations against Zach Smith.

Urban Meyer previously admitted to knowing about a 2009 incident between Smith and his now-ex-wife Courtney Smith, when he had him on staff at Florida. He eventually admitted to knowing about the 2015 allegations at the center of this current story, after initially denying it at Big Ten Media Days.

According to Ohio State's findings, Meyer threatened to fire Smith on multiple other occasions for myriad reasons. Other football staffers reportedly knew about the more lascivious details of a recent report by Stadium's Brett McMurphy.

On August 17, McMurphy dropped a lengthy report about Smith, detailing a relationship with a female Ohio State football staffer, sexually explicit messages sent from the Ohio State football facility, as well as the White House, and deliveries of sex toys he received from Amazon at OSU facilities.

The report came under fire, as it didn't have much of anything to do with the allegations of domestic violence against Smith. It did paint a picture of a coach who probably should have been disciplined for various other reasons years before, though.

Ohio State's investigative team already knew about those allegations against Zach Smith, and they are mentioned in the full report that was released last night after Urban Meyer's suspension.

According to the investigators, Smith had a relationship with a former Ohio State football secretary. They made sure to note that she did not report to Smith in any way.

The report also says that the investigators "do not believe" that Urban Meyer or Gene Smith were aware of these issues, though other football staffers were. From the summary of findings:

"During this same period, as recent news reports have noted and other information shows, Zach Smith was: (1) engaged in a sexual relationship with a secretary on the football staff who did not report to him; (ii) took sexually explicit photographs of himself in the OSU football facilities and at other locations, including at the White House on a team visit in April 2015 after winning the 2014 National Championship; and (iii) had sex-related toys delivered to him at the OSU athletics facilities. Although certain members of the football staff were aware of these issues to some degree, we do not believe Coach Meyer or AD Smith were aware of them."

Other parts of the report detailed a 2014 incident in which Zach Smith and another coach took high school coaches to a strip club while on a recruiting visit to Florida. Meyer threatened to fire Smith after the incident, and added a "morality clause" to the staff's coaches' manual.

The more we learn about Zach Smith, the more it seems like he should have been let go, even before taking into account multiple allegations of domestic violence.

[Ohio State]