Update: Sunday morning, it was discovered that Brett McMurphy’s July 23 and July 24 Facebook reports on Zach Smith had been edited. The original reports, as Facebook screenshots publicly show, said that Smith had been arrested. The post has since been changed to say that Smith was investigated.
McMurphy has since spoken to us and clarified what he says happened.
McMurphy’s original report claimed that Smith had been arrested during the October 26, 2015 incident. McMurphy says that a revised version of the report from the Powell Police, released after his original report, indicated that Smith had actually not been arrested.
“The terminology used by the Police Department was different in the original report (dated 10/26/2015) and inconsistent with what actually occurred,” Megan Canavan, director of communication for the Powell Police Department, told McMurphy.
McMurphy included these claims in his bombshell August 1 report. He later went back to his July 23 and July 24 posts and updated them to reflect that the new report reportedly suggested Smith had not been arrested during the incident.
You can view all Facebook posts’ edit histories by clicking on the “three dots” icon and selecting “view edit history.”
Earlier: Brett McMurphy’s reporting on the Urban Meyer-Zach Smith-Ohio State situation has, undoubtedly, been the biggest story of the year in college football. It’s led to Smith’s firing at OSU and Meyer’s future with the Buckeyes being put in doubt.
McMurphy’s original story, published on Facebook on July 23, appears to have been edited over time, according to Facebook’s history.
The edits to the story were pointed out on Reddit and have since been tweeted about by Ohio State reporter Kyle Lamb.
“I referenced this a few days ago. Thanks to the internet gumshoes, this is important context to consider in the timeline of events. July 23 “arrested.” July 25 Urban’s response. July 30 changed to ‘investigated’,” he tweeted.
I referenced this a few days ago. Thanks to the internet gumshoes, this is important context to consider in the timeline of events. July 23 "arrested." July 25 Urban's response. July 30 changed to "investigated." https://t.co/6V0ur3zf3U
— Kyle S. Lamb (@kylamb8) August 5, 2018
CORRECTION: I stated Urban's response was July 25. It was July 24. The original report by McMurphy was July 23, but Urban's response came July 24.
— Kyle S. Lamb (@kylamb8) August 5, 2018
Here’s what was uncovered on Reddit:
To see the old un-edited article where he claimed Zach was arrested in 2015, click on the three dots (…) in the upper right hand corner of the post, and select “more options” and then “view edit history”. You will see the original post said:
Smith,… was arrested Oct. 26, 2015 on felony counts of domestic violence and felonious assault against Courtney Smith.
The new edited post says:
Smith,… was investigated Oct. 26, 2015… on felony counts of domestic violence and felonious assault against Courtney Smith,
On July 24th, when Urban was responding to the story, McMurphy’s post still claimed Zach had been arrested in 2015. Urban’s response was:
I got a text late last night something happened in 2015. And there was nothing. Once again, there’s nothing — once again, I don’t know who creates a story like that.
Here’s what Meyer then said about everything in his statement released on Friday:
“Unfortunately, at Big Ten Media days on July 24, I failed on many of these fronts,” Meyer said in his statement. “My intention was not to say anything inaccurate or misleading. However, I was not adequately prepared to discuss these sensitive personnel issues with the media, and I apologize for the way I handled those questions.”
“Here is the truth: While at the University of Florida, and now at The Ohio State University, I have always followed proper reporting protocols and procedures when I have learned of an incident involving a student-athlete, coach or member of our staff by elevating the issues to the proper channels. And, I did so regarding the Zach Smith incident in 2015. I take that responsibility very seriously and any suggestion to the contrary is simply false.”
This is clearly an ongoing saga and more information continues to trickle out. We’ll see what is going to happen with Urban Meyer and Ohio State at some point in the coming weeks (or sooner).