ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit issued new thoughts on the Urban Meyer-Zach Smith-Ohio State saga during College GameDay's 2018 college football preview show on Saturday.
Herbstreit says he is disappointed with how Meyer and the Ohio State program reacted to everything, especially during Wednesday night's press conference.
"First of all, it's a stain for Ohio State to have to deal with as an institution. For Urban Meyer, for everyone involved, it's been embarrassing. I thought the Wednesday night press conference was almost doubling down as far as how bad it could have gone for Ohio State. I don't think they handled the press conference well. I don't think Urban Meyer handled the press conference well.
When you go through it and you read the report, 23 pages, and I read it five or six different times. The more I go through that and the more I scratch my head and I left more confused. There were a number of times the committee pointed to issues it had with Urban Meyer. On one hand they say, 'He was truthful and honest with us.' Then there are times that says within the report, 'Well he said he brought Courtney Smith and Zach Smith into his office after the '09 incident.' Turns out the committee said that, 'We really don't believe that he did that.' There's another incident in '15 where they said that he knew about Shelley Meyer and the text exchanges between Shelley and Courtney Smith.
I don't know, man. The optics of this for Ohio State, I don't know if they could be any worse. And that's after the press conference where they had an opportunity I think to at least address it and talk about it and get it out in the open. And now I think you just have a lot of people that are kind of like, 'Where are we now?' I don't feel like it's over for me," he said, per 247Sports' Jordan James.
Herbstreit then spoke about what to expect from Ohio State's players this season.
"I think as far as football is concerned, that will happen to the players. You got a lot of veterans on that team, and I think they'll have a way of looking at it us against the world. And I'll be shocked if they don't go out and play very inspired football those first three weeks without Urban Meyer when Urban is not on the sideline. I think they'll just divide up the staff. I think it's going to be an offensive staff led by Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson, who is a former head coach. And then a defensive staff led by Greg Schiano, who is a head coach in his past as well. They'll get the two sides ready, they'll meet on Saturday and go play football for three weeks. It'll be a collective effort even though Ryan Day will have a head coaching hat on him as an interim tag. It'll be a collective effort through those first three games," he said.
Ohio State is set to open its 2018 season on Sept. 1 against Oregon State. Meyer is suspended for the first three games of the season.