Urban Meyer said in his statement released last Friday that he did properly report the domestic violence accusations against now-fired assistant coach Zach Smith, but a new look into the Ohio State coach's contract show that he still could be fired even if that's true.
USA TODAY looked into Meyer's contract with the Buckeyes and found a couple of clauses that could allow for Ohio State to terminate him, even if he properly reported accusations/an incident involving Smith.
A USA TODAY Sports review of Meyer's contract found there would be other grounds to fire him for cause even if he did what was required in terms of reporting – if Ohio State has the stomach for it. One provision allows him to be fired for “fraud or dishonesty … in the course of his duties or responsibilities.” When Meyer was asked at Big Ten media day about his knowledge of the 2015 allegations, he lied repeatedly.
Another clause allows for his firing if he behaves in a way that reflects “unfavorably upon Ohio State’s reputation and overall primary mission and objectives.” Still another says he can be fired for failing to “perform his duties and personally comport himself at all times in a manner consistent with good sportsmanship and with the high moral, ethical and academic standards of Ohio State and its Department of Athletics.”
You can view the full report here.
Urban Meyer remains under investigation by Ohio State. The Buckeyes announced on Sunday night that the investigation is expected to take two weeks.
Ohio State is set to open its 2018 season on Sept. 1 against Oregon State.
The Buckeyes are currently being led by interim coach Ryan Day in Meyer's absence.