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Urban Meyer's Statement Was Written With A Clear Goal In Mind

A closeup of Urban Meyer with his arms crossed on the sideline during an Ohio State football game.

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 18: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes watches a replay on the scoreboard during a timeout during the second quarter of the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini on November 18, 2017 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Friday afternoon, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer released an official statement in response to Brett McMurphy's report. McMurphy, on Wednesday, alleged that Meyer lied when he told reporters at Big Ten Media Days that he had no knowledge of 2015 domestic violence allegations against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith.

Meyer's statement includes a few admissions - most notably that Meyer "was not adequately prepared" for questions about Smith's firing. Meyer also admits to knowing about the 2015 incident - something he denied last week. He says he followed "proper protocols and procedures" when it came to reporting what he knew.

What it seems like - at least to the reader - is that Meyer is covering himself from a contract basis here. If Ohio State wants to fire Meyer, it's likely going to have to deal with a legal battle when it comes to his buyout. He's owed almost $40 million on his contract.

What Meyer does concede all has to do with morals. Did Meyer lie to reporters? Yes, but that's not a crime and it's not a breach of his contract.

Michael McCann, Sports Illustrated's legal analyst, seems to have the same opinion. Meyer's statement might be a message to Ohio State that if they're going to fire him, it's going to cost them.

Friday afternoon, Smith did a radio interview, alleging that it was actually school AD Gene Smith who first informed him in 2015 of the allegations against him. He also told ESPN that Meyer talked to him about the incident shortly thereafter.

We'll keep you updated on the situation.