Ohio State forms special group to direct Meyer investigation

The Ohio State University Board of Trustees on Thursday night announced the formation of a “special, independent board working group” that will direct the inquiry into football head coach Urban Meyer, and whether he had any prior knowledge of domestic assault allegations against former assistant coach Zach Smith.According to a release by the university, current trustees Alex Fischer, Janet Porter and Alex Shumate will be in the group, as will former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson, former acting U.S. Deputy Attorney General Craig Morford and former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart.According to the release, “The special working group will direct the work of the investigative team and be available to provide consultation and advice and assist with communication to the full board on the matter.”A day earlier, the university placed Meyer on paid administrative leave while it investigates whether or not Meyer knew of allegations of domestic violence against Smith, the recently fired receivers coach.A report by college football reporter Brett McMurphy earlier Wednesday indicated that Courtney Smith, Zach Smith’s wife at the time, had informed Shelley Meyer, Urban Meyer’s wife, of the alleged abuse in October 2015. McMurphy reported originally that Urban Meyer did indeed know of the allegations back in 2015, though in an interview with Stadium released later Wednesday, Courtney Smith could only confirm she told Shelley Meyer.”Shelley said she was going to have to tell Urban, she was going to have to tell Urban,” Courtney Smith told Stadium. “I said ‘that’s fine. You should tell Urban. We can’t have somebody like this coaching young men.'”According to the report by Stadium, Courtney Smith “says she never got confirmation that Shelley told Urban.”Courtney Smith did tell Stadium that she told several of the assistant coaches’ wives her claims of abuse in 2015, as well.