Urban Meyer, head coach for Ohio State University has always had a soft spot for his players when it comes to second chances. Multiple times some of his troubled players were arrested as many as 31 times. Some of the incidences were for stupid college stuff, but some of the arrests involved violence. With his players, Meyer takes the “For better or worse” approach feeling he can change them. Marty Johnson, the Running Back for Utah Utes was one of his players that turned his life around which Meyers can take credit for. Marty Johnson was under arrest for a DUI (Driving under the Influence) and had an “I don’t care” attitude after his football injury. Meyers became the coach for Utah sometime after Johnson’s arrest.
He learned about this troubled player and decided to reach out to him. Meyers invited Johnson to his daughters’ baseball game. Eventually, Johnson became a regular at the baseball games, and they became friends. It wasn’t until Johnson got his 2nd DUI that Meyers was ready to throw in the towel. Fortunately for Johnson, Meyers had a different attitude for his team and gave him the support he never had while growing up. During his prison sentence, Meyers, his wife, and children were in constant contact with him. They helped him clean himself up, and Johnson is forever grateful to them for not giving up.
Ohio State Coach On The Chopping Block
So let’s fast forward to Zach Smith, Ohio’s Wide receiver coach, who was under arrest in 2009 for domestic violence. The arrest did not result in charges, and so Meyers did not believe in the accusation. Courtney Smith did not file against her former husband. Meyer took the “innocent until proven guilty”stance. Meyer went on to hire Smith at Ohio State. The school was unaware of the 2009 incident.
A report conducted by the University found Smith to have a record. Smith’s record states “promiscuous and embarrassing sexual behavior, drug abuse, truancy, dishonesty, financial irresponsibility, a possible NCAA violation, and a lengthy police investigation into allegations of criminal domestic violence and cyber-crimes.” The report was enough evidence for the firing. If you look back, you will notice that Meyer threatened to fire Smith numerous times but never did.
“I did not know everything about Zach Smith and what he was doing, and I’m pleased that the (investigators’) report made this very clear. However, I should have demanded more from him and recognized red flags.”
When looking at Smith’s performance record, you can see that he was an “average” coach. On a scale of 1-5, five being the best, he received 2’s and 3’s for his ability to recruit and on his football coaching abilities. A side note written by Meyer states: “not even close to expectations/capability.” Maybe he should have been fired then.
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) consists of the top most competitive schools.
Gene Smith, Ohio’s State’s athletic director, and Urban Meyers are on suspension for not firing their problem employee Zach Smith. Meyer’s suspension will be for the first 3 games, and Gene Smith is on 17-day unpaid leave. Attorney Rex Elliott is representing Gene Smith and Urban Meyers.