Urban Meyer Apologizes to Ex-Wife of Former Assistant Coach

August 27, 2018

Urban Meyer, Ohio State University’s head football coach, has apologized to the ex-wife of the former assistant coach who allegedly abused her.

Meyer was embroiled in controversy for his handling of accusations by Courtney Smith against now-fired assistant coach Zach Smith. University officials suspended Meyer for three games after it was revealed he knew of at least two occasions on which Courtney Smith reported that her husband beat her, most recently in 2015. Meyer and athletics director Gene Smith (no relation to Zach Smith) failed to report the 2015 incident to the athletics compliance office. Gene Smith was suspended without pay for about two weeks.

At a press conference last week announcing the penalties against Meyer and the athletics director, critics blasted Meyer for not acknowledging Courtney Smith by name. The university has been sharply criticized for not bringing up the issue of domestic violence during the news conference.

On Friday, Meyer issued apology, which in full reads:

My words and demeanor on Wednesday did not show how seriously I take relationship violence. I sincerely apologize. I was taught at a very young age that if I ever hit a woman, I would be kicked out of the house and never welcomed back. I have the same rule in my house and in the football program at Ohio State. Over the years, we have worked hard to educate and remind our coaches and players of the seriousness of relationship violence. I understand my lack of more action in this situation has raised concerns about this commitment. I once again apologize for this, and I extend my empathy to all women, men and families who are affected by relationship violence. This has been a real learning experience for me. I fully intend to use my voice more effectively to be a part of the solution.

Let me say here and now what I should have said on Wednesday: I sincerely apologize to Courtney Smith and her children for what they have gone through.

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