A week ago yesterday, Urban Meyer stood at Big Ten media days and unequivocally denied knowledge of domestic violence allegations against then-Buckeyes wide receivers coach Zach Smith committed in 2015.
“I got a text late last night that something happened in 2015," he said. "There was nothing. I don’t know who creates a story like that."
Meyer's version of events was already unraveling by the time he approached the podium in Chicago. Smith had been under investigation for a May 12 for an alleged criminal trespass against his ex-wife, Courtney, but, in the days leading up to Big Ten media days, further reporting detailed Meyer was aware of a domestic violence incident Smith allegedly committed against Courtney at Florida in 2009 as well as the 2015 incident.
Meyer admitted knowledge of the 2009 incident but said he knew nothing of the 2015 incident because, well, there was nothing to know. "I don't know who creates a story like that." (Meyer also said the 2015 incident, which came to light on the afternoon of July 23, hours before Meyer was to speak at B1G media days, had nothing to do with the fact Smith was fired on the night of July 23. Right.)
On Wednesday, the thread fully unraveled on Meyer.
Brett McMurphy has obtained text messages between Courtney Smith and a number of Ohio State's coaches' wives, including Shelley Meyer, discussing the 2015 incident. (The 2015 incident was also investigated by the Powell (Ohio) Police Department, and a case remains open at this time, according to McMurphy.
In a lengthy Facebook post (shoutout to the ESPN executives who laid McMurphy off), McMurphy details text messages between Courtney Smith and Shelley Meyer:
Shelley: “I am with you! A lot of women stay hoping it will get better. I don’t blame you! But just want u to be safe. Do you have a restraining order? He scares me”
Courtney: “Restraining orders don’t do anything in Ohio-I tried to get protection order which is what started this whole investigation. And that should go through soon finally. It’s hard bc you have to prove immediate danger. Legal system is tough. Basically you have to prove he will kill u to get protective order”
Shelley: “Geesh! Even w the pics? Didn’t law enforcement come to your place ever??”
Smith said in this interview excerpt that, while Shelley Meyer told her she would inform Urban of their conversation, Shelley never actively confirmed to Courtney that she indeed told Urban.
However, Urban has been forthright about Shelley's involvement in all matters of his programs -- including the Smith family. Regarding the 2009 incident at Florida, Meyer said in the clip above that they both "got involved with the relationship with that family and provided counseling, and wanted to help them moving forward."
Should Urban claim now that Shelley never told him about the 2015 incident, despite her intimate involvement in the 2015 case and the Meyers' 2009 intervention, well, would anyone find that believable?
But that's not all. McMurphy also obtained texts between Smith and Lindsey Voltolini, wife of Ohio State associate AD and general manager Brian Voltolini, a right-hand-man to Meyer who was with him at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida before Ohio State.
Courtney: “(Zach’s) trying to make me look crazy bc that’s what Shelley is saying (he’s doing)”
Lindsey: “He (Urban) just said he (Zach) denied everything”
Courtney: “I hope urban is smarter than that”
Lindsey: “He (Urban) doesn’t know what to think”
Courtney: “I don’t really care. Ya know”
Lindsey: “Yeah, don’t worry about urb”
The Cleveland Plain-Dealer followed McMurphy's report by adding that police were called a total of nine times from Smith's joining of the Ohio State staff through last week. Zach Smith's attorney, Brad Koffel, provided this statement to ESPN:
"Zach Smith wants to be as transparent and honest as possible but it is not going to be done today through the media. It will only be after he and his ex-wife are sworn in to testify. Once he gets his chance to tell his side of events, don’t be surprised when it is corroborated by every police who ever responded to Ms. Smith’s calls."
Either this is a gigantic conspiracy constructed after-the-fact to frame Urban, or Urban lied to the public at Big Ten media days.
A pointless, needless lie.
Meyer lied when, records show, his wife was acutely aware of the 2015 allegations. He lied because he thought it would bring about the end of Ohio State's Zach Smith scandal.
In turn, that lie may mean that this is actually just the beginning of it.