Urban Meyer said he was aware of the 2009 report regarding Zach Smith's domestic violence arrest, but the Ohio State head coach didn't know the full scope of the incident report, which included details about Smith abusing his then-pregnant wife, Courtney.
Meyer was pressed repeatedly about whether it was one that should have been made previously after allegations from 2009 when Smith was at Florida and another from 2015 during his tenure at Ohio State came to light.
Later in the day, Meyer told reporters that he gave Smith a second chance on his staff at Ohio State after the accusation at Florida because Smith was a talented coach and no charges had been filed against him.
Instead of being contrite, Meyer was somewhat combative during his press conference at Big Ten media day, refuting the 2015 report from the get-go.
Smith, the team's wide receivers coach and lead recruiter, was sacked on Monday, three days after his ex-wife filed a protection order against him in Delaware County. The charge was dropped because of insufficient evidence, and Meyer, who calls the late Bruce one of his biggest mentors, brought Smith along when he took over Ohio State before the 2012 season.
Meyer described firing Smith as a "tough call" and something he did "in the best interest of our team".
Most recently in 2015, as reported by Brett McMurphy, Smith was arrested in OH for domestic violence and assault against his then-wife Courtney Smith.
When questioned about why the 2009 incident did not affect Smith's employment earlier, he said, "In 2009 Zach was an intern, a very young couple". "There was nothing... I don't know who creates a story like that", he said. Before Meyer talked, the following things had been revealed about the Smiths' apparently tumultuous relationship.
"To say that (it becoming public) doesn't have something to do with it, it does a little bit", Meyer said.
"I can't say it didn't happen because I wasn't there". "It wasn't just my decision. It was a group effort (by) several people that I rely on". "And Shelley (Meyer) and I actually both got involved because of our relationship with that family and advised for counseling and wanted to help as we moved forward".
"It's a personal matter", Meyer said. I try to stay focused on what's the most important thing. But Smith has a legal history that dates back to 2009-and Meyer knew about at least part of it. And understandable. It's much harder to figure out why Meyer called the 2015 accusation - which McMurphy reported just hours before Smith was sacked - "nothing". I think the details that I'm obligated to give, I gave. "I told people to go find out for me". His refrain is common, and he's one of dozens of coaches who can treat the sport as if it's sacrosanct, essential, the glue that holds Western society together. It's time to move forward.