CHICAGO — Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer spoke on day two of the Big Ten Football Media Days. He addressed several topics of interest, specifically Monday’s firing of wide receivers coach Zach Smith. Meyer also touched on some personnel issues as well. You can catch all of the highlights of his 15-minute press conference below. We will have much more coverage today’s event throughout the day.
+ “Obviously I had to make a change on our coaching staff yesterday. It was in the best interest of our team.”
+ In 2009, Zach Smith was an intern for Meyer at Florida. He and his wife were a young couple at the time. Meyer and his wife Shelley were both involved in trying to help Zach and his wife at the time. Counseling was advised.
+ Regarding the 2015 situation that has been reported or rumored, Meyer has found nothing to that report.
+ The decision about Zach Smith’s replacement will be announced later in the week. He hasn’t even addressed it with his entire staff yet.
+ “The decision was made and it’s time to move forward.”
+ The violation of the team’s core values about treating women with respect was a “big part” of the decision to fire Smith even with the unfounded 2015 reports at this point. Meyer said what he was told about the situation in 2009 is different than what is being reported now, with the news now being worse than what he was led to believe.
+ The expectations for Dwayne Haskins is to be the best quarterback in the Big Ten. That’s the expectation of every Ohio State quarterback.
+ “I’ll forever be indebted to J.T. Barrett.”
+ Haskins is the quarterback right now, but 30 days from now anything can happen. Meyer wishes he had one more quarterback, but he likes the three he has.
+ Tuf Borland is doing great. He has the same pain threshold as J.T. Barrett. Borland is smiling and winking at Meyer. “He’s on course to play this fall.”
+ Haskins has earned the trust of his teams and emerged as a leader.
+ This is the best group of young coaches Meyer has ever had on his staff, which makes this transition easier to handle.
+ Meyer thinks the OSU-MSU rivalry has always been there. He still remembers losses to George Perles back in the day. He knows there is a focus on the Michigan rivalry “and that will never change,” but there is incredible history with Ohio State and Michigan State. There is never a need for manufactured motivation.
+ It was a very tough conversation with Joe Burrow at the end of spring ball. The last two weeks, he did about everything he could to win the job. It was close. They had conversations throughout. “Ryan Day did a phenomenal job.” Meyer wishes Burrow was still a Buckeye, but he understands the decision.
+ The competitive level of the Big Ten right now is as strong as any conference Meyer has ever been in. The East is the most competitive division he’s ever been in. The level from 2012 to now has risen dramatically.
+ The redshirt rule has brought conversations with Meyer’s staff, but they do not have a template yet. It remains to be seen how they’ll use it, but it’s a good rule and he’s excited about it.
+ It’s “very concerning” that the Big Ten champ hasn’t made the playoffs in the last two years. “That should not happen.” But Meyer said he doesn’t know enough about the committee and the requirements. He’s not sure the committee lives by what the coaches have been told.