A new report from Brett McMurphy says that text messages from 2015 show that Urban Meyer was aware of domestic violence allegations against then-wide receivers coach Zach Smith at the time.
That would contradict what Meyer told reporters last week.
At Big Ten Media Days on July 24, Meyer said, “I was never told about anything. Never anything came to light, never had a conversation about it. So I know nothing about it. I asked people back at the office to call and see what happened, and they came back and said they know nothing.”
However, McMurphy’s report cites text messages between Meyer’s wife Shelley and Smith’s then-wife Courtney that show that Shelley Meyer was, in fact, aware of the allegations.
Shelley Meyer: “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 Smith: “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 Meyer: “Geesh! Even w the pics? Didn’t law enforcement come to your place ever??”
McMurphy provides details of a text message exchange from November 2015 between Courtney Smith and Lindsey Voltolini, the wife of an Ohio State staffer. If accurate, it would suggest that Urban Meyer was aware of the allegations.
Courtney Smith: “(Zach’s) trying to make me look crazy bc that’s what Shelley is saying (he’s doing)”
Lindsey Voltolini: “He (Urban) just said he (Zach) denied everything”
Courtney Smith: “I hope urban is smarter than that”
Lindsey Volotolini: “He (Urban) doesn’t know what to think”
Courtney Smith: “I don’t really care. Ya know”
Lindsey Voltolini: “Yeah, don’t worry about urb”
McMurphy also reported that the records from the Smiths’ divorce were initially sealed at Zach Smith’s request in November 2015. They were only unsealed this morning.
McMurphy’s report also includes more troubling details about the results of the alleged abuse.
Photos that Courtney said she shared via text with other wives show bruises on Courtney’s neck and arms from beatings she suffered in 2014 and 2015. Another photo shows blood gushing out of her thumb when Zach cut her with the metal top of a smokeless tobacco can after another 2014 incident.
Ohio State opens fall practice on Friday, August 3. Urban Meyer is scheduled to speak to the media next Tuesday, August 7.
TheOzone has reached out to Ohio State for comment on the new report.