Speaking with Columbus sports radio station 105.7 The Zone and appearing on The Drive with Matt McCoy and Stan Jackson late Friday afternoon, former Ohio State receivers coach Zach Smith went through a litany of questions from the show’s hosts, claiming that he never committed domestic abuse against his former wife Courtney, and that Ohio State was right in firing him.
Smith was initially asked about the graphic pictures that his wife has shared with the public.
“All I can really say is that we had a volatile relationship,” he said. “It was toxic. By the end of it, it just flat-out needed to end. There was a lot of aggressive situations. The only thing that is absolutely true is that I’ve never committed domestic abuse against her.
“Now there were times when things got out of hand and I had to defensively kind of restrain her and move her and get out of the situation and go sleep at the office, or try to remove myself, that absolutely happened. So I don’t know when those pictures are from.”
The volatile nature of the Smiths’ marriage was also a question for the former assistant, specifically as to his regrets.
“There’s a hundred things. Thousands of things that I regret when things got volatile,” he said. “None of them were physical. I was not a good husband. I pushed her buttons. I could make her mad easily and it happened from time to time. There’s a number of things that I did wrong, but again, that’s between her and I. That’s not anyone else’s business.
“I wasn’t a great husband and we got divorced because of it. The only thing that needs to be cleared up is the fact that there was never domestic abuse. I never hit her. I never got arrested. I never got charged. I got investigated twice and no charges came about because I didn’t do anything physically to hurt her.”
Smith said during the interview that he did not speak with Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer about what was going on at home, choosing instead to shield it from the workplace. That apparently ended during October of 2015, however.
“Plenty of people knew about the allegations that were brought to the Powell police,” Smith said of a 2015 incident. “So much so that how I found out about it, I was on a practice field, I was out recruiting on a bye week. I was on a practice field. I found out about the abuse because Gene Smith called me and said, ‘Zach, you need to be on the next plane home. Your ex-wife has brought forth domestic abuse allegations and you need to get here and we need to find out what’s going on.'”
Meyer has been under fire for what he knew and what he reported, but according to Smith, Ohio State did everything above board where his allegations were concerned.
“I think they handled it exactly how they should have handled it,” he said. “I don’t know who else they should have alerted, but the police were the ones that alerted them. So the authorities have already been alerted to these allegations. They’re investigating them. They investigated it. There were no criminal charges. There was nothing that they said I did wrong, that I deserved to be charged, so the case, it just went away.”
Like that case, Smith’s job at Ohio State has gone away as well.
Asked if he knows why he was fired when he claims he never committed domestic violence, he said he understands what Ohio State had to do.
“I know why I was terminated and I don’t think I did anything that warranted it, but it was going to be unfair for those players at Ohio State, and for the fans and the whole University, to go through the media uproar that came from all of this,” he said. “I don’t think they were wrong to do it. I don’t think I deserved it, but I don’t think they were wrong.”
You can listen to the entire interview here.
— 105.7 The Zone (@1057TheZone) August 3, 2018