For the first week of August, 2018, the legions of Ohio State University football fans known as Buckeye Nation were in a state of shock, devastation, disbelief and confusion over the suspension of Buckeyes football coach Urban Meyer,
For days after the story broke the suspension of Urban Meyer dominated the news, talk radio shows and conversation in Central Ohio. The main points of discussion and argument among the citizenry of Buckeye Nation were whether it was fair to hold Coach Meyer responsible for the behavior of a subordinate and, amidst rumors, speculation, and Zach Smith's denial of any wrongdoing, whether both Urban Meyer and Zach Smith might not in fact be the innocent victims of false accusations by Courtney Smith, who, it was speculated, could well be nothing more than a jealous, scheming, emotionally unhinged woman posing as a victim of domestic abuse.
The Ohio State University administration subsequently hired an independent panel of investigators to determine the truth of Courtney Smith's allegations against her ex-husband as well as what Urban Meyer knew and did about the allegations.
And so the local media coverage of and public preoccupation with the fate of Urban Meyer calmed while Buckeye Nation waited patiently for the findings of the panel's investigation.
Two days ago those findings were published and revealed that during his time as Urban Meyer's assistant coach 34-year-old Zach Smith had a history of gross misuse of university funds, including maxing out credit cards and spending $600 one night with a high school coach in a Florida strip club; of missing meetings, blowing off recruiting trips, and arriving late to practices; of drug use, of having a sexual relationship with a secretary on the football staff and having sex toys delivered to his Ohio State office; of erratic behavior and inappropriate sexual behavior, of unreliability and overall poor job performance.
And, according to Courtney Smith and a number of police reports, of violence, harassment, and threats against Ms. Smith,
Urban Meyer's consistent response to Zach Smith's crimes and transgressions was to cover up for or turn a blind eye to his young assistant's misdeeds and to continually arrange for whopping pay raises for Zach Smith - sometimes not long after Smith had committed some offense that would be more than grounds for firing if committed by anyone else - until Smith's yearly salary reached $340,000. It was only last month, when Urban Meyer's hand was finally forced, that he fired Zach Smith.
All this Urban did for Zach Smith because Smith was the grandson of another legendary Ohio State football coach, Earle Bruce, here with his grandson.
And so it was out of devotion to this second father that Urban Meyer protected a wayward grandson.
The investigators also discovered that when Urban Meyer learned that Courtney Smith took out an order of protection against her ex-husband last July Meyer immediately consulted with a university administrator over how to delete old texts on his cellphone. Upon examination of Meyer's cellphone the investigators found that a number of texts from over a year ago were missing.
Urban Meyer has not been fired for his cover-up of Zach Smith's violence against Courtney Smith and offenses against the Ohio State University.
Rather, Meyer has received a light reprimand in the form of a three-game suspension without pay, after which he will return to his job and his $7.9 million annual salary.
Neither Urban Meyer nor Ohio State University has given Courtney Smith a meaningful apology.
But then Courtney Smith doesn't bring Ohio State $7 million a weekend.