An attorney representing Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith wasn’t happy about the suspensions handed down to his client and football coach Urban Meyer on Wednesday — and he lashed out on social media.
Smith’s attorney, Rex Elliott, shared his thoughts in a lengthy Facebook post on Thursday night, writing that Meyer and Smith “fell on the sword” for Ohio State in accepting their respective suspensions, and that they were only handed down to “appease the lynch mob.”
He also claimed that the investigators only wanted to determine if Ohio State covered up domestic violence and whether Meyer lied to the media. Elliott said investigators determined that neither happened.
“The country was lathered into a frenzy based on erroneous information and a long delay and [Ohio State] needed to appease the lynch mob that had formed as soon as the unproven allegations were made,” Elliott wrote. “As a result, two great men fell on the sword for a University they dearly love.
“And both men faced a room full of reporters and admitted they failed in their duties to better manage and react quicker to a troubled employee even though they had no idea about the information that has since come out about some of the things he may have been doing.”
Elliott clarified his post shortly after, saying that the thoughts he shared were his and his alone.
Just to clarify the FB post I wrote today was not authorized by Gene or anyone at OSU. My thoughts and mine alone.
— Rex Elliott (@RexElliott6) August 24, 2018
The initial post has since been deleted, but was captured and tweeted out by Nicki Meyer Dennis, Urban’s oldest daughter.
“The biggest problem in this [Ohio State] matter is the rush to judgement and the erroneous reporting of details by some irresponsible media and the amateur reporting of false information on social media,” Elliott wrote.
Meyer was suspended for three games without pay on Wednesday for his role in mishandling allegations of domestic abuse by former wide receivers coach Zach Smith. Smith was suspended without pay for 17 days, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 16.
The full report released on Wednesday night after the two-week investigation detailed significant findings, including that Meyer had text messages deleted off his phone, claimed he did not “deliberately lie” at Big Ten Media Days, that Smith did not know about Smith’s domestic abuse allegation from 2009, and — perhaps most importantly — that Smith and Meyer should have done more when learning of the accusations against Smith.
“I am fully aware that I am ultimately responsible for this situation that has harmed the university as a whole and the department of athletics and our football program and Buckeye Nation,” Meyer read from a prepared statement on Wednesday. “I followed my heart and not my head. I fell short in pursuing full information because at each juncture I gave Zach Smith the benefit of the doubt.
Zach Smith speaks out
Zach Smith took to Twitter on Thursday night, too.
The former wide receivers coach criticized the university’s investigation into Meyer and wrote that they “weren’t investigating anything they were supposed to be.”
“Can’t wait to disclose the 2.5 hour ‘investigative’ interview I have to the people [Ohio State] employed to find out if coach Meyer/Gene Smith did anything wrong,” Smith wrote. “Questions were bizarre and very clear they weren’t investigating anything they were supposed to be. [They were] investigating media backlash.”
Can’t wait 2 disclose the 2.5 hr “investigative” interview I gave 2 the people OSU employed 2 find out if Cch Meyer / Gene Smith did anything wrong… Questions were bizarre & VERY clear they weren’t investigating ANYTHING they were supposed to be… Investigating media backlash.
— Zach Smith (@CoachZachSmith) August 24, 2018
Smith was fired by Meyer on July 23 after Meyer learned of the protection order filed against him by his ex-wife.
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