Jay Paterno has weighed in regarding the Urban Meyer situation at Ohio State.
The son of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno wrote in a blog post Wedneday that Ohio State needed to be pragmatic in its investigation into Meyer’s actions (or possible lack thereof) regarding domestic abuse allegations against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith.
Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave by Ohio State on Wednesday afternoon following the revelation that Courtney Smith told wives of Ohio State coaches — including Meyer’s wife Shelley — that she was abused by Zach. Those messages include pictures of a bruised Courtney Smith.
Ohio State is also conducting an investigation, undoubtedly to find out if Meyer knew of the allegations against Zach Smith. Did Shelley really not tell him about the allegations? Courtney said in an interview with Stadium published Wednesday that Shelley told Courtney she would have to tell Urban about the allegations.
Paterno wrote his post before Meyer was put on leave by Ohio State. In it, he also says it’s “beyond doubt” that Meyer did not cover up a crime or witness one just after he says Ohio State should wait for all of the facts of the case before acting.
Anyone interested in justice and what is right should implore the Board at Ohio State to stand up to the mob mentality, to say that “when we have the facts of the case and only when we have the facts of the case will we react and make informed decisions.”
It is easy for a member of the media to play armchair quarterback and express righteous indignation because a person in power did not respond in a particular way. It is easy to demand that Urban Meyer “be held accountable” …
No matter what is proven about these allegations against the former wide receiver coach at Ohio State, this much is beyond doubt: Urban Meyer did not commit a crime, he did not witness, nor did he cover up any crimes. He hasn’t even been accused of one but yet there will be voices unjustly calling for his job.
Unsurprisingly, Paterno brings up the actions by Penn State during the scandal surrounding Jerry Sandusky in the blog post. Paterno writes that “as Penn Staters, we’ve seen the forces of innuendo, implication and allegation damage the lives and careers of good innocent people” in a clear reference to his father.
Joe Paterno was fired in November 2011, days after Sandusky was arrested on over 50 counts of sexual abuse. Paterno said he reported allegations of abuse by Sandusky to his superior but did not go to the police. In his retirement announcement — which came just before he was fired — Paterno said he wished he had done more.
Jay Paterno, who was the team’s quarterbacks coach under his father, has been a staunch defender of Joe Paterno’s actions. And now it appears he’s a defender of Meyer’s as well, even if he, along with the rest of us, are waiting to find out just what happened over the past three years.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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