When Steve Addazio hired Zach Smith at Temple he was aware of 2009 incident but 'did not know specifics'

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Boston College head coach Steve Addazio answers a question during a news conference at the NCAA Atlantic Coast Conference college football media day in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, July 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Boston College head coach Steve Addazio answers a question during a news conference at the NCAA Atlantic Coast Conference college football media day in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, July 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Boston College coach Steve Addazio said in a statement that he knew of a 2009 domestic abuse allegation involving former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith when he hired Smith at Temple in 2011 but did not know the specifics.

Addazio was on staff at Florida in 2009 when Smith, then a graduate assistant, was accused of shoving his pregnant ex-wife Courtney against a wall. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, the coach at Florida at the time, said he and his wife Shelley had reached out to help the couple after the allegation. No charges were filed, though Smith was arrested at the time.

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Addazio hired Smith when he was the head coach of the Owls in 2011. Smith left Temple after a season to join Meyer’s staff at Ohio State.

“While an assistant coach at Florida in 2009, I was aware that there was an issue in the personal life of Zach and Courtney Smith,” Addazio said in a statement to the Boston Globe. “I did not know specifics, and I knew the matter was in the hands of university personnel and that the couple was involved in counseling.

“As a husband, father and coach, I have zero tolerance for domestic abuse. There is no place in our program at Boston College for any member of our staff involved in domestic violence.”

Meyer has been placed on paid administrative leave at Ohio State as the school investigates what Meyer knew about a 2015 domestic abuse allegation against Smith. Meyer said Friday that he had known about the accusation and reported it to the proper channels, an about face from his public comments at Big Ten media days when he said the incident was “nothing” and that he had not known about it at the time.

In his statement, Meyer blamed his false statements at media days on inadequate preparation.

Smith was fired at Ohio State on July 23 after Courtney obtained a protection order against him and the 2009 and 2015 accusations became public. He claimed to both ESPN and a Columbus radio station Friday afternoon that he had never abused Courtney but that he had “physically restrained” her.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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