Mandel: Urban Meyer Has "Lot Of Holes" To Fill

Meyer fired assistant coach Zach Smith amid domestic violence accusations

The DA Show
July 24, 2018 - 12:28 pm

USA Today Images


Ohio State fired assistant coach Zach Smith on Monday, three days after Smith’s ex-wife filed a protection order against him. Smith was also charged with felony assault in 2009, when he was a graduate assistant under Urban Meyer at Florida.

“We didn’t know (if) Urban Meyer (knew) about that in 2009 or not, and he said he did,” The Athletic college football Editor-In-Chief Stewart Mandel said on The DA Show. “(He said) that it was investigated. His quote was that it wasn’t as reported, so there was no action taken then. But I think there’s a lot of holes still to be filled in.”

Mainly, why was Smith fired now if he wasn’t fired for previous allegations?

“Why is he being dismissed now if for, what, nine years, he’s been under the impression it wasn’t that big of a deal?” Mandel asked. “There was alleged violence in 2009. Urban characterized it at the podium today (at Big Ten Media Days) as a young couple, he alluded that it was maybe just a correctable mistake, that he and his wife advised them to get counseling.”

Meyer and Smith have a close relationship.

“Zach Smith is the grandson of Earl Bruce – the former Ohio State coach who Urban was an assistant for himself and who was very, very close with,” Mandel said. “There has always been this feeling that that was a big part of why he brought him on at Ohio State, why he has stayed with him at Ohio State. So I think this was a really tough thing for (Meyer) to have to do, and he is right now trying to balance defending the honor I guess a little bit of this guy he's so close with but also trying to justify why he had to fire him.”