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Thursday’s Mashup: Ohio State suspends Urban Meyer for first three games of season

Lucy Burdge
August 23, 2018 - 6:53 am

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-- Ohio State has suspended head football coach Urban Meyer for the first three games of the season after an investigation found he mishandled domestic assault allegations made against former assistant coach Zach Smith.

The investigation also found Meyer misrepresented what he knew about the situation in a public statement he made in July.

The school announced on Wednesday it has suspended Meyer without pay and he is barred from interacting with the football team through Sept. 2, at which point he can rejoin the team. But he will not be able to coach in games against Rutgers, Oregon State and TCU.

Meyer said in a news conference on Wednesday his connection to Zach Smith's grandfather, former mentor and Buckeyes coach Earle Bruce, affected his judgment and led him to miss red flags about Smith.

"I followed my heart and not my head," Meyer said. "... I gave Zach Smith the benefit of the doubt."

Ohio State also suspended athletic director Gene Smith without pay from Aug. 31 until Sept. 16.

"Although neither Urban Meyer nor Gene Smith condoned or covered up the alleged domestic abuse by Zach Smith, they failed to take sufficient management action relating to Zach Smith's misconduct and retained an Assistant Coach who was not performing as an appropriate role model for OSU student-athletes," the school said in a statement. "Permitting such misconduct to continue is not consistent with the values of the University and reflects poorly on Coach Meyer, Athletic Director Smith, and the University. Their handling of this matter did not exhibit the kind of leadership and high standards that we expect of our Athletic Director, Head Coach, Assistant Coaches and all on the football staff."

Ohio State also released a 23-page document detailing all of the investigation's findings following the announcement of the suspensions.

Meyer initially stated said he was not aware of any domestic issues between Smith and his wife, Courtney, during the time Smith was a coach at Ohio State. He then backtracked after he was placed on leave and said he misspoke.

-- Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are set to face off in a big pay-per-view special at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas on Thanksgiving weekend, it was announced Wednesday.

The 18-hole, head-to-head battle, billed as “The Match,” will be produced by Turner Sports and will offer $9 million to the winner. It will be played on Friday, Nov. 23 and will air on Turner’s TNT and HBO’s 24/7 Reality franchise. WarnerMedia has secured worldwide media rights to the event.

“I think this is the easiest $9 million you will ever make,” Mickelson joked before saying, “It’s an opportunity for us to bring golf to the masses in prime time during a period where we don’t have much going on in the world of golf.  It’s a way to show a side you don’t normally see by having us mic’d up to hear some of the interaction between us.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I asked the guys, I said, 'Do I look any younger or faster in it?' They said yes so I feel like I might keep it." -- Tom Brady, on his new helmet