Former Ohio State assistant Zach Smith finally broke his silence Friday on SportsCenter.
Smith’s former head coach Urban Meyer responded with a lengthy statement Friday on social media.
These quotes come directly from Smith during the SportsCenter interview:
Question: What did you say to Urban Meyer about the 2015 incident?
“In October of 2015, I was on the road recruiting at Virginia Beach. I got a phone call as I’m standing on the field from Gene Smith, our athletic director. One, he doesn’t call often, every now and then he does, so I knew something was going on. He said, ‘Zach, get back here. We need you on the next flight back.’ I said, ‘Okay, what’s going on?’ ‘Apparently, your wife is making accusations of domestic abuse. We just got the phone call, we need you to get back here.’
“So I did that, I went back with my divorce attorney… volunteered to meet with the Powell police. Met with them, went through all the charges, walked away from it and seemed like this is just a bunch of accusations that aren’t going to go anywhere because I didn’t do anything illegal. So I went back to work, we had practice, I went to practice and Urban pulled me off the practice field.
“When he pulled me off the practice field, he said ‘What the hell is going on? What is it? What is this?’ I told him, laid it all out for him. I said, ‘Apparently, my ex-wife is trying to get me charged with domestic abuse through incidents that happened years ago throughout our marriage — some more recent — but I went down and met with the Powell police. I explained both sides of the story. I volunteered to do that and I didn’t ever hit her, I don’t know what else to say.
“I told him, ‘Courtney is accusing me of domestic violence. I didn’t. I don’t know what’s going on but I’m going down to meet with the investigator and find out what the deal is.’ After that, I told him ‘They have some pictures of her, anything that happened to her body was all just defensive movements to remove myself from the situation and that’s it. I’m not going to be charged because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“He looked at me said, ‘Zach, if you hit her, you are fired immediately.’ I looked at him and said, ‘Coach, if I hit her I wouldn’t come in here. I know how you feel about that. If I hit her, I wouldn’t even come to work. I would know it’s over.” I never hit her.”
During the interview, Smith admits he never told Meyer about the pictures his ex-wife had showing signs of abuse. (Smith claims above that any pictures showing any abuse to his ex-wife are a result of him defending himself and trying to separate himself from the situation.
Smith was then asked why he didn’t tell Meyer about the existence of the photos.
Question: Did he not need to know those details?
“Not in my opinion. That’s just kinda how I live my life. I’m not out here in the public trying to live my life, putting my personal life out there to people at work or anything. I believed that personal matters, maternal matters need to remain personal and between a husband and wife. That’s what I believed. I believed I told him what he needed to know and nothing more.”