ESPN and former reporter Brett McMurphy have a strained relationship, to put it mildly, but after McMurphy broke the college football story of the season, the World Wide Leader had little choice but to talk to and talk about the reporter they laid off.

McMurphy even made a somewhat surprising appearance on the midnight edition of SportsCenter hosted by Scott Van Pelt.

Van Pelt got to the heart of the matter. At Big Ten Media Days, Urban Meyer denied that anything had happened in a 2015 domestic incident involving former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith and his then-wife Courtney Smith. The incident had been uncovered by McMurphy and Meyer took a direct shot at his reporting. Flash forward to Wednesday, McMurphy comes back with the receipts, dropping a bombshell report that includes texts from Courtney Smith to Urban Meyer’s wife, Shelley, in 2015.

McMurphy explained to Van Pelt that the 2015 text messages make Meyer’s story that he had no prior knowledge of the alleged domestic violence difficult to believe.

SVP: “When you were connecting dots here, and the idea that Shelley Meyer, Urban’s wife knew, and that Urban knew. You believe that because why?”

McMurphy: “So there’s all this evidence — I do not have any direct evidence that Urban Meyer — any text messages from Urban Meyer that says he knew about it,” McMurphy said ESPN. “But I have mounds of evidence that indicate that Urban Meyer would have known about this basically because [of] his relationship with his wife Shelley, who he discussed at Big Ten Media days about how close they are.

“They share everything, he relies on her for everything. They’ve been married 29 years. I find it hard to believe that the same couple they counseled in 2009 — she has evidence, she knows of domestic violence against this same woman in 2015. And they completely ignore it, and Urban has no knowledge.”

Hours after McMurphy’s report was published on his Facebook page (because of his current non-compete with ESPN) and Courtney Smith’s interview with Stadium was posted online, Meyer was placed on administrative leave.

The full segment can be viewed below.

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