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Urban Meyer admits wrongdoing in handling of Smith situation

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Ohio State coach Urban Meyer admitted that he “erred” in his handling of the situation regarding Zach Smith.

Meyer told ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi on Sunday that he made a “bad decision” in choosing to bring Zach Smith to Ohio State and that he should have made athletic director Gene Smith aware of the assistant football coach’s legal history at the time.

“I just can’t tell you exactly what my mindset was at the time,” Meyer said. “… I erred when I made a decision to do the best I can to help stabilize that situation. And one of the things I look back now — I probably should’ve fired him.”

Meyer served a three-game suspension for his handling of domestic abuse allegations against Smith. He had been allowed to participate in practice the past two weeks.

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Zach Smith was fired as the Buckeyes’ wide receivers coach in July after a pre-trial hearing on a charge of criminal trespassing and a report detailing domestic violence allegations from his then-wife, Courtney Smith, in 2009 and 2015. Smith was arrested in the 2009 incident.

Meyer denied being told about text messages between Courtney Smith and his wife, Shelley, regarding the abuse allegations in 2015. He declined to “speak on her behalf” regarding how Shelley Meyer handled her interactions with Courtney Smith.

“She has reasoning for why she didn’t react,” Meyer said. “And I’m not here to speak for Shelley, but she had a reasoning and her reasoning was what it was. That’s why she did not alert me or just go anywhere else with it.”

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Ohio State’s first game with Meyer back on the sideline will be Saturday against Tulane.

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