When news broke about former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith and allegations of multiple instances of domestic abuse, you just knew that the floodgates were about to open and anything and everything was going to be unearthed. That was especially true after Urban Meyer tried to pretend he didn’t know about the 2015 incidents and it was then made abundantly clear that he did.
In the days since, we’ve heard from Zach and Courtney Smith’s mothers, both of whom claim this is all a revenge plot by her to take down Smith and Meyer. We’ve also seen Zach defends himself on ESPN, claiming he never hit his ex-wife and that he defensively restrained her. But we all know there’s more to come. Some of it will be relevant to the conversation and some of it will not. But that’s no longer the point.
The latest skeleton to seep out from the closet comes courtesy of the Toledo Blade which discovered that Smith was arrested for drunk driving in 2013. This was a year after being hired by Meyer as an assistant on the Ohio State staff. He pled guilty to a lesser charge and had his license suspended for six months.
Where things get dicey is that he admitted later on that he never told Urban Meyer or anyone at Ohio State about the incident. “I handled it on my own without involving OSU,” Smith said through his attorney on Monday, per ESPN.
“He never told Coach Meyer nor did Coach Meyer even learn of this (until today most likely),” Koffel said in a text message about the OVI. “Much like the criminal trespass case, Zach chose to deal with it on his own and did not involve the university or athletic department.”
That’s relevant since driving is a notable part of the recruiting process for college football coaches. Smith, who also had to complete 72 hours of driver-intervention courses, was allowed limited driving privileges, which included recruiting trips and other car rides relevant to his job.
It’s also relevant to the larger issue because its just one more in a long series of arrests and legal issues for Smith, who was tasked with overseeing student-athletes by the university. He was also arrested for criminal trespassing this past May. The police were also called in 2009 and 2015 to investigate domestic abuse allegations against him, though charges were not filed in either case.
Smith didn’t need more evidence against him when it comes to the quality of his character as a molder of young men for a public university, but the more we do learn, the less it sounds like Urban Meyer and Ohio State made sound decisions in continuing to employ him.