Zach Smith went on the offensive in a furious fluster of tweets on Wednesday, seemingly, in an attempt to shield his children from the media storm that followed his firing and allegations of domestic abuse against him
Former Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith went on the offensive in a furious fluster of tweets on Wednesday, denying his ex-wife’s allegations of domestic abuse and attacking those whom he deems responsible for putting their two children at the center of a media firestorm.
Several of the tweets featured pictures of his two children with ex-wife Courtney, who successfully petitioned a judge for a protective order in July that ultimately led to the revelation of the accusations and his dismissal. Courtney accused Zach Smith of beating her when the couple lived in Florida in 2009 and again while they lived outside of Columbus, Ohio in 2015.
Zach Smith was not charged in either instance.
‘Silence = over,’ read the first of many tweets from Smith, whose firing put Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer under scrutiny for his handling of allegations against his former assistant.
Zach Smith went on to emphasize several points, including: ‘1. My kids are suffering because of all of this (most important), 2. I never beat my wife,’ and, ‘3. OSU botched the investigation and worse off the “punishment.”‘
Zach Smith accused his ex-wife Courtney of disregarding their children in her attack on him
Courtney Smith (left) accused Zach Smith of beating her when the couple lived in Florida in 2009 and again while they lived outside of Columbus, Ohio in 2015
Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer (right) mishandled allegations against Zach Smith (left), according to the school’s internal probe, and is now suspended three weeks
Meyer is currently serving a three-week suspension after a two-week investigation found he and athletic director Gene Smith (no relation to Zach) mismanaged the allegations against Zach Smith, the grandson of Meyer’s mentor, former Ohio State head coach Earle Bruce. Because Zach Smith wasn’t arrested for domestic violence in 2015, neither Meyer nor Gene Smith believed they were obligated to report it to university officials – a violation of their contracts.
Courtney alleged her then-husband shoved her against a wall and put his hands around her neck in 2015, one of several alleged domestic incidents involving the couple that came to light after he was fired on July 24.
‘Oh… I didn’t forget,’ Zach Smith wrote about Courtney in response to a Tweet that has since been deleted. ‘The truth will come out. Lol. She is NO victim.’
Zach Smith accused Ohio State president Michael Drake of either being ‘the cause of the joke of an “investigation”‘ into Meyer’s handling of the accusations, ‘or he allowed it’
Courtney Smith has shared photos dated from November 2014 displaying the alleged abuse
In the days after his firing, former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy spoke with Courtney Smith, who claimed she believed that Meyer was aware of the abuse allegations in 2015 because she had told his wife about the incidents in detail, offering text messages to back up her claim. (Courtney Smith also accused Zach Smith of abuse in 2009 when he worked as an assistant under Meyer at the University of Florida)
On August 3, college football reporter Brett McMurphy revealed text messages that purport to show Zach Smith acknowledging the abuse to his then-wife Courtney
On Wednesday, Zach Smith took dead aim at McMurphy, whom he called a ‘[s]traight scumbag.’
‘Hey @Brett_McMurphy – quick few questions… because you’re an OUTSTANDING ‘journalist,’ read one of a series of Tweets that grilled McMurphy on how obtained his information.
A constant theme throughout Zach Smith’s Twitter rant on Wednesday was his desire to protect his children from the media storm surrounding his relationship with his former wife.
While using McMurphy’s handle in a tweet that contained a picture of two of his children, Zach Smith wrote: ‘Look at these faces. You heartless and moral-less (sic) clowns. Every LIE or dramatic version of the truth you report, you hurt THESE precious children! Just like their mom has and continues to. Do you have families? Kids?’
At one point, rape survivor activist Brenda Tracy tried to stop him from repeatedly Tweeting out their pictures: ‘PLEASE DO NOT SHARE THOSE TWEETS W PHOTOS OF HIS CHILDREN. Those children do not deserve to be used this way.’
Zach Smith did not hesitate to respond.
Ultimately Zach Smith told Brett McMurphy ‘I will see you in court you clown’
ZACH SMITH’S SALARY STRUCTURE AT OSU
According to Zach Smith’s terms of employment, the now-former assistant coach was to make $340,000 for the 2018 season before he was fired in July.
That figure, however, could have been dramatically increased, depending on the Buckeyes’ success.
Smith was to receiver pay raises of 8.5 percent for a Big Ten Division title, 4.25 percent for a conference title, 17 percent if the Buckeyes reach a bowl game – something they have done 29 times since 1989 – and a whopping 25.5 percent if Ohio State plays for a national championship.
Had Smith remained at Ohio State and the Buckeyes won a national title for the 2018 season, he would have neared nearly $600,000 for the season.
He was also given a $600-a-month stipend along with football and basketball tickets.
‘Lol wow… you just proved you’re a one sided clown,’ he wrote to Tracy. ‘THEY GOT USED WHEN THEY HAD TO GO TO SCHOOL AND DEAL WITH FALSE ACCUSATIONS AGAIBST (sic) THEIR DAD!!!!! Please stop tweeting at me. I used to be a huge fan and supporter… but you just proved you’re not a truth seeker…’
Zach Smith went on to claim that Courtney ‘involved’ their children ‘by ruining their lives… based on revenge.’
Oregonian columnist John Canzano chided Zach Smith for calling gang-rape survivor Brenda Tracy a ‘one-sided clown.’
Again, it did not take Zach Smith long to respond: ‘I agree. Sad moment from such a powerful and courageous woman. Everyone should be able to look at two sides and judge!! I, like a lot of people, looked at her two sides…. and OBVIOLOSLY (sic) sided with her. She, unfortunately did not do the same.’
Through the school’s internal probe, Ohio State investigators obtained documents and receipts that showed Zach Smith ordered over $2,200 worth of sex toys and photography equipment, only to have them delivered to the school’s athletic center. Courtney Smith also accused Zach Smith of taking photos of his penis inside the coaches’ offices and during a White House visit after the Buckeyes won a national title in 2014.
NOTABLE FINDINGS IN OSU PROBE
By The Associated Press
Ohio State released a 23-page summary of findings from an independent investigation of coach Urban Meyer’s handling of domestic violence allegations against a former Buckeyes assistant coach Zach Smith. Meyer was suspended for the first three games of the season and will forgo six weeks of pay.
Some notable findings:
– Urban Meyer and his wife, Shelley, doubted the veracity of Courtney Smith’s allegations of violence and abuse from her ex-husband. Urban Meyer called the Smith situation a ‘he said she said’ last month in a text with a former player. He also insisted to investigators he met with Courtney Smith after Zach Smith’s 2009 arrest and that she recanted her original story to authorities. Courtney Smith told investigators she never met with Meyer or recanted any allegations.
Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates with his wife Shelley following the Big Ten Championship against the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Courtney Smith claimed Shelley was well aware of the alleged abuse she was enduring at the hands of her now ex-husband, former Buckeyes assistant Zach Smith
– Meyer, athletic director Gene Smith, who was also suspended without pay for two weeks, and others throughout Ohio State thought it wasn’t their place to do anything about allegations against Zach Smith unless law enforcement took more action like making an arrest or filing charges. Investigators called that a widespread misunderstanding of their reporting obligations.
– Investigators were troubled by the fact that after a media report in which Courtney Smith said she told Shelley Meyer in 2015 that Zach Smith assaulted her, Urban Meyer asked a staffer about deleting text messages more than a year old by changing settings on his phone.
– While assessing why Meyer made misleading statements at Big Ten media day when asked about the 2015 incident between Zach Smith and Courtney Smith that was reported to police, investigators said they learned ‘Coach Meyer has sometimes had significant memory issues in other situations where he had prior extensive knowledge of events.’ Investigators said Meyer has periodically taken medicine that can negatively impair his memory, concentration, and focus.
– The investigation identified ‘a pattern of troubling behavior by Zach Smith: promiscuous and embarrassing sexual behavior, drug abuse, truancy, dishonesty, financial irresponsibility, a possible NCAA violation, and a lengthy police investigation into allegations of criminal domestic violence and cybercrimes.’
Zach Smith allegedly ran up significant strip club bills while serving as an assistant
– Zach Smith ran up a big strip club bill in 2014 with a high school coach in Florida and spent $600 in personal funds. Meyer reprimanded Zach Smith but didn’t report the issue to compliance officers or the athletic director. Investigators said they told the NCAA about the incident.
– In June 2016 at Meyer’s urging, Zach Smith was admitted to a drug treatment facility for addiction to a unspecified stimulant prescription drug, the report said, adding that Gene Smith was never told about it.
– Investigators found that Meyer was determined to not disclose Zach Smith’s issues to the media and went too far in his denials when he lied to reporters at Big Ten media days about his knowledge of the 2015 police incident. But the report also found that Meyer ‘has sometimes had significant memory issues in other situations where he had prior extensive knowledge of events.’ Meyer has taken medicine that can hurt his memory, concentration and focus, the report said.
– The report said Zach Smith’s conduct was repeatedly ‘met with reprimands and warnings by Coach Meyer, but never a written report, never an investigation and no disciplinary action until July 23, 2018.