Ohio State Board of Trustees Meet Wednesday, Announce Urban Meyer Suspension

Ohio State placed Meyer on leave on Aug. 1 after reports surfaced that he knew of domestic violence allegations against a former coach.
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The Ohio State Board of Trustees met on Wednesday to discuss the university's findings from their investigation into head coach Urban Meyer, who was seen on campus.

Board chairman Michael Gasser opened the meeting, held at 9 a.m. ET at Longaberger Alumni House, with a brief public session. The meeting then moved into a closed executive session. The university released in a statement Monday that the board would go behind closed doors "for the entirety of the personnel matters discussion."

After the Board met for more than 10 hours, the university announced a press conference for Wednesday night.

9:20 p.m. ET:

Ohio State’s investigation into Urban Meyer handled domestic abuse allegations against a former assistant coach concluded the head coach and athletic director Gene Smith neither condoned nor covered up the alleged actions by Zach Smith. But, the investigation report summary said, Meyer and Smith failed to take sufficient management action relating to Zach Smith’s misconduct and retained an assistant coach who was not performing as an appropriate role model for OSU student-athletes.

“I want to apologize to Buckeye Nation,” Meyer said. “I followed my heart and not my head.”

8:50 p.m. ET:

After the board met for more than 10 hours, Ohio State announced a press conference that would feature President Michael V. Drake, Mary Jo White, Gene Smith and Urban Meyer. The school announced Meyer has been suspended for the first three games of the season without pay, while Smith was suspended without pay from Aug. 31–Sept. 16. 

The statement reads: 

"Although neither Urban Meyer nor Gene Smith condoned or covered up the alleged domestic abuse by Zach Smith, they failed to take sufficient management action relating to Zach Smith's misconduct and retained an Assistant Coach who was not performing as an appropriate role model for OSU student-athletes. Permitting such misconduct to continue is not consistent with the values of the University and reflects poorly on Coach Meyer, Athletic Director Smith, and the University. Their handling of this matter did not exhibit the kind of leadership and high standards that we expect of our Athletic Director, Head Coach, Assistant Coaches and all on the football staff."

The format of the conference featured statements from all four people and then a question-and-answer period. 

5:00 p.m. ET:

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith arrived to Longaberger Alumni House, per Lucas Sullivan of The Columbus Dispatch.

3:30 p.m. ET:

As the meeting stretch on for almost seven hours, fans gathered outside of the building, according to Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel.

3:05 p.m. ET:

Shelley Meyer entered a back door of the building shortly before 3 p.m. ET, the Associated Press reported.

2:25 p.m. ET:

After five hours, the Associated Press reported that Meyer was still in the building and some trustees emerged from the meeting room to take a break. Trustee and former Ohio State basketball star Clark Kellogg told gathered reporters progress was being made and Meyer was not in the room where trustees were discussing the investigation.

An Ohio State spokesman told reporters there was no guarantee a resolution would be announced right after the meeting.

10:30 a.m. ET:

Meyer was seen arriving at Longaberger Alumni House Wednesday morning. A camera crew from Columbus television station WSYX tweeted out a photo of Meyer outside the service entrance of the building not long after the board went into a closed executive session.

The Columbus Dispatch reported Monday that the likely recommendation to Drake is a suspension for Meyer or a "time served" punishment since the coach has already missed more than two weeks of football activities.

The university said last week that president Michael V. Drake will announce his final decision on Meyer after consulting with the board.

Ohio State placed Meyer on paid administrative leave on Aug. 1 and announced the school would open an investigation into his conduct. The move came after reports surfaced that Meyer knew of former assistant coach Zach Smith’s alleged abuse of his now ex-wife, Courtney. The allegations against Smith include claims of domestic violence dating back to when Smith worked for Meyer at Florida in 2009.

On Aug. 5, Ohio State announced the independent working group that would conduct the investigation of Meyer, with the inspection to be completed within 14 days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.