COLUMBUS (WCMH/AP) — Ohio Senator Rob Portman says Urban Meyer is a good man.
The Republican was asked to weigh in on Ohio State University’s decision to place Meyer on paid administrative leave Wednesday over the handling of a longtime assistant who has been accused of domestic violence.
“Well, Urban Meyer is a friend, and as you said, he’s a legend not just at Ohio State, Florida and other places, just an incredible coach,” Portman said. “I know him. I know his wife. They are good people, good character.”
Portman said he doesn’t know all the details in the case, but he has a lot of confidence in Meyer.
“Ohio State takes these things seriously, as they should, so we’ll see what happens,” Portman said. “I have a lot of confidence in him, not just his football skills, but also in him and his character”
Ohio State expects to open fall camp as scheduled on Friday. Co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day will run the team while Ohio State investigates claims that Meyer’s wife knew about 2015 allegations of abuse against former Buckeyes assistant Zach Smith, who was fired last week.
Meyer told reporters last week that he didn’t know anything about the incident that resulted in injuries to Smith’s ex-wife, Courtney.
Meyer’s wife, Shelley Meyer, is an instructor at Ohio State and a registered nurse.
Both Meyers could be in violation of Ohio State’s Title IX sexual misconduct policy on reporting allegations of domestic violence made of university employees.
Coincidentally, Zach Smith is scheduled for a hearing Friday on a domestic protection order his ex-wife sought on July 20. His attorney didn’t respond to messages Thursday.