Open Question: Zach Smith and Urban Meyer

Submitted by big john lives on 67 on August 1st, 2018 at 11:34 PM

An open question to the board: Why would Urban Meyer risk his career to protect Zach Smith?

By all accounts, his position group underperformed given the high level of talent OSU had at receiver. He did not seem like an ace recruiter.  His Twitter comments seemed to be more embarrassing and cheesy than anything else.  A grandson of a former coach who was fired does not seem like an iron clad protection either. 

I don’t get it. 



August 2nd, 2018 at 12:41 AM ^

This seems like the answer.

Urban reportedly idolized Bruce, was mentored by Bruce and said that Bruce was the closest person to him other than his father.

When the first incident happened in 2009, Smith's wife said Bruce and Zach's mom (who would have been Bruce's daughter) drove down to Gainesville from Ohio to plead with her to drop the charges.  So of course Urban was going to keep his beloved mentors grandson on staff and help rehabilitate him.

Any other intern with those kinds of charges gets booted without a thought. This clown continued to get enabled because Bruce undoubtedly has very powerful connections in Columbus, Meyer included.


August 1st, 2018 at 11:41 PM ^

This has been discussed elsewhere but

1) He is Bruce's grandson and Bruce was Meyer's mentor

2) Smith has been a part of his program going back to Florida so he knows where the proverbial bodies are buried. Smith allegedly told his wife if he went down he'd take the whole program with him

It's probably a little bit of both but knowing how much is at stake for Meyer it's mostly the second one. 


August 1st, 2018 at 11:41 PM ^

Bruce gave Urban his first shot in the coaching world. He wasn't just a former Buckeye coach, he was Urban's mentor. Bruce was like family to Urban, and therefore Smith was somewhat as well, by extension.

Also - and this is getting into rumor territory - Smith, by virtue of knowing Bruce and Bruce's powerful friends in the Buckeye world, like Hiram deFries, was made recruiting coordinator at OSU. Many OSU people think Smith was the staff contact for the bagman network at OSU, and therefore knows where the bodies are buried, so to say. Meyer was looking to get Smith another job this spring, before news got out and he had to fire him, so as to not have to make Smith mad. Could just be the rantings of a lunatic, but when Smith told his ex-wife that he would take everyone at OSU down with him, I kind of think he said that because he knows some dirty secrets.


August 1st, 2018 at 11:41 PM ^

If you listen to Courtney Smith her ex husband “could bring down the program”.   Maybe this guy was a threat that Urban felt he needed to keep close.  Maybe blind loyalty.  Maybe some combination.  Urban strikes me as the type that looks out for himself 1st.  


August 1st, 2018 at 11:42 PM ^

Loyalty to his old mentor.

It is like me being loyal to my company even though it is no run by the deceased owner's son-in-law.  But you are right loyalty only goes so far.


August 1st, 2018 at 11:43 PM ^

Grandson of Earle Bruce and therefore "protected". There are always different levels of consequences for folks who are protected for one reason or another.  Saw this all the time in the military, not surprised to see this with a OSU(or any other proud programs) football family:


August 1st, 2018 at 11:45 PM ^

Please let Zach Smith go on an anti-OSU media tour, please let Zach Smith go on an anti-OSU media tour, please let Zach Smith go on an anti-OSU media tour...


August 1st, 2018 at 11:45 PM ^

Wouldn't surprise me if Zach and Urban were both banging the same assistant that Zach brought over to his pregnant wife the night Zach beat his wife in '09.  

Or Zach has proof of Urban's sexual dalliances at Florida and Ohio State.

Or maybe Zach handles a lot of the dirty recruiting at Urban's request.

Or maybe Zach and Urban are having a secret affair with each other. NTTAWWT.




Mr. Elbel

August 1st, 2018 at 11:50 PM ^

I think this story just saved mgoblog 3.0 no one is complaining, just talking about the prospect of the Day era beginning and assholes being shown the door.

big john lives on 67

August 1st, 2018 at 11:53 PM ^

I understand the loyalty to Bruce, but this is way beyond your garden variety nepotistic incompetence.  If the guy is taking down your very career, especially for an ego maniac like Meyer, it seems like loyalty to an old associate would not extend nearly that far.  There must be something else at play. 



August 2nd, 2018 at 12:49 AM ^

But the fact that they all talked Courtney out of the first charge kind of committed them. They probably did that as a favor to Bruce and convinced themselves it was a one time thing. 

Once it happened again (and again and again) they either had to admit they f-d up the first time and take what almost certainly would have been a hit, or double down and hope they could keep covering it up/avoiding accountability, which they almost did but for a persistent reporter.


August 1st, 2018 at 11:55 PM ^

There is a closeness to his grandfather and, based on comments made, Smith may know some things about Meyer and OSU that you don't want out in the world.  

I do wonder if/when Meyer is gone, Smith doesn't pop off about him.  That feels like a situation where Smith's insane temperament takes over.


August 1st, 2018 at 11:56 PM ^

Complete conjecture, but loyalty can be a lot more powerful than righteousness and sometimes conflated with it. that can lead to making terrible decisions that you can rationalize.  We all have examples of it in degrees.  


August 1st, 2018 at 11:57 PM ^

Zach Smith is the first assistant coach that Urban Meyer has EVER fired.

Urban Meyer --- like several people I've known in my own life --- was loyal to a fault.  Not everyone is worthy of your loyalty.

I know that some folk view Meyer as a bad person.  I am not among those folk.  I do honestly think he's a decent human being,  But he did fail here.


August 2nd, 2018 at 12:24 AM ^

That's humanity.  The "risk/reward" for Urban was immensely tilted toward "risk."  He still did what he did.

Spencer Hall wrote an article back in July 2012, in the immediate aftermath of the Penn State sanctions.  He wrote the below.  It stuck with me back then, and I think it's still true today:

"People will sell themselves to authorities far cheaper and less impressive than a corrupt, morally bankrupt football legend. Subordinates cover for regional managers at car rental places for worse, and do so for $50,000 a year without benefits.

Give someone three cents worth of power and they will ask for an advance of an entire dollar. Often, they get far more than that in return even without asking, and in the cases of legitimate evil, simply stand by the wayside and let it happen."

Now - Urban wasn't a subordinate - he WAS the authority.  But he still sold himself out to Zach freaking Smith.  

And we are where we are today.


August 2nd, 2018 at 1:36 AM ^

I might be wrong on Urban Meyer.  I've been wrong many times before.  But I still see an avenue (not a wide avenue, but one that exists nonetheless) to give him the benefit of the doubt here. 

Maybe Shelley didn't tell her husband.  And while Meyer had a number of discipline issues at Florida, things have been fairly clean (not perfect, but fairly clean) in Columbus in his 6 years there.  Most people tend to mature with age.  It's seemed (to me) that Meyer has matured too.

(1) Suspend with pay, (2) investigate further, (3) make a final decision, fire or keep.  I'm fine with that being the process.  I'm fine with being at only step (1) of that process.  This story isn't even 24 hours old yet.

big john lives on 67

August 2nd, 2018 at 2:14 AM ^

The wives are talking restraining order due to physical abuse and this is not mentioned to any of the  husbands?  Come on now.  Shelley and Urbz talk about everything, remember?  But not this one thing. 

Urbz and fairly clean is another stretch. The police work overtime around his programs. And that is only what we know of. 

You don’t scuttle your career for a character like Zach because of loyalty. Never. You end your career like this because of fear. Like Joepa. 

Only question is: what was Urban afraid of?


Goggles Paisano

August 2nd, 2018 at 5:46 AM ^

Two things:

  1. I cannot fathom how Urban did not know anything about 2015 and that Shelley didn't tell him.  As a married man, it is really hard to hide that from your spouse, let alone not share something of that magnitude with your spouse.  And even more hard to believe is Shelley could or would hide that from Urban knowing it will directly impact him in a very negative way.  I just do not buy that one.  
  2. Rece Davis, who said he has no inside info, made a comment last night that often times you are put on Administrative Leave to buy time to negotiate a separation agreement.  I just have a hard time seeing how he keeps his job.  



August 2nd, 2018 at 12:11 AM ^

Ego.  Urban is so comfident and comfortable in his position that just another little lie, another little cover up (see 2008 Gators) seemed innocuous to him.   In this case it caught up with him. 



August 2nd, 2018 at 12:16 AM ^

A4AF918F-7151-4061-88C6-59FB201E0529.pngJust got done schadenfraude surfing elevenwarriors and just wanted to say that if anything bad ever goes down here the fan base needs to react like compassionate humans, not football stans. This is a pic of the message board over there. It’s embarrassing. 




mad magician

August 2nd, 2018 at 12:39 AM ^

As Brian referenced: this is why nepotism is bad and there are (often) laws guarding against it. Meyer dealt with this as a personal or family issue (he said so himself at the media day) in disregard to his professional and institutional responsibility. 

Mr Miggle

August 2nd, 2018 at 12:54 AM ^

I'm not sure you're asking the right question.

Why did Meyer lie about what he knew about Smith a few days ago? That wasn't about protecting Smith. It was about Meyer refusing to accept criticism. If he fired Smith in 2015, he would have been criticized for his handling of the incident in 2009, where he pressured Smith's ex-wife to avoid a public scandal.

There may have been other factors involved, but Urban is primarily concerned with protecting himself. 


August 2nd, 2018 at 2:13 AM ^

tOSU fans wish chicken was the most of their concerns right now.  Suck it £uckeyes.   As for the OPs ?  Smith said he would take down everybody if he ever got fired.  Maybe he’s got something on Urbs?  Listening to the worms squirm on Cbus radio is golden.