Urban Meyer clause in extension: "Failure by Coach to promptly report...."

Submitted by SkyPanther on August 1st, 2018 at 7:51 PM

This is a clause in Urban Meyers contract extension he signed in April. Can legal minds on the board translate this, so no one misinterprets it, because at first blush, it looks like he will definitely be fired:

Failure by Coach to promptly report to Ohio State's Deputy Title IX Coordinator -- Athletics or Ohio State's Title IX Coordinator any known violations of Ohio State's Sexual Misconduct Policy (including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate violence, and stalking) that involve any student, faculty, or staff or that is in connection with a university sponsored activity or event... a "known violation" shall mean a violation of Title IX that Coach is aware of or has reasonable cause to believe is taking place or may have taken place.


HatTip Bryan Fischer, twitter

LINK: https://twitter.com/BryanDFischer/status/1024783198033608704/photo/1



August 1st, 2018 at 8:38 PM ^

What does? OP's quoted paragraph would not be relevant to an employer having knowledge of an employee beating his wife unless he did it at a university sponsored event, do you disagree? If OSU does something beyond the current imposed leave of absence, it won't be because of this clause.


August 1st, 2018 at 8:01 PM ^

People at 11 Warriors are saying that since his wife wasn't associated with OSU, it's not a title IX violation. 

I know they're very objective and unbiased over there, but this doesn't seem to make sense given the language. 


August 1st, 2018 at 8:37 PM ^

His wife definitely had a duty to report and if she told Meyer I assume he did as well, but sadly I've seen enough of these reporting standards ignored enough times that I wouldn't put it past a good attorney to argue that Urban only heard rumors (and never saw the texts and pictures) and thus assumed the University would handle the known sexual assault allegations.  It's a weak argument, but it's one I expect to be made.

Navy Wolverine

August 1st, 2018 at 9:01 PM ^

I think that is Urban's only chance to survive this...by throwing his wife under the bus claiming that she (along with all the other coaches' wives and other coaches) never actually told him about any of the abuse from 2015 onward. His wife is going to get fired from OSU anyway so she may as well jump on the grenade. Of course, it will be extremely hard to sell this story following the interview he gave last week where he said that his wife is his biggest confidant and they talk about everything.


August 1st, 2018 at 9:52 PM ^

With that being said, Shelley is certainly obligated to report. At the very least, (and strawman as it may be), they have to come down on her. Does he willingly stick around a program with all of the embarrassment that would entail for his family. After all,  hes a family man now. 


August 1st, 2018 at 8:44 PM ^

She's a nurse, if I am not mistaken, which makes her a mandatory reporter, I would assume. Wasn't there a text which was part of the released ones in which she states that she would have to tell Urban? I was only half listening to the radio / stream at my desk, but it was an intriguing part of the larger story, to say the least. 


August 1st, 2018 at 11:01 PM ^

I’m not a lawyer and don’t know how the Ohio statutes would be interpreted, but the UM law profs. teach medical students some law. (At least they used to, and since it turned out to be quite useful in practice, I hope they still do.) I looked up the Ohio statute about mandatory reporting of domestic violence.

Any nurse who has reasonable cause to believe that a patient or client has been the victim of domestic violence, as defined in section 3113.31 of the Revised Code, shall note that knowledge or belief and the basis for it in the patient's or client's records.

As general rule, any person with knowledge of a felony, second or third degree burn injuries, or a death must report it to law enforcement authorities. There are some exceptions when information is privileged, including for an advanced practice registered nurse-patient relationship or a husband-wife relationship.


August 1st, 2018 at 11:27 PM ^

That's just documenting in the chart for future legal reasons.  Mandated reporters are only mandated to report on abuse of children/minors and elderly.  Domestic violence between husband and wife doesn't fall under that unless there's a child potentially endangered by it.  It's on the woman to report it herself.

Wolverine Abroad

August 2nd, 2018 at 6:47 AM ^

My question is... how does the dateline play into the reporting aspect? The texts are from 2015.  The clause was introduced (as far as I can see from the threads) in 2017 . Also was his wife an employee in 2015?   I am not a lawyer, but does the clause cover "pre-existing" knowledge of cases prior to the signing . Also it seems interesting that this language was inserted after the occurance . Was OSU aware of the prior incident and inserted the language to ensure the failure to report did not happen again?


August 1st, 2018 at 8:41 PM ^

I'm not a lawyer but Smith is "involved" and is staff, so it applies.  But really, the contract stuff at the end of the day is about who gets how many $ (Urban or the University) if there's a separation.  Whether or not there's the separation is how OSU weighs the benefits of Urban as football coach vs. the PR hit of keeping a guy who ignored spousal abuse.


August 1st, 2018 at 8:06 PM ^

One thing and again, MGoLegalMinds can help me out here, but I wonder if there isn't a bit of ex post facto on this.  If this clause was not in previous contracts, but is in it now, then it would only apply to things he learned about after the contract was signed, correct?


August 1st, 2018 at 8:20 PM ^

Yes until he signs the contract. And then from that day forward he was at fault for failing to report.

I think ethically not reporting abuse should get you fired regardless of whether you were not contractually obligated but once he signed the contract he was in contractual violation from there on out when he didn't report what he knew. Right?


August 1st, 2018 at 8:22 PM ^

There is a further clause elsewhere in the contract that says this also applies to findings of this type of violation from the past at OSU or any other institution of higher learning...

So it isn’t looking good for him in terms of collecting a buyout if they elect to let him go, which this violation gives them cause to do. 

Mr Miggle

August 1st, 2018 at 8:40 PM ^

No. It turns out that issue was clearly spelled out in his contract. It even applies to his time at Florida. It also specifically mentions that it is a new clause.

"It is recognized that this sub-section (5.1(a)-(p)) encompasses findings or determinations of violations during the employment of Coach at Ohio State or any other institute of higher learning."


August 1st, 2018 at 8:15 PM ^

Yes, certainly enough to warrant reporting the swirling "rumors" to the Title IX folks.  His wife, an employee of the nursing program, had more than probable cause given she had the texts with photos of the abuse as direct knowledge.  She is certainly getting fired.  And she might lie ("I never told Urban") to save her husband's job but the other evidence (texts with his assistant) would damn that position.  Wow, what an ugly team the Meyers are.  Snakes.