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Urban Meyer explains his intention in handling former Ohio State assistant Zach Smith

In his first Monday game week press conference of 2018 — following a six-week, three-game suspension — Urban Meyer made a few things abundantly clear. 

Atop them all: While he mishandled the employment of Zach Smith, he did so out of a desire to help him and his family — after being assured by law enforcement Smith had not abused his then-wife, Courtney, in 2015. 

“The report said (director of athletics Gene Smith) and I were too reliant on law enforcement,” Meyer said in reference to the results of an investigation commissioned by the university last month. “My entire career I’ve been taught if there is any type of investigation of a student-athlete with a staff member, any law investigating, to stay out of it and get updates along the way.

“All I can go by is what I was told by law enforcement, and that is there was no domestic violence. This was a messy divorce with child custody involved. That’s what we’re told.” 

Asked if he still believed no domestic violence had occurred between the couple, Meyer replied, “I can only go by what was told to me by law enforcement — what I have learned that especially in situations so serious, I need to ask more questions. I have always been kind of told not to. I just think that after going through this I need to ask more questions.” 

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Meyer was placed on leave August 1 and suspended three weeks later after the investigation found he had not tried to cover up domestic violence allegations Courtney Smith made against Zach Smith but had erred in allowing Zach Smith to remain in his job despite numerous red flags about his behavior. 

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