Meyer returns to Buckeyes, regrets not firing Smith

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer’s three-game suspension ended after Saturday’s comeback win over No. 15 TCU, and he marked his return to full duty by lamenting some if his prior decisions in an ESPN interview.

Meyer told Tom Rinaldi he should have fired assistant coach Zach Smith years ago.

“I erred when I made a decision to do the best I can to help stabilize that situation,” Meyer said. “And one of the things I look back now — I probably should’ve fired him.”

Meyer was placed on administrative leave Aug. 1 over his handling of domestic violence allegations against Smith. The university enacted the three-game suspension on Aug. 22 after an investigation into his actions in the Smith matter. Athletic director Gene Smith was suspended without pay from Aug. 31 until Sept. 16.

“I thought the best thing I could do with a very troubled marriage, with a child custody issue going on. And I really thought it through,” Meyer said Sunday.

“I thought the best thing I could do is try to help stabilize this thing. If I fire him at the time, sever that relationship, and I see these two young kids. And that’s why I’ve always thought how do you help stabilize someone. … At the time I thought I was doing the right thing.”

Meyer also said he should have made sure Gene Smith more aware of the assistant’s legal history.

The No. 4 Buckeyes have gone 3-0 under acting coach Ryan Day in Meyer’s absence. Meyer was allowed to work with the team during the week after the first week of the suspension.

–Field Level Media

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