COLUMBUS — Ohio State trustees on Wednesday began discussing the future of football coach Urban Meyer with Meyer seen entering the building where the meeting was underway.
Board Chairman Michael Gasser briefly called a meeting to order before the board went behind closed doors to consider whether Meyer should be punished for his handling of domestic abuse allegations against a former assistant coach.
The investigation centers on what Meyer knew and did about allegations of abuse against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith, who was fired July 23 after his ex-wife sought a protective order. Courtney Smith alleged her husband shoved her against a wall and put his hands around her neck in 2015, one of several alleged domestic incidents involving the couple. The Smiths separated in June 2015 and divorced in 2016 and Zach Smith has never been charged criminally for abuse.
“Countless hours have gone into conducting and supporting this comprehensive review,” Gasser said as the meeting opened.
Meyer arrived at Longaberger Alumni House on the school's campus Wednesday morning, where the meeting was being held.
A camera crew from Columbus television station WSYX tweeted out a photo of Meyer outside the service entrance of the building not long after the board went into a closed executive session.
No timetable has been given for final resolution of the saga that has overshadowed the team's preparation for its 2018 season, which begins Sept. 1.
Dozens of reporters camped out ahead of time before trustees moved into execution session.
Ohio State President Michael V. Drake will have the final say on whether Meyer is fired or faces other consequences.
Factfinders briefed the board on Monday. The trustees hired an outside law firm for $500,000 to do the investigation, which took two weeks.
Meyer has said he handled accusations properly when he found out about them, but acknowledged he lied to reporters at first when he said he hadn't heard of the 2015 incident. Ohio State put Meyer under investigation after Courtney Smith went public, giving a reporter text messages and pictures she traded with Meyer's wife, Shelley Meyer, in 2015.
Ohio State is also dealing with a scandal involving alleged sexual misconduct by an athletic doctor in the 1980s and 1990s, and allegations that a former diving coach sexually abused young divers several years ago.
On Tuesday, the university announced the creation of a new center to handle and respond to complaints by students, faculty and staff involving sexual harassment and domestic violence.
- Ohio State trustee resigns, calls Urban Meyer's penalty too light
- Ohio State: Urban Meyer devotes weekly news conference to suspension, trying to repair damage to program
- Ohio State football: Buckeyes get running game rolling again
- Ohio State football: Open records experts say Urban Meyer may have broken the law if he deleted old texts
- Urban Meyer suspended 3 games
- By keeping it in the family, Urban Meyer tarnishes legacy
- Jim Ingraham: For THE Ohio State University, Urban Meyer is obviously too big to fail
- Ohio State: Buckeyes' receivers ready to answer Meyer's call
- College football: Buckeyes fifth in AP Top 25 poll; Alabama first for third straight season
- Ohio State: OSU trustees to meet Wednesday to discuss Urban Meyer's future
- That scrutinized bit of Urban Meyer's OSU contract may be new norm
- Ohio State football: Plenty of concerns off the field, but expectations still high for Buckeyes, even with a new QB
- Urban Meyer: Followed protocol for 2015 abuse allegations (UPDATED)
- Jim Ingraham: Ohio State's Urban Meyer just might be fumbling his career away
- Paul Newberry: It's tough to believe a 'control freak' like Urban Meyer didn't know
- Ohio State closing practice to media in wake of Urban Meyer investigation
- Ohio State's Meyer put on leave, investigation opened (UPDATED)
- Ex-Ohio State star Brian Hartline promoted after shakeup
- Ohio State's Urban Meyer explains decision to fire assistant coach
- Ohio State fires receivers coach Zach Smith after domestic charge