The attorney for Courtney Smith claimed that Ohio State “has never contacted” her client about domestic abuse allegations made against her ex-husband, former wide receivers coach Zach Smith.
Attorney Julia Leveridge said in a statement Tuesday that her client is “a victim of domestic violence” and that “blaming the victim … should be unacceptable.”
Courtney Smith told ESPN last week that Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer knew about a domestic abuse incident involving her ex-husband in 2015 and did not act. The university announced last Thursday that it will launch an investigation into how Meyer handled the abuse allegations leveled against his then-assistant.
“As her attorney, I can tell you that Ms. Smith is cautiously optimistic that The Ohio State University’s investigative committee will determine if proper reporting protocol was followed upon learning of the ongoing abuse allegations Zach Smith,” Leveridge said.
“We believe the University must prioritize the safety and well-being of others above all else. While the Ohio State University has never contacted Ms. Smith to discuss these allegations, she will fully cooperate with the university’s current investigation.”
Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave last week as the university put together an investigative team that will look into whether the coach was aware of Zach Smith’s past — both in 2009 and again in 2015 following an incident with his now ex-wife.
Zach Smith was fired on July 23, but Meyer claimed soon thereafter that he had no prior knowledge of the 2015 allegation involving Smith. Meyer later backtracked and apologized for a poor and inaccurate information provided in that press conference appearance, but said he followed protocol regarding his actions.