Ohio State football Coach Urban Meyer apologized Friday to Courtney Smith, the ex-wife of a fired assistant coach accused of domestic abuse that Meyer failed to properly communicate to school compliance officials, according to the school’s internal investigation. Meyer, who was asked specifically during Wednesday’s news conference announcing his suspension if he had a message for Courtney Smith, responded by saying, “I have a message for everyone involved in this: I’m sorry that we’re in this situation. I’m just sorry.”
Meyer received a large amount of further scrutiny following the news conference, in no small part due to his failure to apologize to, or even directly address Smith. Friday’s apology, sent in a tweet from his official account, appears to be an attempt to remedy that.
Meyer’s apology was also released by Ohio State in the form of a statement.
During the news conference, Meyer also stated that, “The biggest regret is I wish I would have known more. If I had known more, I would have taken action much quicker.” He did apologize to “Buckeye Nation” at the news conference.
Meyer was suspended three games without pay by the university over concerns regarding his handling of the allegations against longtime assistant and family friend Zach Smith. The university also suspended Athletic Director Gene Smith for two weeks over his role in the handling of the situation. Zach Smith was fired as Ohio State’s wide receivers coach July 23.
An investigative report commissioned by the university also found that Meyer had “significant memory issues” and “has also periodically taken medicine that can negatively impair his memory, concentration, and focus.” The report also absolved Meyer of accusations that he ignored Courtney Smith’s attempts to seek help and then lied about it, with investigator Mary Jo White saying at the news conference, “Coach Meyer impressed us with his sincere commitment to the ‘respect for women’ core value that he espouses and tries to instill in his players.”