COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Fired Ohio State University assistant coach Zach Smith ordered over $2,000 in sex toys to university offices, took lewd photographs of himself at a White House event and also documented a sexual encounter with another OSU staffer, according to a report published Friday on Stadium.
The report's author, sports journalist Brett McMurphy, was the first to publicize allegations that Smith had physically abused his ex-wife, Courtney Smith, and that she had shared stories of the abuse with the wife of head coach Urban Meyer. He has continued to follow the story in the weeks since, including posting text messages allegedly exchanged between the Smiths and various members of their social circle.
The university fired Zach Smith shortly after McMurphy's first report, which showed his ex-wife had been granted a civil protection order in relation to a custody incident involving trespassing. On Aug. 1, it suspended Meyer following Courtney Smith's claim he had known about his right hand's bad behavior and failed to take appropriate action.
Meyer initially claimed not to know anything about the domestic violence allegations but later claimed he had reported them to the authorities.
Investigators said Friday they expected to have reached a conclusion and readied a report for the board of trustees by Sunday.
In the meantime, ESPN wrote the new allegations raised "more questions about the former assistant coach's conduct" at the university. If he indeed received Amazon packages containing rings, "enhancer" underwear and products intended to elevate parts of the body at his office, did Meyer know about that? What about the alleged encounter between Smith and another staffer in the office or the half-naked photo taken in a White House bathroom during an event honoring the Buckeyes in April 2015?
The officer of Smith's attorney, Brad Koffel, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In other articles, Koffel has repeatedly insisted on Smith's innocence in all matters related to his firing and the subsequent furor.
He accused the press of clickmongering with the stories and the public of becoming "conditioned sheep who think heads have to roll because the media says so," comparing them to people who accepted human sacrifice in ancient civilizations.
Whatever the outcome of the investigation into Meyer, this isn't the season start for which the Buckeyes or their fans had hoped.
Like Koffel, Bengals rookie and former Buckeye Billy Price said he believed the public did not yet have the entire story.
"Our media and our culture itself likes to get a headline out there before we actually have facts," he said. "I can speak on behalf that I know my coach doesn't play that game."