Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said Friday morning that he was not suspended by the university because he condoned alleged domestic abuse and that he did not lie to reporters at Big Ten Media Days last month.
Meyer issued a 524-word statement on his Twitter account Friday morning that he said was an effort to correct and clarify media reports about his suspension. The statement is Meyer's first public comments since another Twitter statement made a week ago that apologized to Courtney Smith, the woman who accused former Buckeyes assistant coach Zach Smith of domestic abuse, and others at Ohio State for not doing more to help her.
Meyer said he stands by his apology to Courtney Smith, but he wanted to add more clarity to the situation.
"My fault was in not taking action sooner against a troubled employee about his work-related issues," Meyer said.
Ohio State suspended Meyer for the first three games of the football season in a decision announced by university president Michael Drake on Aug. 22. The suspension came at the conclusion of a two-week-long investigation into how Meyer and others at the university handled allegations made against Zach Smith.
Meyer fired Zach Smith last month after a judge granted Courtney Smith a restraining order against him and a pattern of past allegations came to light in a Facebook post by reporter Brett McMurphy.
The university's investigation found a history of questionable behavior in Zach Smith's past -- an affair with a football staff member, an incomplete stay at a drug treatment center, financial issues and problems with job performance, among others.
"I want to state clearly that we believe Urban Meyer did not and does not condone domestic abuse," Drake said on Aug. 22. "However, he did fail to take sufficient management action regarding Zach Smith -- and he was not as complete and accurate at media days and did not uphold the high standards and values of the university on that day."
Meyer told his agent in a text message the day after firing Zach Smith that he was let go for "cumulative stuff." He added in that message that he did not intend to share that reasoning with the media during interviews in Chicago later that day.
Meyer denied knowing anything about a 2015 domestic assault accusation made against Zach Smith on multiple occasions when asked about it in Chicago. Ohio State's investigation found Meyer did not "deliberately lie" to the public, but he "falsely stated he lacked knowledge of all relevant events regarding alleged domestic violence by Zach Smith in 2015."
The investigative team said Meyer was focused on "erroneous reports that Zach Smith had been arrested on felony charges" and that he had a history of memory issues related to medicine he sometimes takes.
Acting coach Ryan Day said last week that he has never witnessed Meyer's memory issues affect his coaching ability.
Meyer said in his statement Friday that investigators found "I did not lie at Big Ten Media Days." The investigative report did say that Meyer said things in Chicago that were "plainly not accurate." Meyer included that excerpt in his statement.
Meyer said he was not suspended because "I knew about or condoned Zach Smith's alleged domestic abuse." The investigative committee said Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith -- who begins a 17-day suspension Friday -- "failed to take sufficient management action relating to Zach Smith's misconduct."
Ohio State opens its season Saturday at home against Oregon State. Meyer will be allowed to resume his coaching duties Monday and will be able to coach the team during the week, but he is not allowed to attend or coach games against Rutgers and No. 16 TCU.