An online petition, garnering more than 20,000 signatures since as of Monday, has been organized by Buckeye fans, in an effort to gain awareness towards retaining Ohio State University football coach Urban Meyer over what he knew and did about domestic abuse accusations against a former assistant.
“Urban Meyer is on the hot seat and can be wrongfully fired from Ohio State it is up to us Buckeye Nation to help him not just for him but for THE Ohio State University and the great state of Ohio!” Firestone wrote in the petition’s description.
Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave last week after Courtney Smith, the ex-wife of former Buckeyes wide receivers coach Zach Smith, said Meyer knew of two alleged domestic assaults in 2015.
Smith was not discharged until last month, while Meyer said during Big Ten Media day he only knew of a 2007 incident and nothing in 2015. However, Meyer released a statement saying he was aware of the 2015 incidents and reported them. He also admitted to lying to reporters about it.
Meyer’s knowledge of the incidents came into question after college football insider Brett McMurphy reported that Smith had told Meyer’s wife Shelley about the 2015 incidents and shared pictures of the injuries and text messages that she shared with McMurphy.
Smith denies assaulting his wife and has not been formally charged. He said any physical injuries she might have suffered were the result of him defending himself. Smith said he discussed the 2015 allegations with Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith.