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The former Ohio State president never intended to fire Urban Meyer amid the Zach Smith scandal

Former Ohio State president Michael V. Drake said he never intended to fire Urban Meyer after the now-former Buckeyes football coach broke out early in the 2018 season over Zach Smith, his wide receivers coach at the time. was suspended for three games.

“It was personally painful,” Drake told The Columbus Dispatch, recalling Smith's scandal, which came after a series of off-field issues, including criminal charges filed against him and other allegations involving domestic violence between him and his ex. woman came into the national spotlight during her marriage.

Meyer came under intense criticism at the time for his handling of the allegations — including claims that Meyer ignored domestic violence complaints against Smith — and ultimately resigned as Ohio State football coach at the end of the 2018 season.

“It was extremely uncomfortable for me to have a topic like this on the program with people I liked and admired and worked with so well,” Drake continued. “I wish the issue had been resolved in the past. That would certainly have been my preference. But when things like this come to you, you have to deal with it.”

He added that Meyer's suspensions were enough for the situation and he didn't feel comfortable firing the coach.

“As an institution, we must represent our institutional values ​​at all times,” he said. “That’s really our bottom line. Sometimes we don’t do it perfectly and when we don’t, we acknowledge it, correct ourselves and move on.”

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