Well, if every single member of the collected media at the 2018 Big Ten Media Days wasn’t going to want to get a question answered by Ohio state head football coach Urban Meyer before, they certainly will now. On Monday, Meyer fired longtime assistant Zach Smith following a string of increasingly concerning revelations about past domestic violence accusations and arrests.
Going into Meyer’s 17th year as a collegiate head coach, this is the first time that he has had to formally dismiss an assistant. While there have certainly been times when he has ushered coaches out the door (Tim Beck), he has never had to terminate a member of his staff before.
This firing is no doubt even more difficult for Meyer considering the decades-long relationship that he’s had with Smith and his family. Meyer considers the former wide receivers coach’s grandfather, the legendary OSU coach Earle Bruce, to have been a second father to him. And, Smith started his coaching career on Meyer’s Florida staff, and was the only coach to have been with him from the start in Columbus.
While Meyer would certainly prefer to keep Tuesday’s discussions about on the field happenings, the likelihood of that happening is slim. However, the head coach will not be the only person in Chicago representing the Buckeye football program.
Seniors H-back and wide receiver Parris Campbell and offensive tackle Isaiah Prince and defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones will all be on-hand to answer questions as well. Having been in Smith’s meeting room for a number of years, Campbell will undoubtedly be asked to discuss the termination.
One bit of news that we might hear in Meyer’s morning presser is who will take over for Smith. The rumors are that former Buckeye WR and current quality control coach Brian Hartline might be taking over the job on an interim basis, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet by the university. What better time to make the announcement and potentially deflect a small portion of the questions as to why Smith was still on the staff in the first place, given his multiple domestic violence arrests and restraining orders issued to his ex-wife?
Land-Grant Holy Land will have you covered with news and reactions from Day Two of Big Ten Media Days, so check back often.
How to Watch
Time: 9:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m. ET
TV: Big Ten Network | Online: BTN2Go
Press Conference Schedule:
9:00 a.m. ET- Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
9:15 a.m. ET- Tom Allen, Indiana
9:30 a.m. ET- Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
9:45 a.m. ET- Lovie Smith, Illinois
10:00 a.m. ET- Paul Chryst, Wisconsin
10:15 a.m. ET- Mark Silverman, President, BTN and National Networks at FOX Sports
10:30 a.m. ET- Urban Meyer, Ohio State
10:45 a.m. ET- DJ Durkin, Maryland
11:00 a.m. ET- Bill Carollo, Big Ten Coordinator of Football Officials