Ohio State announces Urban Meyer investigation to be completed by start of football season

Ohio State’s independent investigation into what head coach Urban Meyer knew and did not know about longtime assistant Zach Smith’s alleged domestic abuse has received an expiration date.

The school announced Sunday evening that the independent investigation will be completed within “14 days,” according to independent reporter Brett McMurphy, meaning that a conclusion should be reached by Aug. 19.

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Such a timeframe means that the Meyer investigation almost certainly won’t spill over into football season for the Buckeyes, a scenario that would likely be a nightmare for all involved. Ohio State opens a season in which it holds championship aspirations on Sept. 1 at home against Oregon State.

Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday and admitted Friday that he knew of the allegations against Smith as recently as 2015, but that he had also referred what he knew to “the proper channels.” That claim went directly against his assertion at Big Ten that “there was nothing” to the accusations.

There could be as much as two weeks remaining in Ohio State’s independent investigation of Urban Meyer. (AP Photo)
There could be as much as two weeks remaining in Ohio State’s independent investigation of Urban Meyer. (AP Photo)

The investigation is being led by a group including Ohio State trustees Alex Fischer, Janet Porter and Alex Shumate as well as former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson, former acting U.S. Deputy Attorney General Craig Morford and former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart.

Per Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, the investigation is being led by former Securities and Exchange Commision chair Mary Jo White, who has previously led the NFL’s investigations into former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, the New Orleans Saints’ “BountyGate” scandal and Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. All three investigations led to serious penalties for their subject, with Richardson eventually selling his team, several Saints coaches and personnel receiving significant suspensions and Elliott receiving a six-game suspension after a protracted legal fight.

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