A group of fervent Urban Meyer supporters rallied at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Monday to back the Ohio State football coach embroiled in scandal over domestic violence allegations against former assistant Zach Smith.
The school is investigating Meyer over what he did and didn’t know about the alleged serial abuse committed by Smith against his ex-wife Courtney Smith.
Urban Meyer supporter calls scandal ‘fake news’
Meyer fans showed up in force on Monday with signs — many of them misguided — backing their embattled coach.
While one sign simply reads “We Love Coach URBAN” and another mocks the “Me Too” movement, many of them took aim at ESPN, which had nothing to do with the reporting that led to the investigation into Meyer. One sign reads “ESPN SEC FRAUDS” while another reads “ESPN = FAKE NEWS”
While ESPN, like almost every other U.S. sports media outlet, has reported on the Meyer situation since the scandal broke open last week, it was Brett McMurphy, an independent reporter who was laid off by ESPN, who broke the news that suggested Meyer knew about the allegations against Smith.
Speaker takes on ESPN college football analyst
Meanwhile, a speaker making opening statements chose to focus on ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum, who has been critical of Meyer and predicted that he would lose his job over the scandal.
Ezekiel Elliott’s father makes an appearance
Stacy Elliott, father of Dallas Cowboys running back and former Buckeyes great Ezekiel Elliott, appeared at Monday’s rally.
“I know Urban Meyer would never condone a woman being abused,” Elliott said. “Those who abuse women need to stop right now.
“But, the truth of the matter, based on what we all know, he handled the situation according to how his job required him to.”
Elliott has been an adamant supporter of Meyer since the scandal broke, telling McMurphy to “investigate yourself” last week via Twitter.
Healso posted a video montage supporting Meyer intertwined with clips of Ezekiel with the Buckeyes that concludes with an image from OSU facilities urging people to “treat women with respect.”
Ezekiel Elliot served a six-game NFL suspension last season over allegations that he abused his ex-girlfriend.
Monday’s rally concluded with a pizza delivery from Papa John’s, according to Cleveland.com.
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