Report: Mothers of both Zach and Courtney Smith claim ex-OSU assistant is victim of retaliatory plot by ex-wife

More family drama has reportedly been revealed in Ohio State’s Zach Smith saga, as an author of multiple books about the Buckeyes has published claims from the mothers of both Smith and his ex-wife doubting the allegations against Urban Meyer’s longtime assistant.

In a report published independently on Facebook, Jeff Snook laid out quotes from Lynn Bruce, Smith’s mother and the daughter of former Ohio State coach Earle Bruce, and Tina Carano, the mother of Smith’s ex-wife Courtney. Both mothers claimed Courtney told them of a vindictive revenge plot against Smith and Meyer that she has been apparently planning since 2013.

Mothers of Zach and Courtney Smith claim abuse allegations part of planned revenge

Bruce claimed Courtney Smith told her of the plan multiple times since 2013, when Courtney reportedly learned of her ex-husband’s infidelity.

“She told me that not one time, but in fact she said it several times over the years,” Bruce said. 

She was driven by revenge when she found out her husband had cheated on her, Bruce said.

“When she found out five years ago that Zach had cheated on her, she was so angry that she vowed to me she would get back at him someday. And she said she would take Urban down, too,” she said. “And this is exactly what she did. She wanted to do as much damage as possible.

“She has been planning this for some time.”

Carano, who Snook said has become estranged from her daughter over the issue, apparently only texted with the reporter, but reportedly said that she does not believe Smith’s alleged domestic abuse was intentional. She also confirmed she heard her daughter say she would “take Zach down.”

When asked if she believed her daughter’s claims of physical abuse, she replied, “I believe that Zach was removing himself from an argument and I do not believe he intentionally abused her. I do not believe he actually intentionally swung or punched her … no.”

As far as ever hearing her daughter say she would “take Zach down,” she replied, “Yes.”

And when Meyer’s name was mentioned, she added, “I cannot quote her exact words as I don’t remember them word for word, but something to that extent. This is my daughter and I love her but I do not approve of what she has done and how it was done.”

Following that text, she did not respond to follow-up questions.

Bruce later claimed that Courtney Smith had called 911 to the point that local police “grew tired of her,” with nine police calls to the family’s home resulting in zero charges. She also attempted to explain the origin of Courtney’s multiple pictures of herself bruised from Smith’s alleged domestic violence.

“I witnessed what she did several times: She would get in his face and block his path while screaming at him. One time when I was there, he was trying to walk down the steps and she blocked him so he couldn’t leave the house. He couldn’t get by her and he had to leave, so he just picked her up by the arms and placed her to the side, so he could walk by and walk out the door. When he did that, I am sure that would leave red marks on her arms. It would if he picked me up and moved me, too. Then she would take a picture.”

Zach Smith fired from OSU over reports of 2009, 2015 incidents

While Bruce claimed Courtney Smith’s revenge plot goes back to 2013, it has been reported that Courtney’s accusations go as far back as 2009, when Smith was an assistant under Meyer at Florida and was accused of throwing her against a bedroom wall. Meyer confirmed at last month’s Big Ten Media Days that he was aware of the incident.

Smith was fired on July 23, shortly after a report detailing Courtney’s claims of abuse was published on Facebook by independent reporter Brett McMurphy. Meyer was subsequently placed on paid administrative leave when McMurphy published another report indicating the Ohio State head coach might have lied about his knowledge of another domestic violence incident in 2015.

Smith has publicly denied his ex-wife’s allegations, saying he had never committed domestic abuse against her, but did admit some things “got out of hand.” Meyer has also defended himself, claiming he knew of the 2015 incident, reported it through the proper channels and accidentally lied about it during the Big Ten Media Days.

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CHICAGO, IL - JULY 24: Ohio State Football head coach Urban Meyer speaks to the media during the Big Ten Football Media Days event on July 24, 2018 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, KY - SEPTEMBER 24: Urban Meyer the Head Coach of the Florida Gators is pictured during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats on September 24, 2005 at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky. Florida won 49-28. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 30: Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer talks with his defense during a game against ther Alabama Crimson Tide at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field September 30, 2006 in Gainsville, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
08 JAN 2007: University of Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer and wide receiver Dallas Baker (81) receive a Gatorade bath after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes during the BCS National Championship game held at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. Florida defeated OSU 41-14 for the national title. Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images.
GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 24: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators walks the sidelines while taking on the Florida State Seminoles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium November 24, 2007 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Florida head coach Urban Meyer flashes a big smile after he sat down with Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, not shown, at a media conference at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, Wednesday, December 10, 2008. Florida and Oklahoma will play in the 2009 FedEx BCS National Championship Bowl. (Photo by John VanBeekum/Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 01: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators stands on the field before the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats at the Louisana Superdome on January 1, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Florida head coach Urban Meyer celebrates with his wife, Shelley, after the Gators' 31-17 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Saturday, September 18, 2010. (Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
Florida head coach Urban Meyer signals for a touchdown during the Gators' 34-31 overtime victory over Georgia at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida, Saturday, October 30, 2010. (Photo by Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
Urban Meyer, former head coach of the Florida Gators, is seen before the start of the game between the Broncos and Dolphins. The Denver Broncos defeated the Miami Dolphins, 18-15, in overtime at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Sunday, October 23, 2011. (Jim Rassol/Sun Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 1, 2012: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes takes questions from the media after a game with the Miami Redhawks at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes won 56-10.(Photo by David Dermer/ Diamond Images/ Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 8: Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes watches as his team warms up prior to the start of the game against the Central Florida Knights on September 8, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio defeated Central Florida 31-16. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 7: Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes and his daughter Nicole Meyer, left, and wife Shelley Meyer sing Carmen Ohio with the Buckeye football team after the Buckeyes' 42-7 victory over the San Diego State Aztecs at Ohio Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 19: Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes on the sidelines during game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Ohio Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 30, 2013: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes answers questions front he media during the post game press conference after a game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Buckeyes won 42-41. (Photo by David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 18: Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes watches his team warm up before a game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium on October 18, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 25: Urban Meyer head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes coaches during the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 25, 2014 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
06 December 2014: Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer celebrates with the Big Ten Championship trophy named the Stagg Championship Trophy in action during the NCAA Big 10 Championship football game between the Wisconsin Badgers and Ohio State Buckeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
January 1, 2015: Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer receives the winning trophy during the Ohio State Buckeyes game versus the Alabama Crimson Tide in their College Football Playoff Semifinal played in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Scott Donaldson/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
January 1, 2015: Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer watches during the Ohio State Buckeyes game versus the Alabama Crimson Tide in their College Football Playoff Semifinal played in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Tyler Kaufman/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
12 January 2015: Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Devin Smith (9) hugs the trophy with Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer and wife Shelley as following the Ohio State Buckeyes game versus the Oregon Ducks in the College Football Playoff National Championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Ohio State won 42-20. (Photo by Ray Carlin/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - JANUARY 28: Urban Meyer, head football coach at Ohio State University, hits his tee shot on the 16th hole during the pro-am prior to the start of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on January 28, 2015 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
19 September 2015: Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer and his family sing Carmen Ohio to the fans following the game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Northern Illinois Huskies at the Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Khris Hale/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes holds the Fiesta Bowl trophy after the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 44-28. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 3: Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes calls out instructions to his players during the second quarter of the game against the Bowling Green Falcons on September 3, 2016 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 8: Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes watches his team play against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium on October 8, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Indiana 38-17. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts on the sideline during overtime of the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - AUGUST 07: Ohio State Buckeyes Head Coach Urban Meyer addresses members of the media during a press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus, Ohio on August 7th, 2017. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 07: Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer walks to the sideline after checking on Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Branden Bowen (not pictured) who was injured during first quarter game action between the Maryland Terrapins and the Ohio State Buckeyes (10) on October 7, 2017 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State leads Maryland 20-7 at the end of the first quarter. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 02: Urban Meyer the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes holds the winner's trophy after 27-21 win over the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 02: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts during the Big Ten Championship against the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Who is Jeff Snook?

While McMurphy independently published the bombshell allegations against Smith on Facebook, Snook also used Facebook to report these explosive claims in defense of Smith. McMurphy was well-established as one of ESPN’s top college football reporters before he was laid off earlier this year.

Snook has published four books covering Ohio State football, including “What It Means to Be a Buckeye.” The foreword of that book was written by Urban Meyer, who opened by praising Earle Bruce, who died in April and is the grandfather of Zach Smith and father of Lynn Bruce.

“In looking back, it seems it all came together for me when I came to Ohio State in 1986 to accept a graduate assistant position with Earle Bruce. I have to thank him for that. To this day, we are very, very close.”

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