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Ohio State places Urban Meyer on paid administrative leave

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Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday and the university announced it is opening an internal investigation into claims made by the ex-wife of former Ohio State assistant Zach Smith that several people close to Meyer knew of allegations of Smith's domestic violence against her.

Buckeyes offensive coordinator Ryan Day will serve as acting head coach in Meyer's absence.

"The university is conducting an investigation into these allegations," Ohio State said in a statement. "We are focused on supporting our players and on getting to the truth as expeditiously as possible."

Meyer fired Smith on July 23 after a report from Brett McMurphy brought to light a domestic violence civil protection order and past domestic violence allegations against Smith.

"Gene and I agree that being on leave during this inquiry will facilitate its completion," Meyer said in a statement. "This allows the team to conduct training camp with minimal distraction. I eagerly look forward to the resolution of this matter."

Shortly after Smith's firing, Meyer said during Big Ten Media Days he had no knowledge of the alleged domestic violence incidents.

In Wednesday's report, Courtney Smith, the ex-wife of Zach Smith, provided McMurphy text messages she claims were sent between her and the wives of multiple Ohio State coaches, included Meyer's wife, Shelley. McMurphy posted the screenshots of those messages on Facebook, where he published his report Wednesday morning.

Meyer posted a 73-8 record, including one national championship, during his seven seasons at Ohio State. He previously served as head coach at Florida, Utah and Bowling Green.

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