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Urban Meyer: 'I failed' to be clear about accusations

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said Friday he followed proper protocols in 2015 when one of his assistant coaches was accused of domestic violence by his wife.

Meyer defended his handling of the situation in a letter posted to Twitter. In the letter, Meyer apologized for not being "clear, compassionate and most of all completely accurate" in responses to questions about the issue that reporters asked during Big Ten Media Days last month.

"...I failed on all these fronts. My intention was not to say anything inaccurate or misleading. However, I was not adequately prepared to discuss these sensitive personnel issues with the media, and I apologize for the way I handled those questions."

Here is the letter in full:

Courtney Smith, the ex-wife of former Ohio State assistant Zach Smith, claimed that several people close to Meyer knew of the domestic violence accusations she made against Smith years before Meyer fired him on July 23.

When asked about the accusations during Big Ten Media Days, Meyer told reporters: "I can't say it didn't happen because I wasn't there. I was never told about anything and nothing ever came to light. I've never had a conversation about it. I know nothing about it. First I heard about that was last night [July 23] ... and I asked some people back at the office to call and say what happened, and they came back and said they know nothing about it."

Ohio State placed Meyer on paid administrative leave Wednesday and announced it was opening an internal investigation into matter. Meyer fired Smith a day after a report from Brett McMurphy brought to light a domestic violence civil protection order and past domestic violence allegations against Smith.

Buckeyes offensive coordinator Ryan Day is serving as the team's 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."

In Wednesday's report, Courtney 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.

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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