Report: Investigators Didn't Bother Looking For Urban Meyer Potentially Deleting Texts

By Henry McKenna

The investigators were stunningly lax in probing Urban Meyer’s handling of abuse allegations against a coaching assistant, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Despite knowing that the Ohio State Buckeyes head coach asked a staffer how to delete text messages on the day Meyer was placed on leave, the investigators never looked for deleted texts.

Here’s what WSJ’s Brian Costa and Rachel Bachman reported:

"“The day Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer was placed on administrative leave over his handling of abuse allegations against a longtime assistant, he asked a colleague how to delete old text messages from his university mobile phone, outside investigators hired by the university said in a report released last month. “Yet the legal team investigating Mr. Meyer’s conduct, led by former Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman Mary Jo White, decided not to send Mr. Meyer’s phone to a forensics lab to determine if he actually destroyed evidence, according to two people familiar with the matter.”"

But it gets worse.

"“These people said that investigators also did not seek to extract deleted text messages from the phone of Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, who handed over a device that contained no texts. The AD’s explanation was that he routinely deletes all texts after sending or receiving them, these people said. Such a practice may violate both Ohio open records law and the school’s records-retention policy, experts say.”"

The probe was intended to unearth information about Meyer’s handling of Zach Smith, the former Ohio State receivers coach, whose ex-wife alleges he abused her. Meyer fired Smith on July 24.

Despite knowing that Meyer asked how to delete messages and despite getting Gene Smith’s phone which had no history of any text messages, the investigators didn’t send those phones for further inspection, and ended the process satisfied with their scope of the probe.

The investigation was hardly exhaustive. In fact, the investigators come off as intentionally negligent.

Gene Smith served a 17-day suspension, and made his return on Monday. After serving a three-game suspension, Meyer will coach the Buckeyes on Saturday against Tulane.