Ohio State Football Fans Plan Rally In Support Of Urban Meyer

Ohio State fan starts 'Save Urban Meyer' petition with nearly 25,000 signatures

When Steve Addazio hired Zach Smith at Temple he was aware of 2009 incident but 'did not know specifics'

Ohio State released a statement Sunday night announcing the formation of an "independent working group" to conduct their investigation into Urban Meyer.

Judging by several signs carried by fans, the result of the rally was embarrassing. Some of his more vocal supporters have gathered tonight near Ohio Stadium to voice their support.

"I know Urban Meyer would never condone a woman being abused", Elliott said. "Obviously, he's done nothing wrong".

Meyer is on a paid leave of absence as Ohio State investigates his contradicting statements on how he handled claims that now-fired assistant coach Zach Smith committed domestic violence against his then-wife. No charges were filed, though Smith was arrested at the time. Meyer told reporters he had known of the 2009 episode, which occurred when Smith was on his staff at the University of Florida, saying, "It came back to me that what was reported wasn't actually what happened".

He said at the time that he was unaware of a 2015 incident involving Smith.

Considering the issue at hand is domestic violence, that's an extremely bad look.

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Meyer added that there were "more questions to be answered" and he pledged to "cooperate fully" with investigators hired by OSU.

In the meantime, a "Save Urban Meyer" petition posted Thursday at Change.org has almost reached its goal of 25,000 signatures.

With Meyer's coaching career in jeopardy, a Ohio State fan started a Change.org petition in hopes of persuading the university to reinstate the coach. Smith left Temple after a season to join Meyer's staff at Ohio State.

While ESPN, like nearly every other USA 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.

Ohio State's season begins September 1 at home against Oregon State.

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