NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer’s job is in jeopardy after text messages obtained by college football reporter Brett McMurphy showed that Meyer knew about domestic abuse allegations against a member of his coaching staff in 2015. Following Day 7 of Tennessee Titans training camp, coach Mike Vrabel was asked for his thoughts on the news coming out of his alma mater.
“I love Ohio State and I love the people there,” Vrabel said. “My family loves Ohio State. I’m confident that (OSU athletic director) Gene Smith will do what’s best for the university, what’s best for Ohio State.”
Vrabel played defensive end for the Buckeyes from 1993-1996 and began his coaching career there in 2011 overseeing the team’s linebackers under then-interim coach Luke Fickell. Meyer was hired in 2012 for the head coaching position and Vrabel was kept on the staff from 2012-13 as the team’s defensive line coach. McMurphy reported that “Courtney Smith, ex-wife of fired Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith, provided text messages between her and the wives of Ohio State coaches – including Meyer’s wife, Shelley – showing Meyer’s knowledge of the situation.”
Smith was a part of Meyer’s staff with Vrabel in 2012. But Vrabel’s career path had taken him to the NFL as the linebackers coach for the Houston Texans (2014-2016) at the point when Meyer reportedly found out about the domestic abuse allegations in 2015.
“I love Ohio State, my family loves Ohio State and we’re anxiously awaiting the investigation and just to make sure that everything is done properly there. That’s what you have to do. Being there, I understand how the chain of command works and I’m sure Gene will do everything that he can to follow all the rules in the investigation and make sure everything’s clear before he makes a decision.
Ohio State announced Wednesday that Meyer would be placed on paid administrative leave as the school investigates Courtney Smith’s claims that several people, including Meyer knew of the 2015 allegations. Zach Smith was fired from Ohio State in late July.
One thing is clear: Vrabel stands with his university.