Petition Calls to Save Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer
An online petition on change.org has been started to “save” Urban Meyer, the Ohio State head football coach who was placed on paid administrative leave last week after allegations that he knew one of his assistant coaches had committed domestic violence.
The petition addressed to Michael Drake, President of the Ohio State University was started by Blake Firestone and has received more than 32,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning.
“Urban Meyer is on the hot seat and can be wrongfully fired from Ohio State it is up to us Buckeye Nation to help him not just for him but for THE Ohio State University and the great state of Ohio!,” reads the description of the petition.
On Monday, more than 200 people gathered at Ohio Stadium to show their support for Meyers, USA Today reported.
“I’m not supporting domestic violence,” Jeff Hamms, the main organizer of the rally said. “This is absolutely, 100 percent to support our head football coach Urban Meyer. He is beloved at Ohio State. I believe in my heart that he would not have said he reported this if he hadn’t done that.”
The rally for Urban Meyer at Ohio Stadium pic.twitter.com/4pmRS27X1p
— Ari Wasserman (@AriWasserman) August 6, 2018
Assistant coach Zach Smith was fired last month after his ex-wife, Courtney Smith, filed an order of protection against him for trespassing. Smith was arrested in 2009 while working under Meyer for aggravated assault, but Courtney, who at the time was pregnant, dropped the charges.
Supporters of Urban Meyer autograph a sign that says “We Support Coach Meyer!” outside Ohio Stadium. pic.twitter.com/aB5xhNNQao
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) August 6, 2018
A recent report by ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy shows text messages between Courtney and other football coaches’ wives, including Urban Meyer’s wife Shelley, which suggest that Urban knew about the abuse when it happened in both 2009 and 2015.
Meanwhile, the university’s Board of Trustees has engaged an investigative firm to probe Meyer. It is expected to submit the report in 14 days.