Urban Meyer's 3-game suspension for handling of abuse complaint sparks outrage

Urban Meyer facing backlash
Urban Meyer facing backlash 01:53

NEW YORK — The college football season will begin without one of its top coaches. Ohio State suspended coach Urban Meyer for three games last night for mishandling complaints against an assistant.

Meyer tried to move past the controversy enveloping his program, but seemed only to reignite it after his suspension was announced. When asked about the woman who accused her husband — one of Meyer's assistant — of domestic violence in 2015, Meyer's response at a press conference sparked backlash.

"What message do you have for Courtney Smith?" a reporter asked.

"Well, I have a message for everyone involved in this: I'm sorry that we're in this situation," Meyer said.

On OSU's football-crazed campus, Meyer's support runs deep. He led the Buckeyes to the national championship in 2014, making him close to invincible.

But off campus, Meyer came in for a hammering.

The university's investigation was more restrained, saying in part: "He has cast doubt on his own honesty." But in a clue as to why he was suspended and not fired, it stated: "He clearly misspoke and made misstatements," but "did not, in our view, deliberately lie."

The report had plenty that will fuel Meyer's critics, stating: "We also learned during the investigation that coach Meyer has sometimes had significant memory issues in other situations where he had prior extensive knowledge of events." 

  • Jim Axelrod
    Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the chief investigative correspondent and senior national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for "CBS This Morning," the "CBS Evening News," "CBS Sunday Morning," and other CBS News broadcasts.