Texas head coach Tom Herman, who served as Urban Meyer’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State University from 2012–2014, declined to comment on a report released by Brett McMurphy on Wednesday which suggested Meyer’s knowledge of domestic abuse by his wide receivers coach Zach Smith since 2015.
Smith was fired on July 23, but Meyer said he had no prior knowledge of Smith’s abusive past one day later at Big 10 Media Days. Since the report, Ohio State has placed Meyer on paid administrative leave.
Herman coached under Meyer starting in 2012 but left Columbus at the conclusion of the 2014 season.
“As you guys should know, I left the program after the 2014 season and the things that occurred to my knowledge happened in late 2015,” Herman said in a news conference Thursday afternoon. “I really don’t think it would be fair or appropriate for me to comment about a situation in another program that happened while I wasn’t there.”
Two members of Herman’s coaching staff at Texas also served under Meyer: offensive coordinator Tim Beck and Stan Drayton, associate head coach and running backs coach.
Beck acted as the co-offensive coordinator for the Buckeyes in 2015 and 2016 while Drayton left after the 2014 season.
According to the report, Zach Smith’s physical abuse of Courtney Smith, his now ex-wife, began in 2009 and continued in 2014 and 2015.
Herman was asked multiple times if he, his family or his staff members who served under Meyer were aware of any of the allegations mentioned in the report at Thursday’s news conference.
“It’s always been my policy to not comment on another program,” Herman said. “We’ve been at Texas for a year and a half and as sensitive of a subject as this is, to comment in a form like this, I feel, would be very inappropriate.”
Herman declined to comment after receiving several questions regarding the report, but gave variations of the same answer. He did say, however, that his staff understands the importance of how to properly handle similar situations.
“We understand the importance and the power of the roles we have,” Herman said. “The great thing about working at a place like the University of Texas is that we’re trained extensively in what to do in situations like that. Through that training, we understand that in a supervisory role, we have a duty to report. If something comes across my desk or an assistant coaches’ desk, he is very specifically trained as to what to do and how to do it, which is report it to a supervisor and start it working up the chain of command.”