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Ohio State Trustees Hold Press Conference On Urban Meyer Investigation

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer
Michael Conroy
/
Associated Press

Ohio State officials are holding a press conference on the suspension of head football coach Urban Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith. Ohio State University Board of Trustees met on Wednesday to discuss the probe, with deliberations stretching for almost 12 hours.

Watch the press conference live below.

Around 9 a.m., chair Michael Gasser briefly called a meeting to order before the board went behind closed doors for an executive session. The 20-member board met in private to decide whether the Buckeye football coach should be punished for his handling of domestic-abuse allegations against a former assistant coach.

Shortly after the board went into executive session, Meyer arrived at the Longaberger Alumni House, where discussions were being held, but trustees later said he was not part of the discussions. Later in the afternoon, he was joined by his wife Shelley Meyer, as they waited to hear a decision.

Athletic director Gene Smith arrived some eight hours after the meetings began, accompanied by his wife.

Inside the private meting, university leaders pitched Ohio State President Michael V. Drake on whether to fire, suspend or otherwise punish the national title-winning coach less than two weeks before the team's season opener.

The investigation centers on what Meyer knew and did about allegations of abuse against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith, who was fired July 23 after his ex-wife sought a protective order.

After firing Smith, Meyer told reporters that he knew about a 2009 incident in Gainsville, Florida involving Smith, but Meyer said he did not know about a 2015 incident that happened while Smith was on the Ohio State payroll.

Meyer later reversed course and said he was informed about the 2015 incident at the time and relayed it through "proper channels."

A decision regarding Meyer isn't guaranteed to come Wednesday. No timetable has been given for final resolution of the saga that has overshadowed the team's preparation for its 2018 season, which begins September 1 at home against Oregon State.

Meyer has been barred from campus while on leave, and has also been prevented from speaking with players, coaches and others associated with the football program.

Drake will have the final say on whether Meyer is fired or faces other consequences.

This story will be updated as more information develops.