INDIANAPOLIS — A retired Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman who once played for Ohio State in the late 1980’s has come to the defense of the university’s head football coach Urban Meyer, who is on paid leave following abuse claims made against a former assistant coach.
Big Joe Staysniak, the co-host of “The Grady and Big Joe Show” on 107.5 and 1070 The Fan, was an offensive lineman and one of the team captains for the Ohio State football team during the 1989 season. He says there are a lot of gray areas when it comes to what head coaches are responsible for reporting when it comes to accusations made against an assistant coach or a member of the football program.
“I understand there’s rules in place and what-not. I guess I’m just in shock that a head coach of a university would have more say-so than the police,” says Staysniak of Coach Meyer’s paid suspension.
Meyer is accused of knowing about assault claims made against former assistant coach Zach Smith by his ex-wife Courtney in 2015. Smith was fired by the university last week, but Meyer previously denied knowing of the assault claims.
According to ESPN, Meyer’s contract requires him to promptly report any violations of Ohio State’s sexual misconduct policy, including knowledge of domestic abuse of an employee, to Ohio State’s Title IX coordinator. If Meyer failed to report a violation in a timely manner, the university could terminate its contract with cause.
“I do know that [Coach Meyer] is a good guy, I do know that [he] fights for what’s right and I do know [he’s] above board. It would be a shame if a technicality like this costs him his job,” says Staysniak.
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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