Meyer admits summer controversy contributed to decision to retire

During his press conference Tuesday, he admitted this summer's drama over an assistant coach's domestic violence accusations contributed to his decision (WSYX/WTTE)

Retiring Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer has pointed to his health and the debilitating headaches he has suffered because of a cyst on his brain as his reason for stepping down.

But during his press conference Tuesday, he admitted this summer's drama over an assistant coach's domestic violence accusations contributed to his decision.

Meyer announced his retirement Tuesday and the university named Ryan Day to succeed Meyer as head coach. Day had a 3-0 record filling in for Meyer during his three-game suspension at the beginning of the season.

In July, news broke of accusations of domestic violence against assistant coach Zack Smith, with questions being raised over how Meyer handled the issue. That led to an investigation and a protracted meeting of the board of trustees in August.

The meeting ended with punishment for Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith. The meeting was reportedly contentious, with trustee Jefferey Wadsworth so upset over what he felt was a lenient penalty, that he resigned.

Meyer tried to sidestep the issue at Tuesday's press conference.

"I can't say, 'this is the reason, this is the reason,' but there's cumulative reasons (why) we're at this point," he said.

When pressed, he admitted what happened over the summer was one of the accumulation of reasons.

"Sure, sure," he said.

Close friend and athletic director Gene Smith confirmed the controversy played a role.

"Certainly August and September had an impact," Smith said while emphasizing that Meyer's health, not the suspension, was the bigger factor. "I know people want to and its natural to put a lot on that (the controversy), but it wasn't just that."

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