Update: Apparently, saying Ohio State's investigation into coach Urban Meyer "will be finished when it's finished" means it will be finished on Sunday, Aug. 19.
Specifying previous comments that he made on WOSU, Ohio State president Michael Drake said that the working group's investigation into Meyer's handling of the domestic violence claims made against Zach Smith will be completed as planned. The investigators on the case will then prepare a report for the university's Board of Trustees to be shared in an executive session slated for next week. Following deliberations, Drake will make his decision on what, if any, course of action should be taken.
Suffice it to say, next week will have a major impact on Ohio State's football program, one way or another.
Ohio State announced on Sunday, Aug. 5, that its investigation into coach Urban Meyer's handling of domestic violence claims against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith would be complete within 14 days. That deadline is coming up this Sunday, and the six-person working group might need more time.
Ohio State president Michael Drake loosened up on that timeline in an interview with WOSU public radio in central Ohio on Thursday, and said the probe "will be finished when it's finished."
"There is a great deal of interest in this investigation," Drake told WOSU's Ann Fisher. "We wanted to make sure we had really good information, and there is time pressure. We wanted to have that information as quickly as possible. The most important thing is to get good information so we can make the right decisions going forward."
Meyer was put on paid administrative leave on Aug. 1 after he initially denied knowing about a 2015 domestic violence allegation against Smith filed by Smith's ex-wife, Courtney, at Big Ten Media Days in July. In a statement release Aug. 3, Meyer admitted that he was aware of the 2015 incident and followed the proper reporting protocols.
Meyer has come under fire for keeping Smith on staff following the 2015 incident, knowing that Courtney Smith had made another claim in 2009 when Zach Smith was on Meyer's staff at Florida. No arrests were made in either incident.
Former Ohio Speaker of the House Jo Ann Davidson is serving as the chair of the six-person investigative committee. The group also includes former acting U.S. Deputy Attorney General Craig Morford, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart, and three members of the Ohio State board of trustees.
"What we're doing now is an investigation to try to find out exactly what happened, why, what the context was, etc.," Drake said. "I'm going to wait until I know those things before I make conclusions. I've been doing my best possible job to keep an open mind. As I said, stay tuned."
Offensive coordinator Ryan Day has been working as the acting head coach of the Buckeyes in Meyer's absence. Ohio State opens the 2018 season against Oregon State on Sept. 1.