Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer instructs his team prior to a game against Nebraska on November 3, 2018 in Columbus. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo
Head coach Urban Meyer said he and Ohio State are considering legal action against college football reporter Brett McMurphy of WatchStadium.com over a story that claims former Buckeyes receivers coach Zach Smith used a racially-insensitive word to describe a former player.
McMurphy wrote that the father of former Ohio State wide receiver Trevon Grimes claimed that Smith called his son a "bitch ass (N-word)" during practice.
In addition, McMurphy claimed Meyer attempted to cover-up the incident by flying to Grimes' home in Florida and promising the player Ohio State would allow him to transfer anywhere if he didn't go public with the allegations.
Ohio State officials claimed that the trip was made to support the player and his mother, who was going through a serious health issue at the time.
"I've never heard of anything like this before in my life. Certainly looking into legal action," Meyer reportedly said, according to a Twitter post by Tony Gerdeman of the O-Zone.
Ohio State president Michael Drake issued a statement in response to McMurphy's story, saying the school "unequivocally and vehemently disputes the unfounded allegations.
"The university told McMurphy that we have found no evidence to support these allegations. Reporting in this manner is irresponsible, inflammatory and a severe invasion of privacy of a student athlete and his family as well as a baseless attack on Coach Meyer."
Current and former Buckeyes football players also blasted the report, backing up Meyer and saying there is no racism in the Ohio State program.
Smith denied using the word when asked about the incident by McMurphy and Grimes, who played two games for Ohio State before transferring to Florida, declined to comment.