COLUMBUS — Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith was in court facing charges of criminal trespass on Wednesday.
There is, of course, never a good time for anybody affiliated with the Buckeyes to be dealing with the police, particularly a member of Urban Meyer’s staff. The case has still not been resolved, but here are the facts as Lettermen Row understands them at this point.
This story will be updated as new information becomes available. Ohio State is aware of the incident and released a statement on Monday morning.
“We are not going to comment at this time on the situation regarding Zach Smith,” a school spokesman said. “This is a personnel matter, and we don’t typically discuss such matters publicly. We are continuing to monitor.”
Meyer is scheduled to meet with with the media on Tuesday at Big Ten media days in Chicago.
Zach Smith cited for criminal trespass
According to court documents, Powell police responded to a call on May 12 at the residence of Smith’s ex-wife, Courtney. Smith’s lawyer, Brad Koffel, publicly acknowledged that Smith pulled into the driveway to drop off his son under their shared custody plan.
“Both parents have rights under these types of parenting agreements,” Koffel said on Columbus radio station 610 WTVN. “ … Zach was returning his son to his ex-wife, which had been previously agreed upon but the exact location of the drop off hadn’t been discussed.
“They were texting each other as to where to meet. She told him to meet at the apartment complex clubhouse. He drove there, she wasn’t there and he dropped the son off at her apartment. She was waiting for him with her cellphone out and took a picture of him in the driveway. He left, and then she called the Powell police and said it was trespassing.”
What is criminal trespassing?
According to Ohio laws, the charge Smith is facing would be a fourth-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is 30 days in jail and a fine of no more than $250.
Smith entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment on June 5. According to his lawyer, Smith was never arrested and picked up the citation himself after being alerted to its existence through the mail.
According to the police report initially obtained by Cleveland.com, there was no forced entry, no injury to the victim and Smith was not suspected of using alcohol or drugs.
What to know about Zach Smith
Entering his seventh season with the Buckeyes, Smith is the lone holdover from Meyer’s first staff after taking over in 2012. Smith is the grandson of former Ohio State coach Earle Bruce and a graduate of nearby Dublin Coffman High School.
His position unit has gone through ups and downs throughout his tenure, but Smith has recently drawn praise for the strong relationships he’s built with his players and the winning culture he’s established for the wide receivers. With that entire corps of wideouts returning this season, the Buckeyes are expecting that group to be one of the strengths of the team as it tries to expand its passing attack.
Zach Smith has civil protection order filed against him
According to a report from college football writer Brett McMurphy, Smith had a domestic violence civil protection order filed against him by his ex-wife. Citing a Delaware police spokesperson, Zach Smith was served on Friday evening and the notice prevents him from coming within 500 feet of Courtney Smith. It will be reviewed at a court hearing scheduled for Aug. 3.
Smith had faced a previous allegation of aggravated battery when he was on staff at Florida, but that charges were eventually dropped. The two have been divorced since Sept. 2015.