Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Group rallies in support of OSU football, Urban Meyer

Group rallies in support of OSU football, Urban Meyer

In the wake of Ohio State's announcement that the investigation into Urban Meyer's conduct will conclude within 14 days, more than 100 Buckeye fans gathered Monday to protest the suspension of the title-winning coach.

Starting around 6 p.m., the rally's organizer, Jeff Hamms - a 49-year-old fan from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, who is also known as "Tennessee Jeff" - got up in front of everyone and gave what he felt was a powerful speech boasting. In a statement released Friday via Twitter, Meyer admitted that he knew about the 2015 incidents and insisted he followed proper protocol.

What Meyer knew and when he knew it became a question after college football writer Brett McMurphy reported that Courtney Smith had told Meyer's wife Shelley about the 2015 incidents and shared pictures of injuries through text messages that she shared with McMurphy.

At Big Ten Media Days, Meyer announced that Smith had been fired.

While one sign simply reads "We Love Coach URBAN" and another mocks the "Me Too" movement, many of them took aim at ESPN, which had nothing to do with the reporting that led to the investigation into Meyer.

According to Hamms' post, the objective of the event is "to show our positive support for Ohio State Football players, coaches, Urban Meyer and their families".

As of early Monday, the petition had garnered almost 20,000 signatures and its goal was to get to 25,000 signatures. I SUPPORT: "URBAN MEYER & THE BUCKS O-H-I-O" and one that stated, "INNOCENT 'TIL PROVEN GUILTY ESPN GUILTY OF ABUSE!" with "PROVEN" underlined. No charges were filed, though Smith was arrested at the time. The petition was started by Buckeyes fan Blake Firestone.

Ohio State placed head football coach Urban Meyer on administrative leave Wednesday. Smith left Temple after a season to join Meyer's staff at Ohio State. They wanted to protect their program.

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