Nearly forty minutes into Ohio State's press conference on Wednesday night in which they revealed findings from their 14-day investigation and announced suspensions for head coach Urban Meyer and athletics director Gene Smith, not one of the four individuals who spoke — lead investigator Mary Jo White, university president Michael V. Drake, Smith and Meyer — had mentioned Courtney Smith or domestic violence victims.
Not once. Not even an obligatory, "We are deeply sorry for the emotional and physical pain suffered by victims of domestic violence and are committed to ensuring your voices are heard."
That was the bare minimum. A real leader would've loudly declared this type of behavior will not be tolerated at this institution and they will stand beside domestic violence victims.
With a few minutes remaining in the media's allotted time (because, in the university's words, it was a long day so media questions would be limited) to ask questions of Meyer, Smith and university president Michael V. Drake, one reporter teed it up for Meyer, asking if he had a message for Courtney Smith.
He literally said, "Do you have a message for Courtney Smith," a question Meyer requested to be repeated.
"I have a message for everyone involved in this. I'm sorry we're involved in this situation," he said.
There is no "we," Urban.
Maybe a three-week suspension will allow him to see that. Or maybe he'll spend the three weeks thinking about how "tough" this has been on him. Either way, a clear and frightening disconnect in Ohio State's leadership was on full display on Wednesday night at Longaberger Alumni House. We saw a dangerous message set a pathetically irresponsible precedent.