Ohio State trustee resigns over handling of Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer speaks at a press conference as he fields questions about his handling of the Zach Smith domestic abuse allegations on Aug. 22, 2018. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorA week after Ohio State suspended head football coach Urban Meyer for three games, a member of the Board of Trustees has resigned citing the punishment as being too light.Jeffrey Wadsworth emailed his resignation to University President Michael Drake and the board chairman, Michael J. Gasser, shortly after the suspension was announced.“The decision regarding the Urban Mayer issue by the University today was, with the exception of myself, supported in large part by the Trustees. Since I fundamentally disagree with the outcome it would be hypocritical of me to continue as a Trustee,” Wadsworth’s email, provided to The Lantern by Ohio State, said. “As of today, I am going to resign from my role as a Trustee.”Wadsworth told the New York Times, while declining to give specifics, that the meeting to decide Meyer’s punishment started with everyone having a chance to talk, and that while there were differing opinions, discussion quickly shifted to suspension length.The Lantern reached out to Wadsworth for comment, but had not heard back by the time of publication.“You read the report,” Wadsworth told the Times, “and there’s seven or eight things about emails, memory loss, hearing things five times, and to me, that raised an issue of standards, values — not how many games someone should be suspended for.”Ultimately, the board announced late in the night that Meyer would be suspended for three games, but could return to practices Sept. 2.Wadsworth said he left the meeting during the lunch break when it became clear the discussion was moving somewhere he couldn’t agree with and learned of the decision that night and decided to resign.“I heard enough in the meeting to persuade me that I do not want to be a party, through endorsing today’s decision or remaining on the Board, to implicitly or explicitly support current or future actions on such issues,” Wadsworth’s email said.The university released a statement on Thursday, wishing Wadsworth the best.“The president and the board of trustees had a frank and comprehensive discussion last week. A wide variety of perspectives were expressed in reaching a consensus,” the statement said. “Mr. Wadsworth has been an exceptionally valuable member of the board. His service to the university is deeply appreciated, and we wish him the very best.”

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