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SAD NEWS: L’entraîneur principal avait récemment été confirmé avec une rare maladie immunitaire.

Ex-Ohio State president Michael V. Drake said he never planned to fire Urban Meyer after the now-former Buckeyes football coach served a three-game suspension to start the 2018 season related to Zach Smith, his wide receivers coach at the time.

“It was personally painful,” Drake told The Columbus Dispatch, recalling the scandal involving Smith, who entered the national spotlight after a series of off-field issues, including criminal charges filed against him and other allegations involving domestic abuse between he and his ex-wife during their marriage.

Meyer came under heavy scrutiny at the time over his handling of the allegations — including claims Meyer had ignored the domestic violence complaints against Smith — and ultimately resigned as Ohio State football coach at the end of the 2018 season.

“It was extraordinarily uncomfortable for me with people who I liked and admired and worked so well with to have an issue like this in the program,” Drake continued. “I wish the issue had been handled in the past. That certainly would have been my preference. But when these things come to you, you have to handle them.”

He added that Meyer’s suspensions were enough for the situation and that he didn’t feel comfortable firing the coach.

“As an institution, we have to represent our institutional values all the time,” he said. “That’s really our bottom line. Sometimes we don’t do that perfectly and when we don’t, we acknowledge that, we correct ourselves and we move forward.”

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