Earlier this week, Ohio State placed head football coach Urban Meyer on administrative leave. The university is investigating his knowledge of repeated domestic violence allegations against longtime assistant coach Zach Smith. Now, Meyer is also being accused of player mistreatment.
Before he took the OSU job, Meyer was the coach of the Florida Gators. Several of his former players have come forth to claim Meyer and his coaching staff were abusive. The claims were publicized in interviews collected and released by Project Veritas, a media organization that says it fights to expose corruption.
Former Florida linebacker Gideon Ajagbe said the coaching staff pushed him to depression and even the brink of suicide. Additionally, several players described a gruesome workout, dubbed the "Valentine's Day Massacre," that led to one player's quadriceps exploding on the leg press machine. These are just two of the troubling examples included in the interviews.
Offensive lineman Xavier Nixon said Meyer routinely "would throw a full bottle of Gatorade" at his players.
The full video from Project Veritas is available below.
In its release of the project, Project Veritas wrote: "We launched this effort after the FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball broke in the fall of last year. We wondered if we would find the same corruption in college football. What we found was a number of troubling stories at both the collegiate and pro level."
College football reporter Brett McMurphy, formerly of ESPN, broke news of the domestic-violence case Wednesday on his Facebook account. The report states that McMurphy obtained text messages that implied Meyer had knowledge of Smith abusing his wife.