Former Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer suggested in text exchanges in January 2018 that troubled former assistant coach Zach Smith was close to accepting a coaching job under Nick Saban at Alabama, and that Meyer ultimately talked him out of it.
The text messages were released as part of a significant document dump related to Smith's firing later that year as past allegations of domestic violence came to light. Meyer was suspended three games by the school for how he handled the allegations of domestic abuse made by Smith's now-ex wife.
Meyer announced his retirement at the end of the 2018 season and is currently a Fox Sports analyst.
In a text written by Meyer on Jan. 21, 2018, to an individual whose name was redacted from the document, Meyer vents about offensive coordinator Ryan Day being pursued by Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel and says Smith was "offered wr/passing game Coord at Alabama. Went there to talk to Saban.
"At first thought maybe he should go then decided that all effort I've put u to him and it's Alabama. I told him to stay and he turned it down. Every (expletive) day it's something."
In a text conversation directly with Smith three days earlier, Meyer told Smith: "After much thought, I want u to stay. I have personally invested far too much in u to get u in position to take next step. U need to step away from other situation and let's go win it all ….again."
Meyer followed that with a text eight minutes later, telling Smith, "We got u thru the (expletive) — now go b a difference maker in the staff room."
It was unclear what Meyer was referring to.