Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is now on paid administrative leave as the school investigates the way the 2015 accusation was handled within the football program.
The Buckeyes typically open the beginning of selected practices and regularly make coaches and players available for interviews.
Ohio State University has never contacted the ex-wife of recently-fired assistant football coach Zach Smith, either in the immediate wake of her 2015 abuse allegations against him or after he was arrested in July for allegedly trespassing on her property - a crime that brought previous accusations of domestic violence to light and ultimately led to his dismissal.
Ohio State fan Jeff Hamms, who organized the event on his Facebook page, took center stage at the rally, leading the roughly 200 fans in "Urban Meyer" chants while others stood by with their pro-Meyer and anti-ESPN signs, including one that mocked the Me Too movement.
"Ohio State is committed to a thorough and complete investigation".More news: Aftershock rocks Lombok in Indonesia as death toll rises
More news: Twitter CEO not banning conspiracy theorist Alex Jones
More news: Poland confirms support for territorial integrity of Georgia
"Ms. Smith is cautiously optimistic that The Ohio State University's investigative committee will determine if proper reporting protocol was followed upon learning of the ongoing abuse allegations against Zach Smith", Leveridge said in the statement.
The committee's investigative team will be led by former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Jo White, a senior chair with the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton and a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY. He denied any wrongdoing and was never charged.
"He handled the situation to way his job required him to", Elliott said.
What Meyer knew and when he knew it became a question after college football writer Brett McMurphy reported that Courtney Smith had told Meyer's wife Shelley about the 2015 incidents and shared pictures of injuries through text messages that she shared with McMurphy. He also admitted lying to reporters about it. The statment says Smith will fully cooperate with the university's investigation.
The Buckeyes open the season September 1.