Back from suspension, Urban Meyer says "I'm sorry"

Ohio State NCAA college football head coach Urban Meyer gestures while speaking at a press conference in Columbus, Ohio, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Mitch Stacy)

Urban Meyer is once again at the helm of the Ohio State football program, after serving a three-game suspension for his handling of the Zach Smith case.

Monday he faced reporters and tried to put to rest any unanswered questions.

Urban Meyer has made mistakes. Among those he acknowledged:

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Mishandling a question about Smith at Big Ten Media Day:
"I want to start off by apologizing for that performance," Meyer said. "I want to be really clear that there was zero intent to mislead. The report found that I did not answer questions with the accuracy that I should have. I didn't listen closely to the questions."

In hindsight, hiring Zach Smith in the first place:
"Character is very important. When I hired him, I thought I was hiring the right guy. In hindsight, now I look back with all these other issues that took place, I did not hire the right guy."

Once he did hire Smith, giving him too many chances:
"I erred in going too far in trying to help a guy with work-related issues," Meyer said. "As the investigation took place, these behaviors were showing up that I had no awareness of. So once again, I can only do what I do. I apologize."

What Meyer adamantly denies, is turning a blind eye to domestic violence:
"If I was ever aware or made aware, or told that there was domestic violence taking place, I would have fired him immediately. What I was hearing back from law enforcement, is that this was not domestic violence, that this was a very nasty divorce. Child custody issues involved, But it was not domestic violence. Finally and in conclusion, that was what we received back- that there was no arrest, no charges. Not domestic violence. I made a mistake, not in domestic violence. Where I made a mistake, is not asking enough questions, I believe."

In answer to a question raised by OSU's investigation, Meyer says he never deleted any text messages related to Zach Smith,

He says months before this all came up, the school's IT staff changed his phone settings to delete texts after one year.

He says that was done to free up storage, not to conceal any evidence.

As for questions of whether his credibility has been damaged, he said Monday's press conference, taking all the pointed questions from the media, was the start of trying to set that right.