Tom Herman confirms 2014 strip club visit report, says he’d be happy to talk to the NCAA

Posted August 30th, 2018

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Texas football coach Tom Herman on Thursday confirmed a news report that he had visited a Miami strip club with former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith in 2014, back when both were on the Buckeyes’ staff.

Herman added that his wife, Michelle, knew he was there, and that he would cooperate with the NCAA if asked.

Ohio State officials confirmed to the Columbus Dispatch on Tuesday that Herman was the unnamed assistant referenced in the school’s 23-page report about Smith and suspended head coach Urban Meyer. Herman was Meyer’s offensive coordinator at the time.

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“What was reported was four-and-a-half years ago, when I was an assistant coach,” Herman said during a scheduled media availability with reporters after practice. “My wife knew exactly where I was, had no issue with it. I’m happy to cooperate and be honest, truthful and transparent with the NCAA.”

Asked if he had spoken with UT athletic director Chris Del Conte or UT President Gregory L. Fenves about the issues at Ohio State, Herman said, “We’ve had some conversations.”

UT officials have declined comment.

According to the Ohio State report, Smith ran up a “significant bill” along with another OSU coach and one or more high school coaches. Smith spent $600 of his own money and did not seek reimbursement for the expense, ESPN has reported.

Herman, asked if he could speak to the possibility that money spent on high school coaches might constitute an NCAA violation, said “No, not until the NCAA asks me to.”

Herman has been instructed by school officials not to discuss that matter until the NCAA decides whether to launch an investigation. Smith was fired in the wake of allegations of domestic violence toward his ex-wife. Meyer was suspended for three games after an investigation of how he handled allegations about Smith.

Notes: Herman said Cameron Dicker, a freshman from Lake Travis, has won the starting job as place kicker ahead of senior Joshua Rowland, who held the job last year. … Herman said he expects junior linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch, who has been working through a pectoral injury, to play against Maryland on Saturday. McCulloch is listed as the backup to Anthony Wheeler at middle linebacker. Wheeler is suspended for the first half of the game after getting ejected for targeting during last season’s Texas Bowl. … Herman said that he plans to use every freshman in at least four games. An amendment to the NCAA rule this season allows players to appear in as many as four games without losing a season of eligibility.

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