Texas football coach Tom Herman answers questions from reporters Aug. 2. Ricardo Brazziell/American-Statesman

Football

Texas coach Tom Herman calls Facebook report about helping Brett McMurphy ‘absolutely untrue’

Herman tells American-Statesman that his wife, Michelle, did give some money to Courtney Smith in 2017

Posted August 11th, 2018

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Story highlights
  • Author claims on Facebook that Herman was upset over losing Garrett Wilson.
  • Herman: “Neither I, nor anybody in my family, has ever communicated with Brett McMurphy."
  • Sports reporter Brett McMurphy also states "unequivocally that Tom Herman was not my source."

Texas coach Tom Herman said Saturday that a report on Facebook that he was the one who alerted sports reporter Brett McMurphy about domestic violence allegations against fired Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith was “absolutely untrue.”

In a story posted Saturday on the social media site, Jeff Snook, a published author with deep Ohio State ties, claimed that Herman was the one who told McMurphy about Smith’s past. It was sparked by Herman’s anger over losing Lake Travis receiver Garrett Wilson to the Buckeyes, Snook claimed.

“It is absolutely untrue,” Herman told the American-Statesman via a spokesman Saturday afternoon. “Neither I nor anybody in my family has ever communicated with Brett McMurphy about the situation at Ohio State.”

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Michelle Herman, Tom’s wife, tweeted Saturday, “Nope, wasn’t me either!”

McMurphy tweeted that Herman was not his source. McMurphy’s initial reporting led to Smith being fired and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer being placed on administrative leave. The school is investigating what Meyer knew about alleged incidents involving Smith and his ex-wife, Courtney.

“For those who have asked for my response to Jeff Snook’s claim Saturday: ‘I have never revealed my sources in my nearly four decade journalistic career & I am not going to start now. However, I will say unequivocally that Tom Herman was not my source,’” McMurphy tweeted.

In an email to the Statesman, McMurphy said, “Too bad Snook didn’t contact me.”

Snook also claimed the Hermans gave Courtney Smith money for her legal bills.

“In March of 2017, my wife assisted her friend Courtney Smith during a time of financial need,” Herman told the Statesman. “We have not provided any financial assistance since then.”

Herman was the offensive coordinator at Ohio State from 2012 to 2014, and the Buckeyes won the 2014 national title. Since becoming the UT head coach in 2017, Herman has battled Meyer and his staff tooth and nail for several top-flight recruits, including Wilson.

After the Ohio State news broke and Meyer was placed on leave, Herman declined to comment about the situation in Columbus.

“As you guys should know, I left the program after the 2014 season, and the things that occurred to my knowledge happened in late 2015,” Herman said at a UT press conference Aug. 2. “So I really don’t think it would be fair or appropriate, to be honest with you, to comment about a situation at another program that happened while I wasn’t there.”

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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