Courtney’s Story
September 15, 2021 12:48 PM   Subscribe

"“‘Oh my God, please tell the truth,'” she recalled saying as Meyer spoke. “I was on my hands and knees, going, ‘Please tell the truth, Urban, please.'” Urban Meyer would fail Courtney Smith that day, and he wasn’t alone. Defector’s conversations with Courtney and those who are close to her, as well as the examination of hundreds of pages of records from law enforcement, the courts, and Ohio State, reveal the many ways that people and institutions across Ohio acted to primarily protect themselves rather than Courtney." CW:Abuse

"In every conversation we had, she came back to the same reason for going forward: She wants other women in abusive relationships, especially with coaches, to know they are not alone. She wants people to know victims of abuse don’t come forward so they can get lots of money, but because they’re afraid. She wants people to at least somewhat understand the hell that women go through and the power dynamics at play. She wants to talk about online bullying and the way it is used to hurt people. There is so much she wishes she had known before leaving her ex-husband, and maybe now this will help someone."

Diana Moskovitz previously
posted by Carillon (12 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Urban Meyer is up there with Bobby Petrino and DJ Durkin in the list of shitty football coaches who shouldn't have a career anymore, and yet I've already seen the speculation that my alma mater is looking at him after dropkicking our previous HC through the goalposts.

I hope that Courtney stays safe and that telling her story here gives her closure.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:56 PM on September 15 [3 favorites]

"She watched as a woman who had finally said no, gotten her own home with the kids, filed for divorce, and enrolled in nursing school. " Yeah, that was her real crime, in the eyes of Football Nation.

God, I hate what men do to women in this country. I almost wrote, "what women go through," but that's some lame-ass passive voice right there.

She seems strong and brave; I hope that she gets to watch things like the federal testimony today against Larry Nasser, and feel like she's helped turn on the lights to make some of the cockroaches scatter.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:02 PM on September 15 [8 favorites]

Football is dead; it just doesn't know it yet.
posted by rocketman at 1:14 PM on September 15 [12 favorites]

@ rocketman: Football is dead; it just doesn't know it yet.

I agree. Reminds me of Boxing in it's decline phase. It is far too popular and there is far too much money involved for it to implode spectacularly; but the decline is coming.
posted by indianbadger1 at 1:30 PM on September 15 [5 favorites]

Defector has made some boneheaded moves before, but when they go for gold they *really* go for it.
Wow. This is a stunning writeup of a terrible (but all-too-common) experience.
posted by CrystalDave at 1:46 PM on September 15

”After their engagement party, Courtney said she talked with her future grandmother-in-law, Bruce’s wife, Jean. She gave Courtney a notebook and told her to write down everything that would happen to her.”

Reading between the lines, this has been going on for generations.
posted by panglos at 2:01 PM on September 15 [32 favorites]

Relevant: The Settlement Factory that Kept R Kelly's Accusers quiet. There's all sorts of ways to protect other men from the consequences of their abuse of women.
posted by suelac at 4:12 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]

After reading this and seeing footage of fans at the Auburn game chanting "Biden sucks," I think I'm done with college football (and pro) once and for all. I say that as a FL Gator who despises Meyer and thought he was hot garbage after reading all of the accounts of Meyer turning a blind eye to Aaron Hernandez.
posted by photoslob at 4:33 PM on September 15 [4 favorites]

There really is something here comparable to the testimony of the gymnasts yesterday. In both cases, it's not about the athletes or the sports. It's about the men who have gained power in the system protecting their power against all costs.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:48 AM on September 16 [6 favorites]

The following day, Courtney went to the courthouse as instructed and met with a victim advocate and a prosecutor, she said, but she decided not to apply for a protective order when they warned her that, if she failed to get one, it could hurt her chances to get custody of her children.

At a certain point, it stops looking like the system is stacked against the victims of domestic violence, and starts looking like the system is actively trying to get them killed. In what broken-ass fucked-up world is a failure to convince a judge that your high-profile locally-beloved college football coach husband is trying to kill you, something that can be used against you in the ensuing custody fight?
posted by Mayor West at 6:14 AM on September 16 [12 favorites]

photoslob, there's video of the crowd at my alma mater, LSU, chanting "Fuck Joe Biden" last weekend. The library on campus floods when it rains and is literally falling apart, there's an ongoing scandal about abuse of women by star athletes and the complicity of the administration in covering it up, and COVID is almost certainly spreading rampantly on the campus while the new university president does nothing to stop it. That's apparently OK, what people are really pissed about is the anemic performance of the Tigers' offensive line against subpar competition like UCLA and McNeese. I love watching college football, and I've never experienced anything else quite like a night game in Baton Rouge, but the whole enterprise is rotten from the top down, and it's not just an LSU or SEC problem. I'd rather not have the game than decide that chronic abuse of women is "just a few bad apples and the price we have to pay".

You can also bet that I've got that video bookmarked for the next time I get an e-mail from the university administration bragging about the great job it's doing and asking for money.
posted by wintermind at 6:39 AM on September 16 [8 favorites]

In what broken-ass fucked-up world is a failure to convince a judge that your high-profile locally-beloved college football coach husband is trying to kill you, something that can be used against you in the ensuing custody fight?

The one where failing to get the order approved is treated like having applied on bad faith, aka having tried to prevent your ex from seeing his kids without custody decisions.
posted by bashing rocks together at 2:02 PM on September 16

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