Urban Meyer, the head coach of Ohio State University’s renowned football team, released a statement Friday responding to accusations that he was aware of domestic-violence claims against one of his longtime assistant coaches. “Here is the truth: While I was at the University of Florida, and now at the Ohio State University, I have always followed proper protocols and procedures when I have learned of an incident involving a student-athlete, coach or member of the staff by elevating the issues to the proper channels,” he wrote. Meyer also said he did not mean to be “misleading” when he told the media last month that he was unaware of the 2015 abuse accusations against his ex-assistant, Zach Smith. “I was not adequately prepared to discuss these sensitive personnel issues with the media, and I apologize for the way I handled those questions,” he said. Meyer also insisted that he “took appropriate action” regarding Smith, and wrote that he has “admiration and respect” for all women. This comes after leaked texts messages suggested Meyer, who has been placed on paid leave while OSU conducts an investigation, may have known about Smith’s abusive behavior before he was fired.