Questions raised about fate of older texts on coach's phone

Questions raised about fate of older texts on coach's phone
In this Dec. 6, 2014, photo, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer, right, listens to athletic director Gene Smith near the end of the Big Ten championship football game in Indianapolis. Ohio State suspended Meyer for three games on Wednesday night, Aug. 22, for mishandling repeated professional and behavioral problems of an assistant coach. Smith was suspended without pay from Aug. 31 through Sept. 16. (Jonathan Quilter/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Open records experts say any attempt by Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer to eliminate older text messages on his phone to hide information would be without question illegal.

A university investigation says Meyer discussed ways to change the settings on his phone to eliminate messages older than a year as a story broke Aug. 1 that centered on messages he may have received about domestic violence allegations against assistant coach Zach Smith.

Investigators said they couldn’t determine if the settings were changed or if messages older than a year were on the phone at the time.

Fred Gittes is a veteran open records lawyer in Columbus. He says any elimination of texts on Meyer’s university-issued phone related to his coaching responsibility would break Ohio’s open records law.

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Vertuno reported from Austin, Texas. AP Sports Writer Eric Olson also contributed to this report.

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