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Insider

Hoke: 'It's always been fair game'

2/3/2012

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema went on the offensive the past couple of days, attacking new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer for essentially poaching verbal commitments from the Bazdgers to the Buckeyes.

Bielema went as far to say there was a "gentleman's agreement" in the Big Ten not to go after another school's recruited players. Meyer doesn't buy that.

Neither does Michigan coach Brady Hoke.

"As far as I've known, it's always been fair game until they sign," Hoke told Columbus TV station WBNS on Thursday at a coaches conference in Ohio. "I don't have as much a problem with that and hopefully we don't get too many of those that go away from you. I don't think there needs to be an agreement, to be honest with you.

"Kids are going to be kids. They are 18 years old, 17 years old. As long as everything has been handled in an ethical manner, professional manner, by the rules, I don't have a problem with it."

ESPN.com reporter Adam Rittenberg reported Friday that 11 of the 12 Big Ten coaches met about Bielema's comments in an executive session during a regularly scheduled meeting of the league's football coaches in suburban Chicago.

Hoke, though, acknowledged in the television interview that Michigan and Ohio State will recruit against each other and that it is all just part of the sport.

"Yep, it's part of what we do," Hoke said. "You play that great game at the end of November and on signing day it's like playing another game."