- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
It didn't take long for new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer to ruffle some feathers in the Big Ten.
Shortly after signing the Big Ten's No. 1 recruiting class -- thanks in large part to flipping several commitments from other schools -- Meyer was criticized by Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema for his recruiting tactics. The Badgers lost three-star tackle Kyle Dodson to the Buckeyes on signing day.
On Friday, Meyer released a statement on the issue after meeting with Big Ten coaches in Chicago.
“I was pleased to take part in a productive, regularly scheduled meeting of the Big Ten Conference coaches today in Chicago. We had an opportunity to discuss a number of issues with each other and conference staff, including those that have arisen this week. It should be noted that my coaching staff is in full compliance with our recruiting efforts, and no one on this staff did anything illegal or unethical. We will continue to comply with NCAA rules and recruit with relentless effort, especially the great state of Ohio.
“I want to thank Commissioner Delany for his insight and leadership, and at this point we all look forward to moving past this week and getting ready for the start of spring football.”
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith also released a statement backing the coach he hired in late November.
“I am disappointed that negative references have been made about our football coaches, and particularly head coach Urban Meyer regarding recruiting. In our league appropriate protocol, if you have concerns, is to share those concerns with your athletic director. Then your AD will make the determination on the appropriate communication from that point forward. The ADs in our league are professionals and communicate with each other extremely well. Urban Meyer and his staff have had a compliance conscience since they have arrived.”
Ohio State travels to Wisconsin on Nov. 17, and all eyes will now be on that handshake at midfield at the end of the game.
487dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert