As unbelievable as it may seem, Urban Meyer — or at least his “recruiting practices” — is getting a tiny bit of support from the coach of That School Up North.
Meyer has come under fire in recent days from coaches within his new conference over his “recruiting tactics”. Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema intimated on more than one occasion since signing day that the way Meyer goes about his recruiting business is illegal, and will have his boss discuss the issue with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany. Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio has labeled the tactics the Ohio State head coach has brought to the conference “unethical”.
Michigan’s Brady Hoke? He’s good, thanks for asking.
Speaking in Columbus at a clinic for Ohio high school coaches, Hoke was asked about going after a recruit who has already verbally committed to another school and violating the “gentlemen’s agreement” that supposedly exists in the Big Ten, which appears to be from where most of the
whining angst stems.
“Well, it’s competitive. That’s what it is,” Hoke told Matt Barnes of NBC4 in Columbus when asked about the burgeoning recruiting controversy. “There’s no NCAA legislation about [recruiting a player committed to another school]. I think, at times, we’ve had guys who have left us late in the recruiting [process]. But, you know, it’s part of it. For us, you want to do a great job of holding on to them and all those things. It’s recruiting. It’s competitive.”
Imagine that. A coach realizing that he may have to actually do some work on the recruiting trail before and after he secures a verbal commitment. A coach realizing that, as long as it’s not illegal as Bielema has suggested — still awaiting a specific accusation instead of public generalities — it’s fair game.
Bravo, Coach Hoke. Bravo.
As for Meyer, the OSU coach is not, as expected, very pleased with the accusations. In fact, he vowed that the criticism will merely make him and his staff work that much harder on the recruiting front.
“You’re pissed because we went after a committed guy?” Meyer asked rhetorically at the same Ohio high school coaches clinic Friday. “Guess what, we got nine guys [his coaching staff] who better go do it again. Do it a little harder next time.”
Consider the recruiting hornet’s nest stirred up, Big Ten coaches. Congratulations, I guess.