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Mark Dantonio clarifies ‘unethical’ comments

Bret Bielema, Mark Dantonio AP

It’s nothing short of hilarious that Urban Meyer has only completed one signing class as Ohio State’s head coach and is already ticking off Big Ten coaches for disregarding their “gentlemen’s agreement” and doing what any smart coach should be doing: recruiting until that letter of intent is signed and faxed.

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, the supposed target of “Operation Bratwurst“, indicated that Meyer’s recruiting conduct was perhaps venturing into “illegal” territory. That seems to be more to the core of Bielema’s discontent, despite the fact that his boss, Barry Alvarez, has stated publicly that he has no issue with Meyer’s recruiting tenacity.

Another victim of Meyer’s brass-knuckle recruiting style, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, has also backed off the signing day uproar. Dantonio was quoted that day as implying that Meyer’s recruiting was “pretty unethical.”

Today, Dantonio released a statement clarifying the remark:

“There’s a need to correct some inaccurate news accounts that have appeared over the last two days. Let me be clear: some general recruiting statements I made were completely taken out of context when combined together by a reporter not in attendance. The timing of my comments was a reflection of an occurring matter on Signing Day and had nothing to do with Urban Meyer and Ohio State. My comments regarding ‘unethical’ behavior were general in nature, according to my current coaching philosophy, and not directed toward any particular institution.”

The quote, which was supposedly taken out of context, was “They’ve got a new coach, and it’s different… I would say it’s pretty unethical, in the end.”

You can be the judge of what Dantonio meant, but the general consensus two days later is that, as long as Meyer didn’t do anything illegal, then his actions were fair game and justifiable.

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37 Responses to “Mark Dantonio clarifies ‘unethical’ comments”
  1. mrslay1 says: Feb 3, 2012 8:30 PM

    Now we will what them backtrack about being cry babies. Welcome to the BIG league little b1g

  2. tmb333 says: Feb 3, 2012 8:42 PM

    Solve this issue once and for all….let the player sign an LOI anytime he wants after July 1. (going into senior year of high school).

  3. tenteamparlay00799 says: Feb 3, 2012 8:55 PM

    Bret Bielema.Is the same SCUM-BAG that go’s for 2 point conversions when he’s leading by 4 T.D.’s.Is this the same SCUM-BAG who hangs 83 on Indiana.Sorry Bret new BOSS in town.Wisconsin has seen it’s last Rose Bowl for a long long time.

  4. hovenaut says: Feb 3, 2012 9:22 PM

    Would it be unethical to place odds on occurences of chest pains during OSU-MSU games in the coming years? Appreciate you speaking up though MD.

  5. takingbovadasmoney says: Feb 3, 2012 9:41 PM

    It’s Dantonio’s story and he will tell it however he wants. Whether it is true or not.

  6. broncosfan29 says: Feb 3, 2012 10:10 PM

    Meyer is a SCUM BAG too

  7. halo81 says: Feb 3, 2012 10:51 PM

    Now I think Urban Meyer is the biggest jerk in the game, but let’s have some objectivity Mark…

    Your DC Pat Narduzzi is one of the most well-known negative recruiters in the entire country. Just about anyone that talks to the guy not associated with your school hates him.

    So, get off your soap box.

  8. mrslay1 says: Feb 3, 2012 10:56 PM

    I guess all coaches are scum bags unless they coach your team. I guess thats why college football is now a billion dollar industry, nobody can stand it:-)

  9. jeffreyperria says: Feb 3, 2012 11:41 PM

    Let me just say all recruiting is a dirty low down scum bag business. The stuff these guys say to your parents and the individual is out right ridiculous. When I was recruited they offered my mom guranteed admissions into their medical program and my brother admission to the school.

  10. noaxetogrind says: Feb 3, 2012 11:44 PM

    For all the vitriol that is spewed on this board between SEC and Big Ten fans, this story may just some it up best. There is no credible allegation of any NCAA impropriety here by Ohio State. When Urban Meyer got hired he reached out to some kids to see if they had an interest since there was a new regime at OSU. That sounds like good recruiting practice to me. I am not an Urban Meyer fan, I am not an OSU fan. However I am also not a fan of excuse makers. Brett, grow up. You lost a kid that you had a 12 month lead on. When the kid surveyed the landscape and the changes, he thought OSU was a better fit for him. This is America, he should have choices. I am no defender of the SEC or the Big Ten but as an outsider reading this story it becomes all too apparent why the SEC owns the Big Ten. I can’t imagine an SEC coach complaining because a Big Ten school came in and swooped up a recruit who had been committed. Evidently, they weren’t very committed after all. I saw where USC signed two kids from Florida and all Muschamp had to say was that they had to do a better job in the future. Man up Brett.

  11. sparty0n says: Feb 4, 2012 3:04 AM

    The NCAA really did a stupid, unfair move when they allowed O$U to have two coaching staffs working, one preparing and coaching in a bowl, and one staff recruiting while other teams had to prepare for bowl games. Yes they had Urban Meyer which would have helped with recruiting anyway. But the benefit of two staffs working, really negated their “punishment”, which lead to the coaching change in first place.

  12. halo81 says: Feb 4, 2012 5:26 AM

    mrslay –

    Actually, having experience with many college coaches I’m speaking from meeting and dealing with them.

    I don’t think the coach of my favorite team is a “scumbag” as I called Meyer, but I don’t like him either.

    Then you meet tremendous guys like Mark Richt who truly are the type of people you want your kids to play for. Unfortunately (with no offense intended to the University of Georgia), UGA just doesn’t have a great academic reputation.

    Mark works hard to try and fix it though.

    Mark D. needs to stop. Narduzzi is terrible.

    There are a group of about 20 college assistant and head coaches that are so bad I wouldn’t send one of my kids to play for them.

    Schools like Michigan State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, LSU, Alabama, Vanderbilt, etc have some real losers coaching there.

    Unfortunately, one coach at each school really kills the entire experience.

    Again, my personal opinion in some cases. In a few cases; the opinion of many, many people in college football and high school football.

    I know my post was well received, but I wanted to expand on it a bit. When you have coaches from one of the above schools using race to pull kids out of schools and a coach from another acting like a child to the point where his university is now a joke on an entire seaboard; things are bad.

  13. halo81 says: Feb 4, 2012 5:28 AM

    Wonder if Ben will pick up on who the first coach is in my last paragraph…


  14. woebegong says: Feb 4, 2012 7:52 AM

    So, once a kid is verbally committed to a big 10 school, the other coaches aren’t suppose to bother that kid anymore?
    If you contact a verbally committed kid, some of the big ten coaches think this is unethical? Does that also apply to kids outside of the big 10, that have a verbal to another school?
    Sounds like to me, that these other coaches are on a moralistic sinking ship, if they recruit any verbal to another school. If they don’t like what Meyer does, let them resort to the same type tactics with their recruiting and be done with this ethics in college football 101, lesson. I don’t think the Big 10 or any other conference in the NCAA, is like some type of fraternal group of ethical coaches that get paid three million plus a year, based on their ethics. It is based on their success fielding a winning team on the field.
    Until that kid has signed on paper with a team, if they feel he could really help their program, he should try, if at all possible and legally, to persuade that kid to come to his school.

  15. kfrazee says: Feb 4, 2012 8:00 AM

    The NCAA approved two coaching staffs for UCLA and N. Carolina as well but I guess it’s a big deal with OSU because Urban Meyer was able to bring in a top 5 class. Get over the duel staff issues.

  16. 78lion says: Feb 4, 2012 8:17 AM

    You want us to judge the quote, give the whole quote. I really believe….finish isn’t the quote.

  17. ndrocks2 says: Feb 4, 2012 8:59 AM

    settle it on the field and the recruits will follow…

  18. buckeye1nation says: Feb 4, 2012 9:04 AM

    noaxetogrind says:I can’t imagine an SEC coach complaining because a Big Ten school came in and swooped up a recruit who had been committed.
    100% correct no ax. No SEC coach would complain about the school, B1G or otherwise, that flipped a committed player. They prefer to badmouth the player. SOOOO much classier..

  19. chmba says: Feb 4, 2012 11:29 AM

    Well one positive for other Big 10 coaches with Meyer being at OSU….he will collect up the criminals so you won’t have as many problems with players if he follows up his act at Florida. OSU still doesn’t get it. Would bet they will be in trouble again pretty soon.

  20. 1buckeye76 says: Feb 4, 2012 11:29 AM

    If Tressel was stupid enough to have an agreement in place with these other coaches, i’m even more glad he’s gone.

  21. takingbovadasmoney says: Feb 4, 2012 11:53 AM


    Do you have any links about Narduzzi’s negative recruiting? I’d be interested in reading them. I met a recruiting writer at a local watering hole and when the conversation came to MSU he wouldn’t talk about whether Narduzzi would go to Illinois or any of their recruits, which was odd since he was very up front about all other schools. Dantonio always struck me as a vindictive a$$. Thought maybe MSU would cut him off or something. I was just curious.

  22. macbull says: Feb 4, 2012 11:54 AM

    This part is so “RICH”…

    “Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, the supposed target of “Operation Bratwurst“, indicated that Meyer’s recruiting conduct was perhaps venturing into “illegal” territory.”

    ….ESPECIALLY, when we consider this bit of news from Philadelphia Eagles LB Brian Rolle, who played for the Buckeyes.

    Brian Rolle said Wisconsin Coach Bielema recruited him up to last day even though he had verbaled to tOSU.

    These coaches better check their own closet for skeletons before they point fingers at Ohio State and Urban Meyer.

    This case is closed…Book ’em Dano!

  23. woebegong says: Feb 4, 2012 12:00 PM


    Here is a article that might just make you think a little bit before posting reckless statements about other conferences schools. Pay particular attention to the the top 25 list with this article.

  24. normtide says: Feb 4, 2012 12:58 PM


    You claim our coaches bad mouth these recruits? The facts show your coaches like to touch kids.

  25. buckeye1nation says: Feb 4, 2012 1:33 PM

    @normtide–I am a Buckeye fan not a PSU fan. Unlike some on this site I do not cheer for other schools in the B1G, just because they are in the same conference.

    It’s not a claim..did you miss the video?

    It is pretty sad when you have to bring up one of the most disgusting acts a human being could commit in order to justify the comments of a classless coach.

    I’m sure everyone in he SEC is proud of you..

  26. normtide says: Feb 4, 2012 1:55 PM

    The shame is with all that going on at PENNST, UW, and SU, you have the nerve to call out the culture of SEC programs. I will take our problems over yours. But hey, turn a blind eye and condem others.

  27. buckeye1nation says: Feb 4, 2012 2:21 PM

    Norm, I’m not turning a blind eye to anything. What happened at PSU and SU is horrible and should not be condoned but it has no effect on Ohio State. Neither tOSU nor the B1G was involved in any way, shape or form with what happened there. My only concern, as a fan, with what goes on at other schools in the B1G is the effect it has on tOSU. As a human I feel bad for the victims, but outside of that I could care less. As I said earlier, I cheer for the Buckeyes, not the B1G.

  28. normtide says: Feb 4, 2012 5:14 PM

    That stil does not change the fact that the issues you raise against Southern programs are small compared to the ones in your reigon. Do not forget UW has an admin that used threats to make students come to his room in Pasadena.

  29. buckeye1nation says: Feb 4, 2012 5:28 PM

    OK norm you win..Happy now?

  30. normtide says: Feb 4, 2012 6:32 PM

    I am always happy

  31. dkhhuey says: Feb 4, 2012 7:47 PM

    @sparty – please – read the NCAA rules before you come on hear bellyaching about OSU. The NCAA grants that pretty much every time a coaching change happens during the time frame it did at OSU – in fact there were about 5 teams that had the same exemption this year however, I missed you whiny little b!tch post about them!

  32. goblue714 says: Feb 4, 2012 7:55 PM


    Don’t take that from that bucknutt!

  33. bagsy5 says: Feb 4, 2012 8:46 PM

    There’s no way Dantonio could’ve had a legitimate beef with Meyers, because he essentially tried to do the same thing to Wisconsin. The Wisky verbal / switch to tOSU by Kyle Dodson that had Bielema in such an uproar had an official visit to MSU on 1/20/12. Hmmm, seems like it’s okay if “you” do it but not okay if someone does it to you.

  34. supremeomega says: Feb 4, 2012 8:47 PM

    Its about championships! SEC is king because of the most talent not because of ethics and academics…Urban Meyer isn’t a scumbag. Jerry Sandusky is a scumbag…

    If Wisconsin and Sparty don’t like it recruit better and be a better program…This isn’t a friendship club. Wisconsin hangs 83 and then wants to talk sportsmanship?

  35. cfballfan1 says: Feb 4, 2012 9:10 PM

    the hilarious part is your hipocracy Kerch. If/when the Family Man gets caught in some of his “aggressive recruiting tactics” you’ll castigate him. Up until that day, all’s fair in love & recruiting right? you media guys just cant stand when a person calls a spade a spade.

    Go ahead dont take down this post if you have any guts at all.

  36. mrslay1 says: Feb 4, 2012 10:03 PM

    Well said supremeomega!!! It’s about winning championships and staying inside the NCAA regulations. Funny how the word sportsmanship is used by some only when it hurts them. 83 points…please!! Get off your lazy asses and go to work b1g.

  37. kupski says: Feb 5, 2012 8:51 AM

    Woody Hayes………….. Really !, I mean I struggled in the 70’s watching what I believe was truly a sub par coach tabbed, “Three downs and a cloud of dust” which I would also add ” And THEN a punt” and followed by a heart breaking loss.

    Those were HORRIBLE times watching the Buckeyes play with their neanderthal style of offense and being owned by a not much better Michigan team by Bo Schembechler who basically was just smart enough to figure out Woody Hayes and his pathetic tendency’s.

    But The good Lord has since smiled on C bus and blessed that University in the last two coaching hires with unique men in the name of Tressle and now Meyer !

    Dantonio and Bielema are both pathetic.
    Think about why they ( along with the alumni and fan base) are making these comments about Urban Meyer and The O.S.U. it is because they are scared TOOOO DEATH of what is headed to them on the field of play. NOTHING conjures up foolish statements more than pure fear from the depth of the conscious mind which both of these men have displayed quite clearly.

    See ya on the field of play gents….. gonna suck for you…..

    O.H. !

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