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Update: Meyer statement: ‘We will… recruit with relentless effort’

Bret Bielema, Barry Alvarez AP

UPDATED 3:47 p.m. ET: Following a previously scheduled meeting Friday in Chicago, Urban Meyer released a statement addressing the recruiting flap that’s developed throughout the week.  Here’s the statement, in its entirety:

“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.”

Instead of worrying about what’s going on at another Big Ten school, Bret Bielema might want to consider getting on the same page as his boss.

At least twice in the past three days, the Wisconsin head coach has used the word “illegal” when talking about the recruiting practices of Urban Meyer and his new coaching staff.  Former UW head coach and current athletic director Barry Alvarez, who knows a thing or two about surviving on the recruiting trail, addressed the accusations made by his football coach with ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad and seemed to subtly take Bielema to task for going with a public airing of his grievances.

It’s dangerous to point fingers and make accusations,” Alvarez said. “I actually think recruiting is tamer now that it was at one point in time.”

As for the issue of continuing to recruit a player until he’s signed a Letter of Intent, Alvarez said all is fair in the recruiting game.

“Recruiting is recruiting until they sign,” Alvarez told Schad. “If we had somebody who changed their mind and came to us, that’s OK. Urban [Meyer] was very aggressive but there is no pact within the conference not to continue to recruit. It’s open season until they sign.”

Again, it might be time for the two to get in the same book — or the same library — let alone the same page.

And, yes, we’re well aware of the fact that Bielema could, or probably is, referring to something other than flipping verbally committed recruits with his accusations against Meyer.  If that’s the case, stop making blanket, non-specific accusations and spill what illegal tactics are being utilized by a rival coach.  Short of that, shut up about it publicly and keep your grievances where they should be — behind closed doors and resolved through proper conference channels.

In essence, that’s exactly what OSU athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement released by the university early this afternoon, which makes me leery about the stance I took in the previous paragraph.  Be that as it may, Smith chided those who have made “negative references” about his new head coach.

“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 (AD). 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.”

(Writer’s note: I’d like to personally thank Mr. Smith for lobbing up the “compliance conscience” softball for our commenters to take a few whacks at.  Appreciate it Gene!!!)

For some reason, though, I don’t think this is the last we’ve heard of this issue; Bielema and Meyer are expected to be in attendance at a “voluntary” conference for Big Ten coaches in the very near future, affording Jim Delany the opportunity to have a Slive-like come-to-Jesus discussion with at least two of the coaches in the conference.

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45 Responses to “Update: Meyer statement: ‘We will… recruit with relentless effort’”
  1. bobulated says: Feb 3, 2012 2:16 PM

    Ohio State isn’t paying Urban to be friends with his fellow B1G coaches. And if Bielema thinks Meyer is tough on the recruiting trail, just wait until he sees how cold and calculating Coach Meyer can be on the other sideline as he runs up the score shooting for a 50 spot like he did so many times in the SEC.

  2. chicagosundevil says: Feb 3, 2012 2:22 PM

    I disagree with Alvarez. There is something slimy about Urban. Too much drama with him.

  3. LogicalConsideration says: Feb 3, 2012 2:28 PM

    I have no problem with Meyer (or anyone else) “stealing” verbally committed recruits who haven’t signed a LOI, yet. Before a LOI is signed, the “game” of winning a given recruit may be favoring one team on the scoreboard, but it’s never more than a single score away from being a win by a different school.

    On the field in real games, the standard is different. There are games where there are complete mismatches and the score is so out of hand that further “running your regular offense”, while legal, is poor sportsmanship. I don’t care much for Meyer (I’m a Bama fan), but I don’t really recall him running up the school needlessly.

    On the other hand, I did go to a Florida-Vanderbily matchup in The Swamp when Spurrier was the coach. A few minutes into the 3rd quarter it was 38-0. And he left his starters in until well in to the 4th quarter. Final score was 52-0. So, its not like he left them in because Vandy was mounting a comeback. Trashy.

  4. hooptie says: Feb 3, 2012 2:37 PM

    Brian Rolle, who played at tOSU and now with Eagles, just came out today and stated Wisconsin recruited him hard even tough he was a verbal to tOSU. Stated he even received text messages from Wisconsin up to signing day. Sounds like Barry knows more than Bret.

  5. brewcrewfan54 says: Feb 3, 2012 2:42 PM

    In summary, Urban is a scumbag, Bielema is whining and the only one who Is right is Alvarez. Sadly Bret you put a bullseye on your back against a coach who is well lnow to not have a problem running up the score on anyone. As a Wisconsin fan I don’t like our coach giving the other team bulletin board material.

  6. mrslay1 says: Feb 3, 2012 3:01 PM

    like Myer or not, he is a top recruter and a top winning coach. He will kick butt all through the b1g. He won it all 2 times in 4 years. I didn’t like the way he left Florida either but it was HIS decision and he has the right to do what he wants with his life. And what he does best is win. Who is to judge what another mans dream is. Good luck Urban! I know you will show the b1g how to play winning football!

  7. jmb795 says: Feb 3, 2012 3:14 PM

    Never forget….the Urb recruited QB Jevan Snead to Florida by telling him Tim Tebow was going to play linebacker. It’s not a gentleman’s game, never has been.

  8. rockiemtnhigh says: Feb 3, 2012 3:15 PM

    Compliance conscience is something that Gene Smith could not spell much less know what it means. He probably thinks it is something Jiminy Cricket said to Pinocchio.

  9. ukeone says: Feb 3, 2012 3:27 PM

    I hate the idea of coaches & college programs trying to sway-away recruits (and potential ones)from their initial favorites & choices just as much as the next person. But, it is what it is: “it’s still recruiting until the ink is applied to the LOI.” Nebraska had a great chance in landing one of the top offensive linemen in the nation: Andrus Peat. Granted he was not an official commit yet, but all indications from coaches and even his brother (already at Nebraska) pointed to his arrival to Lincoln…only to have lost him in the final moments to Stanford. It was Stanford’s gain & NU’s loss…easy come, easy go! I sort of agree with Alvarez that coaches need to tone-down their rhetoric a little & watch what they are saying publically (as just one single word, like “illegal’ could come back to bite him one day). But someone like Urban Meyer still worries me a lot because his methods are a little too questionable at best and is something that the B1g member schools are not used to dealing with. It’s more ‘unethical’ than it is ‘llegal’…and being said, it could still easily blossom one day into a real ‘cat ‘n dog’ fight in the B1G, creating some embarrassing conflicts that won’t look too well in the press. I hope our our athletic director’s take better steps in controlling their coaches’ verbage, as we could all end-up witnessing some ‘nasty’ confrontations some day that could go far and beyond the playing field. That wouldn’t feel so great to any of us if our own individual school or coach became involved…”Not a pretty picture!”

  10. buckeye4278 says: Feb 3, 2012 3:30 PM

    brewcrewfan54 says:
    Feb 3, 2012 2:42 PM
    In summary, Urban is a scumbag, Bielema is whining and the only one who Is right is Alvarez. Sadly Bret you put a bullseye on your back against a coach who is well lnow to not have a problem running up the score on anyone. As a Wisconsin fan I don’t like our coach giving the other team bulletin board material.
    ————————————————–

    Running it up? After hanging 83 and 70 on Purdue and Northwestern in 2010, 62 and 59 on Indiana, any running it up that comes Bielema’s way is well earned. I hope it’s still a “great time to be a badger” when he’s getting half a hundred put on him. “Deal with it”

  11. brewcrewfan54 says: Feb 3, 2012 3:40 PM

    Buckeye378, I didn’t say Bielema hasn’t run the score up. I will say though that people like to keep bringing up the IU game and the facts are that IU couldn’t stop UW’s 4th team. A coach shouldn’t put the guys who get little playing time in just to lay down. They deserve a chance to play football for their hard work in practice. If OSU ever does run it up against UW its the Badgers fault for allowing it. And its funny how much you Buckeye fans like him because I have a feeling several months ago you disn’t think much of him yourselves for the beating he gave you guys with UF.

  12. deadeye says: Feb 3, 2012 3:52 PM

    The gloves are off…

  13. rockiemtnhigh says: Feb 3, 2012 3:58 PM

    Buckey378, brewcrewfan54 was not in any way saying Bielema didn’t run up the score on other schools. In fact, I think he/she made a point of pretty much saying whatever goes around, comes around. I didn’t watch the game in question, but there is a difference between running up the score and the other team laying down. If Bielema was passing the ball deep when ahead by 50 points, then that is poor sportsmanship. If IU couldn’t stop a simple dive play by 3rd and 4th stringers, that is on them.

  14. atvrdr450 says: Feb 3, 2012 4:08 PM

    Bielema needs to learn how to manage a game clock before he should worry about recruiting. Being A Buckeye fan living in Wisco it’s funny listening to you badger fans. U need a transfer quarterback to even contend and still can’t even win a rose bowl.

  15. dkhhuey says: Feb 3, 2012 4:17 PM

    @sundevil – I find it hilarious that you brush aside the statements from those that have DIRECT knowledge of the events that transpired, including Barry Alvarez, baby Bret’s boss, to vomit out an opinion that Urban is slimy because of something that didn’t happen! Please, continue to not let facts get in the way of your assessment – then again, you are an ASU fan so your lack of knowledge on how the big boy colleges recruit is understandable.

  16. broncosfan29 says: Feb 3, 2012 4:20 PM

    kinda like how osu needs ineligible players to beat arkansas in the bowl game. urban meyer is scum. period

  17. hotlantalaw says: Feb 3, 2012 4:21 PM

    I want to see Urban’s heart attack on the field! Can’t wait!

  18. brewcrewfan54 says: Feb 3, 2012 4:23 PM

    atvrdr
    I agree about Bielema needing to learn how to manage a clock. That’s something he still hasn’t learned to do. As far as taking a transfer QB, I don’t exactly know what’s so terrible or wrong about that. A good transfer is no different than a high school recruit except you know what his abilities at the college level already are.

  19. allmyteamsareterrible says: Feb 3, 2012 4:30 PM

    @hotlantalaw, you obviously don’t agree with karma. I would watch what I say, it has a way of coming back to bite ya.

  20. tobeexact says: Feb 3, 2012 5:01 PM

    Bielema is a freaking a hole and I dont think he is gona get any sympathy from other big ten coaches.
    That being said myer is a low life who definitely lied to recruits and from what I read about his comments on.paternos passing , one would think they were very close as well as their wifes. Yet he took full advantage of a football team that had nothing to do with the scandal and twisted the minds of young men/ boys and telling them false info about ncaa sanctions even when his team was actually getting sanctioned. Any other year any other circumstance and ya ,go for it. But what he did with psu recruits is lower then gutter slum. And lets look at his past and his success, he left utah after his recruits finally took over n couldnt win, he left florida when his recruits started playing n couldnt beat the big dogs in the sec. And the fact in his four years at florida he amassed over 5000 ncaa player violations minor n major. As far as michigan fans all happy about a winning season with one of the weakest schedules last year ,whoppie, and I recall ohio st going 6&6 and losing there bowl game to florida even with meyer on.board.
    And the fact they had a distinct advantage in recruiting this year with two head coaches , seeing that meyer got special approval to recruit even though he wasnt actually coaching yet. And we know their ad is on the ncaa committee and im sure had alot to do with it being aloud . Which then 5 other teams in similar circumstances were aloud the same advantage in recruiting over the rest of division one or fbs schools. And then there are you two big ten pets talking like they deserve to be the best two teams in.the BIG.
    The big ten has always looked out for them , even when it comes to the refs and who gets the calls.
    What was the name of the division two school that beat mighty michigan in the big house ,appalcha who .
    But ill take michigan.over ohio st any day and the big cry baby bielema any day,n i will say hoke did a great job with recruits that weren’t his and different then his type of offense and defense,its yet to be seen if meyer can do.the same ,you know with that good looking kid with a great smile .

  21. imaduffer says: Feb 3, 2012 5:13 PM

    Do you think the NCAA will every impose a salary cap for college football ?

  22. jimmy53 says: Feb 3, 2012 5:25 PM

    I’m shocked at the Meyer support on here. I would assume most of you are either Gators, Buckeyes or haven’t been around his recruiting tactics. He definitely earned the name Urban Liar—check out Elam’s recruitment to UF. Google “Meyer do you know the meaning of faith.” Check the stats on how many players at UF were arrested and magically got out of trouble. Check out alumni golden handshakes during Meyer’s UF tenure. These are not exactly guarded secrets in the state of Florida. That’s why OSU fans should be shocked that they would hire someone so well known for being corrupt on the tails of major sanctions. Good luck on not getting caught twice.

  23. coolhorn46 says: Feb 3, 2012 5:28 PM

    How insulated must you be to think that somehow, it’s a rules violation to flip a commitment BEFORE national signing day? Bielema must have been absent the day they were teaching recruiting 101. The deal’s not done until the ink’s dry on the letter of intent.

    Hint to Wisconsin…you’ve whizzed off Urban Meyer, and you don’t wanna do that. He’s a recruiting machine, on par with Mack Brown and Nick Saban.

    UT just flipped four players from four different schools over the last weekend before national signing day, but you don’t hear anybody complaining about Mack Brown’s recruiting ethics. UT has taken players, and lost players over the years. So has ‘Bama, Florida, USC, and apparently every other football-playing school outside of Wisconsin.

    If Wisconsin’s head coach doesn’t like losing players to other schools, then maybe he needs to man up and do what everybody else does, hire assistant coaches that are apparently better at the recruiting game than his current staff is. Oh, and if he has a beef, he might not want to share it with the rest of the world.

  24. Deb says: Feb 3, 2012 5:44 PM

    Recruiting is the most important job of a college coach, and it doesn’t end until the player’s signature is submitted. Bielema is like the spoiled kid who loses a game and screams “You cheated” at his opponent with absolutely nothing to back up the accusation. The other guys would probably like to punch him in the mouth for being such a wuss, but it’s not worth the trouble. So they’ll just ignore him and go on. But whether he knows it or not, he’s lost the respect of the whole neighborhood.

  25. coolhorn46 says: Feb 3, 2012 6:00 PM

    Somebody in an earlier thread implied that Bielema’s problem with Urban Meyer runs deeper than just losing a committed player. If that’s the case, then Bielema needs to put up, or shut up.

    If Bielema thinks he has the goods on Meyer reference alleged illegal recruiting, he should lay his cards on the table. Right now, he’s just whining, he’s whizzed off Meyer, and he’s done his Wisconsin program NO good. It’s time for Bielema to man up, or shut up, and coach.

  26. cdolan13 says: Feb 3, 2012 6:36 PM

    tobeexact wrote it best about Urbane’s practices; of all his violations at UF and the preferential treatment his ‘criminals’ got is beyond comprehension.

    That being said; bottom line is that until the LOI is signed then these kids are all fair game. Like it or not. (which I don’t; but, if you can’t change it why whine about it?)

    And Deb, I hate to disagree with you; but the most important job of a head coach is fielding a winning team. That is what they get paid for. How many programs in history won championships with 2, 3 and 4 star recruits? It’s not the player, it’s the coaching. To illustrate my point, Notre Dame has had top-20 recruiting classes the last 10 years – look what has happened with those recruits. Plus, all the assistants recruit with the support of the head coach. The head coach just is there to seal the deal.

  27. totallydisgusted says: Feb 3, 2012 6:56 PM

    now bielema and the rest of the,conference finds out why the SEC has thoroughly outclassed them for the better part of a decade. stop whining and pay attention maybe you’ll learn something.

  28. hovenaut says: Feb 3, 2012 8:07 PM

    Can’t wait for kickoff. Can’t wait for Meyer to piss them off on the field. If you think people are bitching now…..

    And somewhere Woody Hayes is smiling. Spread offenses be damned.

  29. mrslay1 says: Feb 3, 2012 8:37 PM

    SO true SO true. Meyer is going to teach the little b1g how it’s done. But My money say’s he still won’t take the National championship from the SEC.

  30. dkhhuey says: Feb 3, 2012 8:43 PM

    To all of those who keep insinuating Urban violated all of these recruiting rules while at Florida, by all means, please provide credible links to the facts, including the NCAA investigation that I missed.

    I don’t want stories from some disgruntled ex player who said Urban told him Tebow was going to play linebacker, or Urban told him he was going to start every game.

  31. Deb says: Feb 3, 2012 9:20 PM

    @cdolan13 …

    Yes, of course. It should go without saying that the coach’s ultimate objective is to win games. What I meant is that recruiting is the most critical step in that process–at least that’s how I view the college game as an SEC fan. I’m a bigger NFL fan than college fan and was always amused by stories of how the Bear would spend more energy recruiting parents than kids. Great pro coaches don’t have to convince Mama and Daddy they’ll raise their boys right. You build the foundation with talent, then you have to be a great motivator and teacher.

  32. rcali says: Feb 3, 2012 10:05 PM

    Who lies more, politicians or college head coaches? Politicians Thumbs UP, College Head Coaches Thumbs Down.

  33. supremeomega says: Feb 3, 2012 11:37 PM

    The truth hurts but, Wisconsin is an inferior school and program…Period!

    Here is how it works…Bama LSU Florida TOSU Michigan Oklahoma, Texas and USC are the big boys meaning they can win a NC any given year when they have a strong coach and staff because tradition dictates great players have dreamed of wearing their colors since pee wee football. All of the other schools are below those 8. And Michigan isn’t really elite currently but because of tradition can and will be there

    Nobody fantasizes about playing for Wisconsin in their back yard at age 9. On the other hand…OSU is the dominant program within a 500 mile radius…only Michigan has the capacity to be equal…therefore elite kids prefer to go there over a second tier team…Wisconsin is a nice program and a great school, but they are not top tier. No one cares what their coach thinks because they would snatch recruits from OSU if they were good enough…

  34. 1historian says: Feb 4, 2012 12:08 AM

    I keep coming back to an article I read in Sports Illustrated a few years ago when Greg Oden was playing center for Ohio State’s BBall team. It was the 2nd semester of his freshman (and only) year and his course load was – Sociology and The History of Rock & Roll.

  35. rubbernilly says: Feb 4, 2012 5:43 AM

    How did Gene Smith get his job? How does he keep it?

    Urban Meyer and his staff have had a compliance conscience since they have arrived.

    “since they have arrived”?

    To quote the movie, “Clear and Present Danger”:

    “He couldn’t be clear when clarity was exactly what he wanted to avoid.”

  36. Pac12Ute says: Feb 4, 2012 6:13 AM

    The real issue that Bielema is dealing with is that his coaching staff was all picked clean and now he’s having to deal with his recruits being picked up too. I can’t blame the guy for being at his wits end. Next up you’ll have one of the ESPN Gameday cast stealing the poor guy’s fiance’ (probably Corso working on a yet another marriage).

  37. tobeexact says: Feb 4, 2012 10:34 AM

    Alvarez couldnt have picked a worse replacement for head coach, and he is probably regretting it now.
    Out of all the big ten schools they have consistently had the weakest schedule both in and out of conference.
    He is crying about one recruit ,boo hoo, you dont here psu crying and they lost 6. Which Is still in the recruiting game fair ,but under the circumstances this year I believe it was a low blow on meyers part , just my opinion.
    No other Big school came after psu recruits, and I will say it again , he had a two month advantage over all the other schools by being aloud to recruit as the unofficial coach , while the rest had to concentrate on finishing the season and preparing for bowl games ,so I dont expect him to do as wel as he thinks next.year. First he needs to back up his mouth on the field next year. And from what ive read , what bielema might be talking about is the fact he has basically gotten around the recruiting sanctions and actually over recruited . Your supposedly suppose to tell the ncaa who your not keeping in place of new recruits which isnt the case at ohio st.
    And to make a statement that only eight teams in fbs have a shit at a national title is really funny .
    Thanks for the morning laugh , especially adding michigan n ohio st. And yes you did here the southern boys crying , just look at les miles.
    Im definitely looking foreward psu kicking ohio st up n down the field.

  38. polegojim says: Feb 4, 2012 11:02 AM

    I have an idea – shut up, prepare your team, and play.

    The B1G powerhouses are reloading and rebuilding. Why waste energy crying over spilled cheese….er milk?

    Frankly – if I was a Wisconsin recruit, I’d have second thoughts about my decision based on Coach B’s response. Am I now playing for a flat topped child?

    Anyways, last year was Wisconsin’s best opp… and that sun has set.

  39. kupski says: Feb 4, 2012 12:18 PM

    Urban Meyer is no pussy and he IS going to roll the Big Ten, and that conference had better get used to being with a TRUE competitive coach because this guy wont back down to anyone, nor should he. The Big Ten has has this back slapping Baptist church picnic of good ole boys mentality and makes it so boring, Meyer will push them over the cliff and be intense.

    Fact is, the guy is Ohio Born and raised and he is an Epitome of a recruiter and coach. People can hate on the guy all they want but that wont stop the man, hes is focused.

    Yea and umm……..FU to Michigan, Wisc, N.D., Penn St and all others. I hope that Urban takes away your Ohio Gravy Recruit Train, its only a matter of time “Boys”. Suck it up and deal with reality, the good ole days are now gone.

  40. supremeomega says: Feb 5, 2012 6:02 AM

    @tobeexact…

    I said those 8 can win any given year with the correct coaching and staff because they can get players the marquee superstar players…those are the top tier schools. They can win a NC even if they went 8-4 the previous year becaue they can bring in 10-12 impact NFL caliber players via transfer or recruitment. Miami was on this list but they keep getting hammered by the NCAA and they will likely face serious sanctions setting them back 3-4 years

    Auburn Oregon and WVU are good programs but cant put a NC contender annually. Every 3-4 years they have a legit shot at playing for or winning a title.

    Based on your knowledge You sound like a Wisconsin fan…if so your team is lower on the totem pole. These are facts! You may have a 2-3 year stretch of equality or even superiority but OSU will be a better program 7 out of 10 years…You don’t win or even play for NCs…

    Furthermore you are not willing to pay an elite coach as you as BB works for peanuts and isn’t a coach that can lead a top level program. Meanwhile OSU gets the best available coach immediately…OSU cares more and has access to better players so they are better at sports. There is no shame in being a second tier program that’s still top 15-20ish and very respectable…

    Just stay off the track when the big train is comin through

  41. gators56 says: Feb 6, 2012 12:55 PM

    Urban is great recruiter. He’ll promise the recruits the world and say anything to lure in a recruit. Problem is he doesn’t have the zing anymore to coach. Can’t wait to watch the next few years of mediocrity at Urban-led OSU.

    Big Ten better get their game on to keep up with Urban Liar!

  42. mrslay1 says: Feb 6, 2012 1:37 PM

    Very poor comment… Urban has all the fire he needs to win in the little b1g, as it won’t take half as much effort there as the SEC. He also has the desire to win one for his home school. I don’t think he will but he will win the b1g

  43. kupski says: Feb 6, 2012 1:41 PM

    gator ?
    sour grapes and so weak…

  44. gators56 says: Feb 9, 2012 11:00 PM

    If stating the truth is sour grapes then . . . I’m sure you all are going to love his Presser’s. It’s like Political speak 101.

  45. mrslay1 says: Feb 9, 2012 11:32 PM

    Sorry, no gator here, just stating the truth!

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