- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Urban Meyer's much-anticipated recruiting shpiel for his fellow Big Ten coaches didn't take place after all.
According to Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald, Meyer never intended to question or criticize his conference colleagues at their annual business meeting Monday at Big Ten headquarters in Park Ridge, Ill. Meyer's comments about the Big Ten's recent recruiting performance last week to a Columbus radio station (97.1 The Fan) made waves around the college football world, especially when the Ohio State coach said, "When you see 11 of the SEC teams are in the top 25, that’s something that we need to continue to work on and improve." Meyer added that a recruiting discussion between coaches at their meeting would be "essential."
"From my understanding after seeing what was reported, a lot of that was taken out of context," Fitzgerald, who chairs the Big Ten coaches' group, told ESPN.com. "It was more, 'How can we continue to further our brand? How can we make our in-game experiences improve? How can we make our pregame experiences improve?' All those things in the vein for our fans, the game-day experience of Big Ten arenas and for recruiting."
Fitzgerald said the coaches discussed several ways to upgrade the experience, including having more night games, including during the month of November.
"There's certain things that the conference can do, but then there are things that are local to your campus that we'll work to improve," Fitzgerald said.
There was no discussion, Fitzgerald said, on the overall health of Big Ten recruiting, specific recruiting strategies and the like. No lectures from Meyer, either.
"No," Fitzgerald said, laughing, "not at all."