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Friday, February 3, 2012
B1G coaches meet, Meyer issues statement

By Adam Rittenberg

The Big Ten's football coaches met earlier Friday in Chicago, a regularly scheduled get-together that became much more interesting after the spat about recruiting practices involving Wisconsin's Bret Bielema and Ohio State's Urban Meyer. The meeting wasn't mandatory but 11 of 12 coaches attended (Penn State's Bill O'Brien, who is preparing for Sunday's Super Bowl, wasn't present).

Bielema, who questioned Meyer's recruiting practices earlier this week and said he followed up with the new Ohio State coach, on Friday told colleague Joe Schad that he hasn't alleged any NCAA rules violations by Meyer. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith earlier Friday released a statement expressing disappointment in the criticism Ohio State has received.

Meyer also issued a statement:
"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 [Jim] 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."

It looks like cooler heads are prevailing, at least for the moment. No surprise that Delany tried to diffuse this issue as quickly as possible, but this is by no means over.