Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Muschamp fires back at Meyer, 'Ohio'
By Brian Bennett
The SEC media days circus is underway, and one of the best early quotes involved a Big Ten team.
Florida coach Will Muschamp was asked about Ohio State turning in his Gators for two minor recruiting violations. That became news, of course, because Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer used to coach Florida and has said how much he loves the school.
Muschamp told reporters the situation was "really a dead issue with me" but of course he didn't stop there.
"In both situations we were turned in by Ohio," he said. "We didn't do anything wrong. The University of Florida didn't do anything wrong. And so we appreciated our friends from Ohio making sure we're compliant with NCAA rules. They certainly know a little bit about that subject."
How about that? Two playful but pointedly subtle digs in a matter of seconds. Muschamp refers to Ohio State simply as "Ohio," emulating Brady Hoke and Michigan's practice. Then he jabs the Buckeyes for their own recent run-ins with the NCAA, which led to the team being on probation and missing the postseason in 2012. Close your eyes, add in a little drawl and it could have been Steve Spurrier giving the quote.
If you missed the earlier stories, Ohio State reportedly turned in the Gators for a "bump" violation involving Florida assistant Brian White, who used to work for Meyer. And the Buckeyes reportedly did the same last year about a minor violation.
Meyer has publicly denied knowledge of Ohio State's whistle-blowing on Florida. But ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy reported via sources that although Meyer was not initially aware of the situation, he later became "aware of it and endorsed it."
When asked about whether it was strange to be ratted on by a former Florida coach, Muschamp responded: "Big Ten media days are next week. Ask him."