Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Bret Bielema addresses Meyer story
By Brian Bennett
An article published Monday by the Sporting News gave some clarity to Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema's concerns over the recruiting tactics of Ohio State counterpart Urban Meyer.
Bielema complained about Meyer around signing day, though he never specified publicly what upset him. The two later talked at a Big Ten coaches' meeting in Chicago and declared the matter settled.
The Sporting News story said Ohio State had NFL players call recruits and that Meyer had "bumped" into Wisconsin commit Kyle Dodson during a dead period. Dodson later flipped his pledge to the Buckeyes.
Bielema talked to reporters about the story after practice on Tuesday. While Bielema didn't come out and confirm the details contained in the story, he said "that's getting closer to it."
"When that whole thing came out … it was obviously a lot to be written,” said Bielema. “Not to slight [the media] but a lot of time what’s being written isn’t exactly what’s reality.
“I just know this. We handle ourselves in a certain way. In the Big Ten conference, we’ve been able to do that. When I called Coach Meyer and expressed a certain thing, he addressed it and handled it very quickly.”
Some had speculated that Bielema's complaints had to do with a "gentleman's agreement" in the Big Ten not to recruit committed players, but Bielema has said that was not the case. I wrote at the time that Bielema should have been more specific with his issue if he was going to say anything at all publicly.
"Obviously when you come into competition with other schools and you become aware of anything that concerns you, you have an obligation to say something," he said. “The only regret is that I probably didn’t address it [publicly] cleaner and quicker. Any time you see something out there floating around that’s not really reality, it’s better to just cease it and stop it. Obviously it got a life of its own.”
Bielema also said the NCAA had addressed his complaints. Meyer told the Sporting News that he did not have any outstanding issues with the NCAA.
In totally unrelated news, Ohio State plays at Wisconsin on Nov. 17.