- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
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Good luck in getting anybody at Florida to believe him, but Urban Meyer says he did not turn Florida in for recruiting violations.
Clay Travis of FOXSports.com reported Wednesday morning that Meyer and Ohio State turned in Florida assistant coach Brian White for an alleged improper "bump" violation related to the recruitment of Curtis Samuel, a running back/defensive back from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Obviously, Meyer coached at Florida and led the Gators to two national championships before stepping down (for a second time) following the 2010 season. He took a year off and "unretired" to Ohio State. He's also the one who hired White at Florida. White was retained by current Florida coach Will Muschamp.
Here's where it gets really good: Meyer insisted to The Gainesville Sun later Wednesday that he had no part in any accusations against Florida and that it was merely the Ohio State compliance department doing its due diligence after seeing an article.
"It is absolutely not true that I turned in the University of Florida,” Meyer said in a text message to Pat Dooley of The Gainesville Sun. “Weeks after, I learned our compliance guy (without any coach involvement) forwarded an article to the conference office. This is standard procedure. Once again, zero coach involvement."
An Ohio State spokesman told ESPN's Brett McMurphy that Meyer was not initially aware that the Buckeyes turned in Florida for a possible secondary NCAA violation, although a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN that "Urban was aware of it and he endorsed it."
A second source at Florida told ESPN.com later Wednesday that Ohio State under Meyer's tutelage has twice turned in Florida to the NCAA and the Gators were cleared both times. That same source wasn't buying Meyer's assertion that he wasn't involved in any way in this latest episode.
It's worth noting that when Meyer left Florida following the 2010 season that the university paid him $1 million more than three months after he quit, making good on a retention bonus.
Now, before Florida fans decide to disown Meyer completely, let's not forget that there are two crystal footballs in Florida's trophy case that he's responsible for.
But the more we hear about some of the things that went on off the field during his tenure (and reportedly what was allowed to go on), the more Florida fans might want to distance themselves from Meyer.
I guess we all can hope for a Florida-Ohio State matchup sometime real soon in the postseason.
7hGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough