Ohio State AD Gene Smith Supports Urban Meyer, Disappointed By Bret Bielema's Complaints

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith released a statement Friday regarding Wisconsin Badgers head coach Bret Bielema's public kerfuffle with Urban Meyer. Bielema accused the Buckeyes' new head coach of breaking the Big Ten's gentleman agreement forbidding the pursuit of committed prospects at other conference institutions. Meyer responded by calling the agreement "nonsense," and Smith backed his head coach.

"I am disappointed that negative references have been made about our football coaches and particularly head coach Urban Meyer regarding recruiting," Smith said. "In our league appropriate protocol, if you have concerns, is to share those concerns with your athletic director. Then your athletic director will make the determination on the appropriate communications from that point forward. The athletic directors in our league are professionals and communicate with each other extremely well. Urban Meyer and his staff have had a compliance conscience since they've arrived."

Of course compliance isn't really the issue here, since outside of the so-called "gentleman's" agreement, Bielema did not detail anything approaching an NCAA violation. Ohio State pulled a fast one on Wisconsin on National Signing Day this past Wednesday, flipping Ohio offensive lineman Kyle Dodson back to the Buckeyes. Dodson had previously decommitted from Ohio State during the tatoo-gate scandal.

For more on this recruiting spat, check out Wisconsin blog Bucky's 5th Quarter and OSU blog Along The Olentangy.

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