“We at the Big Ten don’t want to be like the SEC—in any way, shape or form.”

Hell has truly frozen over.  In a mere two months, Bret Bielema and Mark Dantonio have managed to accomplish something that never happened in five years in the SEC – make me side with Urban Meyer.  Bielema, in fact, is so upset over Meyer’s recruiting tactics that his mommy is going to the principal his athletic director is going to the conference commissioner about it.

Just so we’re clear: Bielema wasn’t talking about winning national championships. He was talking about Meyer’s recruiting tactics—and how after a little more than two months on the job, Meyer already is getting under the skin of his colleagues.

Just how much, you ask? Bielema, whose teams have won more games than any other Big Ten team in his six seasons in Madison, says Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez will speak Friday with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany about Meyer’s recruiting methods during the league’s athletic director meetings in Chicago.

During his National Signing Day press conference, Bielema hinted that Meyer was using “illegal” recruiting practices. He said as much again Thursday when contacted by Sporting News, and without getting into specifics offered this:

“I called Urban and we spoke about it,” Bielema said. “We talked about it, and he said it would stop and it did. I’ll let our commissioner deal with anything else. That’s not who we are (in the Big Ten). We settle things among ourselves as coaches.”

The big complaint?  That Meyer won’t adhere to the Big Ten’s “gentlemen’s agreement”.

Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema thinks otherwise: he thinks that the Big Ten should adhere to a gentlemen’s agreement that, according to Bielema, has defined the conference’s recruiting efforts for generations. At its core, this agreement makes verbal commits — that’s a non-binding, unofficial commitment, by the way — out of bounds for any coach working within the conference.

How quaint.   How irrelevant.

What does a Big Ten coach do when one of his verbal commitments gets flipped by a coach from another conference?  Hold his breath until his face turns blue?  Does Bielema really think Delany is going to order Meyer to stop talking to recruits who have given verbal commitments to other Big Ten schools?  (My prediction:  watch for Big Ten coaches to lead a push for an early signing period.)

Whining about Urban Meyer is a bad move.  It’s a sign of weakness.  Hint to Bielema:  if you’ve got to whine about something related to recruiting, save it for an 18-year old who has a hard time making up his mind.  That’s the way we roll in the SEC, bitch.


UPDATE:  Game on.

Meyer reportedly fired back while at the Ohio High School coaches clinic on Friday morning.

“You’re pissed because we went after a committed guy? Guess what, we got 9 guys who better go do it again,” said Meyer. “Do it a little harder next time.”


UPDATE #2:  Barry Alvarez to Bret Bielema:  Shut up, boy.


UPDATE #3:  The Big Ten’s most useless athletic director chimes in.

This statement from Ohio State AD Gene Smith was released by the school early afternoon on Friday:

“I am disappointed that negative references have been made about our football coaches and particularly head coach Urban Meyer regarding recruiting. 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.”

Pretty rich, coming from Jim Tressel’s enabler.


Filed under Big Ten Football, Recruiting, Urban Meyer Points and Stares, Wit And Wisdom From The Hat

36 responses to ““We at the Big Ten don’t want to be like the SEC—in any way, shape or form.”

  1. Spike

    What a bunch of girly men. Urban will not forget this. This is really a big deal to him. And by the way, Nick Saban doesn’t have time for this shit.


  2. TennesseeDawg

    When asked about the “gentlemen’s agreement” in the Big 10, Urban said he never stated he was a gentlemen.


  3. reipar

    I really like how the first linked article makes it seem as if no coaches talked to a player that was verbally commited until AFTER Meyer showed up at the SEC. The man single handely changed the culture.

    That said I can see where the Big what ever coaches are coming from. Imagine if you lived on a small Pacific island that time had passed and someone from a developd country showed up with a cell phone. You may fear the technology and the changes it might bring. Plus you may be jealous of what they have. You would likely light torches and chase the monster.


  4. Mark Dantonio’s contract at Cincinnati went through the 2010 season; he became Michigan State’s head coach on 11/27/2006. And if the Dallas Cowboys came knocking on Bret Bielema’s door tomorrow morning asking him to be their next head coach, how much thought do you suppose he’d give his Wisconsin contract? Or what he said to the players he’s just recruited?

    As long as coaches can just jump ship at a moment’s notice for greener pastures, they’ve got no business whining about the second thoughts of 17-year-old kids who haven’t even put their signatures on anything.


  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    I think Jim Delaney and Corch will become friends. They’re kindred spirits now; both heartless hustlers without redeeming values outside professional accomplishment.


  6. Careful Brad

    So is the Big Ten the Paul Johnson of conferences or is PJ the Big Ten of coaches?


  7. Spike

    Careful Brad.. Yes.


  8. ChicagoDawg

    “We….don’t want to be like the SEC”. Unlikely to happen any time soon coach.

    Similar to me saying, “I don’t want to play basketball like Derrick Rose” or “hit a golf ball like Bubba Watson,” …. the very definition of superfluous.


  9. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Yes, in the SEC, coaches take a knee with a big lead in the 4th Q. Bret kicks field goals and runs deep slants. So much for class.

    Funny how in the wake of Michigan (illegal practices), Iowa (group hospitalization of players during off-season workouts), Ohio State (poster child for compliance) and Penn State (just a criminal coverup), THIS is what gets Bret’s goat. Recruiting competition.

    Trust me, Bret, the SEC has no interest in being like the B1G, either.

    What a bunch of hypocritical, sanctimonious, whiny blowhards.


  10. Go Dawgs!

    So that’s why most of the Big Ten has been irrelevant over the past decade… the coaches aren’t willing to work hard anymore. You get a kid to verbally commit? That’s not the end of the game. You’ve got to keep recruiting him.

    By the way, Urban Meyer cutting ethical corners in recruiting? I am SHOCKED…


  11. Adam

    This post isn’t really accurate. I fully agree that any sort of ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ is stupid and Brady Hoke has even said “They’re fair game until they sign.” That agreement was something stupid that Mark Dantonio had going with Jim Tressel – basically a ‘screw Michigan’ rule.

    Bielema is talking about illegal contact during no-contact periods. Just like when the NCAA had to implement new contact rules because Meyer was a texting nut, he’s been illegally contacting players since he arrived at OSU.

    If Bielema doesn’t say anything, it’s not going to stop. Nobody has the balls to stand up to Nick Saban and that’s why he’s dominating the SEC.


    • Bielema is talking about illegal contact during no-contact periods.

      Maybe I’m mistaken, but I think that’s what he was referring to as already being addressed between himself and Meyer. What they’re going to Delany about is the “gentlemen’s agreement”.


      • Adam

        Yeah – it hasn’t been spelled out specifically as to what Alvarez is going to Delany about, but Alvarez is quoted as saying something about “illegal practices”. Maybe I’m the one giving Alavarez too much credit, but I don’t think this has anything to do with recruiting committed players as Beilema has been quoted saying, “We’re all vultures…” http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/45024/meyers-recruiting-methods-under-fire

        Very few people think this ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ crap makes any sense besides Mark Dantonio and Danny Hope. Dantonio just sees the world crashing down around him:

        – MSU can’t secure a top-25 class even after their two best years since the 60s
        – He lost 7 of the top 8 state of Michigan recruits to UofM.
        – Tressel is no longer funneling players that don’t get OSU offers to MSU

        Either way, he’s always been a whiney bag – talking shit to other teams’ players, double-standards for athletes storming dorm potlucks, etc.

        MSU recruited better than anytime in their history during the RR years. He should’ve jumped ship like Saban did years ago. Maybe he’s waiting for the South Carolina job.


      • Adam

        Here’s the full context of the “vultures” quote:


        I’m just a little irritated that Dantonio’s quotes are getting associated with all Big Ten coaches.


      • ChicagoDawg

        What is the world coming to when I find myself defending ‘Corch’, but the Big10 has no idea what just hit them. No way Urban is going to fall in line with the “gentleman’s agreement” crap and nor should he. The programs that have the most to lose by this are the ones who have been hittin above thier weight during the UM and PSU decline and recent OSU troubles… UW and MSU immediately come to mind.

        Put on your big boy britches fellas.


        • Adam

          Haha dead on about who’s going to lose out – MSU and Wisky. I still think they’ll do OK, but they were doing better than anyone can remember the past 3 years.

          OSU will get top Ohio kids. Michigan will get top Ohio, Michigan, and Chicago kids. ND will still get their guys from Chi/MI/Ohio/national.

          MSU and Wisky fans will go back to talking about how their coaches are better at developing players. Basically Iowa 2000-2010.


  12. Comin' Down The Track

    OH – VUR – AY – TED clap, clap, clapclapclap.
    Oh, wait. That’s not what we’re doing? We’re not? Sorry.


  13. Cojones

    Didn’t see them bitchin’ when Criar asked for and received extra dispensation from the NCAA to form a separate recruiting staff. Were they sitting around and arrogantly toasting their “gentleman’s agreement” as if they are above the fray of competition? Since when has anyone had a separate understanding outside the NCAA rules? That’s like buying cotton from the South to make a profit in clothing and then bitching about the price because it was produced by slavery. What? That’s what happened? Cheez! Maybe it was “The War of Northern Ag-gression” after all.


  14. Dog in Fla

    “UPDATE: Game on”

    They better not mess with Irvin up there. His last stop was in a tough part of the country


  15. Pingback: DawgsOnline » Bret Bielema and his unwritten rules

  16. Chadwick

    They want to be exactly like the SEC in terms of football profile and national championships and BCS bowl games and revenue and on and on and on….
    They’re too proud to admit it, but they have penis envy with the SEC.


  17. El Dawgo in El Paso

    Never knew there were gentlemen north of the Mason-Dixon.