BY USA TODAY SPORTS
HOOVER, Ala. — Florida coach Will Muschamp fired a shot Tuesday afternoon at Urban Meyer and Ohio State, which recently turned in the Gators for an alleged secondary recruiting violation.
“That’s really a dead issue with me,” Muschamp said at an interview at SEC media days — but then kept talking about the dead issue.
“In both situations we were turned in by Ohio,” he continued. “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.”
The Buckeyes are on NCAA probation for violations committed under former coach Jim Tressel and his staff; Ohio State was banned from postseason play last fall, the program’s first under former Florida coach Urban Meyer.
Ohio State has turned in the Gators for two secondary violations since Meyer joined the university before the 2012 season. In early July, The Gainesville Sun reported that OSU had turned in Florida for a “bump” recruiting violation involving Gators running backs coach Brian White and Brooklyn, N.Y., running back Curtis Samuel, meaning White had contacted Samuel during prescribed non-contact recruiting periods. Last year, OSU notified the NCAA about a situation with 2013 defensive end recruit Jordan Sherit, who rode to Florida’s campus with a friend then on the Gators football team.
As a result of the claim, Muschamp had to pull White away from recruiting for three days while an investigation was conducted.
While not denying that OSU had notified the NCAA of the possibility of a recruiting violation, Meyer denied responsibility for the university’s accusation.
“It is absolutely not true that I turned in the University of Florida,” Meyer said, according to 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.”
However, ESPN.com, citing sources, said that although Meyer was not initially aware of Ohio State’s allegation, he “was aware of it and endorsed it.”
In each case, both with Samuel and Sherit, Florida was cleared of any wrongdoing by the NCAA and the SEC. Although Sherit would eventually sign with Florida, Samuel has since eliminated the Gators from his list of potential schools; according to the New York Daily News, Samuel is down to Ohio State, Alabama, Notre Dame, Miami (Fla.) and Rutgers.
Though Meyer denied doing it, someone at Ohio State apparently notified the NCAA. Asked if he found it odd that Meyer’s current school turned in his former school, Muschamp didn’t bite.
“Big Ten media days are next week,” Muschamp said. “Ask him.”
Whether or not the issue is “dead,” it clearly didn’t sit well with Muschamp. Don’t miss his reference to “Ohio” rather than Ohio State — like Michigan coach Brady Hoke, who intentionally refuses to call the Wolverines’ rival anything else.
Category: Big Ten