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Ohio State Football: Urban Meyer Calls Big Ten's Recruiting Agreement Nonsense

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 15:  Head football coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes is introduced to the crowd at halftime of the basketball game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Ohio State Buckeyes on January 15, 2012 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Big Ten is getting a taste of how things are done in the SEC and they aren’t happy.

The conference wants to have recruiting battles with a “gentleman’s agreement” that bars other schools from recruiting a player once they have verbally committed to a school.

Brand new Ohio State Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer isn’t playing by this unofficial rule. He convinced eight different players that were committed to other schools to have a change of heart and come to Columbus (per CBS Sports). When asked what he thought about the gentleman’s agreement by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, he didn’t exactly sound like a guy that was interested in playing by these unwritten rules:

"It’s nonsense. First of all, there’s no agreement. And then a kid has the right to go to school wherever he wants. If a kid is interested in a school, he has the right to go look at that school—and that will never change."

"I really don’t worry about anybody else. I just worry about our football team and the way we do things. We do it the right way here."

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio used the word “unethical," Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema called Meyer himself to complain.

This is a joke.

The Big Ten is living in an era that passed a long time ago. Until a player signs on that dotted line, he is fair game. If he truly is committed to playing for your school, there is nothing to worry about if a coach like Meyer tries to swoop in at the last second.

In a way, this gentleman’s agreement nonsense is lazy. They feel the job is done once they get a verbal commitment when in reality it’s just getting started. When USC head coach Lane Kiffin was asked about the matter, he agreed:

"I’d hate to ever go to my athletic director and say ‘Hey, there was a great player that hadn’t signed his LOI [letter-of-intent] yet and we might have a chance at…but we’re not going to recruit him because he’s committed somewhere.’ I would think that there are some athletic directors that would fire you for that. I know some coaches over there were upset about him going after their kids but I think that just shows what a great competitor he is."

Exactly.

Recruiting is a cut-throat part of the business and it’s the reason the SEC has won six more BCS titles than any other conference. The Big Ten has struggled mightily in recent years and this is the main reason why. With Meyer now in town, things are beginning to change and the powers that be in the conference can’t do anything about it.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. 

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 28:  Urban Meyer speaks to the media after being introduced as the new head coach of Ohio State football on November 28, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

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