When Urban Meyer was hired last November to be the new football coach at Ohio State, it didn’t take long for him to get under the skin of opposing coaches and fans.
Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema criticized Meyer’s recruiting tactics — which cost the Badgers four-star OL Kyle Dodson. Four Penn State commits flipped to Ohio State after Meyer’s arrival.
And, arguably Michigan State’s best recruit, defensive end Se’Von Pittman, flipped to Ohio State, too. When all was said in done, eight of the 10 recruits Meyer brought to Ohio State after his hiring were committed to other schools before his hiring.
Pat Narduzzi dropped this little number: “Jim Tressel and Mark Dantonio would never call or talk to each other’s commitments. People Coach Dantonio knows well don’t come in and take players away. When you do, you lose friendships over that.”
Well, it turns out recruiting isn’t the only thing that Spartan coaches find Ohio State showing unethical practicies in — a game-tape issue came up following Saturday’s 17-16 loss in East Lansing.
“We had tape cut off all week, where they changed the tape, I’m not gonna lie to you,” Narduzzi said. “They send you tape and they’ve got it all cut off and you don’t get to see shifts or motions or anything else.”
As the story has it, MSU athletic director Mark Hollis sorted the issue out with Ohio State AD Gene Smith and the Spartans received tape in full Thursday — allowing just one day for full preparation.
Did that cost the Spartans the game? No. Was it underhanded? Yes. Deliberate tape cuts cannot happen accidentally. Forgetting to send an entire section of tape is an accident. Cutting pre-snap shifts and motions is intentional.
Meyer, for what it is worth, denied that there was any tape issue.
Well, now Ohio State has filed a tape of its own with the Big Ten office — one with Michigan State offensive lineman Jack Allen allegedly gouging the eyes of OSU defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins during a pile-up.
Hankins — the player who vowed to try to rip Le’Veon Bell’s head off — appears to have his hands on or in Allen’s facemask, as well.
Time will tell what comes of this.
This much is known: Dantonio and Meyer did not shake hands after the game Saturday, and from all reports, made no attempt to even find each other.
So, Meyer isn’t doing a great job making friends in the Big Ten, and MSU and OSU are forming a little bit greater rivalry than before. This weekend’s one-point game and the drama that has unfolded since then have only added to that thought.
It should be interesting to see where the feeling of rivalry are after a two-year break in 2013-14.
2015 is on the clock.