By TOM LEA
MADISON – A Sporting News report published earlier Monday morning said Bret Bielema and his Wisconsin football program accused Ohio State and its new head coach Urban Meyer of ‘bumping’ and using former Ohio State NFL players as a tool in recruiting.
According to the report, “Bumping occurs when coaches accidentally “bump” into players during recruiting dead periods.”
Wisconsin had a verbal commitment from four-star offensive tackle Kyle Dodson before he decided to back out of it in favor of Meyer’s Ohio State program. Meyer denied the accusation, saying the incident happened before he was named Ohio State’s head coach.
Meyer said he couldn’t remember the exact timeline, but that he thought it happened at some point in December.
The report indicated that Meyer was hired on Nov. 28, 2011.
During his national signing day press conference in early February, Bielema accused Meyer of performing recruiting acts that he didn’t feel belonged inside Big Ten circles.
“There’s a few things that happened early on (that) I made people be aware of that I didn’t want to see in this league that I had seen take place at other leagues,” Bielema said. “Other recruiting tactics, other recruiting practices that are illegal.
“I actually reached out to Coach Meyer and shared my thoughts and concerns with him and the situation got rectified.”
When the allegations came about Meyer asked his coaching staff if any of it was true. According to the report the coaches denied any wrongdoing. Ohio State, a program in the first of two season of NCAA probation, has not self-reported any wrongdoing involving the allegations.
“Because they’re not true,” Meyer told The Sporting News.
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