Wisconsin’s Bielema Questions Urban Meyer’s Recruiting

By Adam Hoge-

(CBS) Urban Meyer has Bret Bielema’s attention.

The Wisconsin head coach was asked Wednesday if he thought Meyer would change recruiting in the Big Ten and Bielema offered up a lot more than a simple answer.

“I hope it doesn’t change. I think the potential for change is there,” Bielema said. “There are a few things that happened early on that I made people aware of that I didn’t want to see in this league, that I had seen take place in other leagues. Other recruiting tactics, other recruiting practices that are illegal.

“I was very up front and was very pointed to the fact, actually reached out to Coach Meyer and shared my thoughts and concerns with him. The situation got rectified.”

Obviously avoiding specifics, Bielema clearly isn’t 100 percent happy with Meyer’s tactics at Ohio State, where he put together a top five recruiting class in just a couple of months.

If there is a specific recruit in question it is offensive lineman Kyle Dodson who was committed to Wisconsin before Meyer was hired at Ohio State. Rumors of Dodson, an Ohio native, switching to the Buckeyes started almost immediately upon Meyer’s arrival in Columbus.

Usually not one to talk about recruits that got away, Bielema opened up about the Dodson situation.

“One of things that happened when Kyle came aboard, I basically said to our staff at the time, ‘Ohio State is going to have transition and we have to be prepared for when that happens and we can be strong’ and we were to the end,” Bielema said. “When Kyle reached out to us this afternoon he talked about staying close to home. He’s a kid who lives with his grandmother and grandmother only. You can’t fault a kid for that.”

This isn’t the first time Bielema has publicly objected to another program’s recruiting techniques. Last year, without naming names, Bielema voiced displeasure about the way another school was recruiting. At the time, the Wisconsin head coach was in a heated battle for quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who later committed to Florida, a school that hadn’t really been in the picture until Charlie Weis joined the Gators staff as offensive coordinator.

In the midst of answering the question about Meyer Wednesday, Bielema went off on a tangent about a job offer he received in a different conference when he was an assistant at Wisconsin under Barry Alvarez. He didn’t name the school or the head coach that was trying to hire him, but he said while that coach was trying to recruit him, he told Bielema: “You know what the difference between the Big Ten and this conference is? In the Big Ten everybody tells on everybody, in our conference nobody tells on anybody.”

Bielema didn’t take the job.

“That (was) a huge comment to me,” he said about the unnamed coach. “I’ve been very cognizant of that. I encourage our coaches to play by the books, to do things in a certain way. If you have to lie, cheat and steal to get someone here, it doesn’t make a great point once you get them here about how you need to handle them.

“Our league is based on certain values that we’re going to hold to be true and if you don’t hold those to be true, you are going to be held accountable.”

Consider that a message sent in the direction of Columbus, Ohio.

The question now is, does Bret Bielema have Urban Meyer’s attention?

For more college football coverage throughout the year, follow Adam on Twitter (@AdamHogeCBS).

  • TommyGee

    hUH? wahh wahhhh wahhghh! You have got to be kidding me. Get used to it Coach. Who are you the high judge of morals. What an idiot!

  • Bill b.

    Yeah, this coming from captain integrity that allowed his team to score 83 on Indiana a season ago. Go bucks and I hope Braxton’s hail Mary still stings.

  • Tyler

    Hey Wisconsin, DEAL WITH IT!

  • Stan

    The weak in the B1G are crying about “Gentleman’s agreements” and “unethical practices”. They are all scared and feat that Urban Meyer is going to make a mockery of the league with his legendary recruiting prowess. Michigan State and Wisconsin should step their game up instead of crying like little girls.

  • Deal With It

    3 words for Wisky Pants


  • Richard Redding

    Stay out of OHIO

  • billydrewfirecrew

    the devli did not go to geogia it went to ohio

  • buckeyepastor

    If Bielema knows without question, as he claims to, of something OSU did that is ILLEGAL, he should report it to the NCAA. OSU is on probation and has had the NCAA living in its house for the past year. So, if Meyer did something not just underhanded but ILLEGAL, it is something that should be clarified. For one, I’m a Buckeye fan that’s sick of the scandals and innuendo and if we’re going to be stupid enough to violate recruiting rules, then we should pay for that stupidity. If on the other hand, as is more likely, Bielema is just crying about Meyer doing a better job than him and thought that throwing in something about Illegal activities made him sound more grown up about it, then he should retract his earlier words and explain himself. To throw a bomb out there about illegal activities demands that he either back it up, or shut up.

    • Bernstein's Bachman Vote

      If you’re a buckeye fan who is truly sick of the scandals and recruiting practices that were taking place there than the hiring of Urban Meyer must of been an epicly sad day for you. However, somehow I don’t get the feeling it was.

      • Go Bucks!

        “sick of the … recruiting practices that were taking place there” …you’re like your buddy Bielema, specifically, what practices are you talking about ?? And may be you should report them to the NCAA as should your buddy. But I guess, this is really more about sour grapes that you could not / did not take advantage of Ohio State being “in transition”. Too bad.

    • Your moral voice

      1. I hope you’re not actually a pastor. If you’re condoning underhanded practices to get ahead in life, you should probably be working on wall street instead. After all, everything the wall street cronies did wasn’t TECHNICALLY illegal.

      2. What happened to class and respect? There’s a moral line in each of us that compares getting ahead in life vs. that moral voice. I guess it’s about one’s priorities in life.

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  • FatBrett

    Bielema is fat and stupid….looks like a zit about ready to pop

    • unclefunkel

      Real mature bucko.

  • jimmyJ

    Bret is just trying to keep SEC style recruiting out of the B1G. He doesn’t want to recruit a player and then have some slick hotshot coach start pulling underhanded techniques out. Remember when UB got Carl Moores’ girlfriend on the Gator soccer team so as to make it easier for the junior college transfer to goin the Gators, well legal it was but Bret would call it shifty dog trick. Bret needs to understand that the notch has been turned up. No more lame Tresselball from this B1G powerhouse.

  • Ba Smith
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