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Urban Meyer Transcript: 2012 Big Ten Media Days

Urban Meyer Transcript: 2012 Big Ten Media Days

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Published by elevenwarriors
An interview with Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer at Big Ten football media days in Chicago. (July 26, 2012)
An interview with Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer at Big Ten football media days in Chicago. (July 26, 2012)

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Published by: elevenwarriors on Jul 26, 2012
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Ohio State - U Meyer - 07 26 12 
An Interview With:
THE MODERATOR: We have Ohio StateHead Coach Urban Meyer.COACH MEYER: I'm honored to be hererepresenting the Big Ten conference and OhioState University and look forward to startingtraining camp a week from Friday.With that, I'll answer any questions.
Q. You've been in the job sinceNovember. How equipped do you think thisteam is to play at the level that you want themto this fall?
COACH MEYER: I like our players. I likeour team. We had a conditioning test that ourplayers are telling me about. And the energy levelis real high right now in Columbus with our footballteam. So I'm anxious to get going.The thing I don't understand and reallyhave a complete grasp of is our opposition, of ouropponents, because I don't know the conferencevery well. So the job is to see who plays a big partof it. As far as our football team, I like where we'reat and anxious to get going.
Q. When you were at Florida in yourprevious stops, how did you kind of view theway the Big Ten played football, and do youthink that it's changed in the recent years withan influx of new coaches such as yourself andseveral others just in the last two or threeyears?
COACH MEYER: Big Ten, the SEC, thelast few years, is kind of the kingpin with thesuccess they've had in the BCS. I have watched alot of the Big Ten as we got ready to play someBowl games in recent years. I see the Big Ten haschanged dramatically.As a matter of fact, I think it was eight outof the 12 teams are running some sort of spreadoffense right now. And then there's two optionoffenses and then traditional offenses, and that'sobviously a drastic change from historically whatyou think of the Big Ten. So there's a little bit of amovement.There's some great defense in this league,which there's always been. But there's severalteams right now playing as good as defense asanybody in America.So I think it has changed, but it's going tobe interesting, the evolution, in the next few yearswith the coaching transitions that are taking place.So the one thing about college football, it'svery cyclical. And the Big Ten for many, manyyears was without question the number oneconference in America. Right now, we're not, butthere's a lot of coaches and players right now veryintent on making it the best conference in America.
Q. You talked about your lack offamiliarity with some of these Big Tenopponents. The fact that you guys aren'teligible for a Bowl game this year, does thatallow you to kind of have that buffer year inorder to get more familiar with the opponentsyou're going to see in the Big Ten?
COACH MEYER: There's no such thingas a buffer year in college football, certainly not atOhio State and certainly not with myself and ourstaff and our players. So there's no buffer year.We'll worry about Bowl games, and one of theconcerns I have -- and I shared it with my athleticdirector -- is that the preparation time when weplay our last game, the kids are gone, and I'venever had to deal with that situation as far aspreparing for the following season. That's a lot oftime away from your guys.And so we've had that conversation. I'mgoing to do some research, continue to do someresearch. Our strength coach, after our last gameagainst our rival, you simply shake their hands,give them a hug, and say see you in January.That's going to be hard to do, so we have to put a
July 26, 2012 
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Ohio State - U Meyer - 07 26 12 
 plan together in place, and that's going to be forthe 2013 season. That's the only issue. The issueis not the 2012 season at all. We're going to lineup and try to win every game we play. It's justgoing to be: How do you handle the 2013 season.
Q. Do you have a problem withcoaches being able to solicit players from PennState right now?
COACH MEYER: I have a problem withthat. I have a problem with that.
Q. Do you want to expand on that?Should there be some rules in place so youdon't have members of a coaching staff onanother campus so close to a season?
COACH MEYER: I don't know enoughabout it. I don't know enough about the rules. Aplayer has a right to choose, especially by therules, to go where he wants. To actively go get aplayer on another team, I'm not sure -- I really don'tunderstand the rules. I didn't look into it. I'm notreally sure of the rules with that.But as a player, a young man has a right toplay wherever he wants to play. We have to keepthat in mind. However, when he's part of a team,you're getting into a situation that I'm not quite veryfamiliar with, and we're not going to get veryfamiliar with it.
Q. A question about Jake Stoneburner.I noticed the charges were dropped againsthim. Has any decision been made as far asreinstating him to the team? And JackMewhort as well?
COACH MEYER: They're not reinstatedyet. They're actively working out. They have tofulfill their penance or obligation that we've askedthem to do.Obviously the kind of people that they are,the families they're from, we did take theirscholarships. They've had to pay for their summerschool. Very expensive mistake. They're doingwhat they are supposed to do. Monitoring itclosely. And that decision won't be made until weget to training camp. But as of now they'll bereporting to training camp a week from Friday.
Q. There was a conversation earlierthis week of culture of reverence as it pertainsto the NCAA talking about how it pertains toPenn State. You have a lot of experience inbeing in major college football programs,seeing a lot. I wonder if you could talk aboutthat, who in your life outside of your family thatkeeps you in check, among your assistants oryour staff, make sure things don't happen likewhat happened at Penn State?
COACH MEYER: That's a tough question.I'm not quite sure what you're asking. You saidreverence. I've never really looked at it that way.There's a lot of things, if you're asking me,personally there's a lot of things in my life that I'venever even approached even thinking that way.How do I keep things in order, in check? Ithink humility is one, also understanding that we'rea product of those around us, and it's never aboutthe head football coach, it's about a bunch ofplayers which is most important and second mostimportant is a group of coaches.There's a clear delineation of who is incharge. And that's the great places I've been ableto work and I report to someone and so there'snever the word reverence. Reverence I've neverreally had to deal with that. So I apologize I mightnot be answering your question, but I've neverlooked at it that way.
Q. What do you think it will take of BigTen as a conference to kind of reach the levelof the SEC, and do you think they can be at thatlevel anytime in the next few years?
COACH MEYER: They have to win Bowlgames. That's the bottom line in all of this is towin. How far we are from that? The coaches inthis conference would know much better than Iwould. I'll know more obviously next year whenyou ask that same question, I'll have a much betterunderstanding because I'll be in the stadiums andI'll know the teams much better.But I know one thing: I've watched enoughfilm this summer, there's some very good teams inthis conference. I anticipate winning is not that faroff.
Q. Urban, what challenges, if any, werecreated by the sanctions and how well do youthink you guys have done in dealing with thosesanctions in recruiting?
COACH MEYER: The media -- we talkedabout this last December when we got hit, got hitwith that two-by-four that day they said you can'tgo to a Bowl game, it was a two and a half weekbarrage of negativism and the recruiting that wewere dealing with.Number one is a recruiting issue that Penn
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Ohio State - U Meyer - 07 26 12 
 State will deal with that we had to deal with inDecember. However, one thing that it also does,you find out who wants to be a Ohio StateBuckeye. And I don't want to speak for CoachO'Brien but he's going to find out who exactlywants to be on his team. There's not going to behalf-ins anymore.And that's the same thing with recruiting.So number one was recruiting. The number twothing which I've not had to deal with yet, well, I hadto deal with was the free agency part of theprocess where our kids, I believe our seniors wereallowed to leave.We're very fortunate none did. And thethird component of the whole situation we'redealing with is not being able to play in a Bowlgame. I'm struggling with that.I have some incredible leaders on theteam. You have three of them you're going to visitwith. We've started a leadership committee that Imeet with them very often. And at the appropriatetime I'm going to start having those conversationswith them.But right now I just don't think that'sappropriate. That it's going too well, the off-seasonis going too well, the energy is too high. That's thefirst bridge to cross, the second one is the freeagency and the third one is the actual motivation ofa team when there's nothing at the so-called end ofthe season.
Q. Can you reflect back on the year youspent in the broadcast booth, did it give youdifferent perspective on things? Were you ableto learn anything?
COACH MEYER: It gave me great respectwith what you folks do and especially the ones thatreally do it the right way and respectful.And it really gives me, gave me anopportunity to go visit some other programs, andyou can't do that, especially myself, I got in a littlebit of a cocoon, I don't know if it was paranoia,wouldn't let anybody in. We certainly didn't letanybody out.I think one of the great things that certainlyin college football is it's always evolving, and to gostudy other programs and take ideas and discuss itwith your peers, I was able to do it on a very openbasis. And I feel like I'm a better coach now.But the first question was just a lot ofrespect for the amount of effort and work that goesinto covering the sport, especially when it's donethe right way.
Q. In February you had an incident oraccusation from Wisconsin and Bret Bielema.Did you have a chance -- did you sort out thatissue, clear the air? And secondly is itimportant for you to have a good workingrelationship with all the other coaches aroundthe league?
COACH MEYER: We have a very, verygood relationship. I think you'd have to ask coach,but we get along fine. We had a conversationabout it at the Big Ten meetings, I believe it was inFebruary. A lot of the things that were reportedweren't said.We stand by exactly the way how we dothings. And from my understanding, once again, ithasn't been discussed again, there's absolutely noproblem whatsoever with the way Ohio State doestheir business.And that comes from the fellow coaches inour Big Ten conference. You asked the question,is it important to have? Absolutely. I can't see itany other way.We had that in the SEC and we certainlyhave that in the Big Ten. A lot of times things startgetting -- I start reading something and I'll read itand say that wasn't said or where are they trying togo with this?And there's a very good relationship witheverybody in that room with the Big Tenconference as well as when I was in the SEC.
Q. I heard you earlier this summermention defensive front seven speed in theSEC. Is that maybe the single most definingcharacteristic about what advantage thatleague might have right now?
COACH MEYER: I think that, and I alsothink just overall team speed right now. We'readdressing that. I notice it on special teams, inspring practice I noticed that, whether you're threeor four, your next best player. So I just thinkoverall athleticism right now we're a little bitbehind. But we're recruiting with that motive, withthat intention and I'm real proud to say it's goingvery well.But I think without question I'm not the onlyone that says that. The defensive front seven inthat conference, in the SEC, is thedifference-maker right now. But it's a little bitdeeper than that.
Q. All the things going off the field

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