It was revealed this week that a 8-second, impromptu conversation from March 2013 between Tim Tebow and potential recruit Clifton Garrett (who eventually signed with LSU) violated NCAA by-laws.
From the official report to the NCAA:
Upon receiving the call, Coach Meyer informed Garrett that he was on vacation and having lunch with friends and family, including Tim Tebow. Garrett asked Coach Meyer if he could wish Tebow good luck on the upcoming season. Coach Meyer handed the phone to Tebow and Garrett conversed with Tebow for approximately eight seconds. Coach Meyer stated that no recruiting conversation occurred, there was no intent to have Tebow recruit on behalf of Ohio State and he, in fact, did not recruit on behalf of Ohio State.
Çoach Meyer reported that Garrett was not instructed to call by anyone from the Ohio State football staff and that neither he nor Tebow had any other communication with any other prospects during the lunch. Coach Meyer further indicated that Tebow has never spoken with any other prospective Ohio State student-athletes. Coach Meyer understands that the communication between Garrett and Tebow was an error on his part. However, he was adamant that it was a reflexive, courteous action rather than an intentional attempt to involve Tim Tebow in the recruiting process.
So there you have it. Urban Meyer was asked by a blue chip recruit to speak with Tim Tebow. His crime is acquiescing to a kid hoping to have a few quick words with a college football legend.
It was self-reported, and when the Cleveland Plain Dealer broke the news last week, it was generally laughed off as a trivially mundane violation of the NCAA's vapid rulebook.
This was until Mike Bianchi, who carries the same type of grudge against Urban Meyer usually found in a man who was dumped by a woman for another richer, handsomer man, got wind of this violation.
Needless to say, ol' Bianchi is FED UP. The headline is delicious Bianchi-speak: "Florida Gators not happy about Urban Meyer turning Tim Tebow into Ohio State recruiting tool."
It's delicious because after reading the article, you realize the only sad Florida Gator is Mike Bianchi.
I tried to tell everybody about Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, but nobody would listen.
Not even Tim Tebow.
I said it a year ago and I'll say it again now: When it comes to landing a recruit, Meyer doesn't care what it takes - even if it means selling out Tebow to Gators fans in the process.
Reminder: This story centers on an 8-second, impromptu conversation that the potential recruit initiated.
My question: Did Meyer actually have a stopwatch on hand to time the conversation? Otherwise, how did he know it was 8 seconds instead of 10 seconds or 15 seconds ... or 30 seconds? And how ridiculous is it for Meyer to claim it was an unintentional violation? I spoke to a college administrator on Friday who said every coach knows that celebrities (or former players) who aren't employed by the university are forbidden from being involved in the recruiting process.
My question: How did Bianchi become such an obtuse parody that combined every worst sports-writing cliche into a single entity? If Bianchi had actually read the report or processed it beyond the DERP URBAN MEYER COACHING OUTLAW DERP level, he would have realized Clifton Garrett initiated the conversation and it was merely about wishing Tebow good luck on the upcoming season.
Tebow never actively recruited Garrett to Ohio State. And it's not as if Urban Meyer has to name-drop Tim Tebow to impress an 18 year-old recruit. Their names are rather intertwined.
Granted, in the grand scheme of NCAA rule-breaking this is no big deal and is considered a minor violation, but it shows once again why University of Florida fans have such disdain for Meyer even though he won two national titles at the school.
Granted, he admits this isn't a big deal, but still can't get over his own personal bitterness to the point he drags Florida fans through the mud. There's another word for "Gators fans" that have "disdain" about a coach that won two national title for them: Idiots.
Meyer is also the same coach who when he first got to Ohio State actually had the audacity to negatively recruit against the program he left behind at UF. According to a Sporting News report at the time, Meyer relentlessly pursued Maryland prep All-American wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who'd narrowed his choices to Ohio State, Florida and Maryland. In the midst of the recruiting process, Meyer "told the Diggs family that he wouldn't let his son go to Florida because of significant character issues in the locker room."
Does it get any more ruthless than that?
What Candyland does Mike Bianchi live in where a coach negatively recruiting a five-star prospect is considered the most ruthless act in the world? That word... I don't think it means what you think it means, Mike.
As for the Sporting News report, I wagered all 58 cents in my bank account on the fact it was written by another man with a weird grudge against Urban Meyer: Matt Hayes.
Let's just say daddy is eating steak (flavored Ramen noodles) tonight:
And now he has tried to use the Gators' No. 1 character guy of all time - Tebow - to also lure recruits to Ohio State.
At this point, I'm questioning if Bianchi even believes what he writes.
Many Florida fans, coaches and administrators don't trust Meyer, not only because of how he left UF but because of some of the questionable things he's done on the recruiting trail since departing.
It's cool how Bianchi cloaks his personal opinion in anecdotal, unverifiable statements. It's truly one of the hack's greatest tools.
Turning Tebow into an honorary Buckeye just doesn't sit well with many Gator faithful, especially after the article last year in the Plain Dealer in which Tebow talked about how he has become a big Ohio State fan and Meyer said he was going to "push for" Tebow to come to Columbus and tutor quarterback Braxton Miller. After the article came out, I contacted Tebow and he wanted to assure UF fans he is not a Gator traitor.
"My parents are Gators, I was born a Gator, I played for the Gators, I gave my heart to the University of Florida and I'll always be a Gator," Tebow told me after the Plain Dealer article ruffled UF feathers.
I about threw my laptop out of my window after reading this. Does Bianchi realize players aren't owned by universities ? Tim Tebow won a Heisman trophy and two titles at Florida... and somehow he owes them more? Mike Bianchi is out here throwing around words like "traitor"? GTFO.
The latest incident in which Meyer put Tebow on the phone with a potential Ohio State recruit has caused even more raised eyebrows in UF's athletic department and and added to the Gator Nation consternation.
Let's hear it for Urban Meyer - the only man in America who could turn Tim Tebow into an NCAA rule-breaker.
This may be his most unbelievable coaching accomplishment yet.
Again with the cloaking of his personal opinion with UF's athletic department and "Gator Nation."
It should also be noted that, since Tim Tebow isn't employed by Ohio State, he didn't break any rules. But hey, Bianchi clearly isn't going to let the facts stand in the way of his blistering hot take.
This article should have been written in crayon and posted on somebody's Wordpress blog. That's about the nicest thing I can say about it.