It's been a little more than three months since Urban Meyer took over at Ohio State in that time he's learned of NCAA sanctions, landed the nation's fourth-ranked recruiting class, dealt with some accusations from his fellow Big Ten coaches and offended a campus LGBT group.
The guys deserves a little R&R, so he packed up the family and headed to Utah where his wife and son went to ski and he joined them after speaking at the ACG Utah Intermountain Growth Conference. It's the first down time Meyer has had since become the Buckeyes' coach.
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"There's some really important people in my life and that's my wife and my children and they said they want to do this," Meyer said. "I wanted to do this, but I probably wouldn't have done this in the past.
"We'll do this every year."
Meyer was relaxed in a non-football setting as he prepared to speak with several business folks about winning strategies, something he's done several times in the past. Because he was so comfortable in his old stomping grounds of Salt Lake City, he opened up to the Salt Lake Tribune about the trials and tribulations of his first few months, especially learning about the NCAA sanctions that will keep the Buckeyes out of a bowl game in 2012.
"About two weeks into it we took a frontal blow when they said you can't go to a bowl game and that put us in about a 2-3 week panic situation recruiting. I started worrying about losing seniors because it's kind of uncharted waters. I've never been in that situation. All the homework that I did, which was a lot before I accepted the position, and the conversations I had, I didn't think they'd do it.
"It was bad for about two weeks and then I think we did a good job — our staff did and I did. That was the first part of our conversation. We didn't wait until our rival or another school recruiting that kid beat it to death. So, we jumped right in the middle of it, told everybody what was going on. Because, you know, rumors just start going crazy. You guys aren't going to go to a bowl game for three years, lose 10 scholarships, no, it was none of that. Here's what it is, here's how we're going to deal with it, move forward and we finished pretty good."
"But, you know what? I'm an NCAA fan. I want them to increase the penalties, make them more difficult and make it more, if someone's going to break a rule I want everybody to know that there's going to be major penalties. I support it 100 percent. So we're going to move forward. I'm not sure how we're going to handle the season, other than just go try to win every game we play."
Meyer also talked about his war of words with fellow Big Ten coaches Bret Bielema and Mark Dantonio, who accused Meyer of unethical recruiting. Both coaches had recruits change their commitments to Ohio State after Meyer arrived and weren't exactly happy about it. But Meyer said despite some harsh words from both sides, things have simmered down and there probably won't be any schoolyard fighting in the parking lot at Big Ten spring meetings.
"I think that was overblown," Meyer said. "Some comments were made that at the end of the day whoever made those comments probably wish they hadn't. But it got cleared up real fast. Everybody gets along. Our commissioner is fantastic. That was over and I think that I made some comments that I probably wish I hadn't. So, I think that's all over and it's all positive right now."
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- Urban Meyer