The Badgers are taking a principled recruiting stand when it comes to Penn State:
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said Thursday he has no plans to recruit the players at Penn State, suggesting it would violate what he calls a Big Ten coaching brotherhood.
“I made the decision as a head coach we would not reach out to any Penn State players,” he said. “I think one of the things that I’ve loved and appreciated about being in this conference is there is a genuine respect for everybody in our league that you are a Big Ten brother and … we’re a group of coaches that have a network that’s beyond anybody’s expectations and helping us in recruiting.”
Good for him! Bielema, you’ll remember, freaked out when former Badgers commit Kyle Dodson instead signed with Ohio State (accusing Urban Meyer of cheating).
But wait … didn’t I just read this story the other day?
Tartan High School senior cornerback Keelon Brookins switched his oral commitment from the University of Minnesota to Wisconsin on Wednesday, July 25.
Brookins was the first player to commit to Gophers coach Jerry Kill in the 2013 recruiting class in February. But he still received an offer from the Badgers after attending their football camp this summer.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with Wisconsin offering – and poaching – a Minnesota commit. Just as there is nothing wrong with Ohio State offering – and poaching – a Wisconsin recruit.
And there seems to be at least a little daylight between Bielema’s outrage with Ohio State, high-mindedness about Penn State, and his offering a scholarship to a Minnesota commit.
Update: Wisconsin fans are noting that Bielema wasn’t upset that Dodson had flipped (sure…) but that Ohio State had contacted him during a dead period. Which would be a violation of NCAA rules – something Bielema later said he wasn’t accusing Ohio State of doing, as noted in this ESPN story:
Bielema did not address specifics, but on Friday said he was not alleging NCAA rules violations were committed within the Big Ten.
“We are moving forward,” Bielema said after Friday’s coaches’ meeting.
So what, exactly, was the complaint then?