Smith, Meyer agree: No practice over spring break for OSU

The Detroit News
Urban Meyer

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said if the Buckeyes weren't established as a football powerhouse, he might consider taking the football team on the road for spring practice, as Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh did with his team.

“If we were jump starting our program I’d probably try to do that too, but we’re not jump starting our program,” Smith said in a story reported Tuesday by “We’re at a different place.”

Smith echoed previous remarks made by Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, saying he does not want to take spring break away from the players. Michigan practiced four times over spring break at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Harbaugh has been criticized for the trip by the SEC and ACC commissioners.

“I think it’s a creative idea and I understand that, but I would not be supportive of taking away student athletes’ free time to go to practice,” Smith told the website. “We’re talking about spring practice. The reality is, I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t support taking that time away from our student athletes.”

Michigan will practice at Ford Field Saturday

OSU coach Urban Meyer attempted to clarify statements he made on Saturday about the possibility of taking the Buckeyes on a spring break trip that would include football practices.

“I can’t see taking spring break away from players,” Meyer said Tuesday, according to the Columbus Dispatch and other reports. “That doesn’t mean we won’t research and keep our eye on it. It’s funny how – someone said, ‘Boy, I saw in the paper you guys are going to Florida.’ I said ‘What are you talking about?’

“Someone stuck a microphone in my face and I said, ‘We look into everything.’”

That was a reference to what Meyer said during a TV interview during Tim Tebow’s charity golf outing Saturday in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Meyer was asked about Harbaugh taking his Michigan team to Florida during spring break for four practices.

"I think it's creative," Meyer said. "I'm looking into it for next year and maybe the future, too. It's creative, and if it's good for the players, we'll probably do it."