(USA TODAY) The back and forth between Florida and Ohio State over perceived recruiting violations took center stage as the SEC opened its annual media days in Hoover, Ala., with Florida coach Will Muschamp sarcastically thanking Ohio State for turning in his program to the NCAA and the SEC for what the Buckeyes believed to be a pair of secondary violations.
"We appreciate our friends from Ohio making sure we follow NCAA rules," Muschamp said Tuesday. "They certainly know a lot about NCAA rules."
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The Buckeyes are currently under NCAA probation for violations committed under former coach Jim Tressel and his staff; Ohio State banned from postseason play last fall, the program's first under former Florida coach Urban Meyer.
Ohio State has turned in the Gators for two secondary violations since Meyer joined the university before the 2012 season. In early July, The Gainesville Sun reported that OSU had turned in Florida for a "bump" recruiting violation involving Gators running backs coach Brian White and Brooklyn, N.Y., running back Curtis Samuel, meaning White had contacted Samuel during prescribed non-contact recruiting periods. Last year, OSU notified the NCAA about a situation with 2013 defensive end recruit Jordan Sherit, who rode to Florida's campus with a friend then on the Gators football team.
As a result of the claim, Florida coach Will Muschamp had to pull White away from recruiting for three days while an investigation was conducted.
While not denying that OSU had notified the NCAA the possibility of a recruiting violation, Meyer denied responsibility for the university's accusation.
"It is absolutely not true that I turned in the University of Florida," Meyer said, according to The Gainesville Sun. "Weeks after, I learned our compliance guy (without any coach involvement) forwarded an article to the conference office. This is standard procedure. Once again, zero coach involvement."
However, ESPN.com, citing sources, said that although Meyer was not initially aware of Ohio State's allegation he "was aware of it and endorsed it."
In each case, both with Samuel and Sherit, Florida was cleared of any wrongdoing by both the NCAA and the SEC. Although Sherit would eventually sign with Florida, Samuel has since eliminated the Gators from his list of potential schools; according to the New York Daily News, Samuel is down to Ohio State, Alabama, Notre Dame, Miami (Fla.) and Rutgers.
Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports