Ohio State AD apologizes for recent Michigan comments

Ohio State AD Gene Smith took to Twitter today to apologize for comments he made yesterday about Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh holding a week of spring practice in Florida, when he said he’d do the same thing if he were trying to “jump start” a program.

Harbaugh then tweeted about Smith being “relevant” again after the “tattoo fiasco,” referencing Ohio State’s NCAA sanctions from a few years ago and after a whirlwind of controversy was created, Smith tweeted the following this morning.

STATEMENT: My comments at a soccer press conference yesterday were not meant to discredit our rival. I apologize to …
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— gene smith (@OSU_AD) March 23, 2016

…UM student-athletes & my good friend Warde Manuel. We at OSU look forward to continuing the greatest rivalry in collegiate football.
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— gene smith (@OSU_AD) March 23, 2016

Now, in Smith’s defense, Harbaugh did essentially jump star Michigan upon arriving last season. The Wolverines had gone 31-20 (18-14 Big Ten) in four years under Harbaugh’s predecessor Brady Hoke and had not looked like the dominant program it had under Michigan legends Lloyd Carr and Bo Schembechler.

Harbaugh, on the other hand, arrived last season and went 10-3 (6-2 Big Ten) in his first season and won the Citrus Bowl.

Just the same, though maybe taken out of context just a little bit, Smith’s comments weren’t exactly appropriate. The mark of a heated rivalry is one where respect exists between both parties, and Smith’s “jump-start” comment disregarded that.

This appears to be blown over for now, but definitely expect there to be a ton of fireworks headed into Ohio State and Michigan’s regular season matchup in 2016 regardless.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to Cleveland.com