On Tuesday, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith criticized the Michigan football program and particularly head coach Jim Harbaugh after the latter decided to conduct a portion of the Wolverines’ spring practice in Florida earlier this month. Bleacher Report’s Ben Axelrod tweeted out Smith’s quote.

Jim Harbaugh Responds To OSU AD Gene Smith With Comment On Tattoo

Refusing, as always, to back down from a fight, Harbaugh quickly fired back at Smith on his own Twitter account, referencing an old scandal involving a tattoo that rocked the Ohio State Buckeyes program of deposed coach Jim Tressel back in 2010. Ohio State’s sanctions from the NCAA in 2011 centered on players having a financial arrangement with a tattoo parlor.


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The Buckeyes have two undisputed national championships since the Michigan Wolverines last sat in first place in college football alongside Nebraska in 1997.

In fact, Michigan hasn’t won a game since 2011.

Former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott also later responded to Harbaugh via Twitter, reminding him of the Buckeyes’ 42-13 win at Michigan in November.

Smith eventually apologized via Twitter on Wednesday morning, stating, “My comments at a soccer press conference yesterday were not meant to discredit our rival. I apologize to UM student-athletes & my good friend Warde Manuel. We at OSU look forward to continuing the greatest rivalry in collegiate football.”

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer also commented on the issue regarding the Florida trip for spring training.

“It doesn’t mean we won’t do research or keep an eye out, but it’s funny. … Somebody said the other day, ‘I saw you guys were going to Florida.’ I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ Somebody stuck a microphone in my face and I said (we’d look into it). We wouldn’t take their free time away from them. If there’s some way to do something like that and it helps the players, we’ll look into it.”


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