Michigan-MSU rivalry gets more interesting

BY foxsports • January 20, 2012

If there's a Michigan-Michigan State feud going on these days, MSU football coach Mark Dantonio is right in the middle of it.

Or so it seems.

During a speech Friday to the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association, University of Michigan recruiting coordinator Jeff Hecklinski started going into great length about the Wolverines' recruiting approach.

As far as Dantonio was concerned, it was TMI ... too much information, at least under the circumstances.

Dantonio interrupted Hecklinski in mid-presentation.

"OK, here's what we're going to do, we're going to get other people up here." Dantonio said over a microphone, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. "We're going to talk about more than the University of Michigan."

Hecklinski, undoubtedly embarrassed, stopped talking and sat down while other college coaches from around the state joined the discussion.

Hecklinski, who is also Michigan's receivers coach, was filling in as a speaker for coach Brady Hoke during the high-school coaches clinic held at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Hoke was unavailable Friday because he was returning from Houston, where he attended Thursday night's presentation of the  Bear Bryant Coach of the Year award (he was a finalist but didn't win).

Dantonio, whose Spartans have beaten the Wolverines four straight times, also had been in the middle of public feuds with former Michigan running back Mike Hart and Wolverines broadcaster/former player Jim Brandstatter.

The latest incident with Hecklinski was apparently the result, to some extent, of a misunderstanding.

"It was the first time we've ever done this (speaking format at the clinic), and I just didn't know how this would work," Dantonio told reporters who attended the event. "I didn't want it to be a recruiting (spiel for Michigan)."

Hecklinski indicated he was confused about the format and thought he had the floor for 15 minutes.

"Look, I understand my place," he told reporters. "What took place, took place and it is what it is. There is no reason to rehash it."

Well, except for one thing: It was a Spartans coach basically telling a Wolverines coach to shut up, which is always going to draw consideration attention.

This football rivalry isn't just one game every fall. It's year-round, for better or worse, especially since Dantonio took over.

Extra point

Michigan has stopped recruiting Yuri Wright, a highly rated defensive back from New Jersey, after Wright was expelled from his prep school for making sexually graphic comments on Twitter.

Wright's recruiting trip to Ann Arbor, scheduled for this weekend, has been canceled.


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