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Posted on Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

Michigan recruiting coordinator Jeff Hecklinski cut off by Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio during presentation

By Kyle Meinke

No love is lost between the Michigan and Michigan State football teams, even in mid January.

There was an awkward altercation today between Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio and Wolverines receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski at the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Winners' Circle Clinic in Kalamazoo.

Hecklinski, Michigan's recruiting coordinator, was speaking to high school coaches about the Wolverines' recruiting strategies when he was cut off mid-presentation by Dantonio, according to MLive's Jayson Bussa.

Bussa reports:

Dantonio, who was mic’ed up, cut Hecklinski off mid-presentation and summoned the rest of the panel members to the stage to, as he said, talk about more than just recruiting at Michigan.

A red-faced Hecklinski took a seat on the stage, joined by the rest of the panel, which included coaches from Wayne State, Siena Heights and Alma.

Both sides later chalked it up to a misunderstanding in forum’s format.

“I really didn’t know how this would work in this forum; it was the first time we’ve ever done this and I just didn’t know how this would work,” Dantonio said. “I didn’t want it to be a recruiting (speech for only Michigan).”

Hecklinski chose not to dwell on the altercation, either.

“Look, I understand my place,” said Hecklinski, who thought he had a 15-minute window to speak about his program. “What took place, took place and it is what it is. There is no reason to rehash it.”

Michigan's recruiting class is ranked among the top 10 by every major recruiting service, and has dominated in-state recruiting. The Wolverines have six of the state's top recruits, according to Rivals. Michigan State has two.

National signing day is Feb. 1.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

For MQual and "Dantonio as moderator" defenders This entire take is undermined by an event organizer in the USA Today article where he is quoted as saying that he did not know that Dantonio was staying beyond his 15 minutes: Larry Merx of the coaches association said there was a misunderstanding on the format because Dantonio decided to stay for the entire 90-minute panel discussion, rather than leave after giving a 15-minute presentation, as he had planned. "I told him we would have arranged things differently had we known he was going to stay," Merx said. "What happened, Mark's a good guy. He helps us out a lot. He's a good guy for high school coaches. He got to a point where he'd spoken and couldn't leave. He didn't want to jump ship and wanted to stick around. "We'd have changed the whole situation. Because Mark wanted to be good for us, it wound up having the Michigan coach think he had more time to speak, and Mark lost his patience a little bit." Wouldn't this guy know that Dantonio was staying for the entire 90 minutes if he was intended to be the moderator?


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 12:56 a.m.

Here is another perspective from one of the coaches attending the meeting. Comes off way different if you see it how he does. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Terrin Bell

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 6:57 a.m.

Come on. The coach's perspective you are referring to admits he is biased and a big Dantonio fan. It sounds like the the event was poorly planned. Further, it sounded like the Michigan guy was covering for Hoke, so you cut the guy some slack even if he strays from the purpose of the event. In addition, according to others, Dantonio wasn't supposed to be in the room after his fifteen minutes.


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 5:06 a.m.

Not sure why you put this link here. No Michigan fan will ever admit that they did something wrong, their to arrogant. Look like their recruiter is the same way. Let the UofM fans talk all they want about their recruiting classes. The've been in the top 25 the past few years and look where it has gotten them. MSU has not been ranked in the top 25 the past 6 years and the wins speak for themselves. Oh yeah, good by Mens bb top 25 ranking. When will you get a quality win on the road? Wait lets change that to when will you get one win on the road (sorry, I'm not calling Oakland a win but go ahead if you want to).


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

I think they are full though for the year though


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

Speaking of recruiting.....Anyone here see how Urban Myer did this week? Wow, how dod you compete with that ?

Terry Star21

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:50 a.m.

urban legend 0-3 against Michigan looking for 0-4, will be out of osu in 2 maybe three years.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.

That's true Teddy. And Michigan coaches are also envious of the foot rubs Urban receives from ole Teddy when he returns from recruiting trips. It's just not fair!


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 4:34 p.m.

Nothing that the classless Dantonio does surprises me. Any good football player can play for him as long as they're out of jail at game time.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

you can tell he got some training from osu.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

For the Record, &quot;Msu-cks1,&quot; best screenname award!


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

That's true Teddy. And Michigan coaches are also envious of the foot rubs Urban receives from ole Teddy when he returns from recruiting trips. It's just not fair!


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

Speaking of recruiting.....Anyone here see how Urban Myer did this week? Wow, how dod you compete with that ?


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 6:01 p.m.

hey troll, do you visit Youngstown state and FAU sites and read about their programs?


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 6 p.m.

hey troll, do you visit Youngstown state and FAU sites and read about their programs?


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

That's true. He whipped UM's butt 4 years in a row.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

That's true. He whipped UM's butt 4 years in a row.

Blu n Tpa

Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

Coach Dantonio, the next time a BCS selection committee sits down to decide which school they want at their bowl don't be surprised when it's not you and MSU. This is EXACTLY what big time bowl games run from, a media train wreck and a loose cannon head coach. And don't any of you worry about Michigan remembering all these slights by the players and coaches from EL. Coach Hoke and staff appears to to be using Teddy Roosevelt's theory. Talk softly and save it for the next game. To sparties everywhere, this is why you don't get invited to the adult's table come bowl time.

Terry Star21

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:49 a.m.

state continues to lose to Michigan on a regular basis and in fact has lost six of the last ten, 67 out of 99. Michigan got a better bowl because it was a better team and selection commitees knew Michigan gave away the victory in October. When you play second fiddle to Michigan forever, you become too sensitive to there presence and simply lose it.


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 5:39 a.m.

Atleast you agree you got invited to the Sugar based on your past reputation and not the product on the field! State didn't get invited because they don't have as big of a fan base or the past Michigan has had. Great for UofM, you should be proud of your past. Now the present........State still beat you....again. Go ahead, tell me about how great your future will be.


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 12:59 a.m.

Interesting perspective from the coach's that attended. They saw it as a win for MSU and integrity. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 11:36 a.m.

Atta boy Mark. There is a reason why, for so many years, your school has been treated as a little sister. Good Luck Coach


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 3:28 a.m.

Will michigan fans ever stop pretending they are so well behaved and righteous? It's really annoying. No one is perfect, stop acting like banners weren't taken or student athletes aren't in the police beat every so often. Coach D is solid and gets a rise out of mi fans cuz he hates you and can back it up on the field.

Terry Star21

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:44 a.m.

michigan state lost six out of last ten meetings, coach d encourages and supports thugs on his team, and coach d is finished beating Michigan....the truth hurts and he is very sensitive when it comes to Michigan's presence anywhere near himself - can you blame him ?

Elton in Atlanta

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 4:23 p.m.

&quot;Hate&quot; is usually a misused term in a great rivalry. I think in Dantonio's case it really is hate though, and hate is always an unworthy emotion.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 2:20 a.m.

I looked up &quot;horse's butt&quot; in the dictionary. Dantonio's picture was right there. Then I looked up &quot;do-do wad&quot;. Guess who's picture was there? Could it have been Izzo's? Coincidence? I think not. Next year, send coach hoke to the meeting. No way dantonio pulls that crap on him!


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 4:35 p.m.

Wrongmind...Hoke was busy as he was in tied to the coach of the year award cermony as a finalist. Meanwhile, scumtonio is showing his character once least he is getting close to picking on people &quot;his own size&quot;. Ateast this is an ASsistan coach and be is not getting into a war of words with a 21 yr old college kid in the press. What's classic is is hatred of Meeechigan is rooted in the fact that he is a suckeye not and has nothing to do w/his love of sparty. Scumtonio.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

A2D2, There's a recession going on. They told Hoke to stay home so they could save on the food bill. He might have missed out on coach of the year, maybe he can beat Charlie out for fattest.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 11:34 p.m.

Stay classy Ann Arbor.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 10:55 p.m.

Albee Macaw, you make some valid points about recruiting although as in all states there are no boundries to recruiting it is up to the athlete and their families to determine the best school for a young student athlete. I'm sure Oklahoma Sooners would agree with me although Texas might disagree. Albee, correct me if I'm wrong but didn't the QB that ran your last National Championship team come from Michigan. That was a great game for ohio and the state of Michigan was glad to send you a QB that orchestrated that win for ohio. You see Albee, it works both ways.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

Bad sportmanship. The other day it was &quot;Coach&quot; Izzo, now Dantonio steps back into it. Let's face it, they hate us. The MSU athletic departmant &quot;hates&quot; Michigan. Hate is a strong word but actions speak louder than words. I would like to see Dave Brandon put his foot down and contact the MSU AD and come up with a code of conduct. It is one thing to be a rival but to inject this lack or respect and disdain from some Spartans that will hit below the belt. When the cameras are rolling and the mic is on, they can at least show a little respect. They can swear at us all they want in their lockerooms. I see how John Beilein showed tremendous respect for Coach Izzo on the Huge show the other day. Brady Hoke gives Mark Dantonio a bear hug immediately after the humiliating loss to MSU last fall in East Lansing. That proves my point. I am rapidly losing what respect I have for the MSU athletic program because of how some of their coaches represent themselves in referring to Michigan. I will do what I can show my support for Michigan vs MSU in the next contest. Mark Dantonio is a poor sportsman when it comes to Michigan, that's putting it mildly.

Blue Marker

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 10:22 p.m.

Ignore it and it may go away.

Albee Macaw

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 10:01 p.m.

The schools up north have much more to worry about then their in state competitors. The big boys on the block down South The Ohio State University continues to land upper end recruits. Really nice to see the urbanator snagged kids from Colorado, Massachusetts, Indiana and OHIO in the last week. Given Urb is an OHIO guys he will have a lock on the local talent for years. Be interesting to see hoe Brady Joke will attempt to turn the OHIO kids to traitors like him. He is from OHIO. Then again Joke would not be qualified enough to coach the ball boys at TOSU. He could definitely get a job on the chow line.

Terrin Bell

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 6:44 a.m.

If Ball State actually treated Hoke right, he'd still happily be coaching there.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

The carpet bagger from down south (Urban Meyer) is enslaving recruits for his glory. His vain ambition is sure to get him in trouble just like Jim Tressel finally got uncovered. Why any recruit would choose that Ohio school over Michigan, Penn State, MSU, Wisconsin, or Notre Dame is beyond my wildest imagination. The Bucket of Bolts coaching staff and team are nothing but a bunch of blowhard braggerts who greatly lack maturity, humility, decency, and honor. I hope his recruits see the light prior to February 2nd signing day. Penn State deserves better than the bushwhacking they are getting.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

Not a student of recent history, eh Albee? In 2007 OSU got beat by Meyer in nat'l champ'ship. But in 2008 UM beat him and Tebow in Capitol One bowl. This year OSU had Meyer and still lost to Florida. Meyer is not the answer to all your dreams -- even his initials are U.M.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 1:04 a.m.

Uh oh. Urb will beat us for sure, he's got an unfair advantage that most of us were unaware of. Thanks to Albee's comment that &quot;Urb is an Ohio guys&quot; we now know what makes him so good. He's more than one person...he's several guys at once. Now I am scared.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 11:12 p.m.

As far as I'm concerned, Michigan doesn't even have to play Ohio anymore because it is so clear that Ohio has already won every game for the next 2 decades. I mean, Urban Meyer already has 9 or so championship rings at Ohio for the decade after their probation.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 10:49 p.m.

As I recall, Bo was an OHIO guy and did fairly well against you blowhards.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 10:17 p.m.

Talk is cheap.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

Kyle, some clarification is necessary. Did Hecklinski have 15-minutes to discuss Michigan recruiting strategies? Was the event moderated? Dantonio comes off bad either way, as a professional never interrupts a fellow colleague's presentation, rival or not. Taking the &quot;I don't know how this works, so I'll rudely interrupt&quot; option speaks volumes about his lacking character. Way to take the high road, Hecklinski. I hope I'd have as much self-control not to speak out in anger if I were placed in the same situation.

Blue Marker

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

Of course I'm Maize and Blue so my comments are one sided but this guy is coming off like such a jerk. Some of the posts above said it much better than I ever could. I can't believe most Spartan fans aren't embarrassed by both the coaches' actions as well as the behavior of the players both on and off the field. You stay classy Coach D!

Lorain Steelmen

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

Dantonio is clearly an individual that has a deep seated inferiority complex. When sensing that he is being exposed, yet again, by a UM coach, he strikes out at Helinski. (I read a that similar altercation occurred at the league meetings in Chicago, last year, as was exposed in John U Bacon's, recent Book , Three and Out.) So there is nothing new here. The recent game in EL, it was clear that Dantonio had instructed his team to commit personal fouls, in order to disrupt the UM offense. Knowing that the game officials would not have the backbone to stop it, and the league office would look the other way, he took, the low road, in order to stop a superior team. It paid off for him...this year. Accordingly, I look for that plan to continue, as long as Dantonio is coaching at msu. But I also look for Hoke to bring his team to the level, that there is NO way for Danonio to beat UM, clean or dirty. And Dantonio knows it. The 'run' by msu is over, and with it, a return to the typical 1-9 series record every decade, that msu has experienced, over the past century. Sadly, for our msu friends, Danonio represents all the worst, in colligiate athletics, as exposed on national tv, by ESPN, films as Golhstin tried to snap Denard Robinson's neck, as he was helplessly pinned at the bottom of the pile. That shot has become 'the face of msu football', all across the country. For Dantonio, there is no where to hide anymore.


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 9:23 p.m.

Let me see if I understand this: the wolverines have the biggest fan base (as evidenced by their unearned bowl bids), brings in more money for the conference and NCAA than most other schools, and has a tradition of winning that dates back to the early 1400s (as talked-to-death by their fans), but you're seriously asserting that the officials would not call penalties on their opponent in a big game? Give it up, wolverine fans; you can't have it both ways.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 2:26 a.m.

Under Bo, Mo, and Lloyd, the U of M went 30-10 against M-S-Moooooooooooo, I expect that, under Coach Hoke, the football world in the state of Michigan will return to its normal axis and that the beatings of L'il Brother will begin anew. Good Night and Good Luck


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 11:10 p.m.

LS: Much as I like what you wrote about Dantonio being a classless coach who is so obsessed with outdoing michigan (and tolerating thuggish behavior), you are misguided if you think the rivalry will ever be 1-9 each decade. MSU beat UM 1 in 3 games during Bo's coaching career, after 1978. LC had a great run of success from 2002-2007 but was even from 1995-2001. MSU owned Michigan during the 1950s and 1960s.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

If Gohlston is the face of MSU football thats not too bad. He will be a top 10 pick in the NFL draft. Denard will be about a 3rd round pick.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

Definition of a bully is a person who hurts or browbeats those who are weaker. Our coordinator is obviously in an inferior postion in relationship to a head coach. Dantonio had a great opportunity to create a classy program in Lansing instead opted for toleration of dirty play and is himself showing he is classless. If the folks that follow the Spartans want that style of play so be it. This classless act by Dantonio smacks of fear of what he sees coming his way by a revamped Wolverine program which is only going to get stronger under the new staff made obvious to Dantonio by the 2012 instate recruiting let alone the national recruiting which Michigan is showing. I should not be surprised as Dantonio learned under the now infamous Tressel and we know what he turned out to be, a classless liar. Dantonio is obviously starting to worry about the Wolverines and feels the need to lite a fire under his programs butt as he knows full well what is coming his way as he watches the recruiting war heavily favor the Michigan Wolverines.

Terrin Bell

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 6:39 a.m.

Honestly, a Tressel comparison? I don't recall Tressel ever bad mouthing Michigan, or acting in such an undignified manner. When Michigan was being beaten up in the press over NCAA violations, Tressel spoke up in Michigan's defense. Further, nothing Tressel did helped Ohio State beat Michigan. Tressel made a mistake trying to protect some players who broke a stupid rule that has no bearing on game play. Dantonio wishes he had half the class as Tressel.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 6:13 p.m.

1. i'd like to know who was supposedly running (moderating) this event for the michigan high school coaches association and which table he/she hid under. 2. i hope that jeff hecklinski has a long memory----a long memory.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

So the 60 minutes of Unnecessary Roughness carries over to recruiting seminars now?


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 9:19 p.m.

The fact that this quote was taken out of context and completely overblown has already been well-documented.