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Harbaugh chides OSU AD by citing 'tattoo fiasco'

Harbaugh chides OSU AD by citing 'tattoo fiasco'

10:24 AM ET

  • Dan MurphyESPN Staff Writer
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    • Covers the Big Ten
    • Joined ESPN.com in 2014
    • Graduate of the University of Notre Dame

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh returned to Twitter on Tuesday night, this time to return a jab from Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith.

Earlier Tuesday, Smith told reporters in Columbus that he’d consider taking his school’s football team on a spring trip if “we were jump-starting our program,” before adding that the Buckeyes are “in a different place.”

Smith’s comments were a shot at Michigan’s recent trip to Florida to conduct its spring practice.

As he has been known to do in the past, Harbaugh fired back later Tuesday night, this time in an apparent reference to the tattoo scandal that rocked the Buckeyes program of deposed coach Jim Tressel in 2010.

Good to see Director Smith being relevant again after the tattoo fiasco. Welcome back!

— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) March 23, 2016

Former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott later responded, referencing the Buckeyes’ 42-13 win at Michigan in November.

@CoachJim4UM Welcome to the big house coach. Better luck next time pic.twitter.com/TKrXfEthH8

— EzekielElliott�5⃣ (@EzekielElliott) March 23, 2016

Smith issued a Twitter apology on Wednesday morning.

STATEMENT: My comments at a soccer press conference yesterday were not meant to discredit our rival. I apologize to …

MORE>>>

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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

Harbaugh, meanwhile, has previously responded to comments from his “Rocky Top colleague” Butch Jones and “the Georgia coach” Kirby Smart.

Harbaugh said earlier this month that he turns to Twitter to right wrongs and to find some humor. There’s a good chance that Tuesday’s response was an attempt at the latter, although there isn’t much of a chance it will be viewed that way in Columbus.

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