The rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State didn't become one of sports' best because everyone on both sides was nice to each other all the time.
Tuesday brought another chapter to that rivalry, featuring two of its main modern-day players.
You remember Jim Harbaugh's practice at a Florida high school that got everyone all riled up, right? Well, people are still talking about it, with Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith the latest to weigh in. He talked to reporters about it Tuesday and raised some eyebrows with what looked — to some — like a not-so-subtle jab at Michigan.
"We're talking about spring practice. What's my man's name? Allen Iverson? We're talking about practice, man," Smith said. His quotes were published by Cleveland.com. "So the reality is I wouldn't do that, I wouldn't support taking that time away from our student-athletes.
"Is it creative? Does it help from a recruiting and marketing point of view? I get that. If we were jumpstarting our program I'd probably try and do that, too. But we're not jumpstarting our program. We're in a different place."
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Some disagree that Michigan is "jumpstarting" its football program, one of the winningest programs in college football history and one of the biggest brand names in the sport, even after some down years before Harbaugh arrived in Ann Arbor. But Harbaugh led the Wolverines to 10 wins last season, with many projecting that the Big Ten East will come down to Ohio State and Michigan this upcoming season. That being said, there was work to be done following the tenures of Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke, which saw the Wolverines fall from their historic powerhouse status.
Well, nuance be damned, Harbaugh isn't one to let someone say something about him and his program without responding, and he unleashed a venomous tweet Tuesday night.
Good to see Director Smith being relevant again after the tattoo fiasco. Welcome back!
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) March 23, 2016
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Wow. Not only is Harbaugh going directly after Smith by name — his past Twitter attacks have been a bit less obvious — but he's referencing the NCAA violations that resulted in the end of Jim Tressel's tenure as Ohio State head coach and earned the Buckeyes' football program sanctions from the NCAA.
Some might consider that a low blow. Harbaugh went full steam ahead.
Again, this is the best rivalry in sports. And it's not always nice.