Meyer shoots down Fickell interview report

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There has been no interview of Luke Fickell that his current boss is aware of.

And if the Ohio State defensive coordinator did have one that Urban Meyer doesn't know about, Fickell is apparently risking the wrath of the Buckeyes coach in the middle of a stretch run with a possible national championship hanging in the balance.

Meyer refuted a report on Tuesday by the South Florida Sun Sentinel that indicated Fickell was being interviewed by Florida Atlantic for its vacant coaching job, making it quite clear during a media session after practice on Wednesday evening that he wouldn't be giving his approval to something that could distract his team heading into the final three games of the regular season for the No. 4 Buckeyes.

"My wife sent me a text asking if Luke interviewed," Meyer said. "He did not interview. He better not have."

Meyer has made it clear on numerous occasions that he wants his assistants in the mix for head-coaching jobs elsewhere and won't stand in their way of advancing professionally, but he also has expectations for how his staff will go through the process of trying to move up the ladder.

The first thing Meyer asked for was a two-year commitment from everybody on his first staff when he took over the program, and every assistant fulfilled that end of the bargain despite overtures to four of them after last season. And while there are certain steps Meyer would like to be involved in when the time is right, currently the only requirement is making sure their focus is on the job they have now and finishing the season on a high note.

Fickell is almost certainly one of the top candidates for Florida Atlantic given the ties between athletic director Pat Chun and Ohio State, where he previously served as a member of the athletic department. But Meyer isn't going to sign off on any conversations between those two parties quite yet.

"The [athletic director] calls the head football coach, the assistant comes in and says, 'They have an interest in me, when would be the right time?'" Meyer said. "My answer is, don't do anything to disrupt this team.

"I get the whole thing. But there's absolutely no interviewing going on during this time. No chance."