The interview is courtesy of 105.1 FM in Detroit.
On how if Wilcher is upset at Ohio State?
Thomas Wilcher: “I think that an athlete’s heart, his passion, what he feels like now, is really my major concern right now. So if he’s feeling down and out. I’m feeling down and out. I’m feeling the same thing that he’s feeling. All I want my athletes to do is go with their first thought and know really where they want to be at. And try to make sure parents and everybody is on board and you all agree to the same thing. That’s kind of what happened at the end. Mike Weber got a little but straddling the fence. He wanted to go to Michigan. But he wanted to stay committed. He wanted show that he understands about commitment. His father is trying to teach him about commitment. His mother wants him to understand about commitment. And I think that’s what he showed Ohio State in the end. But they at least supposed to show him the same type of courtesy also. That’s my problem.”
Are you mad at Stan Drayton?
Thomas Wilcher: “I’m not pissed at Stan Drayton. Not at all. Because a man is going to want to be able to improve his job. Everybody do. You know? I’m just pissed at the program because you should have at least told the young man of an opportunity. So it is not Stan Drayton I am pissed at. Let’s start at the top. Because that’s where it all falls from – the top. Because I understand they didn’t want to let anyone know. But the key thing is – you have to let people know. You have to. You have to let kids know. I just feel that way.”
So you’re upset with Urban Meyer?
Thomas Wilcher: “That’s where it starts is at the top. It starts at the top, that’s where it starts at. I mean, he comes to Detroit. He comes to these schools. You want to look at him as an honest person. I’m not saying he’s not an honest person. But you want to believe in your whole heart whatever they said to you, whatever they’re doing, you know, it’s honest. I just want it to be that way. I just want to keep it that way. Because I want all coaches to come down here and take these young men off to help them develop into men and make sure they understand what honesty means, and how to produce a young man by being courageous to yourself. And don’t be worried about if you make a mistake. Just be honest with yourself. And learn how to accept responsibilities when make a mistake. That’s all I want form my young men. That’s why I teach them everyday. So that’s it. That main thing they used against getting Mike Weber to make sure he keeps his commitment, the one thing they withheld to make sure Mike Weber kept his commitment. That’s the way to put it though, really.”
On telling Ohio State they are no longer welcome at Detroit Cass Tech:
Thomas Wilcher: “I think Urban Meyer is going to have to step his game up. He’s going to have to come down. We’re going to have to talk. We’re going to have to meet. Because he just came to my school and got the No. 1 athlete. He got an All-American athlete out of my school two years in a row the No. 1 player in the state. And I think that’s big. I think that’s real big for his university. But the most important thing is you cannot come over here, come up to the north and walk out here with your pockets full and not give us respect. That’s the most important thing I’m telling you right now. You have to respect us. You just can’t walk all over us. That’s not going to happen again. I can tell you that right now.”
Have you reached out to Urban Meyer to tell him your displeasure?
Thomas Wilcher: “I talked to the recruiting coach already. I really haven’t got my words together for coach Urban Meyer. What I am really trying to hope, is he calls me. That’s what I am really waiting for. I am really waiting to see if he calls me. Because this is a very tough situation. Because I can tell you right now Mike Weber is not happy. I can tell you right now his family is not very happy. But they’re teaching him multiple morals, values and standards right now. Because coach Drayton is supposed to want to go get a higher job. If you were stuck a position for so long, wouldn’t you want go get a better job? That’s just how it is. So I’m not mad at coach Drayton. I’m not mad at them at all. I’m mad at the protocol. That’s what I’m mad about. I am mad about [you’re] out there recruiting, tell young men what’s going on so they can believe in the university. That’s just it. I think it’s a black eye on the university also. Because they are out getting these young men on a false pretense, and that just it.”
Have you talked to Mike Weber? How did that talk go? Does he feel any better after talking to coach Meyer?
Thomas Wilcher: “I have not talked to Mike Weber since he talked to Urban Meyer. I have not. So I don’t know how that talk went. I only talked to Mike Weber when he told me how hurt he is. How upset he was. And I had to calm him down a couple times and say ‘You know, just keep calling me. I want you to keep talking this out. Because I don’t want you to hold it all in and be real upset.’ Because he’s got to come to school. He’s got to face everyone at school. He’s got to walk out that door and face all these people in the state of Michigan. Who are always pointing their finger in his face saying ‘What, I told you so.’ He’s got to face This is not going to be an easy thing. This is not going to go away. Because there is a lot of people in the state of Michigan who really rooted for Mike Weber to go to Michigan. There is a lot people from the state of Michigan who rooted for Mike Weber to go to Ohio State, too. But those voices right now are a lot louder to keep you from Michigan. So you know, you got to stand up right now. It’s going to hard. It’s going to be hard. I really feel bad for him right now. But we’re going to work through this. We’re going to do whatever we got to do to make sure my young man comes out on top and make that he’s happy and in. And he’s off to school being happy. I’m going to keep working for him every day.”
So he’s not going to try to leave Ohio State? he’s not going to try to get out of his [letter of intent]? He’s not going to try to sit out a year? He is going to be a Buckeye in the fall?
Thomas Wilcher: “I truly believe that Mike Weber, his parents have come to that decision. I truly believe that Mike Weber and his parents will sit down and keep talking. I truly believe Mike Weber and his parents hold their sons best interest at heart. We have not discussed that. We have not talked about it. But I’m quite sure whatever is done for Mike Weber, will be done in the best interest of Mike Weber. It’s not always about the school. It’s always about the family first. It’s how your family will handle the situation. So I think they are going to look at what Mike Weber needs in life. And what he has to be at. And that’s what’s important. I know he’s upset. It’s a setback, it’s a part of life. In coaching, coaches are going to leave. They are not promised to stay there all four years. But the key thing is, you at least want to know who you are going to battle for. You at least want to know, who you are go fighting for. You at least want to know, who has your back. That’s the problem.”
When asked gain if Weber would stay with his commitment to OSU, Wilcher replied:
Thomas Wilcher: “To my understanding of the rules, if you’re released from your school. I don’t think you have to sit out. If you’re released. But I know if you just go to another school, you have to sit out.”
On Meyer not letting Weber go to Michigan?
Thomas Wilcher: “We never know what’s going to happen. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I have no comment on that situation right now. I can just comment about the rule. I know the rule says if you’re released you’re able to play. If you’re not released, you have to sit out. I know that automatically. The most important thing is it is something that parents, and I would love to try to join in. I hope I have an opportunity to join in with the parents. But the most important thing right now is Mike Weber. And how he’s feeling right now. What I have to do to get Mike Weber to do his homework. What I got to get Mike Weber to get to school. What I got to do to get Mike Weber through the day right now because he’s upset. I can’t worry about what the media want. I can’t worry about what the schools want. I got to worry about Mike Weber right now. Because he’s my most important thing right now. He’s my most important person right now. Because he’s the person that is hurt. And so when he’s hurting, I’m hurting. I have to go over to his house and try to deal with him.”
On critics saying Weber should have been prepared for this possibility to happen:
Thomas Wilcher: “I’m going to say this right here. I have to go back to the first statement I said. You have at least know the person you’re going to battle with. The person whose got your back. The person who’s going to sit there and help motivate you become the man you’reneed to be. That person in the room coaching you. You want to know that person. An opportunity is, you want to have an understanding of somebody who’s going to be coaching you. You just got to have that. But the most thing is, when you don’t know, that’s why Mikey decommitted from Michigan. Because he didn’t know who the coaches were going to be. He didn’t know if anybody was going to be there. So he decommitted. Which is a great thing he did. Because he didn’t know. And so he’s got the same type of uncertainty again. The most important thing again, is it’s about Mikey. This young man is hurting. This young man is upset. And I got to do whatever it takes to get this young man back on track. So he can go to school. So he can get ready to do his school work. He can get focused, because he’s hurting right now. So really all my effort is not going to be towards Urban Meyer, or coach [Kerry] Coombs form Ohio State. It’s going to towards Mike Weber. Trying to get his spirits back up. Trying to get him moving. That’s what it’s all about.”