it's a major award
The Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms with forward Andrew Cogliano on a three-year contract.
Cogliano, the Oilers' first round draft choice (25th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, has decided to forgo his final two seasons with the University of Michigan Wolverines (CCHA) and pursue his professional career.
At least he did it early. Michigan still waiting on Porter and Mitera. Kolarik is supposed to be a lock to return. It looks like it could be another year of struggle for the hockey team.
He has a day job? So I'm innocently reading this Daily article on the plea bargain Carson Butler and Chris Richards have reached...
The deal requires Butler and Richards plead guilty to assault and battery, Jarrett said.
In return, the counts of aggravated assault, as well as Butler's minor in possession charge, will be dropped, he said.
Butler and Richards must also spend eight to ten hours a week mentoring youth in the juvenile system, complete a year of probation and pay the victim $8,062 in medical expenses.
The victim's family also requested the two men undergo random drug and alcohol testing during their year of probation.
...when a name strikes me as familiar:
When Richards's attorney Nicholas Roumel made a request similar to Simon's earlier that day, Mattson had held to the original bond conditions.
Nicholas Roumel? Where have I heard that name before? Then it hits me.
He's "Counterpunt"! He's Nick RouMel. He spars with with comrade Ken "Sky" Walker, AKA "Punt" in the back of the free programs they hand out before home football games. Until I was twelve I thought he was one of the six coolest people on the planet. And apparently he's a local defense lawyer who just happens to get Chris Richards' case. I wonder if the university keeps him around to defend football players who get in trouble.
Anyway... I was excited. So here I am, communicating my excitement. EXCITEMENT.
Prep school mostly gone. This appears to be major news that's flying as under the radar as anything written about in the New York Times can:
In perhaps its most significant move to deter diploma mills, the N.C.A.A. will limit high school students to one core course that would count toward college eligibility after a student's four-year high school graduation date.
As per usual when anything happens, some coaches are pissed off:
"If you have a problem with some of the prep schools, shut them down, do what you've got to do," [Memphis coach John] Calipari said. "Why blow the whole thing up with a bazooka? I understand what their concern is, but I know that they've never discussed it with any of us."
And in this case, I see their point. (The silly quotes over text messaging... not so much.) All of a sudden, only kids who barely miss eligibility can look at prep school as a possibility. The Callahan Brights and Anyone Who Plays Basketball At UConn ... er... -s of the world are now going directly to JUCO without passing go. This doesn't benefit anyone as far as I can tell. The athletes have a longer, more obscure road to a major college. The colleges deploy marginally less interesting athletes who are 1.5 standard deviations below the average student instead of 1.6. Etc. While the NCAA is taking a hammer to the diploma mills, this is a nuclear warhead to any prep school, including places like Hargrave Military or Fork Union or Milford (where freshman defensive tackle Marques Slocum went after failing to qualify) that have established reputations. The scorched earth approach here is excessive.
That said, this should be a small net benefit for Michigan. Slocum is the only recruit in recent memory who went the prep school route and actually showed up on campus. The removal of the prep option harms schools that tend to "draft and follow," oversigning academically questionable kids and attempting to get them eligible year after year, sometimes by stashing them in questionable places. This describes Michigan in no way.
The upcoming. Stadium & Main has a look at next year's schedule. At first glance, once we're through the opening home stretch against Oregon, ND, and Penn State there is a major skate section in which the toughest game appears to be home against Purdue before the finishing @ MSU, @ UW, OSU trio.
c:/Windows/WIN32/ping you.til.you.ded. This has been briefly noted on mgo.licio.us but deserves fuller treatment: holy hell the baseball team is doing their best impression of an aircraft carrier undergoing a cruise missile liquidation scale. The team -- the whole thing -- is hiting .348, which is top five in the country. They've lost one Big Ten game, though the cancellation of their Minnesota series means they haven't played the second best team in the league. Unfortunately, they have a terribly weak schedule and aren't likely to pull a top seed. Rivals has started projecting the field of 64; they have Michigan a two-seed facing #7 (overall) UNC. Minnesota is also a two-seed. No other Big Ten team is in the field.
Two University of Michigan football players reportedly were in a car that allegedly contained drugs when it was stopped by police in Monroe County. No one was arrested and the Michigan State Police are waiting for lab results before any charges are filed. ...
Sources said a small amount of marijuana and tablets of Vicodin, a painkiller, were found in the car. A passenger in the car apparently told police at the scene that he had a legal prescription for the Vicodin, but it was not in his possession. Two other people in the car had the marijuana, according to sources.
No names have been released by the police officers in question. However, I got a tip from a reader when this happened a few days ago. I don't wish to sully anyone's name unnecessarily (nor does the Monroe News: check the reportedly-allegedly double burst of libel protection in the lead), but since this reader had the information on this the day of the incident I'm confident that he's right. So...
One of the guys in the car was Mario Manningham.
Okay. Okay. Okay. This is probably a pot bust and a first offense. He could even be the legal Vicodin guy -- he did have some surgery in the offseason. There's no way he gets in serious trouble for this if he's even in trouble. Maybe a slap on the wrist against Appalachian State, but nothing big. (Please?)
(Sidenote: A friend and I tried on our journalism hats and attempted to confirm this with the circuit court in question but since they haven't been charged with anything pending the results of the drug test they didn't have anything. My IRL information-gathering skills leave something to be desired.)
As above. I've mentioned this in passing before, but not explicitly: I'm editing and writing a large chunk of a new Michigan annual that's coming out this summer. (For an example of the general gist of things you can check out Maple Street's Here Come The Irish from last year; this is a Michigan version of that.) Anyway, the deadline on that is fast approaching and I'd like it to be very good, so I am temporarily redirecting most of my energies to that. So there will be no enormous diatribes, excessive previews of Northwestern, or cool charts in this space for the next week or two. I will get something up every day, if only so the commenters can have a place to discourse, but it'll be along the lines of the last couple days' activity.
After that I'll jump headlong into the previews and hammer out that tempo-free stats thing I mentioned during the season.
Update 4/30: Added VA WR Deion Walker, KY OL Ryan Benzick, IL OL Garrett Goebel, AZ OL Zach Schlinck, WV OL Josh Jenkins, OR DE Ethan Johnson (offered). Linked to articles on OH OL commit Elliot Mealer, GA DT Omar Hunter. Removed IL RB Jason Ford (M lack of interest). Linked to brief mention of possible M lead for IL LB Stephen Filer.
Am specifically leaving two guys off the board despite some announced interest: TX WR Sedrick Johnson claims a verbal offer from Michigan and has them in his top five, which he claims is in no order before talking all about how Texas A&M is highly likely to get him. CA RB Milton Knox says Michigan is in his top five; we haven't offered. If these guys appear to be serious targets later I'll add them.
Possible Programming Note: I throw these up whenever it seems there's enough links to make a post of interest, which seems to be about once a week. So why not make it a weekly feature? Henceforth I'll try to do these every Monday. I've been bad about hewing to schedules in the offseason, though. Will I make it? Perhaps!
Editorial Opinion: Possible M lead for blue-chippah Stephen Filer? w00t? NSFMF. This is the phrase from the Sun-Times article:
Filer, who impresses scouts with his great frame, enormous potential, running ability and good instincts, appears to be leaning to Michigan over Notre Dame, Ohio State, Illinois, Wisconsin, Purdue, Iowa and Minnesota.
Not exactly the strongest endorsement. Now consider that the only person quoted in the article is Creepy Tom Lemming, who never met a recruit he didn't have a baseless-but-profitable opinion on where he'll go, and add two and two to figure out the source of that really weak assertion and you get something that's not likely to be worth the paper a Terry Foster column is printed on. Too bad.
Many lineman names added to the board: OGs out of Arizona and Illinois (Michigan apparently offered Goebel and said "whatever you want"; given the relative depth at DL and OL I put him at OL), a DE out of Oregon, an OT/OG out of WV. None seem like particularly good bets to come to Michigan. Goebel's one of those Catholic school kids and is supposed to be leaning to ND. Arizona is far away, so is Oregon. Josh Jenkins, the WV kid, maintains that he's a soft commit to West Virginia and featured in a picture the Buckeyes are kicking around (one that, frustratingly, I can no longer find) spelling out "Ohio" with their three OL commits. But we offered him so there you go.
Just one other thing: OH TE Kevin Koger picked up a Michigan offer early and it was followed shortly by one from OSU. He's a childhood friend of OL commit Elliot Mealer and even the BP mods are beginning to see this one coming out in Michigan's favor:
I don't see us winning this one...just my humble opinion.
That's not solid, obviously, but those guys are plugged in and it takes some doing to get them to express anything resembling pessimism regarding Michigan after the past few years. I'm this close to breaking out the blue for him, but... no.
As you can probably see, the banner contest has come to its successful conclusion and the readers narrowly chose a continuation of the motif established by the now retired Breaston/Harmon banner. Your winner is Baxter Allen. Email has been dispatched and his victory post will come whenever he gets around to it.
(Note to a few readers who asked for a runoff: since almost all votes went to a subset of four banners and the runoff would have been around four, there didn't seem to be a point in going through with one.)
Many thanks to all those who submitted banners. If whim strikes me I may deploy one of the runners up (or Fred Simmons' underrated creation) from time to time.