I was thinking a bit about the Reggie Bush stuff at USC, and whether we should compensate football/basketball players beyond their scholarships. Many people hold to the traditional ideal of the student-athlete: these guys are just students who just happen to have freakish amounts of talent; they participate in our school's athletic teams, and in return are given a scholarship to pay for their education. Others advocate for a more pro-style approach: the players entertain millions of tv viewers and make a lot of money for the athletic department, so they should be paid.
I used to fall firmly in the first camp. While at Michigan I was on an academic scholarship, and I had certain requirements to uphold - maintain a certain GPA, etc. As long as I did that, my tuition, room and board were paid for. The only difference between me and the guys on athletic scholarship is that their requirements had to do with the field, and mind had to do with the classroom - right? However, I was being compensated in the same field in which I excelled: I was a good student, so my schooling was paid for. Athletes are different, though. Their potential lies on the field, but we compensate them by paying for their education. They have much more work than I did - to earn their scholarship, they have to not only do their coursework and maintain a minimum GPA, but ALSO put in the ridiculous amount of work to be involved in collegiate athletics. It would be like my scholarship requiring me to hold down an unpaid part-time job in addition to my coursework. In that sense, the traditional notion of the student-athlete is a bit ridiculous.
Aside from that, I think we have to consider where all the money goes in the current system - money that is made based on the exploits of these players. Coach salaries are escalating every year. Schools are investing tons of money into facilities - some investments are necessary (*cough cough* Crisler renovation), but others are just an arms race to impress recruits (e.g. Oregon's locker room, which reportedly has personal xboxes in each locker). Compared to those extravagancies, tuition + room and board for the athletes seems like a fairly small amount.
I think there's a way to compromise without overhauling the entire system, though. Had I wanted to make extra money aside from my scholarship, Michigan offered opportunities for students to get paid while working for the school: work-study. Why not offer student-athletes work-study money for the time they invest in sports? Most work-study jobs benefit the school (research assistantships, landscaping, etc.) and athletes arguably benefit the school as much as anyone. They entertain students and alumni, raise huge amounts of money for the athletic department, and act as ambassadors for the school. Athletes do a lot for the University - why not compensate them while working within the existing system?
I see a couple problems, but I think they could be worked around. First, there are a lot of athletes at the university who aren't on scholarship - should they be paid too? I would say probably no; make this work-study opportunity available only to athletes who are on scholarship. I know it doesn't seem fair, but the work study money would be a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of a full scholarship. This really wouldn't be much of a change from the status quo from a financial standpoint.
The other issue is how much to pay student athletes. I think that's actually pretty easy. I believe there's a fixed hourly rate for work-study jobs (correct me if I'm wrong), and Michigan fans are all intimately familiar with the countable hour - seems like this would be a fair way to do things.
I've written, and tweeted, quite a bit about QB Kevin Sousa, from Lake Nona High School in Florida. I figured that Michigan would eventually start recruiting him, because most of the quarterbacks Michigan had offered, weren't that interested in Michigan.
I received an email from Kevin today, and it said the following:
I called coach (Rod) Smith today, and they are going to recruit me. He is meeting with coach Rodriguez tomorrow as to a possible offer. He said that the guys they were recruiting are no longer interested in Michigan, and they have opened it up again as far as looking for a QB.
This probably gives you a clear picture on the status of Cordale Jones, and it has been known for awhile now that Marquise Williams isn't picking Michigan. Kevin keeps in constant contact with me, and has been hoping for a Michigan offer this whole time.
I had an update on Kevin, back in March about visits he was taking, and how his coach felt about Michigan. Kevin's coach said:
He's a perfect fit for a Michigan, West Virginia, or Oregon type offense....Kevin and I both think that Michigan is on the top of that list.
Here's the most recent film on Sousa, from Lake Nona's Spring Game in May:
Kevin had this to say about a potential commitment.
I wouldn't commit until I sat and visited with the coaches, and talked it over with coach Paradiso (Kevin's coach). As much as I am impressed with the tradition of Michigan, I still would like to talk face to face, and see the facilities first.
Michigan has a really good chance here, they're just a little behind on building a relationship with him. The coaches were supposed to come down to see him in the spring, and didn't make it. They did apologize for that, and Kevin told me he's excited to start building a relationship with coach Smith and Rodriguez.
Despite my earlier two posts, i think i finally got it right, after thinking about it more clearly, OSU and UM would need to be in the same division because the game would lose hype if we got to play each other just a week later. Also an east-west split would be a lot more competitively balanced than a north-south split, and 4 way divisions are just too complicated. So i think this time i finally got it right. Here is how the divisions would look.
At first glance it may look like the East is a little loaded. But if you look at the records for the past 10 and 25 years, they are pretty even
Michigan State 60-62 (0.492)
Illinois 45-73 (0.381)
Michigan 81-43 (0.653)
Northwestern 61-61 (0.500)
Penn State 77-46 (0.620)
Wisconsin 86-43 (0.667)
Ohio State 102-25 (0.803)
Iowa 80-45 (0.640)
Purdue 67-57 (.0540)
Minnesota 62-62 (0.500)
Indiana 39-78 (0.333)
Nebraska 84-44 (0.656)
That equals out to be 426-311 (0.578) for the East and 418-328 (0.560) for the West.
If you look at 25 years it comes out to 1074-704-22 (0.597) for the East and 963-812-23 (0.536) for the West.
Every team would play the other 5 teams in their Division. That gives them 5 Conference games so far. That leaves 3 more games to schedule against people that are not in the division.
|Rivalries||Protected / Unprotected|
|Michigan State-Penn State||Protected|
|Ohio State-Penn State||Protected|
All but 5 major rivalries are protected with this setup.
Those 5 are:
Illinois- Ohio State
Minnesota Penn State
With the 3 non-division conference games that are scheduled all of these games could be made. Although Minnesota and Illinois would only have 1 different team to play every year.
Conference Championship Game?
The winner of the East Division and the winner of the West Division would play each other for the Conference title.
Also with this setup, Michigan and Ohio State would NEVER play each other a week later. They would be playing each other for a shot to be in the Big Ten Championship Game, which would give the game more hype, not less, like playing them a week later would (as i have had in my previous posts).
Hearty Tip o' the Hat to On the Banks, NCAA '11 rosters are available online. You have to register for TeamBuilder and go through several unnecessary steps, but I've made it much easier on you, and here are all the gory details for the MICH roster:
- #5 (Tate Forcier) 86 Ovr, 85 Spd, 88 Throw Power, 85 Throw Accuracy.
- #16 (Denard Robinson) 81 Ovr, 92 Spd, 90 Agility, 96 Acceleration, 90 Throw Power, 77 Throw Accuracy
- #7 (Devin Gardner) 76 Ovr, 90 Spd, 76 Break Tackle, 94 Throw Power, 75 Throw Accuracy
- #14 (Conelius Jones, I assume) 66 Ovr, 80 Spd, 87/74 Throw Power/Accuracy
- #2 (Vincent Smith) 85 Ovr, 91 Spd, 92 Agility.
- #20 (Michael Shaw) 85 Ovr, 87 Spd(?!).
- #15 (Mike Cox) 85 Ovr, 88 Spd, 80 Trucking, 82 Stiff Arm.
- #28 (Fitzgerald Toussaint) 82 Ovr, 95 Spd, 77 Break Tackle.
- #23 (Austin White) 67 Ovr, 90 Spd, 96 Acceleration.
- FB #44 (Mark Moundros) 80 Ovr.
- #12 (Roy Roundtree) 86 Ovr, 93 Spd, 94 Agility, 93 Juke.
- #9 (Martavious Odoms) 85 Ovr, 92 Spd, 94 Agility, 94 Acceleration.
- #21 (Junior Hemingway) 85 Ovr, 87 Spd, 90 Jumping.
- #22 (Darryl Stonum) 84 Ovr, 94 Spd.
- #19 (Kelvin Grady) 78 Ovr, 83 Spd, 93 Jumping.
- #6 (Je'Ron Stokes) 76 Ovr, 92 Spd, 92 Agility.
- #8 (Terrence Robinson) 75 Ovr, 88 Spd, 85 Agility.
- #18 (James Rogers) 70 Ovr.
- #83 (Jerald Robinson) 66 Ovr, 92 Spd.
- #82 (Ricardo Miller) 63 Ovr, 87 Spd.
- #86 (Kevin Koger) 84 Ovr, 83 Spd, 95 Acceleration, Spectacular Catch 60.
- #80 (Martell Webb) 78 Ovr, 85 Spd, 92 Spin.
- #88 (Brandon Moore) 82 Ovr.
- LT #65 (Patrick Omameh) 86 Ovr.
- LT #77 (Taylor Lewan) 84 Ovr.
- LG #52 (Stephen Schilling) 84 Ovr.
- LG #57 (Elliott Mealer) 78 Ovr.
- C #50 (David Molk) 96 Ovr(!).
- C #63 (Rocko Khoury) 79 Ovr.
- C #64 (Christian Pace) 68 Ovr.
- RG #56 (Ricky Barnum) 83 Ovr.
- RG #76 (Quinton Washington) 77 Ovr.
- RG #74 (John Ferrara) 77 Ovr.
- RT #72 (Mark Huyge) 85 Ovr.
- RT #79 (Perry Dorrestein) 85 Ovr.
- #68 (Mike Martin) 90 Ovr.
- #95 (Renaldo Sagesse) 87 Ovr.
- #73 (Will Campbell) 85 Ovr.
- #92 (Greg Banks) 80 Ovr.
- #54 (Freshman - One of Ash, Talbott, Black, etc.) 75 Ovr.
- #88 (Craig Roh) 91 Ovr, 85 Spd.
- #53 (Ryan Van Bergen) 86 Ovr.
- #58 (Brandon Herron) 82 Ovr.
- #33 (Freshman - Jake Ryan?) 77 Ovr.
- #39 (Will Heininger) 74 Ovr.
- #45 (Obi Ezeh) 81 Ovr.
- #8 (Jonas Mouton) 81 Ovr.
- #7 (Brandin Hawthorne) 80 Ovr.
- #42 (JB Fitzgerald) 79 Ovr.
- #27 (Mike Jones) 79 Ovr.
- #52 (Kevin Leach) 79 Ovr.
- #3 (Freshman - Antonio Kinard?) 77 Ovr.
- #25 (Kenny Demens) 74 Ovr.
- #30 (Freshman - Davion Rogers?) 67 Ovr.
- FS #5 (Vlad Emilien) 84 Ovr.
- SS #32 (Jodan Kovacs) 80 Ovr, 81 Spd.
- FS #15 (Freshman - Carvin Johnson?) 78 Ovr.
- FS #40 (Mike Williams) 77 Ovr.
- SS #14 (Cameron Gordon) 77 Ovr.
- SS #31 (Jared Van Slyke) 71 Ovr, 88 Spd.
- #29 (Troy Woolfolk) 84 Ovr, 94 Spd.
- #12 (JT Floyd) 81 Ovr, 89 Spd.
- #2 (Justin Turner) 78 Ovr.
- #24 (Freshman - Cullen Christian or Courtney Avery?) 75 Ovr.
- #4 (Freshman - Demar Dosey :sadface:) 74 Ovr, 96 Spd.
- #17 (Tony Anderson) 67 Ovr.
- K #34 (Brendan Gibbons) 85 Ovr, 85 Kick Power, 88 Kick Accuracy.
- P #7 (Will Hagerup) 81 Ovr, 85 Kick Power, 80 Kick Accuracy.
Anything strike you as crazy? Denard Robinson's speed is #1 for me.
Jack Miller is a versatile athlete out of St. John's Jesuit, in Toledo, Ohio, who just added a new offer to his list. Jack was in Ann Arbor two days ago, and received an offer from the Wolverines. This was an offer Miller was hoping for, and was very excited about it.
He's versatile, currently plaing on the defensive line for his team, but Michigan happens to be recruiting him for the offensive line. Here's a look at his film, and what he had to say about Michigan.
TOM: Who from Michigan have you mainly been in contact with?
JACK: Coach Tall recruits Toledo, so it's mainly been him.
TOM: How did this offer come about, and how many are you up to now?
JACK: I visited up there today (yesterday, June 14th), and they offered me. I have somewhere around 20 or 25, something like that.
TOM: With all those offers, where does Michigan rank in there?
JACK: They're pretty high up there, that's for sure. I'm still processing everything, but it's safe to say that Michigan and Boston College are my top two. I've taken a visit to Boston College already, too, so now I just have to figure out which school is the best place for me. I'm actually best friends with Ray Hamilton, too, so we've talked a little about it. We've been best friends since first grade. Our approach is to find the best place individually for us. If that turns out to be the same place, then that will be cool.
TOM: When do you think you'll know?
JACK: I have the offers I want, so it's time to decide. I'm really going to thin it out this week, and I'll hopefully have the decision made by the end of the week.
TOM: Where does Michigan see you fitting in?
JACK: They'r recruiting me for offensive guard, or center. I'm comfortable on the offensive side, and I really like the idea of playing offensive line for them.
TOM: Oh, wow. What is your height and weight right now, then? I think there's some varying numbers out there.
JACK: Yeah, I'm at 6-foot-4, and I weigh 270-pounds right now.
This is important for this weekend, so this post will probably replace the "Weekly Update" Monday post. I'll continue to add to this, since camp will be from the 19th-22nd. Here's some updates, as they come in.
- Maika Polamalu - Troy's cousin, will be at Michigan on Sunday. Maika is a 5'11, 190 lbs. safety from Pottsgrove, PA. ESPN has a video interview with him. Maika is also teammates with ATH Terrell Chestnut, who has a Michigan offer, and is interested, but can't make it this weekend.
- Trae Waynes - Safety prospect out of Kenosha, Wisconsin will be at Michigan. He's a little under the radar, but has a lot of speed for his size, at 6'0, 165 lbs.
- Antonio Poole - Antonio is a linebacker from Cincinnati, Ohio. He's been hoping for a Michigan offer for awhile, and was invited to this camp by the coaches. That's usually a good sign, so he plans on being there this weekend. It wasn't 100%, but it sounded like he was going to make it up.
- Tony Posada - Offensive lineman from Tampa, Florida. Tony has Michigan in his top group, and will be up Monday to Wednesday with one of his coaches. This was an interesting quote from him.
There's always the possibility that I could commit, but the trip would really have to blow my mind, in order for that to happen.
- Kris Frost - Linebacker out of Matthews, North Carolina. As I reported before, Kris is extremely excited to show his parents around Michigan. This should be a great trip for them, and Michigan.
- Ray Ball - Offensive lineman, from Westerville, Ohio. Ray was recently offered by Kentucky and UCLA. He will be on Saturday, but won't be working out. He just wants to come up, and take a look around campus.
- Ed Davis - Linebacker from Detroit. Ed, as everyone knows, was just offered by Michigan. He also received an offer from Akron, and he wasn't 100% positive on the others. He said his coach had told him CMU, and a few others came in since the Michigan offer. I would expect more to on their way. Ed also just got back from a trip to Iowa, and is expecting an offer from the Hawkeyes. His newly found fame has led him to hold off on his decision, until what he said would be probably at the end of the month.
- Terry Richardson - 2012 safety from Cass Tech might show up to hang out. If he does he's going to bring LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, and LB James Ross. All three are very good friends, and very interested in Michigan.
- Kris Frost - Kris and his family made it in safely. They got a chance to walk around campus, and get to see everything they wanted to see. He left Michigan, and I believe is on his way home right now. (He's calling once he gets home, so I'll have a full update then).
- Jack Miller - Jack originally said that he'd like to make a decision by the end of this week. It looks like that might not happen. He's at Michigan right now, and told me:
I'm not sure about a commitment today; I'm visiting right now.
Sounds like a commitment probably won't happen, but my opinion is that there's a small chance he pulls the trigger tonight. This could be the final visit to get any other questions answered. If he doesn't do it tonight, I'd expect it to happen soon.
- James Farrow - James officially decommitted from Minnesota recently, so he's back in play. A lot of the people at the camp told him he was one of the standout DB's. He took on DeAnthony Arnett, and said he held his own. This is the third time he's gone against DeAnthony, they seem to be creating a little rivalry. I don't think he's on Michigan's radar yet. He's about to get an offer from Cincinnati, and possibly Va. Tech, though. Losing out on Dorsey could have the coaches look for another DB, and Farrow might be a candidate for that. We'll see.
- Jordan Diamond - 2012 OL from Chicago. He has had high interest in Michigan for awhile, and it still stays that way. He had hurt his ankle, so he didn't do anything at camp. He got a chance to talk to a bunch of coaches, including Michigan. They told him they already knew he was a good player, so they weren't worried about him not performing.
- Chris Bryant - 2011 OL, and Jordan's teammate, was at camp, and performed really well. Jordan told me that Chris has a really high interest in Michigan. If they offer, there's a good chance he'll commit. I spoke briefly with Chris, he's flying out to visit Stanford right now, so I should have more soon. I would assume his offer would be coming shortly.