As the upcoming season approaches, there is much excitement surrounding our shiny new offensive weapons. We return an experienced and talented offensive line, a pair of game-changing QB's, five amazing running backs, ninja slot receivers and a handful of reliable split ends. But wait, there's more! Left over from the Carr recruiting era are also two freak athletes that play tight end. But wait, Rich Rodriguez's spread option offense historically doesn't use tight ends, you say? Will our best athletes be rotting on the sidelines?! NOT so fast my friend.
How are we going to involve these awesome athletes in our offense? I think the TE question is a good measuring stick for RR as a coach. The ability to adapt your scheme to your personnel, the ability to innovate and adjust, I think separates the incredible coaches from the very good ones. Pete Carroll and Urban Meyer have proven themselves as elite amongst the coaching ranks for this reason.
It is largely regarded that this year, the TE position is one of the most deep and talented on the squad with Koger and Webb. With QB's in the fold who can now get our TE's the ball, as well as two dominant athletes at TE, the responsibility for our TE success, I think, cannot be blamed on lack of personnel; this year it lands solely on the scheme. RR has been consulting with offensive coordinators in the Big 12 in the offseason, and will be implementing a new "Trojan" quick passing scheme this fall, so a new look is already in the making.
If RR is able to feasibly adapt his scheme to effectively use our TE's this year, it will be a matchup nightmare for defenses. I expect to see the tight ends line up in the slot a fair amount this year in our 4 and 5 receiver set formations. As an opposing defense, needing to prepare for having enormous quick humans as well as tiny lazer-powered electron athletes in the slot will be tough.
So I'm just saying, friends, that the involvement of tight ends will be a great subplot to keep an eye on this upcoming football season. Reports are that we're getting the TE's the ball in practice occasionally. Since, according to Calvin Magee, the entire offense is already installed, let's hope that we'll hear that the TE's are getting the ball more as we get closer to the season.
RR has innovated at every stop that he's made on the path to coaching at U of M. I expect Michigan to be no different. If the TE situation works out, hopefully we'll be seeing more of this (1:30 in the video).
All of the Michigan fans who lived down in Michigan land loved Michigan football. Oh, how they loved it all.
The Champions and Best. Every game day test! The Maize and the Blue! They loved it, it’s true.
Yes, it’s safe to say, every Michigan fan felt this way.
On Saturdays they would gather, sit around, talk, chatter. Then the anthem would play, and “Oh say can you see”, they would say. The kickoff ensued, and victory pursued, their minds of just one focus! The players left it on the field, and the fans’ resolve with each win was steeled. They didn’t need a lot of Hocus Pocus.
Yes, It’s safe to say Michigan fans loved Michigan football a lot.
But the Rosenberg, who looked down on Ann Arbor, did not.
How he hated The Victors. How he hated the Big House! How he hated losing! He only liked to get soused. He only liked to go boozing. Yes, Rosenberg liked the green and white. Liked them so much that he stayed up all night. He wanted to help destroy the Blue. But what, oh what could he do?
“I don’t have anything,” he said with a cower. “Why, it’s been days since I even had a shower! I have no talents, no friends. I can’t rally an angry mob.” Then, with a start, he realized, “Hey! I have a job!”
It’s true, he did. Nobody knows quite why. It certainly wasn’t for the best. But the old Rosenberg did indeed write for the old Detroit Free Press. Well… writing is perhaps too kind a term, but he at least put words next to each other, the sniveling little worm.
So to work he set, no research done yet, and pounded his ugly, gnarled hands on his keyboard. He called old players, the ones who couldn’t hack it, and asked if he lied and acted stupidly, would they back it?And when they said yes, his spirit soared.
Why, he even called honest freshmen, after chewing his sweetest breath mint, and whispered sweet lies in their ear.
“I want to write, for your fans, about how hard you work, so they will know how hard to cheer.”
Then he went further, and set his pea sized brain against understanding, again and again! When he would stop? Even he didn't know when!
At last, he had jerked out a truly disgusting masterpiece! No fact was undistorted. Many just went unreported. And then he knew it was time to unleash his beast!
The season was close! Tensions were high! Michigan expectations ran from the ground to the sky.
“Let me release it now,” the old Rosenberg cackled, “and in discord they’ll be shackled! They’ll be mired in argument, controversy; they won’t win a game!” And he was sure, he was positive, it would be just the same. “The fans will abandon. They’ll yell and they’ll jeer! They’ll call for Rodriguez’ head, and definitely won’t cheer.”
And then came the season, and the 4th week. And Rosenberg was so nervous, he could hardly speak.
“I don’t understand! My plan isn’t working! Not even after I did all that pointless ego jerking! Well, it won’t matter. They’ll lose today. Yes, then everything will be okay. Then, finally, Michigan will go away.”
And then the game was played, under the harshest conditions. In the center of Spartan land, so remote and unfinished, it was like an expedition! Cattle wandered the town, with cows in the field. Obscenities were uttered, and cheap, cheap beer was spilled.
And then, oh what happened.
In Ann Arbor it’s thought, in Ann Arbor they say, Michigan whipped Michigan State 35 to 7 that day! And old Rosenberg’s boss, he could take it no more! Rosenberg was fired from his job, left utterly poor.
And the Rosenberg’s final indignity, as he sat on the curb, and pulled his feet back from the street sweeping machine, was just one thought:
“It must be great to be a Michigan Wolverine.”
I also work with an excellent columnist who I believe does his research and asks all the questions as thoroughly as anyone I've ever known. He is very good at what he does (this obviously rules out the Detroit papers).
I'm not a columnist or an investigative reporter, but I can honestly say that for the sake of journalism in general, stories like the one in the Free Press are incredibly frustrating. When I can look at the story and immediately say, "they're jumping to an incorrect conclusion about time spent, because some of this -- like meals -- obviously isn't mandatory," there's a problem with the reporting or the editing (or both).
I just don't understand how an educated reporter could look at that and not even attempt to figure out the breakdown of "required" and "voluntary" activities. Just because I often spent 12 hours on the Michigan campus on weekdays does not mean that I had 60 credit hours per semester, and that's basically what Rosenberg and Snyder are saying when they total up the hours and say that the players all spent "two to three times more than the NCAA allowed" on required activities.
The same holds true with the comments about "mandatory" workouts resulting in punishment. This could be the key to the investigation here if they would only ask the question, "What was the punishment?" If players were forced to come in for extra lifting or run stadium steps, that would be meaningful information.
But like Brian said, it would appear that they didn't ask these questions -- if they did, they simply left out the details and explanations because it didn't fit their version of the story, which is even worse (and obviously unethical).
I just wish more people were aware of research like what's been done here by Brian and the mgoboarder who dug into the NCAA rulebook (sorry, I don't remember the name).
I truly believe that most journalists do their best to report the facts and stay unbiased, but that doesn't always mean a whole lot by the time the story is written and gets to the general public. It's unfortunate that for most people, the news they receive (either from TV or a trimmed-down story in the paper) is often a very one-sided or poorly reported version of it.
* As for the bankruptcy issue, I don't know what it holds for my paper, only that I really, really hope I still have a job at the end of the week. I have a wife and two kids to support, and while there are other things I could do (PR, etc.), I at least feel some satisfaction in trying to accurately report things the best I can rather than spin them in favor of the all-powerful corporation holding a paycheck over my head.
Urban Meyer's Memoirs August 3rd 2009
Part 1 Declare different school as "Dream Job" Dec. 2008
http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2...-dot--ar0jan07 Not much has to be said but it needs to be a clear quote that isn't detailed being very subjective and open to interpretation. The shorter the better, makes it easier to put in a newspaper headline or espn ticker. Try something like "XXX is my dream school" or " I would leave here only to coach at XXX" (where XXX is the "dream" school, XXX cannot be the same school your coaching at.) The higher the profile of the dream school the more your comment will be taken seriously.
Part 2 Win support from faculty and/or AD May 2009
http://www.gatorsports.com/article/2...deserves-raiseThis is a crucial step, for the plan to succeed. At least 2 months should pass before moving to this part, be patient let all those blowhards in the media do all the talking, let them earn a paycheck for once. Let your current school come to you, so that you don't look guilty of anything, that way it will look like you actually deserved it. The AD (the athletic director (your boss)) is the perfect tool for this. He can go and do all the work while your "recruiting" in jamaica, thats like eating cake and Ice Cream at the same time!!. The family is always an asset in this part; if possible make it look like no one has eaten for a few days in photo opportunities with the press. It can't hurt your chances.
Part 3 Deny you will actually leave, while negotiating new contract July 2009
(Or maybe this had something to do with it)
http://www.gatorsports.com/article/2...tre-Dame-Ever-Do not move on to this step until the University your working at comes to you with an increase in salary. You are the one holding them by the balls, who cares if the school is going through its toughest years economically, this is what you have been working for, don't get weak now. This is statement is going to be similar to Part 1 but in the opposite direction, now don't forget you need to DENY actually leaving the university you are employed at, otherwise all the past month's work will be for nothing. So keep it short again, but make sure that the statement is definite and not open to interpretation.
Part 4 Ink new contract Aug 2009
http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/footbal...v=ap&type=lgns All that hard work is now paying off, this is the easiest step you just have to put your John Hancock (Signature (your name in cursive)) on the dotted line that your agent points too. Later when this whole coaching thing is done you can write this all in some book about yourself, and will make even more money for that 6th house in italy you always wanted.
A brief statement from Martin and a couple we've already seen. Standard stuff.
Statement from Athletic Director Bill Martin We are committed to following both the letter and the intent of the NCAA rules and we take any allegations of violations seriously. We believe we have been compliant with NCAA rules but nonetheless we have launched a full investigation of the allegations in today’s newspaper. We have already reached out to both the Big Ten and the NCAA and we will have more to say on this as soon as we have completed our assessment.
August 28, 2009
Statements from U-M Football Coach Rich Rodriguez and Associate Athletic Director Judy Van Horn
U-M Head Coach Rich Rodriguez
We know the practice and offseason rules and we stay within the guidelines. We follow the rules and have always been completely committed to being compliant with all NCAA rules.
Associate Athletic Director Judy Van Horn
During the season, the NCAA limits “countable” practice activities to 20 hours per week. There are activities that don’t count, such as rehab and getting taped. We educate our coaching staffs and student-athletes (in all sports) to keep everyone informed of the rules. Also, compliance and administrative staff conduct in-person spot checks of practice during the academic year and summer. We have not had any reason to self-report any violations in this area with any of our sports.
They attached a PDF on limits and countable activities that I've reproduced as text below. I've bolded the non-countable activities that Michigan is likely going to cite.
During the regular academic year (Fall and Winter terms), the following guidelines are applicable:
• No more than four hours per day of countable activities;
• No more than 20 hours per week of countable activities when in-season, 8 hours when out of season;
• During the 20 hour/week segments, S/A’s must have one day free from all countable activities.
• During the 8 hour/week periods, S/A’s must have two days free from all countable activities.
• It is not permissible to pay expenses for off-campus conditioning activities that take place outside of the declared playing season.
Outside of the prescribed playing and practice season in sports other than football, only a student-athlete's participation in weight training / conditioning and skill instruction shall be permitted. Additional guidelines include:
• For an out of season team, countable activities must cease one week prior to the start of final exams. In the 2009-10 year, the stop dates are December 8, 2009 for the Fall term and April 14, 2010 for the Winter term. All activities must end on or before these dates.
• From the start of classes in the Fall through September 14, no more than 4 student-athletes at one time may participate in skill instruction sessions as part of the 8 hour week. Beginning September 15, there is no limit on how many student-athletes may engage in such activities at the same time.
In the sport of baseball, there is a second period in which skill instruction is limited to only 4 student-athletes. That period is January 6 (first day of classes in the Winter term) through January 14.
• No more than 2 hours of skill instruction are permitted per week outside the playing season. Such instruction is counted within the 8 hour weekly limitation.
In football, the only required activities that may occur outside the playing season while classes are in session are weight training / conditioning and game film review. Required weight training and conditioning activities may not exceed 8 hours per week and may not occur during weeks designated as discretionary weeks. If coaches also require game film review, the time spent must be deducted from the 8 hours / week of conditioning time and may not exceed 2 hours per week.
Countable Athletically Related Activities. A countable athletically related activity is defined as any required activity with an athletics purpose involving student-athletes and held at the direction of or supervised by one or more members of an institution’s coaching staff (including strength and conditioning coaches). Some examples of countable athletically related activities include:
a. Practice / walk-throughs,
c. Required weight-training and conditioning activities held at the direction of or supervised by an institutional staff member;
d. Participation in a physical-fitness class not listed in the UM’s catalogue and open to all students and
that is conducted by a member of the athletics staff;
e. In sports other than football, participation outside the institution's declared playing season in individual skill-related instructional activities with a member of the coaching staff.
f. Film or videotape reviews of athletics practices or contests required, supervised or monitored by institutional staff members;
g. Required participation in camps, clinics or workshops;
h. Meetings initiated by coaches or other institutional staff members on athletically related matters;
i. Individual workouts required or supervised by a member of the coaching staff except as permitted under the safety exception;
j. On-court or on-field activities called by any member or members of a team and confined primarily to members of that team that are considered as requisite for participation in that sport (e.g., captain's practices);
k. Visiting a competition site in the sports of cross country and golf.
Non-countable Athletically Related Activities. The following are considered non-countable athletically related activities and are not counted in the weekly or daily time limitations:
a. Training-table or competition-related meals;
b. Physical rehabilitation;
c. Dressing, showering or taping;
d. Athletics department academic study hall or tutoring sessions;
e. Meetings with coaches on non-athletics matters;
f. Travel to and from practice and competition;
g. Visiting the competition site in sports other than cross country, golf and skiing;
h. Medical examinations or treatments;
i. Fund-raising activities;
j. Recruiting activities (e.g., serving as a student host for prospective student-athletes during official visits);
k. Public relations activities related to the student-athlete's sport (e.g., media days);
l. Participation in regular physical education classes, with or without credit, that are listed in the institution's catalog and open to all students;
m. Voluntary individual workouts, provided these workouts are not required or supervised by coaching staff members, except that such activities may be monitored for safety purposes or conducted by the institution's strength and conditioning personnel who have department wide duties.
n. Individual consultation with a coaching staff member initiated voluntarily by a student-athlete, provided the coach and the student-athlete do not engage in athletically related activities;
o. The provision of videotapes to a student-athlete by an institution's coach that include a personalized message and athletically related information (e.g., discussion of plays, general workout programs, lectures on strategy related to the sport), provided the viewing of the videotape by the student-athlete is voluntary;
p. Use of an institution's athletics facilities (which may be reserved) during the academic year or summer by student-athletes, provided the activities are not supervised by or held at the direction of any member of an institution's coaching staff.
Mike Schofield (Sr.) emailed me after we spoke, and wanted to post this here. He's posted it at Rivals and Scout, as well. He's signing up for an account here, just hasn't gotten it up yet. So, I'm posting this for him.
As a parent of a Michigan Player/Student I find the story in the Freep nothing but nonsense, misinformation, bush league journalism and an attempt to tarnish the great name of Michigan Football, in short it think it is nothing more than Bullshit.
I have posted here long before this article came…and I give my permission to release any/all my post about Michigan football to the press.
As for the Freep, in a time of despair due to job loss, stock market struggling, gas prices high, job outlooks poor, we can rely on the Detroit Freep to attack America’s winningest College football program, East cost to West coast people love or hate Michigan Football, they are admired and or talked down about but always respected…..This being said, to publish information that is unsubstantiated is a poor/low down attempt to gain readers, viewers on a national level and raise the papers ratings at the expense of a great American football team, outstanding players, coaches and parents….
This news papers article is not only an attack on the program but the parenents and players, these kids are working hard….yes going to summer school, learning and getting acquainted to college life interacting with the community, fellow students in the dorms….
As a parent and as I have posted before, the Michigan Education was the most important thing to us, and during recruiting it was made extremely clear that Education before practice/football/games was the goal, the norm and no exceptions….
During the summer Michael spent more time studying going to class bonding with his freshman players and the other students in his dorm. Michael came home for visits, there were no signs of Barwis Police tracking him down…there were NO NCAA Violations, these kids played basketball, catch, and other sport activities with other college kids at the dorm, they went to visit sick children in the hospital and stopped by a summer camp for special needs kids…..where that in the Freep, that9s right that will not make national news…and is the truth…
I was joking with Michael in June when son Andrew came to a Michigan football camp,(JUNE 20) about Andrew being able to work with coach Frey in camp and learn new techniques and Michael who is going to be a player has not and will not get that chance until his camp starts in August…and this is True….
As I have stated in my posts this organization is all about competition, you compete for a position every day, some people cannot except this, they leave, or make comments, and even people outside the organization do not like this “the best player plays” concept and make up stories or comments. This is how rumors start….
Another thing, a poor reporter knows, when you go into a Media Day, and interview players you single out the freshman…they are 3 months out of High School have limited exposure to the media, so you ask them misleading questions . These kids are excited to be interviewed, and excited to put a positive look on Michigan and self serving reporters can get any kid to say what he wants by asking specific misleading information…
There is no practice prison where players are forced to workout hours a day, there are no coaches in disguises lurking the buildings watching players workout, there are no secrete passage where coaches meet players out of the public view….