Dear Mr. Snyder and Mr. Rosenberg,
In light of your recent article on the University of Michigan Football program, it made me think of why there was not any reporting done on the ever day life of a Michigan engineering student.
In your article, you claim that football players spend 15-21 hours during the off-season working out and then up to 20 hours over the NCAA mandated 20 hrs/week during the season. So let's assume they are spending 40 hours a week on working toward their professional career.
I spend 60 hours/week working toward my professional career of being a Space System Engineer. I don't sleep sometime, eat bad/fatty food at random times during the night, drink coffee, and sacrifice my social life. You may ask why I do this? Is it mandatory and do you need to be working that hard to just get an undergraduate/masters degree? The answer to that is no. I could easily do the bare minimum, but I will tell you that will not make me the best at what I do.
I participate in extra-curricular organizations/projects that are completely voluntary. No class credit/pay/compensation. I do it b/c it is required for me to get ahead of my competition. I've seen companies flat out deny a kid who has a 4.0 b/c he had no voluntary activities to prove he was really dedicated. That is what it takes to succeed in America! If you don't do it, someone else will b/c the competition is stiff in everything especially in a down-economic time!
This country was/is built on people working unnecessarily hard. As an immigrant to this country, I have some prospective on what happens in other nations and trust me no one is as lucky as we here. If you work hard enough here, you might just get the chance to make a name for yourself.
I'm not going to hide that I'm a Michigan Fan and was taken aback by your recent article. I understand that your doing your job and attempting to bring light to a serious problem of students being exposed to harsh conditions. What I fail to understand though, is why you chose to pick on athletes or Michigan specifically other than the fact it would attract public attention. I think I get exposed to just as serious mental/physical conditions in trying to get my graduate degree, yet it is expected from me and complaining about it would get me nowhere. If I was going to write the story, I would focus on the demands of society for individuals to be perfect whether its in sports, at NASA, or frying burgers at McDonald's.
Finally, I just don't understand why you are trying to get Michigan in trouble. Our states economy is a wreck and sports are some of the only sources of state pride and community. It's possible you have a personal bad opinion about Michigan due to an association with a rival school or a letter you received in high school from the University titled DENIED, however, this opinion should be left out when reporting.
Your going up against some of the smartest people in business with the athletic department and seemingly have no chance of bringing it down.
I invite you to interview me about how terrible the demands and work load is in the Engineering School!
Huge Mega Scandal Possibly Worthy of Probation and/or Pullitzer Prize Uncovered at Michigan
The University of Michigan football team breaks the rules. All the time. Systematically. We talked to several, anonymous current and former players from the 2008 and 2009 UM teams and learned that they work out really hard, that voluntary workouts are “voluntary” workouts, and that they spend much longer than 4 hours a day or 20 hours a week on football-related activities. In short, we confirmed that they are, in fact, a competitive D-I program.
Further sleuthing, combined with our misunderstanding of “non-countable” activities, reveals that, based on our math (and misunderstanding of how the NCAA computes practice time) when the players say “we work out all the time,” they are in essence saying “our coaches break NCAA rules all the time.” Because we have added up the hours, and they are spending too many. Especially if you do not comprehend “non-countable” activities, which we do not. And why would we? If interpreting the NCAA rulebook for laymen (not to mention ourselves) would get us ESPN-level exposure, we would have done that. But it doesn't, so we didn't.
What we did do is contact some former players and tell them that while they were at Michigan they actually were only allowed to be spending 20 hours a week. When we hit them with this mind-bending knowledge (not explaining what counts toward those 20 hours since we ourselves did not understand) they were stunned, and said: “whoa man, we were spending much more than that.” And we will translate that for you; what they meant was, “Rodriguez has systematically broken NCAA rules for as long as he has been alive.”
Were we aware that we could monitor the doors of any D-I practice facility within the Milky Way for any one full day and immediately realize D-I football players participate in team activities for much more than four hours a day since that maximum of four hours does not pertain to voluntary workouts, meals, film, rehab, etc? No. We were not. Is that true? Oh. Well either (a) doesn’t matter or (b) please see our forthcoming article, “Every College Systematically Breaking NCAA Rules At All Times; Rules That Were Designed to Protect Players.”
I believe he cares about the players, I believe he makes them the best they can be, I believe there is some faction of people working against him in creating/perpetuating this witch hunt. It is beyond all reason and logic to be this pervasive and this baseless.
Message to those who are behind this, you are OSU, MSU and PSU's best friends. You are tearing apart the program that you think you are saving.
I am all for getting together a huge list/group whatever of alumnae/fans/faithful to provide RR a massive show of support from those that back him. Anyone else in? Billboard? Skywriting? Email site/petition? Any ideas are gladly appreciated.
If you want to come on here and neg me for this, go right ahead, I don't care about my points. If you want to come on here and post that I am being blindly faithful and I shouldn't offer my undying support, don't bother. I was a wait and see person on RR before, but it has become apparent to me that there is more at work here and that he is not getting a fair shake. Whatever you think of him, he should be given that chance and nothing I have seen has ever convinced me otherwirse.
I am an alumnus, my parents, brother and sister are alumni. I bleed maize and blue, I grew up in East Lansings surrounded by Sparties (my second fave team, no hate there) and my Mother is from Columbus with that entire side of the family a pack of rabid Bucknuts. Nothing has convinced me that RR has anything but success and pride in store for UM football. The constant stream of innuendo, rumor and negative campaigning/leaking by some group/individual has caused me to go from 'wait and see' to EFF this. So EFF it.
I'm all in for michigan (though I still don't really like that slogan) AND RR. If he is run out of town, who in the hell do you think would EVER want that job. Les Miles is not the answer, get used to that.
I want some media attention to the high GPA, the players that ARE buying in, all the positive comments that come out of that camp about improvement, character, etc.
Where is it?
I want to hear from player Rich has recruited who love football and are bought into the program and willing to compete and do what it takes to get better. When did we as M fans start thinking it wasn't okay to go the extra mile to get better? The players are working hard...GREAT! If players don't like that, leave. Many have, good luck to them.
You can't have it both ways. You want wins, you work as a team and have players that are committed. You want students first, athletes second, fine. Start getting used to no-bowl seasons and 7-5 records. That is where we were headed.
Let's show Rod and the players that we are behind him before WVU game. Anyone with me?
I think it is important to take a step back from all that is going on in the media, and really take a look at the big picture.
First, I visit mgoblog 965.44 times a day, and consider myself to be fairly looped in to what’s going on at Michigan athletics (props to the mgoblog community.) While I don’t have any inside information, I think it is fair to say that this year’s team is very different from last year’s team. Watching daily videos and reading interviews from mgoblue.com, it’s obvious the players are working hard, having fun, and are having an impact on the community.
When I saw the reports on a potential NCAA violation, I was pretty baffled and confused. Again, I don’t go to practice, I’m not on the team, so I can’t speak on whether or not these allegations are true. What I do want to highlight is how the media have greeted the new Rodriguez era at Michigan.
The media notoriously sensationalize news. Politics (Howard Dean’s Rick Flair moment), health (“Africanized” Bees, swine flu), are excellent examples of times where the media focused all too much attention on minor stories, and exchanged journalistic integrity and responsibility for higher ratings.
The topic of athletics is no different. The media (often prematurely) release stories that will rile up a fan base. Once the fan base is riled up, they then report on the discontent of the fan base. In cases where the stories prove false, or not as severe as initially thought, the media follow up with “maybe everyone’s looking at this topic in the wrong light after all. The person or team in question isn’t an evil wrong-doer, despite ‘public perception’.”
For example, the media took Rich Rodriguez’ comments on the QB situation and ran with it, concluding we will certainly have three QBs, and a few analysts even added that we are doomed.
They also questioned Michigan’s culture and character:
- Feagin situation gets viewed as a Rich Rodriguez error in judgment.
- Players are transferring because RR is pushing them out.
- Most recent allegations of violating NCAA’s practice policies.
The media then report on how upset the fan base is, how things aren’t going so well at Michigan. Personally, Rich Rodriguez hasn’t given me a reason to question the direction of Michigan football. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. I’m very happy with the direction. GPAs are higher than they were before he got here, the kids looks happy, and they’re doing great work in the community.
Winning? Last year
was difficult, but I saw glimpses of what will be. I look forward to improvement this
season. And I especially look forward to
the years of dominance to come. One
thing that has never changed, is the integrity of the Michigan football program. I trust and believe in Rich Rodriguez, and he
has done nothing yet to lose my trust.
Again, while I don’t have insider exposure to the program, I
have learned a lot more about the program from places like mgoblog. Unfortunately, the average Michigan
fan doesn’t spend as much time reading about Michigan athletics outside of the confines
of ESPN, SI, CBS Sports, etc. They don’t
see the more complete portrait of Michigan
One thing I’m almost certain of, is when Michigan is cleared from all this, and Michigan is playing respectable football, with a solid record (somewhere in the mid-season) ESPN will have a segment on RR and how he managed to keep his team focused despite all the “negative attention” Michigan’s received. ESPN will then prove to be the hero that helps clear Michigan’s perception and Rich Rodriguez’ image. Whew, thanks College Game Day!
Last year is now a distant, fuzzy, did it really happen memory. 1 mulligan in 40 yrs. Not to shabby. Also I don't see having to use another for quite some time. I've been impressed with the current and future (fingers crossed) recruits that RR has brought into the fold. A lot of technique etc can be taught and refined and size is in a large part predetermined. Pure athleticism and speed cannot, and I've seen a lot of that from this team with more coming.
IF we play up to my expectations this season the recruits will continue to come North and IMHO the conference will have to reevaluate its priorities as far as scheme and what kind of team they choose to field.
No predictions except a much improved product on the field and at least 2 major upsets. Bowl Game yes and with a little 1st yr QB luck, maybe a decent one.
300+ days of WTF are almost over so to all of you I say ....LETS GO BLUUUUE !
Never felt compelled before to write a diary entry. Probably never will be again, but I have to say that it makes me mad that the media coverage of the story (particularly ESPN) implies that during/after a 3 and 9 season, Michigan fans would be upset that their coach made their players work extra hard to get into shape and ready to play. I personally would be upset if he didn't. The NCAA rule is stupid. It doesn't matter if we are the only ones or if everyone does it (which is probably the case).
This is America. You think that we would have put a man on the moon if we didn't put in extra time. Where would we be as a country with that attitude? In America, you can improve your standing in life with hard work. It's why millions of people left their homelands for the promise land. The sports media loves stories of guys who got out of the ghetto by working hard and became great athletes. RR built programs with inferior athletes, probably by out working the "other guy" and people loved him for it. Now, though, at Michigan the idea is that it's wrong for him to expect hard work and extra time from his players? Does this make any sense? Does this upset me as a fan?
To me, that this for me is the most infuriating part of this whole thing. The idea is ridiculous, working hard is bad, like cheating on tests and getting arrested. Pathetic. Plus, where does it stop? Should a player be allowed to not participate in mandatory training because it's too hard? What about senior captains, can they mandate that everyone has to put in time and be critical of the guys that don't?
The implication here is that putting in extra time is wrong, and that's the shame of the whole thing. As a Michigan fan, I'll take penalties for a coach that asks his players to work extra hard for the team.
Sorry about the rant.