so much for that
Fresh off the presses (and not behind the Rivals paywall):
This is surely not dispositive of anything, but it is an interesting indicator of the ongoing, no-end-in-sight warfare between the Freep and Michigan.
In today's varying media sideshows, it has come out that the Freep today requested from the University a list of those student-athletes who supplied testimony to the NCAA in its investigation. The purpose of that request is seemingly transparent; to see if any names cross-checked with the Freep's mystery lineup of "current and former players" and "parents" who gave interviews to the Freep in August '09. The Free Press admits as much; that that was what they were after.
The purpose for the Freep request is equally apparent, one might think. To see, one supposes, if the Michigan and the NCAA "asked the right guys the right questions." But that quickly leads to another question: If the Freep is doing follow up on its own sources, why not ask the sources themselves? Did they talk to the NCAA? Maybe the Freep did. Maybe sources who once talked to the Freep will no longer do so. But it is speculation, absent any explanation by the Freep.
We also do not know if the Freep supplied anything on its own to the NCAA investigators. Did the Freep supply names, notes, information, statements? Of course, the Freep would never tell. Did the Freep supply its anonymous sources, either under some form of idenitity-protection, or not? Probably not. The Freep may have been reckless in granting anonymity in this case, but it would not be reckless in protecting the names of those sources. Still, we just do not know.
I presume that there was no science, and no real method on the part of Mike Rosenberg in doing his August '09 interviews. My guess is that he called whoever he felt would talk. And possibly he went specifically to guys whom he thought would talk, and would give him what he wanted, in light of his getting his hands on the July audit memo that said that CARA forms were missing, that all persons having responsiblity for the CARA forms had been instructed on proper procedure and that no other NCAA violations were known. Rosenberg knew that Michigan might have a hard time defending a CARA-violations allegation if one were made, so he set out to make it happen. It would be easy to pick off some really disgruntled guys -- Clemons, Boren, Mallett, Sears, Wermers, etc. -- as targets of phone calls from Rosenberg. That may indeed have happened. Or maybe not. We just don't know. And the Freep is not going to tell us. Nor will the Freep tell Michigan.
But the Freep does want to get into who Michigan, and the NCAA, talked to.
And so we have this window, into the asymmetrical nature of war between the Freep and Michigan. The Freep will keep on sending FOIA requests to Michigan. No one gets to send a FOIA to the Freep. The Freep will keep picking away at the story, looking for leads, looking for names. Michigan will play by the standards of the NCAA and the popular media; to be transparent, and fair, and expose everything.
Today, in a slight reversal of that asymmetry, Michigan declined to supply to the Freep the names of the players invovled.
If there was ever such a thing as Double Reverse Schadenfreude, this is it:
That's right, sports fans... the reason Michigan beat Notre Dame in 2009 was some extra stretching time in 2008. Not Notre Dame's swiss cheese defense or Tate Forcier's pre-shoulder-asplosion 100% Pure Columbian Awesomeness.
Well done, sir... way to combat that "Irish fans are dilusional and make hilarious justifications for their lack of success" meme...
Rather encouraging interview of DB on the Huge Show.
Mike Schofield's dad also called in to defend the program, and Rich. He is a pretty charasmatic guy. I am glad that he called in.
He basically said that himself, and the parents that he knows thought the initial FREEP report was ridiculous, and that he didn't feel the player were overworked. He loves Rich Rod as the coach, and says that the team is pretty close to turning it around. Michael had excellent grades, and the staff pushes the team to value the education, and excel in the classroom.
Lynn Henning posted one of his usual winners by comparing UM's extremely minor brush with NCAA football sanctions and the admittedly horrible Ed Martin scandal with MSU's scandals under Perles (including grade tampering) and the "bad mess with November's dormitory fracas."
He goes on to question the hires of Rodriguez (somewhat understandable) and Beilein (completely unfounded), arguing that they were the result of a bad AD (Martin) and lax adiminstration, while extolling MSU's hiring of Izzo (great move and coach) and Dantonio (um, jury is still out) because they were made by a sharp AD (Hollis). Now, I don't know much about Mark Hollis, but to call the 22-17-2 (freshmen beatings) reign of Dantonio a feather in one's cap may not be a great sign. As for comparing Izzo to Beilein, let's remember that Izzo adopted a team that had played in the postseason for the last 7 years, while Beilein inherited a team that had not been to the NCAA tournament since the Clinton administration. So, yeah, completely apt comparison (though I do agree that Izzo is a great coach).
I understand the point of the article and its attempt to connect UM's struggles to the other local program, but grade tampering and rampant steroid abuse is far and away worse than 65 hours of additional practice over two years. I expect these types of articles to keep popping up as long as UM continues to struggle in the big-revenue sports, but with hockey's recent postseason run, multiple NCs at the club level, and the softball team's run at another NC, it is hard to make the conclusion Henning is making that UM should model its athletic department after MSU's just because the football team will likely receive a slap on the wrist.