I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Time spent in my (almost) three short seasons with Coach Brady Hoke.
I was never that good at football. I was a decent blocker, and I could catch most balls that were thrown in my direction, but I was never particularly fast and my route running was, in Coach Hoke’s words himself, “Satisfactory at best.” The main two things I had going for me in my ability to become a member of the Ball State Football team were that I could punt a ball 75 yards in the air easy, and that my best friend from high school was a full ride three year starter at linebacker.
After being recruited to the Ohio Bobcats, the Kentucky Wildcats, the Akron Zips, Ball State University, and Purdue University, I left high school with exactly zero offers save a preferred walk-on spot as a so called “ATHLETE” at Ball State. After graduating high school in the winter, I chose to attempt to walk on to the Purdue Boilermakers before spring ball. The special teams coach there told me I needed to be in better shape and make sure my grades were good, and he would possibly have a spot for me in the fall. The afore mentioned special teams coach took a job with Ball State that summer, and I had already considered leaving Purdue because I wanted to get out of my hometown, West LAFFALOT, so I followed him there and walked on the following spring. This is how I came to have Brady Hoke as my head coach.
In order to put any of these memories into order, I would have to write them all before posting any. Instead, these diaries will be more of little glimpses into my interactions with Coach, absolutely not in chronological order. These are not exact quotes; it is much too hard for me to remember word for word what was said 5-8 years ago.
The Compliance Story
I will start off with one that I posted in this thread; I apologize for those of you who have already read this one.
At the beginning of the season, an NCAA compliance guy comes in to talk about the rules of the NCAA and what the coaches can and can’t force us to do. He tells us about the amount of practice time we can use a week, the amount of time spent in non-practice, football related activities we can spend each week. He tells us that summer ball is and will always be optional. He also talks about receiving improper benefits and what it can do to a football program and coach if you get caught. After he left, first our strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman (currently still on Coach Hoke’s staff) comes in and tells us, “That guys a prick. Always trying to make my job harder.”
Coach Hoke then comes in. “I hope you guys were listening,” he starts. “Everything that guy said is true. We can’t force you to be at practice more than X hours each week. I can’t make you come to morning conditioning when you have practice in the afternoon. Hell, we can’t even make you play football here. If you don’t want to wash your hands after you piss, were not going to make you do that either,” he continues, as a few people in the room start to chuckle and understand what our great Coach is telling us. “You don’t even have to go to class tomorrow if you don’t want. In fact, if you guys don’t feel like eating tomorrow, or the rest of your life, be my guest.”
By now, the majority of the room was laughing. Coach Hoke quieted us down and said more seriously, “You will practice, with us, for the maximum amount of hours we are allowed to. Everything on top of that will be voluntary. Those of you who choose to volunteer for these additional hours, you are the ones who make this team better, you are the ones who will stay on scholarship, you are the ones who will see the field and produce on the field.”
Near the beginning of the fall after I walked on, Coach Hoke talked to us a little bit about academics and athletics.
“I want you guys to know that the reason you are attending this great university is to get a degree. Football might have been your deciding factor, but my job is to make sure that you receive an education off the field as well. You can do whatever you want with it; just help me to finish my job.
"To help you guys remember this, I made these numbers.” Coach Hoke then holds up two pieces of paper with a very large ‘1’ and ‘2’ printed on each piece respectively. “So guys,” he bellows, “Remember….Academics…#1,” he says, while holding up the sign that says ‘2.’ Aaron Wellman stands next to him pointing to the sign. Coach Hoke then switches to the #1 sign and continues, “Athletics….Number 2!” This time Wellman is using a two fingered point at the sign that says #1. Everyone in the room is laughing and nodding their head. Coach Hoke then puts back up the sign that says #2 and says again, “So, academics here,” and switching signs back to the #1, “Football here. Does everyone understand that?”
So, I’ve got to get this bar open and I’ve squandered all my time on writing this. I’m going to continue writing these little memoirs if ya’ll would like me to, the next one that I already started on is entitled “BRADY HOKE…THE PUNISHMENT FITS THE CRIME”
Thanks for reading…
EDIT: Just want to add this second disclaimer. I know these first two stories I've posted scream "OMG COMPLIANCE NOOO." I posted these two stories because these were two of the first interactions I had with Coach Hoke. I wouldn't worry too much. I don't know that I have any more stories about the NCAA compliance guy and Coach Hoke that go together, you can take what you want from what I have to say but please don't take 10 minutes of the countless hours I've spent with Coach Hoke and say, "Augh! compliance VIOLATIONS!"
It's free and open to the public. Not sure what sort of ceremony-like things there will be, but I'll have mgocoverage on the site later today.
If you're in the area and free for lunch or whatever, I recommend coming out and showing support for the basketball program.
(re-posted from thread)
Just got back. Great time.
The judges were: some hater from the media (a Michigan grad) named Ryan, who was the Simon Cowell-esque bad guy. Seriously, that is the exact role he played. Softball coach Carol Hutchins, who gave out only decimals (8.2 for example). A little girl, 8 years old, and former Mott's patient, who gave out 10's to every act (but one), and Woodson, who was a reasonable judge.
You got your usual "let's wear tights in flamboyant colors and rub up against each other with glowsticks acts" (men's tennis, men's swimming and diving)
You got your AWFUL acts. Women's tennis tried a magic show and it stunk. Men's lacrosse attempted a rap about..lax bros. Being a bro. It didn't work out. And Women's Water Polo parodied commercials. Yeah. They brought out the Aflac duck, for example. It was so bad, even the host made fun of it.
Women's rowing attempted "I'm on a Boat!" That SNL skit. It was pretty good, funny in some parts. The level of costume detail was incredible.
The athletic trainers had their own skit, which was cool to see. Themed "Athletic Trainers after hours". They had a song and dance, with props like medicine balls, huge balance balls, etc. But they got a 8 from the little girl, which like WTF haha. The entire crowd gasped.
But women's cross country/track stole the show. They performed a Mo-town skit, a la Soul Train, and took us through some 70's funk. The Temptations, Jackson 5...etc. I loved it, and it got first place.
Let's see...mens track did Toy Story, which was pretty cool..one of the judges claimed to have never seen Toy Story. WTF.
Marching Band, lead by my friend D-Hinez (drum major) took it to another level. They created an Alice in Big Ten Wonderland Skit, about a girl trying to decide where to go to college between us, OSU, MSU, PSU.
featuring the Mad Hatter and the PSU crew, who like to party all day..
Two little, Sparty-gear donning twins who Alice said to "Aww, you're so cute! Like my little Brothers!"
...and the Queen of Hearts as the "Queen of Buckeyes", who got a hearty boo. Then they danced to "Poker Face" by lady Gaga.
Men's soccer was probably the funniest. Contemporary Dramatic Readings + Britney Spears lyrics = HILARITY. Something like this
Football? They just hopped around to this song
Their performance was alright, but nothing special. It got a 10 from a clearly biased Woodson, who admitted as much.
I kept waiting for the men's basketball team to burst out onto the stage...It didn't click till more than an hour in that they were in Iowa.
*EDIT* How could I forget? The sheer awesomeness of Men's Rowing Star Wars skit! Luke! Yoda! X-fighters and Tie-Fighters! a Death Star! Han Solo, R2D2, C-3P0, Darth Vader.. Lightsabers...and a narrator.
P.S. I had my own geekout session when I walked out and saw the Brandons (Graham and Minor) talking to Greg Robinson and his family. That was cool. I mean, they're normal people and all...but still awesome.
USA Today ran an article on the the amount of money spent and taken in by big-time college athletics.
It starts off "More than $800 million in student fees and university subsidies are propping up athletic programs at the nation's top sports colleges, including hundreds of millions in the richest conferences, a USA TODAY analysis found."
I found the database linked within the article interesting.