don't we all
New Arizona head football coach Rich Rodriguez received an interesting welcome from the city's weekly newspaper. The story can be found here.
The article claims that:
Rodriguez's record is terrible—when it comes to ethics, if not on the football field. At West Virginia University, he skipped town for greener pastures shortly after signing a new contract. His December 2007 departure was so ugly that he didn't even bother to coach his team in their January 2008 bowl game. West Virginia wound up suing Rodriguez for breach of contract—and eventually got all the money it sought in a settlement.
What did Rodriguez do at his next stop, the University of Michigan? He violated several major NCAA rules. When players came forward to discuss the violations—which included Rodriguez and his staff making players practice longer than the rules allow—he denied he was in the wrong. "We go by the rules," Rodriguez said.
Later, the university admitted to the rules violations.
Now, after those disgraceful activities, he's the new UA football coach, with a five-year, $9.55 million contract—with incentives beyond that.
In making this hire, UA athletic director Greg Byrne proved the above point: At the UA, money and winning are apparently more important than academics, fairness and ethics.
For anyone who has sniffed Three and Out, this letter from the editor seems especially absurd. It really demonstrates the power of the media over the masses--and the power of the media within itself. It's a shame that Rodriguez is being welcomed in this fashion. Most of us know him as the coach who lost big at Michigan, but we also know him as a good guy who cared greatly about his players.
Wolverines Return was Inevitable
By: Michael Rosenberg, Free Press Staff
After a tumultuous first two seasons at the head of the ship in Ann Arbor, Coach Rich Rodriguez has the Wolverines (6-0) back on track after a thumping 42-17 victory over the Michigan State Spartans (5-1) yesterday at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. The win marked Rodriguez's first in the storied rivalry, and basically assures the Wolverines of a return to the post season after their first two seasons since the 70's without a bowl trip.
In the end, it seemed inevitable, didn't it? Rodriguez has been a hugely successful coach at every stop in his career, both as a coordinator and a head coach. In each case, his first years have been slow, as he builds a custom offense from just the right players. And in each case, the end result was a thumping, dominating team that could and would win pretty much any game on their schedule. When all is said and done, didn't we all know that he would get U of M back to their rightful place in the upper echelon of the Big Ten? That he would put 'little brother' back in their place?
And it came not a moment too soon for Rodriguez, the players, the university and the fans. In a group so unaccustomed to losing, the rebuilding process seemed hard to take. And then, coupled with an NCAA issue that turned out to be much more bark than bite, and which actually began under Lloyd Carr, many fans and much of the media were calling for Rodriguez head.
All I can say is, Congrats Coach Rodriguez, and Godspeed through the Big Ten.
(You so know this is going to appear almost verbatim on Sunday. You just know it. The only question is, will Rosenberg's horns, cloven hooves and tail be visible in his new press photo next year.)
Acutal Freep article just posted.
"If Robinson continues to electrify stadiums and
accumulate incredible statistics, and leads the
Wolverines back to prominence, the sophomore
will be the heavy favorite to win college football’
s most heralded and coveted individual award.
If only it were that simple.
Any chance of Robinson winning the Heisman is
complicated by circumstances surrounding
I was thinking this morning about why I’ve gotten upset watching games the past few years. It’s just a game. I'm a Cubs fan and I know how to lose. Besides, a bunch of 18-19 year-olds don’t owe me anything as an alum. They only owe it to themselves to be the best they can be.
Rather, I'm upset about the way these kids and their coaches have been treated in the media during the past 5 years . They’ve relentlessly attacked UM. Were they doing so because related parties would benefit, directly or indirectly, from their own self-promotion or from UM’s decline? Maybe so. But as I read the following passage, a more destructive force is reared its ugly head:
“while we may enjoy elevating some people [/coaches/players/institutions/programs] to great prominence, we love to tear them down even more. If someone has the audacity to rise above the 'average American', an army of journalists will search out and broadcast every fault or misstep to our sadistic delight. In America more than any other place, the nail that sticks up out of the floor is the one that get hammered down the hardest.
If this attitude was confined to the degenerates of Hollywood it wouldn't be so detrimental to our culture and society. But it is more than an insatiable desire for gossip that is behind this mentality. It is a deep seated sense of envy and insecurity that drives us to such behavior. Because of this, it is not just immoral actors and sleazy politicians who are the targets of our ire. After all, many of them don't deserve the adulation they receive and should be knocked down a few pegs. This malicious attitude, however, is directed against anyone we perceive as being 'above' us. “
In 2004, after the UM FB program acquired indisputably, the highest all-time winning percentage in NCAA football, it became once more a huge nail sticking up out of the floor. To the media, it was just begging to be hammered.
If not, then why did announcers trumpet UM’s loss to App State, even though it was not even in the top 10---no, not even in the top 100 upsets, probably, in terms of the point spread?
Why did they endlesslessly and falsely repeat that last year was the worse in UM history (yet not mention that is was far from that in terms of win pct or that teams like Fla not long ago went 0-11 twice in two years, that MSU, OSU, and ND not long ago all had 3 or 4 win seasons, sometimes multiple ones)?
Why did the media falsely insinuate in a vacuous, four-part expose that UM was guilty of academic violations? Why did they falsely accuse RR of destroying sensitive records? Why did they publicized accusations that he stole recruits, with little or no mention of the legalities and practices of other coaches? And now, they say he overworked his players and God forbid, did not catch clerical errors that do not involve NCAA regulations? Why is this all about UM and RR, when we all know that the problems of being student-athletes are nearly universal?
The media defend themselves, saying that, just because everybody else is acting wrongly does not excuse it. Moral absolutism from the media! Give me a break! If only this spate of media self-righteousness were occasionally focused in the mirror, it would reveal the misleading, hateful innuendos, the partial truths, the editorial malpractice in allowing people with public grudges to lead investigations of those they have sworn to destroy. It would show the abuse of trust—no, even the lies and false pretenses--in the interviews of naive freshman just arrived on campus. It would strip the cloak of anonymity from the grinning faces of accusers who will not face the accused or reveal their transparent grudges
If only the media would direct their unique moral expertise at the name-calling: calling RR a snake oil salesman (Tiller); or saying he’s like Hitler (Holtz). I applaud one brave soul, Craig James who was barely noticed calling this absurd theatrical fiction what it is: a “witch hunt”—a term once reserved for the hunt for uppity women in Salem but now a hunt for uppity …well….I can only guess what..enough said).
Right now, I just can’t wait for the next shoe to drop. Read all about it: RR forms a family corporation and, in a power struggle for control of the company, sends his grandmother to jail. Yes, it’s getting that insane.
Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way. So, if you’re a journalist and want to negbang the post into oblivion behind a cloak of anonymity, perhaps you won't get fight from anyone. As for me, I’ve said my piece and have more important things to do. Right now, I’ve got to turn on ESPN to hear the breaking news from Herbstreit about the next Michigan coach. Also, I’ve got a piece of fish wrapped in the Free Press and I’m afraid it will spoil if I don’t eat it.
It is my fault for reading anything written by Drew Sharp, it isn't as if I don't know what I'm getting into but I have an unfortunate compulsion to read anything and everything written about Michigan. What bothers me most about his and many other columnists work is the blur between the presentation of opinion and fact. The following two passages are from his column today:
"Tate Forcier's comfort in precisely chronicling his difficulties last week didn't exactly calm the storm. When Forcier publically acknowledged that Denard Robinson took most of the practice reps with the first unit, he basically threw his fellow freshman under the bus when Robinson played little at Wisconsin.
How embarrassed do you think Robinson feels today, spending all that preparation time and then not playing much? How fast can you expedite the transfer paperwork?"
And later on:
"Forcier insists he's not going anywhere. But what happens the next time there's a snit because there supposedly was miscommunication about a skipped study hall? He's the better short-term answer at QB, but Robinson might be the long-term answer for Rodriguez's system, considering his size. One likely is gone after this season."
I understand but don't necessarily agree with his take on Tate throwing Denard under the bus, but hey that is his purposefully inflammatory opinion, but a one-off throwaway statement like "One is likely gone after the season" is unsupported by any facts. Given the rest of the piece this is probably his opinion but it is presented as if it is based on some inside knowledge, which is probably is not. I think Sharp should again be taken to task by mgoblog readers. Hey, if he has some inside info, I hope he shares it with us, if not he should clarify this as opinion.