Here's a good website for Michigan news: http://michiganmessenger.com/ Some of the links are to Fr--p stories, but there are detailed summaries you can read without hitting the Fr--p site. All in all, a very good website I didn't know existed until a few days ago. And another reason to avoid going to the Fr--p for local news.
Please pass these links to your friends and add to the list
Somebody posted this link on facebook, and I completely agree. If you do to, please sign this petition.
DO YOUR RESEARCH FREEP!
From the site:
"By signing this petition you are asking the Detroit Free Press to do their research before they make borderline slanderous claims against someone or something. You are standing up and telling the Free Press that if they want to make such claims, they need to have hard evidence instead of interviews with a few disgruntled kids who according to Chad Henne, "probably don't want to be here". The Detroit Free Press has had an agenda to destroy Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez from day one, and it's time we let them know that this kind of reporting will not be tolerated! By signing this you are stating that you will not read the Detroit Free Press until they vow to do their due diligence before publishing an article and state that they will not bring their anti-Michigan bias into their supposed "fair" and "honest" reporting."
Dave, in the hopes that you are intellectually honest, I am going to try once and only once to persuade you (like I have a couple others this morning - they failed by the way) and then we'll agree to disagree.
RR made huge mistakes - football mistakes - in his first year. He hired the wrong D coordinator, he ignored how to work with the media, stepped on some traditions, etc. That was unfortunate, but those were football mistakes, and I would be an idiot if I threw him under the bus after one year and when he didn't have his players. I will reserve judgment until he has his system and his players, about two more years, although there will have to be stunning progress this year, and I expect there to be. Yes, I would rather have had Les Miles, but I have RR and so he gets a chance.
RR is a hard ass. Lloyd was like your grandfather. RR runs a spread. Lloyd ran a pro-set. RR is a West Virginia boy. Lloyd is purebread Ann Arbor-style elitest. You couldn't have picked a more stark change from one culture to the next. A rational man expects extreme fallout. Bo lost 65 of 140 players from his first training camp because it was grueling. That's what coined the "Those who stay will be champions" phrase. RR is a workout fanatic and we've lost a lot of players, as expected. Last year was a result of that discord. The interviews for the article are with former players, some transfers, some NFL, all Lloyd guys. The two freshmen had nothing but love for the program and were deceived into talking about hours worked as material for the story.
RR left West Virginia and they were pissed. Thus he shredded documents (later proven untrue) and was Satan. RR arrived in AA a culture shock, hated by the AA elite and the Free Press. The establishment does not like the man. In Columbus, like with this story from the Lantern, they hear of a problem, then go ask the staff what their thoughts are and everyone chuckles and concludes more violations means a more honest staff. How do you think this story would have been spun with the Free Press (Rodriguez Leads the Big 10 in Recruiting Violations: The New Era of Recruiting at All Costs at Michigan).
Despite RR having the highest team GPA on record (strange how that is supposed to be hand-in-hand with these "violations"), despite only ONE of his kids having any disciplinary issues, he is corrupt and evil and so on. The day before he dismissed his one disciplinary problem, spun as pure evil by the Free Press, the Free Press documented how a kid was reinstated with MSU who assaulted a hockey player with nary a bad word. I wonder how the Free Press would have viewed RR reinstating an ex-convict.
Dave, if you can't understand that there is a vendetta in the press against RR, you choose to be blind. That's your choice. You may think RR is a media dud (he is) or that he can't coach (his record speaks otherwise, but perhaps he can't at this level, we'll see), but to think he is corrupt and, for example, OSU is not is to live in a pretend world. If you have any intellectual honesty, you'd acknowledge bullshit when you see it. Don't be mindless.
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.”
In light of a lot of people freaking out about different aspects of the outbreak last night/today, I wanted to offer some quick optimism on the topic.
First, remember that only six to ten players were dissatisfied and reporting violations to the Free Press. For those of you who are afraid of a locker room division (I am one of these people), just remember that this is only 6-10 people, not half the team. I bet most of the team is just annoyed by this distraction and will probably move on after a few of them (likely seniors) issue statements about the legitimacy of the program (possibilities: Minor, Sheridan, Forcier, Mathews). I've seen the observation that those who were complaining are probably lower on the depth chart, and I can definitely see the logic in that. A future starter probably wouldn't have reason to complain.
It seems 95% certain that nothing will really come out of this, as petty accusations are launched against a carousel of schools every season, year, and decade, and are dismissed respectively without a second thought. Bill Martin has done the right thing in conducting self-investigation and will likely find that the complaining players mis-interpreted either the rules or the conditions in which they were practicing, and thus their argument is void. A few of these players might announce their leaving the program early in the season, thus easing any "team tension."
My expectations, at least, for Saturday, have not lowered.
In my mind, the Freep article left a host of important questions unanswered in its attempt to brand the Michigan football program NCAA rule-breakers.
1. Most obviously, who are these guys? The phrase "current or former" players is vague. How many are currently on the roster? How many left the program early? How many graduated? How many lost playing time under Rodriguez? How many were Carr recruits? All these questions could have been answered without compromising the anonymity of the sources. Why weren't they?
2. Speaking of anonymity, why were the former players allowed the opportunity to speak without attribution? The Freep offered this justification for granting anonymity: “The players and parents agreed to talk only if they were not identified because they said they feared repercussions from the coaching staff.” How does this apply to former players? Were they worried Mike Barwis would come to their houses and pull some MMA moves on them? I used to work for a media watch non-profit, and they liked to call these “spinonymous sources” – individuals granted anonymity on dubious grounds with an obvious interest in pushing one side of the story. A disgruntled transfer who has already cut all ties with Michigan would certainly fit in that category.
3. How many programs have off-season conditioning programs that, if required, would wildly violate the NCAA hour limits? How many of these programs strongly encourage their players to attend, so they can get bigger and stronger and compete for playing time? Would this quote apply to all of them? “‘It was mandatory,’ one player said. ‘They’d tell you it wasn’t, but it really was.’"
4. Why are the quotes from freshmen Je’Ron Stokes and Brandin Hawthorne in the story? Were they misled as to the nature of the story? Did their quotes add anything to the story’s contention that Michigan was requiring players, in violation of NCAA rules, to attend rigorous offseason workouts? With all the Freep’s concern for the anonymity of both current and former players, why would they put true freshmen in the uncomfortable situation of having their quotes used in a way they obviously never intended? The disclaimer that the players were “not complaining” does nothing to change the fact that these student-athletes are now forever publicly associated with a story eviscerating the program they just joined.