Alright, folks, calm down. Cal-... No. I said relax. Stop... will you stop screaming? Okay... good. Now come out of the corner. Good. Now lets have a bit of a history lesson, okay. Just a little.
In the early 20th century, the wealthiest man in America, without question, was one John D. Rockefeller. The name associated with so many good works and warm, fuzzy thoughts of a better time was a rich son of a gun, as I'm sure you all knew. What you did NOT know, however, was that, prior to 1914, he was also one of the most hated men in America. He was regarded as selfish, materialistic, out of touch, curmudgeonly, grumpy, old, ugly, and an easy target for the media.
Being an older gentleman, he only had a partial knowledge of the exact goings on of his companies, and being christian, he chose to make all of his philanthropies private. He also did not make himself available to the press because they insisted on lampooning him. This personality and style of living carried on to his children, most notably John Jr., who was just as lampooned.
In 1914, things got their worst, when Miners at a Ludlow, Colorado mine owned by Rockefeller organized a strike due to the extremely poor conditions and pay at the mine. I won't go into great detail, but eventually the National Guard arrived, and though reports dispute the specifics of what happend, it is known that 19 people (including two children) from the strikers and their families' were massacred.
After this, Rockefeller Jr.'s already horrible reputation dropped like a rock to the point that people were calling for him to be brought up on criminal charges, and all of his companies, which employed many, many thousands, were at risk.. It was only this horrific turn of events that caused Rockefeller Jr. to take care of his image. He visited the mine site after this, met with the miners, improved their conditions and pay, made public the information regarding all the money he gave to charity, and worked with specially selected press and media to cultivate the right image. In a short time, he transformed his image to a genial, kindly, giving, worldly gentleman with a soft spot for the public interest.
This is generally known as the birth of Public Relations. Here's where this ties in to our story today.
He only did so much image work because his livelyhood and those of all his thousands of employees were at severe risk. He did not care, one whit, what the public thought of him. Simply put, he was too important for that. He didn't read articles that insulted him, his person, or his choices and get upset that people might be thinking poorly of him. He didn't worry that he was a discussion of negativity at dinner tables around the world. Important people do not care what you think. They don't, and they shouldn't. You, your friends, your local newscasters and their bosses don't matter to important people.
Rich Rodriguez is our coach in 2010. It's a fact. He will do everything within his power to ensure it stays that way in the future. He doesn't care if Drew Sharpe insults him. He doesn't fear that somebody in the Admissions department has it out for him and is keeping his recruits out. The only man at his workplace more important than him does not have it out for him, and therefore, his livelyhood is not threatened. Dave Brandon and MSC aren't going to let somebody mess with the rules just to mess with RR. They want him to succeed. If they didn't, they'd not be defending him. Then he would care. Here's what he cares about, wins and losses.
So the next time you worry that our coach is staying up nights worrying about what the papers will print tomorrow, or that somebody in cubicle 12 in admissions wants to put a knife in his back, stop. He is too important to care what they think. He cares about wins, and losses. Be a fan. Support him, and help him win. Then, it won't matter if he cares what the detractors think. Because their won't be any.
Edit: Since some people have been unclear on the point of all this, let me respecify. Quite simply, the point is to show that it takes a boondoggle of EPIC proportions before important people care what the less important people think. It takes something that is truly, truly threatening to them. Nothing to that level has yet happened. A couple of bad years and a recruiting/admissions snafu, with the support of Brandon, aren't leaving Rodriguez feeling threatened.
I wonder if today's news has had any impact on their content?
I wasn't going to post this, but I know somebody will, so I may as well do it and keep it level headed.
Drew Sharp has an article in today about the submission of the report to the NCAA. I refuse to post a link, but I will say this. Though it's obviously done through gnashing, clenched teeth, he manages to say something that sounds almost like, 'What Michigan is accused of isn't really that bad, and certainly not as bad as the MSU Institutional Control problems of 15 years ago.' He then goes on to say that he has faith in David Brandon and the staff to hit the appropriate points so that the NCAA won't come down harder, nor will they be too hard on themselves, and put the whole thing behind them.
He does take a parting shot at Rodriguez, saying that "time will sort out the coaching situation", but even that isn't necessarily all that bad, as he doesn't outright call for Rodriguez' job.
All told, for once, Sharp did not make me want to bludgeon him. It's still not really worth reading, though, as it has little substance.
We have spent a lot of time on this site going into the motives of the Freep writers in the NCAA investigation. (I hear that Rosenberg has so many “ulterior” motives that he hired an “ulterior” decorator for his house).
Yet, I suspect that the NCAA does not care much about their motives, only the facts: eg what the players said and why they said it. Unfortunately, I can’t find much on the site about the players who made the accusations. Sure, they are supposedly anonymous. Yet, that poses a problem, since the reliability or bias of the accusers supposedly is a major factor in an NCAA verdict, as it is in a real legal proceeding. I do not really know how these hearings work—and maybe I am wrong---but I presume that UM should go into the August hearing with knowledge of any possible or suspected accusers whose testimony could be biased in any way.
So, let me then dare to ask, who do you think are the players who made accusations vs. UM/RR to the Freep. Do you think they have attitudes that bias their testimony or not?
A WORD OF CAUTION:
I readily admit that I don’t have a lot of information. I am asking for you to help me fill out the picture. Then UM can decide what’s relevant and what’s not.
I hesitated even to post the information I do have, for fear of stirring up a hornets’ nest of misinterpretations or accusations of a conspiracy theory. Well, let the chips fall where they may. I am willing to take that chance and face the consequences, since I figure that UM should have all the information it can get.
That said, I can only think of one player who spoke out publicly and now, two other, possible or probable accusers.
1. Tony Clemons: accusations vs UM/RR made public. Clemons reportedly left upset that RR was stockpiling receivers at a record rate and that he was not being used much at all (12 catches for the season during insignificant parts of the game). He was the major recruiting tie for his cousin, OSU QB Terrelle Pryor, with whom he is reported to talk often (link below).*
2. Justin Boren: left UM for OSU to play with brother there, left with bitter feelings and accusations of a poor “family atmosphere)
3. Morgan Trent: Recently made public remarks accusing RR of practice violations. Morgan lives in Ohio, is paid indirectly by the Ohio fans who watch the Bengals, and—possibly more importantly-- is paid directly by Mike Brown, the owner, who spent much of his childhood living in Columbus Ohio (ages 6-11 at least). As young Mike was growing up, his father, Paul Brown, was the Ohio State University head coach and won their first NC..**
AGAIN, I SHARE THIS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY, NOT TO REACH OR SUGGEST CONCLUSIONS. THIS IS NOT A CONSPIRACY THEORY.
I do not know whether the accusers listed above are biased in any way. These are just the facts I found, which I judged to be interesting, If I had found other B10 schools or competitors mentioned, I would have listed them, but I did not.
In any case, you should not see these facts and jump to conclusions about the OSU ties as evidence of a possible, organized conspiracy. Such ties to the accusers are sometimes quite indirect…I do not even know for sure that the latter two players were among the accusers. Also, I have no basis for assuming that these accusations are not independent or that anybody actually planned anything. (It's not like the got together wearing ski masks and went to the FREEP for a hit job en masse.LOL)
The only question in my mind is: what attitudes, motivations or other factors may influence these or other players’ accusations? I think that is the question a lawyer would ask.
Some posters here may also want to add that Tressel and, supposedly, Herbstreit, spoke out in support of UM re: the accusations. Well, we all know how credible they are. (ugh…”I voted Miami #1” and “I know nothing about UM being searched prior to the OSU game” etc (tressel) and “Les Miles and John Tenuta will be the next UM coaches” (Herbstreit)). But neither the support of Tressel or Herbstreit is really pertinent here, their motives are indeterminate and irrelevant.
What matters are the facts; and I reserve judgment about the significance of the facts above pending knowledge of the other players involved. But I do hope you will feel free to add more names and information, even debunk my facts if you find them to be wrong. In fact, go ahead and condemn me if you want for even raising this topic.
Then, maybe we –and more importantly, UM--can, in a level headed way, judge whether the testimony on which the Freep and NCAA accusations are based could be biased in any way.
*to be fair, Breaston is also a cousin, but I have not seen any reports that they talk at all, much less talk often
**although he was too smart to go there, apparently, and went to Dartmouth.
Alright, this is my only and final word on the subject of the NCAA press conference.
Here is what happened today:
1) The school announced what the NCAA had told them about what it believes the school did wrong.
2) Rational media heads explained that what was in the report was neither bad nor uncommon, but did indeed violate some of the rules. They predicted minor sanctions.
3) Non rational media heads explained what they believed was true regardless of what was in the report (I.E. - "They Cheated!"), and predicted a good old fashioned program drawing and quartering.
4) Non-media members who enjoy attention felt compelled to chip in, saying whatever they could to ensure they get a sound bite.
5) The school announced that its report on what it intends to do to fix the problems and discipline itself is due in 90 days, at which point the NCAA will rule on whether that's enough or not.
These changes and disciplines will include things like (fix paperwork issues, review and update job descriptions, add compliance personnel, replace certain staff members, and reduce scholarships by one for one year.
That's it. That's all you need to know. Any media member predicting otherwise, taking someone to task in print or on air, etcetera, is just stroking their own ego. They can't do anything about it. The NCAA isn't going to be influenced by the Drew Sharpe's of the world. The stadium isn't going to be only half full next year. And we're not going to fire our coach so long as he wins.
SO just relax, and ignore it.