At the end of the book, Deren describes the scene with Lloyd Carr, the former Michigan head coach that recruited Trent to Ann Arbor, breaking the news to Trent that current head coach Rich Rodriguez did him no favors.
“Rodriguez had bad-mouthed him to every NFL scout he could,” Deren writes. “Rodriguez claimed that Morgan was lazy, he had an attitude problem and he was a big reason the Wolverines finished with a 3-9 record…”
Trent admits the words were “jarring,” and they were hard to understand given that he was so serious about his career that he actually moved in with his brother and sister-in-law and their two small children while going to Michigan. [ed: "Morgan Trent was so serious about football he decided to save on rent."]
But Trent was also worried about what Carr thought about his words showing up in the book. He talks to him, not Rodriguez. “I really like Coach Carr. He’s been very good to me,” Morgan says. “I think at first he was wondering, but I let him know it didn’t put him in a bad light. I would never do something like that to Lloyd. He’s great.” …
“I guess it was motivation,” Morgan says of the words that Deren estimates may have cost him $1 million. “(I) want to show people it was all false.”
Consider it done.
Here we go again, after one hell of a game of telephone from Rodriguez to NFL scout—at this point the story can get passed to and fro ad nauseum—to Carr to Trent to book author Deren. Rodriguez issued a denial…
“The comments attributed to me are inaccurate and absolutely ridiculous,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “I said just the opposite about Morgan Trent to NFL scouts and wish him well with the Bengals.”
…but even so, don't you kind of believe it anyway? Don't you sort of want to believe it? I believe Rodriguez told NFL scouts some version of what Deren says. I also believe that Trent was a lazy player with an attitude problem who was one of the main reasons Rodriguez's first team was a jumbled sack of cats attempting to claw in 20 different directions. Even if he didn't say it, I believe the words attributed to Rodriguez are accurate.
"I'm not surprised because I know what happened, and I know what kind of rules were broken. I couldn't see how they were going to get out of that."
"Whatever steps need to be taken (to restore Michigan's winning tradition), I'm all for it. What is happening right now obviously is not working. I don't know how long they're going to let this last until changes are made."
"Coach Rod’s a good coach, and people are just trying to get him in trouble to me," Graham said.
So Morgan Trent is not disposed to give Rodriguez the benefit of the doubt when Lloyd Carr convenes a special meeting of the Anti-Rodriguez illuminati with the express purpose of revealing the dastardly secret carried about by Rich Rodriguez…
who controls the practice logs? who puts Michigan Stadium in a bog? weeeeee dooooooo… we do!
…that any Michigan fan could already have told you.
He was not particularly good at football. He badly regressed after a promising junior season. Then when he went to the Shrine Bowl he "struggled," reinforcing the opinion of scouts "already down on him." The reason for this is now obvious: he hated the transition to Rodriguez, probably hated the coach himself, and spent a year half-assing it. The responsibility for this lies with Morgan Trent, even if he was so serious about football he lived with relatives(!). Attempts to deflect it only reinforce the very criticism (possibly) leveled by Rodriguez. It had nothing to do with the quality of the team, as Trent claims elsewhere in the article. A guy from Hillsdale went in the third round this year. The Bengals hadn't even talked to Rodriguez and still waited and waited and waited to take him.
During the very moments when Trent was doing whatever it was that made him a team cancer, Brandon Graham was turning himself into a first-round pick. We have not had any reports on what Rodriguez told NFL scouts about Brandon Graham, but dollars to donuts they were along the lines of "draft this man first overall and ask if he will adopt your kids." The reason Rich Rodriguez would say this is because of the things Brandon Graham did. You see, Rudy?
Now, there are a disturbing number of people who look at the Rich Rodriguez inkblot and see big pointy teeth. One major reason for this is that Rodriguez appears to be much harder on his players than Lloyd Carr. It's the very tippy top of the peak of hypocrisy for any Bo-venerating Michigan fan to look down on Rodriguez for this (his failure to resemble Bo in the win column is another matter). Part of that veneration is accepting the idea that being a coach often involves being very harsh to people who aren't living up to your expectations.
I wish that Rodriguez had managed to enter more smoothly but don't really blame him for the massive culture clash no one from fans to players to athletic director anticipated. He has a track record.
To be perfectly blunt and enraging to the denizens of the comments who get enraged when people pop on here and say dumb MLive-type things about departed players, I do blame Trent. Michigan is not going to be in good shape if Rich Rodriguez leaves after this year, and Trent would clearly like to see that happen and is operating either without a care as to how his inability to suck it up affects the program or with the express intent of getting rid of Rodriguez. Loyalty to the institution does not occur to him. It appears that correcting the record is so important to him that he's willing to sell out his alma mater to refute allegations that may not have actually happened and no one knew about. In doing so he's convinced me that the potentially fictional and definitely obscure allegations are true.
As for Carr, he gave explicit permission to Trent to sell Rodriguez out in this book:
But Trent was also worried about what Carr thought about his words showing up in the book. He talks to him, not Rodriguez. “I really like Coach Carr. He’s been very good to me,” Morgan says. “I think at first he was wondering, but I let him know it didn’t put him in a bad light. I would never do something like that to Lloyd. He’s great.”
No, just Rodriguez. Any question as so whether or not there is a major rift between the two coaches is now gone. If there wasn't, Carr would have talked to Rodriguez about it. He would have gotten some clarification or a denial or something, and he wouldn't have presented it to Trent in the fashion he did. If he didn't do that, he would have told Trent to shut up when given the opportunity.
If there is really a New Era of Accountability in the athletic department, Carr and David Brandon should have a come-to-Jesus meeting in which Brandon does a lot of screaming. Trent is a pissed-off kid who was working for a scholarship. Carr is supposedly a program icon and an athletic department employee. Michigan shouldn't be paying someone who is actively working against the interests of the athletic department. It's obvious that Carr could have helped smooth things over with any number of players but chose not to, chose to exacerbate things in certain situations. He could have been of help during the transition; he was the opposite.
Through it all, Rodriguez just grits his teeth and asks if you've heard his Lion King joke. I shudder at the tell-all book that will inevitably follow a Rodriguez canning.
*(meta: I had to link to a mgoboard message board post instead of the News because the News shoved their story behind a paywall a month after they posted it. No one is ever going to pay for that article. Go newspapers.)
I don't know why your post started with "no." You reiterated exactly what I said.
But anyway, let's set up a scenario. I know this is purely hypothetical, but so is most of the speculation about this topic, since we have no idea how most of this stuff went down.
Let's say that after the draft or during the draft, Morgan Trent calls Lloyd Carr and says, "Coach, I have no idea why I dropped to the 6th round. I thought I'd go in the 3rd or 4th round. What made me drop this far? I had great numbers at the Combine." I would want and expect my former coach to be honest, share evaluations, and yes, tell me if somebody questioned my heart and work ethic.
How much of a fool would Morgan Trent be if he went back to Michigan and treated Rodriguez and treated him extremely well, when Rodriguez badmouthed him behind his back? And how much of a fool would Morgan Trent feel like if the coach he trusted (Carr) withheld some very pertinent information about why he perhaps fell in the draft?
This goes both ways. If Carr's not allowed to tell Trent what he heard, then Rodriguez should be obligated to tell players what he's going to relate to scouts. Either way, Trent should be made aware of his shortcomings, whether it comes from a firsthand account (Rodriguez) or some other avenue.
Yeah Purp, this is a bit much. I have no doubt that Carr intended to have his comments stay private. That's why Trent had to go tell him about the quote. I said that Morgan burned 3 people (Rodriguez, the scout, Carr) in yesterday's thread. The collateral damage is only spreading now.
That said I also think that Carr is also allowing collateral damage to spread by maintaining radio silence. A word of support from him would help RR and Michigan immensely. He's not obligated to do that, but why wouldn't he want to help Michigan?
i cannot help but remember the photo of Bo and the 4 previous head coaches: Fritz Crisler, Bennie Oosterbaan, Harry Kipke and Bump Elliot. Just think if Carr would have helped in the transition. I do hold it against Carr.....he may not have said anything publicy against Rodriguez but he hasnt supported him either.
You know, if Trent was as awful as everyone is saying, why is he in the pros? If he was really as bad as some people are claiming, then he wouldn't have been drafted. There were more problems with the defense in '08 than Morgan Trent (cough, Shafer, cough).
Donovan Warren was our best corner last year, correct? Not drafted.
and amazed at the amount of speculative, passive-aggressive nonsense that this has generated.
These men are going to have to deal with a good amount of regret once this is over. Mostly, I worry about resentment. If RR is successful or not, he will have to deal with a lot of resentment. Same goes for LLoyd, as there is nothing here to be proud of.
Mayby when Morgan Trent grows up a bit, he will see that his self-serving ways are not the stuff of which Michigan Men are made.
I only replied to Dex's post because it was on the front page of the comments. As a matter of fact, I liked his post at the WLA today. I didn't post the clip because I disagreed with dex, I did it because I thought the clip is almost as stupid as this whole god damned thing has been.
Rich Rod tells a future employer that a player is lazy. Any boss would do this in a business setting if he thought employee A was a piece of crap. RR told it like it was - in his opinion. Why should he stick up for a kid who didn't do all he could for RR's program. Maybe the kid should have worked harder and been a better leader. Then he might have gotten a better review. I'm sure there are tons of cases of players getting badmouthed about their attitudes to NFL scouts. Carr shouldn't have said anything - it's no longer his place for that B.S. Keep your 2 cents to yourself.
Good luck to Morgan in the future. Let's hope he doesn't run into MIke Williams or any other former USC receiver ever again. He might get 3rd degree burns.
"Good luck to Morgan in the future. Let's hope he doesn't run into MIke Williams or any other former USC receiver ever again. He might get 3rd degree burns."
That's hilarious, dude. Hey, while we're at it, let's bash every Michigan player who got torched by USC's juggernaut of the 2000s. I hope Leon Hall doesn't run into any former USC receivers, either! I hope Jake Long never has to play against any former USC defensive linemen! I hope Chad Henne never has to throw passes against any former USC defenders!
It makes me extremely to sad to think that this is the current opinion of Lloyd Carr here, given that many here will merely accept, and parrot these talking points.
In my handful of experiences with the man, Carr was a good, gracious, and kind man - one who would never trash a kid, or anyone, to anybody. If Carr did say something approaching this to Trent, he did it to protect one of "his" kids - and his kids came before ANYTHING to him. That's why any person who EVER played for him will vouch for him until they're blue in the face.
Car has done, and continues to do, more for Michigan athletics than all but a scant handful of people in the history of the school, and to think he is doing anything to "betray" Michigan is offensive, and borderline absurd. You may disagree with what "being true" to Michigan is, but to think his intention is anything else is turning a blind eye to his history.
Is Carr a Michigan Man? Carr proved he was a Michigan Man as an assistant for fourteen years, and the head coach for twelve, bringing the school it's only National Championship in the modern era. He proved he was a Michigan Man when he raised probably more money for Mott Children's Hospital than anyone walking this earth, and he proved he was a Michigan Man when he sat with a friend of mine whom he had never met for more than an hour as they were undergoing Chemo all because he received an e-mail about her situation.
Most of us on this board, including myself, not only couldn't, but hardly deserve to compare the amount of good we've done for others with Mr. Carr. And his thanks is character assassination during his retirement.