Mallet, Arrington, Manningham and ... did Boren make a practice squad?
Three And Out: The Questioning
So Rich Rodriguez did a deeply bizarre thing. Captain Renault, yes, yes. GERG, yes. 3-3-5 addiction, yes. Groban, yes. Right. I'll start again.
Amongst the many deeply bizarre things that Rich Rodriguez did was allowing John Bacon virtually unfettered access to his program for three years. He didn't know it at the time, but these happened to be the only three years of his program.
I received an advanced copy of the book that resulted and… man. If you are a Michigan fan the result is a must read. Hate Rodriguez, love Rodriguez, have deeply conflicted relationship with Carr, love Carr—doesn't matter. This is not another book where ex-jocks tell jovial stories about the slightly dangerous things that happened to them.
This is a book that immediately makes everyone in it mad as hell except the guy who did Never Forget. This is close to literally true. Bacon's been banished to the Drew Sharp area of the press box, Michael Rosenberg is livid, Rodriguez himself is apparently hugely pissed. And while I can't confirm this like the above, I can't help but think that Lloyd Carr hates this book more than anything he's ever hated.
I know Bacon a bit and have pressed upon him an opportunity for MGoBlog: to badger him with questions. I would like to crowdsource these questions because these are important. I want to cover all the bases, ask the things clarify a lot of the debates fans have argued endlessly about for the last four years.
So: what would you ask someone who spent the last three years embedded in Operation Spread Ann Arbor? I'll cull the best ones and pose them to Bacon. He'll answer, and maybe we'll get some clarity.
Before you get to asking, some context:
- While the book documents Rodriguez's increasingly desperate behavior it does seem to have a pro-RR editorial POV. Hard questions will be about the things he did wrong.
- It does not really address the DC fiascoes, which I'll already be asking about.
- The Free Press stuff comes in for a thorough treatment; if you want to be pointed the Qs there should be Devil's Advocate type things.
- It's clear Bacon could not get anything solid on the Great Stapleton/English Conspiracy Theory, though he tried. Wouldn't bother there.
- The Rodriguez coaching search went down essentially like we expected: Ferentz, panic, Les Miles boat incident, panic, Schiano, panic, Rodriguez.
- I'm not going to ask a guy who spent three years of his life with unprecedented access to a major college football program why he decided to write a book about it. Figure it out yourself.
Along with a severe grilling of Bacon, we'll be running an excerpt from the book around the time of its publication, which is scheduled for October 25th.
Arrington, Manningham, Mallett, Minor.
Highly debatable that the first three would have stayed no matter what Rodriguez did, though.
You didn't include Minor because he stayed after the hire, but you did include Matthews, who also stayed after the hire and you don't even know if he's on a team? I call bullshit.
If you include every player you mentioned in the "talent still on the team when RichRod was hired" category, you still don't have as many players drafted in RR's entire 3 years as you do in Lloyd's last 2 years. Your point is still horrible, even if you continue to make it over and over. And so you know, it doesn't get any better when you keep including drafted players because they were "technically still on the team" when RR was hired
Ha. Yes, because when talking about a bare cupboard and the quality of players RR inherited, it is ridiculous to look at how many players were drafted. Plus, my whole point is that your quantity of plates isn't correct. You can keep saying that you don't want to argue about why and when they left, just that they were on the team when he was hired, but that is the whole point. That is the argument about the quantity of plates. I count 1 player on offense drafted since Lloyd left. You count players that were drafted and/or left the team before he coached a game. When you reference players with eligibility left but chose to get drafted, you are bringing up your argument that RichRod could have kept them. You basically said, "look, I don't want to argue about the reasoning behind my post, but here is why I am right and you are wrong."
plates: boren/ mallet
I don't consider manningham and AA part of anything because they left early. I also don't consider 7th rounders and practice squad players worthy of mention when they were never all B1G players or even 2nd team All B1G type players.
Not many freshman or sophomores in that cabinet.
You are making the assumption that they wouldn't leave, so you are guilty of the same fallacy he is, even more so if you consider that his assumption is based on what actually happened and yours is based on what would make your point valid.
Well this is ridiculous. What does it matter if he had a full cupboard when he was hired (as you say every time this argument is brought up) if he didn't actually get to coach a game with that full cupboard? Since you don't want to debate about why the kids left, then why would we be referencing a time when they could still chose to leave?
But I am also impressed at the commitment to metaphorical structure throughout the replies. well done good sirs.
are Mallett, Boren (on Balitmore's practice squad), Arrington and Manningham. Those are guys in the NFL who had eligibility but left after Rodriguez was signed, although, Mallett, Arrington and Manningham may have left even if Carr had stayed.
Since then Michigan also got Brandon Graham (the mug I assume), Tim Jamison, Zoltan Mesko, Brandon Minor, Jonas Mouton, Stevie Brown (now cut I believe), Steve Schilling, Morgan Trent, Donovan Warren in the NFL
I have to assume that the whole U-M administration was on board with allowing Bacon unfettered access to the program. What were they thinking? How did Bacon manage to keep a poker face for three years, knowing (as he must have known) what he was going to write?
I don't think he did know what he was going to write. I think I recall it was only supposed to be a single year with the program before writing the book. But as things went wrong he kept at it. The feeling before the 2008 season was that RR would build a truely elite program and I think this was supposed to be an inside look at that.
I wasn’t suggesting that Bacon knew from Day One what he was going to write. No one could have been quite that prophetic. But at some point, long before the end of Year Three, he must have realized where it was going..
And realize it might not go over so well.
So, my question would be "what books are you going to write about now that Michigan won't let you within a mile of any of their programs anymore?"
I mean, it's not easy to piss off everybody.
he might not be too worried about Michigan. Chicago's a pretty big town.
Better question might be how Mark Snyder might get by as an asigned, Michigan beat reporter, when nobody will talk to him.
Your point might be fitting if I said "what's he going to do now that they won't let him teach a class at U-M anymore". But I doubt people will be beating down his door to write a book on the Bears, and he seems to have been writing books about Michigan more for the love than as a cash cow. And I'll go out on a limb and say that's not happening again.
That would probably be a great question for "Bacs": Do you regret writing the book?
I would be very interested to hear his feelings now that he has, apparently, become persona non grata with the UM administration due to the book.
I think that's an excellent question - I'd be really interested to hear what Bacon's response would be.
...was very much along these lines. But not so much "do you regret it?" but more "how much internal struggle did you feel publishing the book knowing it would wreak havoc with those individuals and also potentially distract the program?" On the one hand, we know Bacon to be a Michigan die-hard, and on the other, also a real journalist with integrity / a stand up guy in general (yes, that's a Freep swipe). Those dynamics seem to be in conflict here. It would seem that John went down the "integrity" route (while also creating a more interesting book that will probably make him more money, yes)...but just wondering how difficult that was for him, if at all. Or maybe he truly didn't expect backlash, though - without having read the book - that seems unlikely.
Note: I haven't yet read through all the responses, so apologies if this ends up being a duplication.
Thanks, Brian! Can't wait to get my hands on the book...
I once had a chance to see Bacon speak at a small event, and he discussed the time he spent with Bo when working on that book. Interestingly enough, he had no definitive subject or even a contract for the book, he just put the time in because he thought it would be worthwhile and eventually it was.
I would imagine he had the same attitude this time around.
Regarding the commitment of Demar Dorsey, could John have figured out that he would be rejected by UM admissions before he came to Michigan? Did Rodriguez know of this risk before his pursuit of Dorsey?
What did Rodriguez do for athletes that were thinking about transferring? Did he work hard to keep some/most/all of possible transfers? Was he more successful at keeping athletes from transferring than it appeared from the outside?
This is going to be a fascinating book that may change existing opinions of so-called legends like Lloyd Carr.
Simply can't wait to read this.
When Hoke was hired there was suddenly mentions of disagreements between ex-Bo factions and ex-Mo/Lloyd factions that had been cannibalizing the program, culminated by Hoke's under-appreciated quote "How dare us?"
I'd like to know whether and exactly how RichRod's tenure was undermined by the infighting.
EDIT: beaten to it by Hobbes.
It seems like Brian should interview and request questions after we can all read the book. I feel like many questions asked could be answered in the book and much more pointed questions could be asked after everyone reads it.
I truly believe there are few finer journalists in America than John Bacon. This confirms it. I can't wait to read the book.
has truely pissed everyone off, at the expense of being banished to the back of the press box, my esteem for John U. Bacon has gone up even more (and it was high before).
Journalistic cajones - who'd a thunk that even existed any more?
I would like to find out if there was any animosity between RR and Admissions and, if so, when did it start. I am specifically thinking of the Demar Dorsey situation but it could certainly be asked in a more general way.
I don't think I knew enough about Dorsey to make a determination, or to substitute my judgment for the University's.
I think that what this Board objected to was the scandalous coverage that the press devoted to Dorsey. And not so much grades or alternative classes or ACT scores. If that were the case, I'd really like to have a look at a lot of schools. No -- the Dorsey story, such as it was, was all about his reputed criminal record. And whether he was a person of questionable character, not a marginal student.
Whether he ever becomes a Michigan student-athlete or not, I will be rooting for Demar Dorsey to succeed, just to piss off the sportswriters who attacked him.
Yep, there were people printing the Dean of Admission's email and, presumably, sending emails advocating for Dorsey's acceptance. It was pretty ridiculous.
Yes, they harrassed admissions over it. The admissions officer who coordinates with the athletic department was named here as well.
Few postings gave OUA the benefit of doubt. That was the most disheartening thing to me--I felt like this board really slipped in its commitment to healthy skepticism and insistence on facts before conclusions. It was a bad week.
What did the coaching staff do to make him stop considering us.? If I remember correctly, Gholston himself referred to something in particular that the staff did that he did not like, saying something along the lines of "They know what they did".
I'm pretty sure "what they did" was be the coaching staff at Michigan. He freakin lived with his coach, who was not only a former Sparty player and homer, but who actively diverted players from M for years. We never had a shot with Gholston.
but he referred to a specific event and I am asking what that was.
Who is "the guy who did Never Forget?"
The pictorial mash-up of transferred/injured DBs that fell victim to Angry Michigan Secondary Hating God.
But I am not sure why I wouldn't be mad.
Probably because you get a shout out in it.
You get a mention at some point.
MGaux Bleu. I always enjoyed the Teen Wolf reference.
that thinks getting mentioned in a book from their time spent on MGoBlog is worthy of +10,000 MGoPoints... or a T-shirt?
Please ask him if he uses the word "tremendous" in the book an adequate number of times (roughly once per paragraph).
Tremendous question, Chunks. Just tremendous.
Just for clarification's sake, I think I know what the "Great Stapleton/English Conspiracy Theory" is, but can someone spell it out precisely?
the theory is that English (former DC under Carr) who wanted the job, and Stapleton his friend in the AD worked behind the scenes to sabotage RR, and that the Freep story was planted by them to try to take down Rodriguez.
Mind you, this is not any sort of "reporting" on my part. Just a kind of loose explanation of competing theories and rumors.
First, the short cast of characters:
Ron English - Michigan's former DC under Lloyd Carr. Discharged along with all of the rest of the Carr staff, after Carr's resignation. Very widely criticized in his last year as DC for App St and Oregon debacles, which were defensive debacles as much as anything. An African-American, and therefore in a unique posture as a possible replacement HC for Carr. An obvious candidate for Michigan to interview in its coaching search. Rejected, then hired as EMU's HC.
James Stapleton - A professional hanger-on in the world of University oversight and collegiate athletics. Michigan grad; former member of Michgan's Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics (since renamed); Democrat Party playa; appointed by Gov. Granholm to the EMU Board of Trustees; has a consulting business of some kind that is sort of amateur-athletics managment-related. Even while at EMU, highly active in Michigan affairs though friendships, professional connections, alumni associations, etc.
Lloyd Carr, Percy Bates, Compliance Services - Okay so no introductions needed. Percy Bates has for about one millennium been an academic advisor on the Athletics Board. He was recently inducted into something called the Minority Collegiate Athletics Hall of Fame or something like that and just so you know, Tom Goss was inducted as a great example of a minority Athletic Director. Percy Bates would have been copied in on the July 27 2009 CARA-form audit memo that (Rosenberg refuses comment on) was apparently leaked and found its way to Rosenberg and/or Snyder and which launched Stretchgate.
So the story, such as it is, was that there was a cadre of people led (or at least exemplified) by James Stapleton, who wanted Ron English installed as HC. And when that didn't happen, they were pissed off and sought to undermine Rodriguez. It is thought that Stapleton, Bates and Carr are all kindred spirits. Kindred political spirits, especially. That is, politics in the ordinary sense and local interpersonal politics.
If anybody has more to add, be my guest. Again, I caution -- this is not reporting on my part. Somebody asked; and that's the answer from my perspective.
in Feb '06, Ron English left the M coaching staff for a job with the Chicago Bears. Shortly following, Carr shitcanned Jim Hermann and convinced Ron English to return to UM as D Coordinator. Many feel Carr enticed English to exit the NFL and return to UM with the promise that he would be the "head-coach-in-waiting" (strictly a handshake between Carr & English). There was a history of hiring from within and English would have the inside track and Carr's blessing as his replacement. When Bill Martin publicly stated his replacement search would only consider candidates with previous HC experience, English (and Carr) felt Martin welched on their personal agreement. Carr and English then teamed up with others to torpedo Bill Martin's choice behind the scenes. Unverified - but intriguing nonetheless.
but I don't think Lloyd was a Ron English or else guy. I think he wanted a guy in his style as coach (Kirk Ferenz, Schiano...) or at the very least wanted to be consulted heavily in the decision, but he clearly was not consulted with the hiring of RR.