If anyone knows more, I think it would be very interesting to hear it. IIRC, the media story was that KF turned M down, which was kind of embarrassing.
Three And Out Takes: Carr, Rodriguez, Martin
I'm impressed with the large numbers of people who seem to have already blazed their way through Three and Out. It took me a while. I stopped for a few days after "Honeymoon from Hell" because it was too depressing; every chapter featuring a game I knew they'd lose spectacularly required a little bit of willpower to start.
But I'm done and a large number of you are done. It is time to talk the turkey.
We've got this document. What does it say about major players in the saga? I was planning one part here but this got long, so today we'll cover Carr, Rodriguez, and Bill Martin, with various players with less prominent roles in the story covered in a post tomorrow.
It says a few things about Lloyd Carr that are not nice, and implies more. Bacon's said he left a lot of things out that he could not get multiple sources on, which is both his responsibility as an actual journalist and horribly frustrating.
The main strikes:
- Informing his former players he would sign any transfer papers they wanted at his meeting with them after their bowl game, a marked contrast from the Bo-Bump transition.
- Telling Mallett he "needed to leave".
- Having zero control over his former players, or—worse—tacitly endorsing their behavior by not jumping down their throats.
- Offering something short of the fiery defense Bo would have launched once the program started taking fire.
That's aside from the state of the roster when Rodriguez took over, which wasn't specifically directed at the new man.
Those seem like major strikes. Screw it: those are major strikes, particularly #3. I find it inconceivable that Eric Mayes would made it thirty seconds into the embarrassing "we own this program" speech before Bo burst from his chest like a Xenomorph. Carr does nothing. Multiple former players trash Rodriguez in public. Carr does nothing. The 2009 golf outing that even guys like Chris Balas* come back from disgusted at, naming specific names of players (Marlin Jackson, Dhani Jones) who embarrassed themselves with their behavior. Is Carr even at it? It's worse if he is.
So, like, whatever. Carr doesn't owe anyone anything except the 400k a year he was pulling down as associate AD. But he's no program patriarch. He's just a guy who used to coach here. His loyalty is to an incredibly specific version of Michigan only. The difference between the Bo guys and the Carr guys is obvious. Bo guys organize a weird counterproductive rally for RR; Carr guys go on MNF and state they're from "Lloyd Carr's Michigan" or storm the AD's office to demand RR's firing after every loss**. There are exceptions, obviously. The trend is clear.
I have no sympathy for arguments the guy is being painted unfairly when he was offered the opportunity to tell his side a dozen times. If history is written by the losers here it's because the winners don't care what the public thinks. They can't be surprised when the public thinks they're not Bo.
Carr did a lot of things for the program but his legacy is significantly tarnished by the pit it found itself in immediately after his departure. It was his lack of a coaching tree, lack of serious coordinators, and lack of tolerance for Les Miles that caused Michigan to hire Rodriguez in the first place. It was his lack of a roster—seven scholarship OL!—and lack of support that provided Rodriguez with two strikes before he even coached a game. We can argue about how much is Carr's fault and how much is Rodriguez's, but figuring out the latter is pointless since RR is gone and everyone hates him. The former is "far too much."
*[By this I mean guys who work for publications for whom access is lifeblood. They're naturally more circumspect. The reaction on premium sites to this golf outing was unprecedented, with people moved to call actual former players out by name after years of dark mutterings.]
**[Not in the book; something I got from a good source.]
If you left a goat in the locker room after a Michigan loss and then locked Rodriguez in it for five minutes, you would return to find the walls smeared with blood and feta. There would be no trace of the goat.
Rich Rodriguez was obviously not a stoic guy. His sideline tantrums proved that. The extent of his leg-gashing, table-throwing, goat-cheese-making post-loss hissies is probably the thing that Rodriguez is pissed about. They don't make him look like a stable dude. Neither does his descent into J. Edgar Hoover-esque paranoia, no matter how intent the university was on making that paranoia seems reasonable.
By the time I got through it, my reaction to Rodriguez's portrayal was different than that of the media reviewing the book. It doesn't paint Rodriguez as a guy I would want in charge of my football program. I can deal with one goat-annihilating postgame tantrum a year. Rodriguez seemed to have one after every loss.
So why do most neutral accounts play up the Rodriguez sympathy angle? They do not take the truth that the local media is dominated by agenda-laden twits to be self-evident. When Mike Rosenberg—who comes off as a real winner—bombed Rodriguez with a bunch of half-truths and misrepresentations I bombed back, stating that it was obvious the buyout kerfuffle was university-directed. Surprise: it was university-directed as they tried to get out of their 2.5 million dollar hook. Similarly, Free Press Jihad is re-exposed as a bunch of half-truths at best run by a couple of guys who "had countable hours in there at some point" but had it edited out, no doubt because that's not at all important in a discussion about whether Michigan was more than doubling their allotted time on Sundays.
If you go into the book knowing Rosenberg and Snyder published an embarrassing hack-job and that a large part of the media firestorm surrounding Rodriguez was a combination of University incompetence and the tiny lizard brains of certain folk in the local media*, the main takeaway from the book in re: RR is the sheer height of the plumes his emotional volcano shoots up. I mean, Bacon spends pages and pages on Rodriguez playing up the traditions of Michigan to his players. That's an obvious reaction to the Michigan Man business. I assumed Rodriguez was not an idiot when it came to firing up his troops, I guess, and that stuff shot by me. Beating a bleating ungulate against the wall of the Notre Dame locker room until it bursts into a kaleidoscope of viscera… that stays with you.
I feel bad for the guy. I'm glad he's gone.
*[The rest a combo of Rodriguez never winning any games and his remarkable ability to stick his leg into the press conference bear trap.]
Good Lord, man. I find it hard to believe that a guy who dragged Michigan kicking and screaming into massive financial success and smoothly hired John Beilein (admittedly after making a questionable hire in Tommy Amaker) was really as incompetent as… uh… I believed he was after the sailboat incident. That's Yogi Berra right there but it's also true.
Here's the the story of the post-Carr coaching search from the perspective of this site:
- Kirk Ferentz is reached out to and either is or is not offered; if offered he may have been given an offer that was a paycut. Ferentz fades but it seems like there was truth to the rumors.
- Flailing. Miles heavily discussed. ESPN reports Michigan contacts him after Ferentz falls through. They agree to wait until the SEC championship game is over. LSU boards buzz that Les has told his team he's out. I would be "surprised if it was not" Miles.
- Infamous ESPN report.
- Sailboat. "Have a great day." Sailboat.
- Conclusion reached in the aftermath is that M "essentially passed on Miles."
- Tedford and Schiano now start getting thrown around along with odder names like Grobe and Pinkel. Also some guy named Hoke. So much Hoke.
- Kirk Ferentz momentarily back. Then gone.
- Schiano talked to, offered, accepts, changes mind, offered again, says no.
- Sean Payton!
- Miles again! Seriously!
- Miles out again.
- Jim Grobe. Jim Grobe does not get an exclamation point.
- KC Keeler! Lane Kiffin! Seriously!
- Rodriguez out of nowhere.
- Sigh… Peanut Butter Jelly Time.
It seemed like a clown show, and behind the scenes… clown show. Martin wants Dungy, has no idea if Dungy—who is a broadcaster and can be contacted by anyone at any time for any reason—will take the job. Wants Ferentz, has no idea that the president of the university will stab him if he hires Ferentz. Wants Miles, has no idea that Lloyd Carr will stab him if he hires Miles. Somehow misses on Schiano, then has Rodriguez fall into his lap and grabs him before anyone can think about it, which sets up the whole buyout fiasco the media will spin for six months. The sailboat incident is even worse since Bacon asserts one of the main problems was Martin had a new cell phone and didn't know how to use it.
Martin himself drops out of the story shortly thereafter, which is another indictment of the guy because what enters is a vast institutional incompetence that starts the Rodriguez media cockroach katamari rolling. Everything from the buyout to the Dorsey situation is mishandled not only by Rodriguez (sometimes not even by Rodriguez, as with the buyout) but by the people who should be telling him what is and is not possible. When Rodriguez went to bat for Dorsey with a guy in admissions the guy in admissions should have looked at the guy's transcript before saying yes, and then when he did look at the transcript he should have said no.
Instead we actually sign the guy—opening us up to the most cynical and loathsome of all the lizard-brain media attacks—only to find out he is nowhere near eligible. And don't get me started on the CARA forms, which was a special brand of idiocy all on its own. Martin did a lot of big picture stuff very well, but he was totally unprepared to fix a department that had started downhill long before he arrived.
For all the crap I give Brandon about his failure on big picture stuff, he cleaned out the deadwood with alacrity.
TOMORROW: Players, reporters, me/us(!?).
I don't understand what's going on here. This book is not definitive truth. It is merely one person's (plus an occasional source's) perspective of what happened. Jeebus, Michigan fans.
If RR found success at the University of Michigan would you all stop bashing Lloyd? Seriously, all of the Lloyd bashers can go fuck themselves.
Why did RR not focus on recruiting our home state, and much of the midwest? Thanks for giving MSU a head start.
Why did we receive the first sanctions ever for our football program under RR? He was the head fucking coach. He takes the blame. Hire people that do the job fucking right. No fucking excuses.
Why did the defense blow massive cock, and why was Mattison easily able to improve it? Because the roster was young? Because RR tried to blame Shafer when he in fact blows cock at understanding defense. When he in fact can't hire a defensive coordinator to save his life.
Why are there a multitude of examples of head coaches who have had more success in 3 years with less talent than RR had at Michigan? Because he didn't do a fucking good job.
Lloyd Carr did a good job. Of course you allow the players to opt out if they want to. When you recruit a player, you promise said player that you will be there the entirety of said players career. If you leave before then, you do the honorable thing and allow said player to leave if the incoming coach RR doesn't recruit him to stay.
3-9;5-7;7-6 is way below Michigan standards. It's an absolute terrible fucking record. It falls on the head fucking coach. Run some more spread with Threet you stupid fuck.
So keep bitching about Lloyd Carr you fucking little pricks. You obviously don't know what Michigan was at one time, and is starting to become again. Something Lloyd Carr helped build, and something RR had a hand in attempting to destroy.
Carr took over a Ferrari in a go cart race, so he didn't build shit. He also fucked RR every chance he got, and skewed the hiring process. Other than that he is a saint.
You mean it wasn't Carr's fault RR went 15-22???
I think any responsible coach would grant transfers to any of the players he recruited during his tenure.
Oh goody you did continue that train wreck of an earlier post I was wondering how long you could spout utter nonsense. Well played.
Ahh I love the smell of Strawmen in the morning. No one here is saying that Llyod Carr is the reason we went 15-22. No one here is saying that 15-22 isn't a terrible record. Just because Lloyd Carr was a coach here doesn't mean he is above reproach. RR doesn't(and absolutely shouldn't) hire the compliance people. He does take the ultimate responsibility for that as head coach, but considering that an important reason he should be fired is wrong. RR absolutely failed here, but he did not "attmept to destroy" Michigan. He did the best he could, but made a crap ton of mistakes in an extremely toxic environment with a less than ideal margin for error. Also, try dropping more f-bombs in your post at anyone who disagrees with you, it makes your point much more cogent.
That tells you something. I'm probably going to do it again in this thread.
"of course you let the players opt out...you do the honorable thing and allow said player to leave"? Before they even talk to the new coach? Especially when you are the guy who recommended the new coach? Like hell you do. Only if you think you're bigger than the program, bigger than the team.
As stated by another poster, the head coach does not hire compliance people, for obvious conflict of interest reasons. Yeah, the head coach takes the blame, by there's a reason none of the compliance people involved with the sanctions are with the program, either - they failed at their jobs.
How many of those "coaches with three years of success with less talent" had their predecessor around, and backstabbing them every step of the way - I'd bet none.
Look, no one is saying that RichRod is without fault here. However, we can also recognize that the failure was not his alone, it was the whole program's.
As assistant AD, Lloyd was part of that failure. As the previous head coach, he had a large role in who was on the field in 2008 (especially since he told guys to leave). And, since Carr was the guy who recommended RichRod for the job, and his recommendation was followed, it partially falls on him for not recommending a better coach, a better fit, or not developing a coaching tree where someone was ready for the job when it came open.
I have a feeling you will soon be a pretty, pretty princess.
gremlin, you appear to have an authoritarian personality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authoritarian_personality). Am I correct?
Aaaaah yes, and here we have typified the uninformed, spittle-flecked arguments of those that don't/can't get it that plagued the RR era from the start.
Here you see a simple-minded 'fan' that ate up every last bit of misinformation fed to them and employed zero critical thinking skills beyond deducing that the W number was smaller than the L number. To find out why, they then scanned the headlines over at the 'Free to Print Anything You Want Press' and arrived at the conclusion that all of this was in the control of the evil RR and then begins to puke and mewl loudly about how simple it all is, W vs. L.
I applaud your brutish simplicity in being able to filter so readily and heavily, as well as your ability to see things so clearly, life must indeed be easy for you with all that black and white.
Your eloquence clearly sets you a apart as an intellectual, while your prose similarly indicates you are of noble birth and elevated stature. Well met gentleman! You are a credit to the M fanbase and I would wish that more of your ilk would take up the pen that your reasoned and rational opinions would be more widespread.
You want an omelet, you gotta break some eggs.
Provided Carr actually believed staying at Michigan would not be a good thing for some of his players (not a stretch) in choosing between protecting Michigan at the expense of his recruits and protecting his recruits at the expense of Michigan, I am not as convinced as some others that he didn't do the right thing.
Rodriguez made a lot of poor decisions in retrospect but at the time he made them they generally made sense. Those decisions and various events both in and out of his control put him in a situation where he was not going to succeed relatively early in his time at Michigan.
First he took the job with very little information. His situation at West Virginia was deteriorating. Michigan appeared at the last minute and he jumped at the job based purely on the reputation of the program. Almost anyone in college football would have told him the same thing. Michigan is first class and a great job. Don’t worry about the details, take the job. I think Brady Hoke had the same reaction when offered the job even after the three year debacle that preceded him.
The first year was going to be difficult as far as wins. Rodriguez had to know that. His teams always started slowly with his system. The talent situation, which Rodriguez was unaware of in the beginning, only further exacerbated this problem. As for the transfers, perhaps he could have done something there, but it seems doubtful. By most accounts Mallet and Boron were not going to stay. I don’t think Rich Rod running after them like a school girl would have helped. I am also not sure Lloyd could have helped much, though it sounds like he did the opposite.
How to deal with what he knew would be a difficult situation the first year is another issue. Rich Rod clearly needed to spend more time working the former players and alumni base to win them over in that first year. He also clearly had an issue at defensive coordinator. The book alludes to this when it talks about the defense not improving throughout the course of the first year. Rodriguez realized this but failed to fix the problem when he hired Greg – a mistake he could not fix in time to save himself. I am not sure how he could have dealt with the PR mess around the buy-out better. Even in retrospect that seemed like a no-win situation for him.
In the end Rich Rod did a B- or C+ job in his first year. Given the difficulty of jumping into a major program in general and all the issues circling Michigan specifically, I doubt there are many if any coaches who could have done much better. Looking back Rodriguez really needed an A performance in that year to survive what was coming.
The hiring of Robinson, who by all account was a failure, and the Freep article before the start of season two set things on a course that Rodriguez, or most any other coach, would not survive. The Freep article provided ammunition to the detractors, or cockroaches as he called them in the book. It also seems to have been far more of a distraction to the coaches and team then ever acknowledged. The stuff about the team watching far less film than their opponents is illustrative of this.
The Freep article also seemed to start Rodriguez’s paranoia which only grew over time as more allegations appeared. From his perspective I am certain the paranoia appeared justified. There were after all clearly people out to get him. Unfortunately you cannot effectively lead a team or organization while focused on paranoia. This also seemed to lead to a fair amount of self pity, the “fuck me” uttered after a loss, also not a good leadership trait.
There was not a lot of information on the situation with Greg in the book but I did get the impression that Rodriguez was not happy with him. At the same time he did not want to undermine his staff by overriding Greg’s decisions. He had the option of firing him after season two but that probably would have appeared desperate at the time. He was really screwed when he made the hire with few options to correct the mistake before his own time had run out.
It seems like Rich Rodriguez is a good guy and football coach. Unfortunately for him by the beginning of his second year his situation was a mess that had resulted from some events under his control and a good deal of events outside his control. From that point on he was simply not up to the task to overcome the cascade of difficulties that were surrounding him. To his credit, at that point it was a very difficult task.
Reading the book my main impression was, “what a mess.” I suspect Rich Rodriguez will be spend a lot more time evaluating coaching opportunities before he takes his next job. He will probably also do a much better job integrating himself into the culture. If he does that I am certain he will see future success.
For Michigan, it appears we have learned many lessons from this whole affair. So far there is less drama surrounding Hoke and generally strong support from everyone involved with Michigan athletics. We will see how strong these lessons are being applied when the team loses a few games. Personally, I would prefer we win out and leave those questions unanswered for now.
I seriously feel bad for RichRod...no one gave him a chance from the fucking beginning, and thats just really sad to think about. Not fair at all dude
I wish my enemies gave me three years.
What happened to him maybe wasn't fair. OK. But it sure as hell wasn't insurmountable. Stop talking like RichRod's tenure was something like Herman Boone's at Williamston.
Can't you just feel the love? if you defend Carr or denigrate RR you get negged for fllamebaiting or trolling. Nice open discussion going here.
What, if you say something negative about Lloyd Carr, that automatically means that you're not appreciative of the his positives?
Look, the guy is human. He has good and bad qualities. Whether the good outweighs the bad depends on how everyone weighs different qualities, different characteristics.
I've been on this site for almost 3 years
Now I've been negged to the point where my posts are invisible because I'm pro-Carr
Brian, this place has turned into a massive shit pit
Took me a while to figure this out. All you have to do is go to the "comment viewing options" between where Brian's post ends and comments begin, and set the threshold to -1 and you will see all comments.
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