I'm with Brian on the oversigning thing, but Pace was projected as a contributor and Talbott played at a position where Michigan has no depth. It's pretty unlikely that this is nefarious.
The scheduling news is some serious bullshit though.
COACH BA TWEET. If you are not following basketball assistant Bacari Alexander on Twitter, you are doing yourself a disservice. Yesterday's gem:
The iPad by far is the biggest tool used by coaches on the road. It has saved cell phone battery life.
Love the information in the second sentence. So matter-of-fact. Love that guy.
I have to think the Alliance is going to frown on this. As covered by Misopogon last night, a couple Wolverines (including an incoming freshman) have disappeared from Michigan's roster [Ed-M:
I'm still waiting for confirmation but other media outlets are reporting It's confirmed: Terry (the Elder) Talbott is medicaled too], ever-so-conveniently opening up a couple roster spots for class of 2012 commits (of which Brady Hoke has said to expect 23-26, and we're currently up to 22 openings).
This disappearing act is sure to draw the ire of Brian, the resident oversigning watchdog (that post is his "final" word on the topic... from more than three years ago). The point is that when signing a big class - or in this case, aiming to sign one - you're actively hoping some guys currently on your roster will not make it through their four years. That puts you in a sketchy-feeling gray area at best.
Of course, there have been hints going back to Rodriguez that Christian Pace's injuries could be career-threatening (and Teric Jones's knee injury did indeed look terrible, etc.), so maybe we're confusing the cause and effect in Hoke's statements about signing a full class? Pace, at the very least, seemed like he would be a contributor if healthy, so there's far less motive to push him out.
Fairly or not, it still gives off the feeling that Michigan is striding away from its moral high ground on the issue. Brian is certain to feel much more strongly about this, so brace yourselves for his wrath when he returns.
Other things that are certain to thrill Brian. Say goodbye to non-conference away games, according to David Brandon. The original tweet from Mark Snyder didn't seem to doom us to a purgatory of Notre Dame and the Directionals as non-conference opponents, but the full quote from Brandon is not so promising:
"I don't believe we can or should go on the road for nonconference games when we can put 113,000 people in our stadium. It's, financially, the right thing to do. It's the right thing to do for our fans, in terms of their ticket packages. And we're going to alternate with Notre Dame, so we're going to have one game on the road every other year. So the rest of those games, I would like to have at Michigan Stadium."
I was hopeful that it would mean the years Notre Dame plays in Ann Arbor would bring Bama-in-Dallas events at the very least, but Brandon's quote seems clear: No games outside of Ann Arbor or South Bend.
Taking the easy money is Brandon's vision of "creating the future," for better or for worse. With a four-year warning in place to opt out of the Notre Dame series occasionally, the chances will be few and far between to play anyone else, if they exist at all.
Upside? One potential reason for the reduction in worthwhile non-conference games, however, could be looked at as a good thing. Purdue revealed that the Big Ten asked it to re-work some non-conference games for the 2017 season and beyond, possibly indicating a nine-game conference schedule coming soon to a stadium near you.
Though it reduces non-conference opportunities, Brandon has made it clear that he wanted to do that anyway, so I'd rather face Wisconsin or Penn State than Akron or Kent State, right?
Off the hook? I'm not going to touch the topic of Ohio State getting off with what seems to be minimal punishment, but I assure you Brian will cover it in extreme depth upon his return, as well.
Etc. Hammer and Rails profiles former Boiler Glenn Robinson Jr., who you may recognize as the father of hoops commit Glenn Robinson III. Duane Long says OH OL Kyle Kalis isn't solidly committed to Michigan and Kalis basically responds "hey leave me alone please." Much more on recruiting tomorrow, per the usual weekly schedule. Michigan is named fourth in the Legends Division by a media poll.
I'm with Brian on the oversigning thing, but Pace was projected as a contributor and Talbott played at a position where Michigan has no depth. It's pretty unlikely that this is nefarious.
The scheduling news is some serious bullshit though.
Add to that, if you will, the idea that anything untoward with Jones might endanger Michigan's most valuable pipeline, the richly flowing gusher leading to Cass Tech, and you have reasons why all three of these players would not get any kind of nefarious treatment.
Also, just because we are getting this news now and it may seem shady, there is a really good chance that Hoke new a long time ago that these players would not be able to see the field again. We all knew Pace's status has been in limbo for some time, and Talbott has had back problems that were also known. I don't think this is shady, but for conspiracy theorists, the timing of all of these medicals is very convenient. I don't remember anyone saying that Zirbel or Bass' medical was shady or a way to open scholarships. These things happen in football. It is the crap about players already moving into dorms at places like LSU, and then having their coaches say Grayshirt or don't play which makes me angry. That or signing a class of 31 at Alabama when you have 20 spots and having a medical firesale that is released one by one and having players come out and openly question the practice. Lastly, There is always attrition after every season, and especially with a new coach, so more can be expected. There will be some injuries during the season, as there alwasy are, and this could lead to more openings. Also, with the tweeners being moved around to compete at different positions this year, there is a good chance these guys may move on when playing time doesn't present itself or if they already have their degrees and don't want to ride the bench for a 5th year. Overall, I don't think there is anything to worry about with Hoke's practices and these are all legitimate injuries.
His knee injuries don't allow him to play anymore, according to my sources.
That is really unfortunate because I felt like he was a very underrated player and was expecting him to contribute in the future.
with respect to the injured guys is every bit as much horsecrap as Michael Rosenberg's assertion that Rich Rodriguez was committing major, serious violations.
I wish someone would from the Mgoblog editorial board would clarify what injury they think Hoke made up or how this is anything other than a coincidence.
Hoke targeted a big class and some guys happened to get injured. No idea where this "sketchy-feeling gray area" comes from. I'm sure Hoke would rather have them on the team than not, and to suggest otherwise is irresponsible.
Reverse the order.
Pace, Jones and Talbott were all injured with what were possibly career-enders before Hoke was hired. It was debatable if any of them would ever be able to play again.
Is it not more plausible that Hoke saw the medical reports on these guys, rightly concluded they wouldn't be able to play again, and determined he'd need to upsize his class accordingly?
I understand the concern about oversigning and the St. Saban Memorial Hospital and the its direct-action affiliate, the Scholarship Liberation Front, but this just doesn't strike me as analogous.
The reason Hoke is in the "sketchy feeling gray area" is that even with these likely legit injuries, we still need attrition of one to four players - attrition that does not seem likely to occur.
If it does, we all hope it is by player decision. The reason why Brian and Tim are worried is that obvious discontinuity in the math. That and oversigning, in many's opinion, is one of the worst things about college football right now.
The other day Steve Spurrier was asked about multi-year scholarships and he basically said "If you don't perform, you're out." If Michigan ever becomes that, I don't want the University to have a football team.
Transfers occur naturally, even at schools with stable coaching situations, without the encouragement of the coaching staff. I think that the staff realized that they were bringing in a new system on both sides of the ball and realized that at least a couple players were going to leave by choice because of this alone, so they recruited accordingly. They also likely have been aware of the three medicaled guys for some time now and took those spots into account when recruiting.
We will see at least one transfer after practice begins.
We are at 22 available scholarships right now.
Terrance Robinson and George Morales are both going to be 5th year seniors who haven't contributed. I feel there is nothing unethical about telling a kid, hey, you got your four years here, we don't see you getting playing time, thanks and have a great career in something other than football.
I would also consider JT Floyd a possible non-renewed 5th year if some of the freshman and sophomores step up. We have a lot of cornerbacks and I have never been very impressed with him. I know I might be in the minority on this one.
My point is we have the 25 already if you consider 5th year players who won't be asked back. There is zero evidence of anything shaddy especially when you compare it to what LSU and Alabama have pulled.
walk on? i mean, you have put your time in and are probably farther ahead of other guys from an open walk on audition. just to keep running out of that tunnel and touching that banner.
That would still fall under the normal rules of 5 years of eligibility, four playing. So if a 5th year player redshirted one year, he could potentially walk on. The general reason why he wouldn't is, well, paying tution. If he needed/wanted to finish his degree and had not, it could be a plausible solution.
to be on the football team for just one single gameday. you don't even have to play me.
T Rob, Morales, and Floyd are all out of state kids, so out-of-state tution it is. Also, I don't believe Morales is on scholarship, or if he is it is a yearly thing if the staff has enough to give one out. Wouldn't surprise me if one of our slots or undersized linbebackers transfered. Plus, always the chance a recruit or two from last year decides this isn't for them. Being at 22 and getting to 26 is more plausible by transfers than say being at 18 and getting to 26. We will see how it plays out and then judge if the situation was poorly handled.
It all boils down to who made the decision (and how voluntarily it was made).
If those players were forced out, then it starts to feel, correction...IS a bit sketchy.
If they looked at their injuries with appropriate, impartial medical information, and, in conjunction with their non-Sabanized doctors, concluded that walking at age 40 was more important than playing football at age 20, then it doesn't feel sketchy at all.
This was cute when Mispogon first suggested it, and at that point it was worth ignoring. But this is now out of control.
Just because a player gets a medical waiver does not mean the coach kicked him out on his ass. The problem with people like you and Mispogon and Tim - and Brian if he expresses the same view when he gets back - is that you have spent so much time bashing other teams' coaches for using the medical waiver (automatically and without any real investigation into each case) that you are now in a corner and have to bash Hoke or look hypocritical. Sorry, but football is a violent sport and players frequently get seriously hurt. Where were these "suspicions" when Carr requested medical waivers? Where is the suspicion over the medical for Pace?
Saban clearly is an extreme outlier and appears to be abusing the rule. But painting Hoke with that brush is outrageous. And lazy. How many medicals did Hoke have at Ball State? SDSU? Do you even know? This is the kind of thing that causes people to make fun of internet blogs. What a bunch of "I'm sitting in my basement at my parent's house and have a stupid thought to share with the world" crap this is.
You are my hero.
I am kind of confused: I feel like there is a post or two missing, since there are some pretty harsh words towards Tim and Mispogon's post suggesting there could be nefarious workings afoot. I don't think Tim, here, is particularly accusing Hoke of performing a Sabanectomy on some of these players; it just seems he is raising questions concerning the medicals. You are right that everyone has been on their/our high horses when it comes to oversigning and medical scholarships, so I think Tim is doing the responsible thing and raising the question that we could be doing it. Tim even mentions Pace would seem an unlikely target, but there have been rumors about his health for a while, and mentions T Jones knee injury looked terrible. Talbott follows under similar thinking as Pace. Also, we haven't ever really seen any documentation that they are injured (not saying that because I feel we need documentation every single time someone gets hurt), so we are going on word of mouth here that Talbott and Pace were injured. I used to see Talbott around campus a lot and he never seemed injured, yet he never seemed like he was hitting the weight room (probably because of injury). There two speculations are raised without proof. Point is: criticizing other people (mainly Saban) for abusing the medical scholarsip, means we need to watch ourselves and admit/criticize it when it happens in our own camp (not saying it has cause I don't know).
Also, I can't ever remember Brian, Tim, or Mispogon really laying into anyone heavily about the medical scholarship besides Saban. I am pretty sure a diary of Mispogon once included a chart showing Sabans number of medical redshirts for his 2-3 years as coach at Alabama versus the average of the SEC from the same time period (and it was 1.5ish per team). You are right, they could investigate Hoke's use of it prior to being at Michigan to see if he used it then, but even if he did or not it doesn't mean he is abusing or not abusing it now. They are purely raising a question, a valid one, so relax and don't feel every little question is a scathing criticism.
Also, it is the internet. Eveyone can interject their thoughts and ideas all over the world for better or worse. You are a part of it, so relax.
Well said. I'm already getting tired of people trying to make Hoke look like he's pulling something dirty. Guilty until proven innocent.
And all these guys were hurt, and our depth sucked, you can bet every front page writer would be all over him for it. This blog is beginning to make the Freep look impartial.
Total BS from Tim here, and implying that Brian will take a stronger line is totally unfair to him. What a shame that a front page writer needs to be sent to Bolivia.
Can someone explain to me why they would medical these guys now instead of giving them a one year tryout before they actually need their scholarships?
It's pretty obvious the coaches have known about these issues for some time, so they were looking at the size of the 2012 class differently than we were. But let's ignore that, since we are such uber knowledgable fans and impute some nefarious motive.
I've posted this in other threads but I'll share it again here. Some of the premium site writers have been hinting at these medicals for a while now and have said that their impending departures are why we're looking at taking a full class.
People are questioning their departures because we need room for the 2012 class. I think those people have it backwards; we're recruiting a full class because we actually did have room and the staff knew that.
Anyway, the oversigning meme is getting a little irritating anyway. All 3 kids have documented injury issues, I believe all 3 have had surgery in the past year for their respective problems and apparently they can't continue their careers. It's unfortunate but these things happen, it doesn't mean malice is involved at all.
That doesn't keep some folks apparently still smarting over the Freep garbage RR had to go through from trying to subject Hoke to the same kind of smears.
into this is a bit much. It's just heightened sensitivity to oversigning issues.
I think this is just a bad timing issue. If Hoke hadn't mentioned planning a 26 member recruiting class until after announcing these departures, no one would have batted an eye. But since we didn't know before he made that quote, we've already built up our own little March To 26, and the medical hardships happen to match a popular path on the March To 85.
It would just be silly to Saban guys at positoin of need, so I'll wait a couple years to see if this is a trend or an anomaly, since we have no way at this point of knowing what is legitimate. Also regarding the Brandon issue, I thought that he clarified with Angelique that we wouldn't travel to small venues, and that road nonconference games were still possible.
I'll join the oversigning mob when there's more proof that Hoke is attempting to sign a full class at the expense of players currently on the team. It's too speculative at this point and is only based on "Hoke wants to sign 26 players, but we don't have enough roster spots." For now, I can assume that Hoke knows more about the players' current status/commitment to the team than we do, and there's a good reason why he thinks there'll be 26 roster spots open come NSD.
If When Michigan has a great season this year, the buzz before the Alabama game next year may change DB's mind about non-conference road games. That game will be coIossal and I can't wait for Hoke and Co. to show the world that Michigan football is back.
the money Michigan takes in from a shitty home game is greater than the money Michigan takes in from a great road game. Dollars uber alles.
IIRC, Brandon said directly that ESPN sweetened the pot big time. The game at Jerry world is bringing M more money than a home game would.
But Michigan isn't going to get a bunch of money by playing on the road at USC or Texas or any of the other schools that it should be playing on a regular basis. Which means my dream non-conference schedule of "Texas, USC, LSU, Virginia Tech" will never come to pass.
Say what you want about OSU, but their scheduling the last decade or so has been pretty awesome, and it beyond sucks that we're never going to emulate it.
I misread your original comment.
Holy shit.. Just thinking about that schedule is scary.
I agree that it would be nice to have a home and home with another traditional power like Texas, LSU, or any others, and it really sucks that DB pretty much shot that down. I think his mind could be changed by an offer from one of those schools, though. To me, it seems he just doesn't want to make games at places like UConn a normal thing
has been no different from Michigan's. They play one historically good opponent a year, and three patsies. We play ND. 2010 they played Miami, OU, EMU and Marshall; 2009, USC, Navy, Toledo and New Mexico St; 2008, USC, Ohio U, YSU and Troy (!); 2007, Washington was their "legit" school, and they added YSU, Akron and Kent. Don't confuse a variety of schools over a period of years for a tough schedule in a specific year--they never double up on teams that might be able to beat them. So long as Michigan plays ND, we don't have room for a regular bout with an Alabama or Texas or USC.
Saying that scheduling 2008/2009 USC was the same as scheduling 2008/2009 Notre Dame is a little crazy.
Also I think a lot of fans (myself included) would like to see the variey of scheduling big name teams. I like the Notre Dame rivalry but I would very much love to see a home and home with an LSU, Bama, Oklahoma etc. Variety is the spice of life. Those massive cross conference clashes are the best part about the lead-in to the conference seasons.
2008/2009 USC was stronger than 2008/2009 Notre Dame
2011 USC appears weaker than 2011 Notre Dame. These schedules are negotiated years in advance.
If Brian Kelly restores ND to anything approaching their mean, they will be a formidable foe once again.
I guess that explains the StubHub deal.
I'm not sure there was sarcasm or disdain in your "dollars uber alles" statement. There would be in mine. Personally, I don't think we're in a financial situation in which we need to take "dollars uber alles" to heart. I'd like to see us make some exceptions to this rule (e.g., exciting home-and-homes with big non-conference programs).
The only departure that could be Saban-bait is Teric Jones. The other guys were needed to varying degrees.
That's not gonna matter to a mouth-breathing SEC fan or an ignorant beat reporter. All they see is a medical hardship and slobber "Look! Same. Michigan Cheat. Herp Derp"
The implication of oversigning against Hoke is WAY premature. Alabama and it's SEC friends do this every year. In this case you're talking about two known issues, at a position of need, and a young dude making a colossal mistake.
Signing a big class is not even close to being the same thing as over-signing.
I agree with Brandon in regards to not doing non-conference away games from a financial stand point. You have to think that might change in the future if the program indeed turns around like it appears it will and become a contender for BCS berths. However, until then, Brandon should be trying to get the most out for the program.
We heard recently that they decided to do the Alabama game because they were making more money off of that than a home game. He also said that he would not schedule home and away series like UConn again at small stadiums. He was going to honor the agreemetn since he UConn held up their end of the bargain, but he was going to look to get it moved to a bigger stadium.
Things will change as we get the program back to a higher level, but I can't say I disagree with Brandon in the way that he's handling the program. The school is turning Michigan Stadium into a giant revenue generator and they should take full advantage of that so long as it doesn't hurt the program.
On the subject of no other road games:
Fuck that shit.
The only kind of teams that won't demand home and home games are shitty tomato can teams that we'll have throttled the life out of by half time. The second half will involve me surfing on my smart phone while Brandon's new mascot (gah) puts up Heisman like numbers from the tailback spot. Do not want.
I'd much rather have home and homes with good teams. Ideally good teams from nice areas that I might want to travel to (ex: Oregon, although I still have nightmares of playing them). Maybe if we get lucky we get another Utah or something that wants to prove itself and agrees to a one and done. Otherwise September will be Notre Dame and the systemic pillaging of directional Michigan schools. Honestly if we get three MAC Teams a year, I'm going to do something I swore never to do, sell the tickets and sit at home in front of the TV.
Also as Hannibal said, Teric Jones is the only suspect one. If a sudden crop of other undersized players at places we have depth (ex: Slot ninjas) get medicaled out of here, then I vote we form a mob. Losing a guy off the O line and a guy off the D line kind of fucks us at depth for 2011. If we were going to medical them for evil profit, we'd have done it after the 2012 class had signed LOIs. Unless of course you want to argue Hoke is willing to play 2011 with no depth and preemptively cut players to hide the fact he was using medical tools as a weapon.
you've exactly captured my feelings on the subject, to wit:
fuck that shit.
look, i really like david brandon. i think that the department is in excellent hands, i really do. but the constant money-money-money approach, couched in silly "we're doing it for the fans" crapola is really getting on my nerves. we don't want a fucking mascot, we don't want fucking alternate uniforms, and we sure as fuck don't want to spend $70 bucks a pop to roll up 60 points on eastern michigan.
whoa. got away from me, there. sorry.
i don't have season tickets but do buy at least a couple of single-game tickets per season. i won't , however, EVER buy delaware state again, or bowling green, or eastern michigan. ever. i highly doubt that i'm the only fan that feels that way.
I believe his reply to not having RNC games was in reference to the 2013 game at UConn that has 40,000 capacity. I think he realizes that Michigan cannot and should not go to venues that are so small. I think if it is finacially benefitial to Michigan University (i.e. Alabama in Dallas) then Michigan will play a nuetral or home and home with an opponent with appropriate facilities.
Maybe I am wrong but maybe this is a better explination.
...i'm not sure why we have a problem with playing at uconn (except for the fact that they're only slightly above a mac school as of this moment, as far as i'm concerned). we did two home-and-homes with boston college during the 90s, i don't think that their stadium (alumni stadium? memorial? something like that) holds much more than uconn's.
the 91 game even juiced desmond howard's heisman campaign...big game against a quality opponent.
we need more games like that, not less.
Well the Boston College games were a recruiting/alumni tacktic I would assume (without inside knowledge) to get Michigan's pressence back into Boston and east coast markets. I don't believe playing UConn can achieve that purpose.
I agree we need more quality games, but is there really a big difference between playing at UConn or playing Air Force at home? The only difference I see is Michigan selling 113,000 tickets vs Air Force while getting some sort of cut of the 40,000 we will sell at UConn.
between Air Force at home and UConn on the road???
With Air Force UM gets revenue from parking, concessions and merchandise sales - and that addes up to a lot of money.