Dear Mr. Woodson; Quit talking to Mark Snyder.
Dear Mr. Woodson,
I see your name in a headline, in today's Detroit Free Press. It probably isn't what you had in mind.
Before saying anything else, however, let me thank you for your great years in Ann Arbor and all of the thrills we saw on the football field. Thanks for all of your hard work. Thanks also for all the time you've devoted to Mott Children's Hospital. You've done so much good, through the hospital and through your foundation.
I presume that as you have been getting ready for the annual Mott Golf Outing and assorted fundraisers, the outreach people have been talking to your agent, and arranging for you to talk to reporters, to promote the event. I presume that that is how Mark Snyder of the Free Press got some of your time in a private telephone interview. As much as you'd like to promote Mott events, it was a mistake on your part to talk to Snyder.
Because while Snyder is willing to throw in a few lines about Mott fundraising, you should have known what would happen; Snyder would ask you all about Mott, get your guard down, and then ask you about Rich Rodriguez. And whatever you gave him, Rodriguez (and not Mott) would become the day's headline.
That is part of the reason that Brady Hoke and David Brandon are not doing any private interviews with Snyder. Your interview with Snyder tore up that page of the Michigan playbook. The other very large part of the story, as you really ought to know, is that Snyder was part of the tag-team that did such damage to the football program. Your Michigan football program. Michigan's NCAA investigation was a wholly-produced effort in which Snyder played a big part. After the harm that was caused by Snyder, why you would give someone like that a private interview is almost unbelievable. There are other ways to get out the news of the annual Mott Golf Outing; in fact, the way that the Free Press goes about its business, it is almost guaratneed to distract from those good works.
There has not been much harm done, by one interview; so that much is no big deal. But put yourself in Snyder's position. He will be at the golf course and the clubhouse that day for the meetings and the dinner, and he will be looking for interviews and stories. You and your fellow football alumni should not give him anything. You all should know that the story that he wants is "the bad old days of Rich Rodriguez" story. He wants to use you guys, to essentially support his story from 2009. You don't have to give it to him. You don't have to talk to Snyder. And if you do, you can say, "All that I have to say about those years, is that the Free Press was awful to this football program. You want me to go on?"
If anyone wants to say, "Hey let's forget about the past; let's move on," that's fine. Just be assured, that when you are talking to Mark Snyder, his idea of "moving on" is by delcaring that Rich Rodriguez was a personal disaster, because that is what his paper is invested in. If you think it is time to "move on," then think about making that your answer when Mark Snyder asks you for an interview. Because that is the message that Brady Hoke and David Brandon are interested in. Ask them, if you are unclear about this.
Quit. Talking. To. Mark. Snyder.