to play football, not to play trumpet
gpsimms not to be confused with gsimms of gsimmons fame
I have what I think is a super-awesome-ncaa-fixing idea which I have mentioned to a few friends in conversation and most seem to think it is a pretty good one. I'd be curious if y'all have any thoughts on it:
The obvious problem is that many NCAA athletes contribute way more to a school than they are compensated by way of an athletic scholarship. Of course, any NCAA commercial will tell you that the value of the student athlete's education is beyond measure. Meanwhile, for every Denard Robinson that seems to squeeze every ounce of value out of his college experience, there are 12 [insert one and done from Kentucky here]'s who have no interest in what a college education has to offer.
A degree from USC, or even a year of free education from USC, had no value at all to OJ Mayo, I'm sure. At Michigan, I remember knowing of several classes which were specifically known to be 'football classes,' (at risk of pissing someone off from the Ojibwe department, I won't mention that Ojibwa was definitely one such class). So here's the thing: let's not force athletes to rack up 120 credits in Ojibwe to complete their degree. It's a joke, and it does no one any good. Another issue with the degree is some kids come from such worthless high school backgrounds, that they are completely unprepared for college level courses, so they don't get as much out of the free education as they should.
Let's make the Michigan football experience what it actually is: a serious education in multi-million dollar industry which has just as many career opportunities as linguistics, history, medicine, or engineering (ok, maybe not engineering/medicine). Make athletics a major. Film study and off-season workouts? Make them classes. Are they not learning how to be players or coaches or fitness experts or nutritionists? Is there any less opportunity in these fields than there are in traditional college majors? Also, it's a cool way for coaches to enforce attendance rules on what used to be 'optional' workouts. If the kid doesn't do summer workouts, they fail the class, and then their grades are not good enough to participate in the sport.
All sorts of majors have to satisfy basic requirements, so I am not suggesting they take no English or history or math. I am only asking that they be given course credit for the 40 hours a week they put into mastering their craft, just like a music performance major might. And for those kids I mentioned previously who come to college unprepared, let's allow the 'school of football/baseball/whatever' to offer some *truly* remedial courses. I am *not* suggesting watering down the degree. I am suggesting that we make players receive fantastic, personalized education that meets their needs. Some athletes are crazy smart and have a strong high school background. I am not suggesting that they have to get 120 credits of remedial reading, I can think of all sorts of cool/advanced courses. How sweet would it be to get to teach a game theory course, coaching 423-Expected Value and the Punt?
Also, since this 'school of athletics' (or whatever better name someone comes up with), is a bit of a special case, I would say that athletes should be allowed to dual enroll in another school if they choose. So, speaking of the crazy smart athletes above, (like Jordan Morgan and Devin Gardner) let's still let them enroll in social work, or engineering if they choose. Honestly, Jordan Morgan has been working his ass off for 4.5 years at basketball and school, he totally deserves to have 2 degrees. Or a volleyball player or a swimmer might wisely choose to dual enroll in athletics and education, for example, since she knows her field has a few less opportunities than football or basketball. But still, she is learning a lot of the same fitness/nutrition/competition/management skills the football players are, and she should receive a degree that reflects that.
I think it would be really cool if a few schools pioneered an idea like this. "Come to Michigan, the first University to ever have a school of football. Lloyd Carr teaches handling the media, and Mike Barwis teaches how to get paralyzed people to walk again."
Obviously, this does not address every issue with the amount of money that there is in NCAA sports. But at the same time, I feel most pay-for-play options being considered have a lot more drawbacks than my idea. Instead of rehash them all, I will simply say that to me the most compelling anti pay for play argument is in a quick comparison of attendance at college football games vs. attendance at arena football league games (or whatever your minor league system of choice is). People love cheering for these kids that lived in the same dorms, went to the same classes, dealt with the same ridiculous weather and long walks, etc. I love Michigan football because I had the best time of my life there. As soon as athletes are legit superstar millionaires walking around campus, those kids have *nothing* in common with me, and my love/association with Michigan football will definitely be diminished. There is a reason college sports are the only ones who approach the professional leagues in terms of popularity, let's try not to mess with that.
Sorry, this got really long, but I would love some feedback on why this idea won't work, as I feel it's pretty unique and the best way to deal with the problem that I have heard.
I've pretty much already posted this once, but not nearly enough people responded to it, so here goes again. Also, this was going to be forum, but as usual, it got long, so go diary!
It seems to always come up, and I just don't know why:
"RR is no Lloyd Carr when it comes to integrity."
Listen, I sometimes miss Carr and his literature-referencing ways, but RR really has not done anything to indicate he is some sort of two timing backstabber.
This article has already been posted, but everyone really needs to read what they are writing about RR in Columbus.
Lloyd Carr always seemed to be a nice guy who represented Michigan with dignity, HOWEVA
>> LC used to love ot punish players by taking away their status as a starter if it was a non-MAC game (he might bench 'em for a MAC game). You'd see MM/AA on the field literally a few plays into the first drive after their various run ins with the law.
>> RR benched Stonum, Butler, and Grady for major minutes due to various problems.
>> I keep reading that Babb got kicked off, for violating rules, more than quit.
>> Remember Carty's article about MM's lack of responsibility when he got drafted? It was a little high horsin' for me, but I think the point that MM is still a kid who knows nothing about responsibility is semi-valid.
>> RR kept ADAM FRICKIN PACMAN FRICKIN JONES in line for his entire college career!
>> Brandon Harrison seems to think RR did the dignified thing, and even the Columbus dispatch described their bond as the kind "only Michigan men can feel" for one another.
Every time I get upset (each Saturday, that is) I feel like RR comes out and directly addresses every worry of mine in his PC. Sure, he speaks like a West Virginian. But man, he speaks like a West Virginian, you know? On some level, don't you appreciate the way he speaks to us? I guess I can't pretend to know him as a man from his press conferences, but let's look at some evidence:
>> Desmond Howard and many other alumni have mentioned how personable he is, and to me that seems apparent in his PCs.
>> His program is run as tight as a ship can be run. Curfews, strict punishments, etc. The men might hate him, but they will love him when they look back (most not all, of course). I really believe the way he seems to be running his program is the best way to prepare these kids for post college responsibilities.
>> The buyout/lawsuit business appears to be as much a financial decision of th University as anything. I highly doubt RR had any input, since it was largely not his money anyway.
>> RR is like any other competitor. He wants to win, and wants the resources to put him in a position to win. Michigan offered unlimited opportnity, West Virginia offered him nothing, and had plenty of chanes to keep him in the fold.
>> The Carson Butler case study is interesting as well. He was in and out of Lloyd's doghouse his whole career. He gets in trouble by RR, gets benched, and now has fought his way back to playing time through the defense. Carson Butler had nothing to play for. His starting spot had been given to some freshman, yet "Mr. Bad Attitude" decides to suck it up, try harder, and learn something new. RR seems to be able to motivate someone who we previously thought "unmotivate-able" to claw his way into the lineup through a position change. I believe this is the sign of a great teacher/motivator/coach.
Anyway, give the guy some slack, I believe he will be a tremendous (that was for you, Lloyd) winner at UM, but I also believe he will just as likely go down as a "typical, classy, Michigan man" in the end.
Sorry, I put the over/under on "tl;dr" comments at 5.
I started writing this in response to Brian's post, and then decided it was getting long enough to justify a diary entry:
Re: Insane Sherid'oh faction
Sheridan has a good head on his shoulders and is not physically talented enough to play against high-major teams. IMO, he was pretty good against Toledo (both of his int's are just as much on Clemons as they are him), and pretty good against Minnesota; bad against ND and Utah; and !!!!ZOMG=death!!!! against PSU. Therefore, I am confident he will be fine this week. If Threet's not 100% for OSU, though, run for the hills (!!!)
My only worry is that RR seems to have some sort of weird unjustified mancrush on Sheridan (see sticking with him so long against Utah, yanking Threet in arguably his best game, ND), so I hope to goodness RR doesn't take two decent starts (I'm assuming N'western does go decent) from Sheridan as some sort of mandate from the Heavens that the kid should play.
Re: The insane woooo SheriQBcontroversy crowd
How about the performance of one hit wonder J. Siller from Purdue? Anybody notice the beating MSU gave him the next week? Sometimes, when I play basketball with middle school girls, I feel like I'm pretty damn good at basketball.
Re: I hate them both, rawr, rawr, rawr; Forcier = the answer
The only game Threet looked mentally incapable was against MSU. Brian posted about this, but I am starting to think they are the only team that actually planned for us. Threet never seemed "locked in" to receivers in any game except against MSU. Then I thought about it: when is the last time ANYONE who is not MSU covered any of our receivers? The wheel was always open. The seam was always open. Odoms was always open. The pump and go always worked.
The suddenly we run bubble, bubble, and MSU is jumping them all, so pump and go = td, right? Nope, cb from different receiver makes ridiculous jump on perfect pass and nails Clemons (I think?) as he's catching it. Amazing play, touchdown against any other team this year, I think.
As for Threet's accuracy issues, Brian wrote long ago for one of his "worry if" bullets for a game about mid-season 'worry if Threet's accuracy does not improve.' I remember at the time thinking that it was unlikely we see any improvement this year. I don't coach football, but I do coach sports; and I know you don't change a pitcher's delivery mid-season. I think Threet takes a big step forward in mechanics over the off season and resolves those issues (not to mention hopefully being healthy). Mentally, he's been solid in every game (sans State, who might actually just be good, discussed above).
I am excited to see what this kid does with this offense next year.