somehow we're only 124th
The latest on the fatwa. Rodriguez's agent has some responses:
The report has "a lot of misinformation and untruthful statements," Brown said.
Brown denied Rodriguez kept a personal file on each player and that a strength coordinator took photos of them. Every time players were tested, he added, "those records were given to the head coach and every assistant coach."
That means current head coach Bill Stewart should have copies.
"Regarding the class attendance records, I sure hope that West Virginia's compliance and academic office keeps those records because if they don't, they have serious institutional control problems," he said.
Brown said the university also should have any records involving the finances of the summer camps it ran.
He declined to answer questions about whether Rodriguez removed or destroyed documents.
Another quote, this one from an AANews article (all the articles about his agent's press conference or whatever have slightly different versions of the quotes, but no one has provided the entire thing verbatim -- frustrating):
"As any employee leaving a job, he's going to throw stuff in the trash," Brown said. "Personal information, personal letters from other coaches, his own game plans. Things like that he wanted to throw away, and at the same time didn't need to be found in the dumpster."
A dossier of the things Rodriguez is accused of shredding and their status:
|Contact info||No mention||Ludicrous. Look them up in the U directory. Or join Facebook.||N/A|
|Scholarship money awarded||No mention.||Even more ludicrous. WVU has no records of scholarship money distributed to their players save those on hardcopy in Rich Rodriguez's office?||N/A|
|Class attendance records||Sarcastic mention of compliance issues.||Similarly ludicrous. Unless Rodriguez and Rodriguez alone checked in on class attendance, someone else has these records, and if they don't the NCAA should pay WVU a nasty visit.||N/A|
|Personal conduct & community service||Refuted.||Not completely ludicrous, but it's still pretty doubtful that Rodriguez has the only copies of various things the players did, good or bad. Brown:
"Rich never kept any players' personal files," Brown said, adding that the computers in the coach's office and at a secretary's desk at the Puskar Center kept many of the same files.
|Would be sketchy, if Rodriguez knew he had the only copies.|
|Summer Camp financials||Refuted.||Right, Rodriguez has an apache box with Drupal on it and runs an online store that completely covers his summer camp financials. Ludicrous.||N/A|
|Booster data||No mention.||Right, WVU has no records of who gave the AD money. Ken Kendrick has to buy endzone tickets.||N/A|
|S&C files||Said that all assistants got copies and Stewart should have them.||A plausible thing for only Barwis to have the nitty-gritty details of; directly contradicted by Brown, who also denied any pictures, sexy or otherwise, were taken.||If the agent's version of the story is true Rodriguez was well within the bounds of reason to shred his copies.|
|Recruiting info||No mention||Totally plausible.||Possibly sketchy.|
This is a tempest in a teapot at worst. Of the recruits who decommited from WVU, one (Josh Jenkins) is visiting WVU, so they must have figured out his phone number again, and two (Taylor Hill and DJ Woods) are likely going to sign with Rodriguez and weren't going to go to WVU anyway without his presence.
MVictors got in touch with his local law-talking guy, who had this to say:
Coach Rod is certainly allowed to destroy his own personal stuff, but what exactly did he destroy and who owns it? From another related legal angle, there are intellectual property laws that come into play in the employment setting â€” i.e., whether the records he creates in connection with his employment are the property of his employer.
You might have had to sign an "inventions assignment" agreement (sometimes called a proprietary rights agreement) in your field, and many companies make that a standard part of their employee handbook and hiring practices.
More at MVictors; the upshot is skeptical.
Tick tock, you don't stop. A source indicates that WVU has been badgering the NCAA about potential violations committed by Rodriguez from the moment he accepted the Michigan job. Foremost among these is the infamous call to Terrelle Pryor before Rodriguez had been officially hired; there are supposedly like incidents. How WVU would ever prove Rodriguez said anything other than "Recruit X, I am going to be the head coach at Michigan," I don't know, but hell hath no fury like a West Fin' Jihadist.
Furthermore, WVU is attempting to insinuate to the NCAA that the shredded documents contained evidence of major violations committed by Rodriguez which the WVU athletic department of course knew nothing about. Yes, they are essentially saying "we have no idea whatsoever was on those documents, but we're pretty sure they were large huge big NCAA violations."
The comparison to end all comparisons. I may have to enter the blogger protection program after this, but... I swear to God this is exactly like that episode of "A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila." You know, the one in which the lovable but functionally retarded* West Virginian gets booted by the hot property, then proceeds to lose his shit in spectacular fashion, leaving everyone feeling dirty in the aftermath? You know, this one?
Yeah. This reminds me of that.
*(not meant to impugn the entire state, just the WVU athletic department.)
Update: Don't read this. Read this. I am full of fail.
Swearin! Keep the kids away!
I'm still trying to figure out whether or not this Black Heart, Gold Pants post is entirely in jest or not, because the options here are either 1) it's really poorly phrased satire or 2) it's epically dumb. Neither of these things are expected from BHGP, even if the guy writing the piece is the one who flung Hawaii in the top ten of BHGP's blogpoll ballot for most of the year. How did that work out? About as well as Jake Christensen oh snap.
I think I've settled on 2 with a side of 1 when it comes to the accusations of islamo-fascism. If there are any islamo-facists in this kerfuffle, they're the jihadists from Morgantown. So, then, I have been Called Out and it is time to Throw Down because when you Mess With The MGoBlog You Get The Virtual Horns.
Step to it. Fisk style.
For the record, we were cautiously terrified of Rich Rodriguez to Michigan. But we made that calculation back when we thought Rodriguez was a football coach and not, well, a sleazebag.
I'm sure there will be plenty of awesome reasons to back up this "sleazebag" assertion.
First, RichRod bolts out of Morgantown in the dead of night like the bastard stepson of Art Modell.
(All these links point to MGoBlog posts, btw.) Yes, in West Virginia "the dead of night" is somewhere between 7 and 9 PM. The entire state, wreathed in a deadly black cloud of coal dust, gets three hours of sunlight a day and generally resembles Mordor. The departure was so secretive that fatwa-bearing jihadists who, judging from their message board posts, take three hours to read a road sign were there to chant O-H-I-O at him and take blurry pictures to post at Fatwa Central.
This accusation boils down to "took the Michigan job... and decided to go to Michigan to do so."
Then RichRod goes on Jim Rome (yeah, I know) and slams Ryan Mallett because the kid had the audacity to consider transferring out of a system that relies on a running quarterback and is actively pursuing Terrelle Pryor.
This is the "slam" of Ryan Mallett contained within that post:
"I believe he's going to transfer," Rodriguez said. "He has not told me specifically and he's told other folks in the program. I talked to him a couple times, again, before the bowl game and once after the bowl game and gave him our spiel. But, again, if he chooses to leave, he's going to make a choice that's best for him, and we'll be OK."
"I talked to him and all the quarterbacks about how our system can adapt to the quarterback because we've had throwing quarterbacks in this system that have had great careers and gone on to the NFL and all that," Rodriguez said. "But I did it a couple times (with Mallett.) I recruited him once, I recruited him twice and after the third call, I'm thinking okay, three calls is enough for me. It's a great institution and if somebody doesn't want to be here that's already here, you wish them well and move on."
"He's going to make a choice that's best for him!" "If somebody doesn't want to be here that's already here, you wish him well and move on!" What an asshole!
Obviously something is seriously wrong with Iowa. If this qualifies as a "slam," Hawkeye State will keel over dead upon reading this post. We should probably just eject the state and all its testosterone-free girl-men into space, where they can suffocate like the prancing nancies they are.
Those moves really just make you a dick.
Indeed. Going to the place where you are employed and wishing a departing player well: total 100% dickitude.
But we aren't done; apparently, on his way out of Morgantown, RichRod did his best Arthur Andersen impersonation: [long excerpt from the WVU article highlighted yesterday excised]
This is specious to say the least. Recruiting and summer camp notes? Financial records? Booster rolls? Training schedules and results? The training notes are especially intriguing, given Michigan's new S&C coach and his love of "bioenergetics":
"The science of bioenergetics is the basis of our conditioning program. It's all designed scientifically to meet the end needs of an athlete who plays in a given position under Rich Rodriguez."
Sure thing, Victor Conte.
Bold words from a fan of a team that pumped Robert Gallery so full of testosterone you could shove him into Roger Clemens' ass. (They probably extracted it from the general public; this explains the fainting belles that comprise the rest of the state's purported male population.) And yes, it's "specious" if, in fact, the allegations are entirely true and not 90% made up by lunatic jihadists from the Black Lands. Which they so obviously are, you daiquiri-sipping pansy. Sure, there are no computers and no copies of these critical files. Sure, there's no backup system whatsoever. Sure, completely awesome head coach Bill Stewart who totally deserves the head coaching job has no idea how to "log up". Sure, all these ludicrously implausible things put forth by insane rednecks are obviously true.
While the rest of the football world gave a collective "Whawhawhaaaa?", MGoBlog,* not exactly a rock of journalistic integrity, spent most of the day on other Rich Rodriguez matters.
For the record, those links have between them 459 words of non-quote content, an average of 115 each. MGoBlog more than doubled that.
As for the shredding, Brian is curious but hardly worried:
Why would Rodriguez shred all this stuff?...Michigan fans: because he knew crazy WVU officials/FOIA-toting fans would go over the documents with a fine-toothed comb and attempt to nail him on every piddling recruiting violation like "called five minutes late."
Yeah, or he wanted to destroy all evidence of a continuing scheme under which Rodriguez would take booster (read: Arab oil) money, funnel those funds through tax-free municipal bonds, then send the now-clean cash to trainer Brian McNamee so WVU players could spend their offseasons getting "the Roger Clemens treatment."
You prick. You ballet-dancing, View-watching, Sara Jessica Parker-adoring skirt. I have been mostly joking in this post, but this is a complete misrepresentation of that portion of my post. Here it is in full:
Why would Rodriguez shred all this stuff? (Ohio State fans: because he's a dirty cheater covering his tracks. West Virginia fans: because his one goal in life is to destroy us. Michigan fans: because he knew crazy WVU officials/FOIA-toting fans would go over the documents with a fine-toothed comb and attempt to nail him on every piddling recruiting violation like "called five minutes late.")
What is obviously being communicated: different fanbases will leap to different conclusions because of their inhere
nt biases. What the snipped version communicates: MGoBlog is hopelessly biased.
We ... had the audacity to ... dick ... Arthur Andersen.
Whoops! Bad snippage. My bad. Although this obviously proves Black Heart, Gold Pants is gay for Arthur Andersen.
The kicker, IMO, is that the post is titled "You Can't Spell "Myopic" Without "Michigan Wolverine Football... Yup"; this aggression will not stand coming from a fan of a program who's coach makes six quintillion dollars a year but still places his kid -- already on football scholarship! -- in federally-subsidized low-income housing. Oh, and:
Ten percent of Ferentz's team was arrested for Serious Business this year, and the Hawkeyes have suffered a 44% attrition rate (hey, what do you know: a link that actually points to a post that says what you imply it says) since 2002. Myopic? Myopic? Look in the mirror. You'll see tears and smeared mascara, but only very vaguely because you have astigmatism all up in your ass.
Who's the dick now, dicks?
The Diag notes a kinda-important visit that's no longer happening in February:
Big news on the Terrelle Pryor front - he has changed his official visit date and will head to Ann Arbor this weekend (he was originally scheduled to come in just before signing day).
This is good news. Pryor has three weekends left to get official visits in, but his basketball team has Saturday games on the last two. This upcoming weekend is the last one he can spend the entirety of at a particular. He's serious about Michigan. Reported interest in Oregon and LSU is unthreatening: unless Pryor's going to commit somewhere he's never been he's basically got to fly in and out of these places thousands of miles from his home in a day.
Pryor will in all likelihood attend Michigan's 7PM basketball game against Iowa. For anyone in the area wondering what they can do that will infinitesimally affect Pryor's decision in a positive direction: for God's sake go to the Iowa game. Especially if you are hot or prone to getting extended "We Want Pryor" chants going. Buy tickets here. Buy 4-or-more "Family Packs" here. Purchase colorful posterboard upon which to offer Pryor your firstborn here.
One bit of good news:
Muskegon High School coach Tony Annese said Tuesday afternoon that his former player had decided to return to Michigan for his senior season.
"I had lunch with him and we really talked about getting a degree," Annese said. "And he said that's what he wanted to do."
The only player rumored to be an early-entry candidate we've yet to hear from is Tim Jamison, though he's expected to stay.
It don't matter to RichRod!
West Virginia's ongoing quest to become the most jilted wife in all of jilted wifedom has hit upon a jackpot. Rich Rodriguez only operates at one speed, be it against defenses or documents, and that speed is shred:
Soon after returning to work after the Fiesta Bowl a little more than a week ago, the staff at the Puskar Center found that most of the files â€” including all of the player files â€” that had been stored in Rodriguez's private office were missing. In addition, all of the players' strength and conditioning files in the weight room were gone.
"It's unbelievable. Everything is gone, like it never existed,'' said a source within the athletic department, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "Good, bad or indifferent, we don't have a record of anything that has happened.''
This is obviously sketchy behavior if it's true; given that state's complete mental breakdown about precious favorite son leaving that is not 100%. Jim Carty:
On the other hand, it's fairly common practice in almost all businesses for departing executives to shred and/or remove documents that they believe were confidential and/or document methods that could be considered trade secrets.
Either way, it doesn't ever look good to have your name linked with shredding and missing documents. Whether this story is true or not, at first glance it adds to the image many critics in West Virginia are painting of Rodriguez as a slick opportunist.
And maybe that's the goal. ...
Bottom line? Take the shredding allegations with a grain of salt until someone at West Virginia puts their name to them.
The Free Press has an article up with no additional information.
At this point, all we have are unanswered questions. Questions like:
- Why would Rodriguez shred all this stuff? (Ohio State fans: because he's a dirty cheater covering his tracks. West Virginia fans: because his one goal in life is to destroy us. Michigan fans: because he knew crazy WVU officials/FOIA-toting fans would go over the documents with a fine-toothed comb and attempt to nail him on every piddling recruiting violation like "called five minutes late.")
- Why would WVU let Michigan's coach into the building? (Probably because WVU's AD is full of morons.)
- Corollary to previous question: why would "several" people notice Rodriguez, already announced as Michigan's head coach, shredding documents and make no effort to stop him?
- Why would all these important documents exist only in single hard copy formats? (See answer to previous questions.)
- Corollary to the previous question: do they have computers in West Virginia?
Maybe the files are in the computer.
MGoStore currently has three bouncing baby shirts for your perusal and acquisition. They are all about the basketball team's win over Northwestern.
For the US Mint enthusiasts (click images to be magically transported to a world of goods and sundries):
For the Simpsons enthusiasts:
BARWWWWWIIIIIIIS. Never in the history of a football program has a fanbase been more geeked about a S&C coach than Michigan fans about Mike Barwis. Heck, this blog put the guy on a par with Rodriguez's offensive and defensive coordinators during the battle over various Rodriguez assistants. Mike Barwis thinks Chuck Norris is a girl. Mike Barwis can't tell the difference between Woody Allen and Bill Brasky. Etc.
These are reasons why:
But Barwis always finds time to reach each player on a personal level. He is a brother to some, father to other, priest to those who need some spiritual guidance and warden, if necessary.
It is difficult to imagine what it is like to be cooped up in a weight room with Barwis, who is hard as granite and wound so tight that he literally can't take a break from his routine. If you think you get a jolt out of 5-Hour Energy Drink, get yourself a transfusion of Barwis' blood, if you can get him to lie still on a table long enough to part with it.
The rest of the article is a pretty remarkable story about Barwis' relationship with Pacman Jones, he of the making it rain and year-long NFL suspension. Jones -- maybe the NFL most infamous misbehaver -- started his career at WVU in the fashion you might expect: beating some dude with a pool cue. Enter Barwis, then a new hire:
Upon arriving, Barwis adopted Jones as his own personal project, and the two grew extremely close.
It was tough love, to be sure, but Barwis became the male figure in Jones' college life that he had always lacked in the real world.
One example of the way Barwis treated Jones could be found in his sophomore season when he was late for a weight-lifting session. Barwis gave an angry glare, shoved a 40-pound sandbag to him to work with and, when he was breathing hard, sent him off running around Mountaineer Field.
"He thought it was OK to be late, so I always made him pay tenfold," Barwis told ESPN last year. "After awhile, you get disciplined."
Whatever Barwis did worked, for Jones remained trouble free at WVU until leaving for the NFL, a first-round pick of the Tennessee Titans.
From there you know the story; a number of the hits when you type "mike.barwis eeeee i'm a little girl for mike.barwis" into Google are stories about Pacman's misbehavior in the pros. Barwis usually attempts to defend the guy as a decent person in the wrong crowd. This might be unremarkable, but the mere fact that he's the guy media folks get in touch with instead of his position coach or Rodriguez speaks to the role he has in these kids' lives.
Clap back. Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski picks up the torch on Jay Bilas and his obsession with Tommy Amaker's firing, and he's got backup:
It was one thing for ESPN's Jay Bilas to keep defending Tommy Amaker's brutal run as coach at Michigan, but another to start going after his successor, John Beilein, for being honest about the pitiful program left him in Ann Arbor.
The more Bilas shills for Amaker, the more people in basketball laugh at him.
Unlike Amaker, Beilein never had the ultimate coaching godfather to pick up the phone and get him a job. [OH SNAP -ed]
"C'mon Jay, that is terrible," an NBA scout who watched Amaker's team regularly in the Big Ten emailed me this week after reading Bilas' blog rant.
"Almost laughable, really."
Jay, this is your credibility. I'm dyin' here.
Light 'em up. Varsity Blue takes issue with a dumb article that appeared in the Free Press urging Terrelle Pryor to go to Ohio State, and I was going to give it a once-over, too, but the author of that piece explained himself to VB like so:
You should know that I was asked by the Freep Web editor to write that column as a counterpoint to the why-Pryor-should-go-to-Michigan column that ran on the site a few days earlier. I reckon that if the site editors properly packaged them as a point-counterpoint, the vitriol would have been reduced a little. Instead, people think I wrote that on my own initiative, which isn't true in the least.
Anyway, I regret doing it for several reasons. First, I'm not a columnist. I'm a copy editor. In hindsight, to ask a copy editor to write a column during a 30-minute break in his "normal" shift was unfair. It prevented me from putting sufficient thought into my points and crafting them into a suitable fashion. I admit that the column, as it ran, was shallow. Oh, well. I won't make such a mistake in the future.
The Free Press web editor was going for cheap hits and Janke got to privilege of being the stool pigeon. Depressing that this stuff must work -- otherwise how could a useless sack of negativity like Drew Sharp keep his job? -- but this is just another example why newspaper sports sections are bound to suck at opinion. One: the article as posted lacked a significant disclaimer. Janke was not identified as a fervent OSU fan who went to State. Two: it was directed to be written no matter the merit behind it. Three: a half-hour window was allotted for it. As long as the bottom line is attention today, attention tomorrow will continue to bleed as more and more people get fed up with idiocy passing as opinion.
The end result of the editor-enforced Pryor article was to make me wonder if this bit on third-string quarterback Robbie Schoenhoft's transfer...
With Schoenhoft gone, the Buckeyes look closer to capitalizing on Ohio State coach Jim Tressel's promise to design the offense around a dual-threat quarterback, much like he did for former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.
...was intentionally left in to foster controversy. Schoenhoft's transfer signals only one thing: big-time schools probably shouldn't offer pocket passers who complete 37% of their passes in high school no matter how many Nazis the kid can throw a football through. Schoenhoft's departure means as much to Terrelle Pryor as the status of Michigan's David Cone.
This guy's gonna feel stupid if there's a decommit. Uh...
If you want a hand-painted Sam McGuffie action figure.... well, you're out of luck since the auction ended Sunday. But if you just want to marvel at the internet, go right ahead.
Slaton's out. This might be standard justification for departure stuff, but Steve Slaton simultaneously gave the departing WVU coaching staff high praise and a bit of a middle finger:
Yesterday afternoon, Carl Slaton, Steve's father, told the Daily News that the family is hearing from NFL people that Steve is being projected as a second-round selection. But, Carl said, "the NFL draft is a crapshoot."
Carl said it was not an easy decision, but, in the end, "it was pushed on him with [WVU coach Rich] Rodriguez leav
ing [for Michigan] and taking the whole coaching staff."
According to Steve, the departure of offensive coordinator/running backs coach Calvin Magee had the biggest impact on his decision. Magee will become Rodriguez' offensive coordinator at Michigan.
"More than anything else it's that [Magee] also left the program," Steve said. "He taught me so much of what I needed to know, and he wasn't finished, and he would have taught me the rest. It wouldn't have been the same under someone else."
Hey, remember when we used to beat Ohio State? 1988, courtesy of Wolverine Historian:
There is also this remarkable home video from an unidentified 1959 game:
I wish our current cheerleaders did more goofy stuff like that.
Etc.: Remarkable story with Bill McCartney's old Rose Bowl ring at MVictors; Michigan will be playing faster next year; eeeebarwis; Yost Built on the WMU sweep; the Daily's Scott Bell has a good Rodriguez column.
This conclusion was forgone but not official:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Mario Manningham confirmed Monday he will skip his senior season at Michigan to enter the NFL draft.
"It was a hard decision, but after discussing it with my family it was the right one for me to make right now," Manningham said in an interview with The Associated Press while driving home to Ohio. "I've heard I will be drafted in the first round because of the lack of depth at wide receiver."
Let us remember the good times:
I well what uh okay.
A recruiting addendum left out of this morning's post by oversight: a number of commits are taking visits elsewhere. TX RB Sam McGuffie was at A&M last weekend. PA FB Christian Wilson was at UNC. NJ LB Marcus Witherspoon was at Tennessee. JB Fitzgerald was supposed to visit Michigan State but apparently did not. How serious is the threat posed here? Depends on who you ask and whom you ask it about. McGuffie doesn't seem like a serious threat to leave since Michigan retained Fred Jackson, and Fitzgerald didn't even take the trip he was supposed to.
Witherspoon and Wilson are tougher to read, though. Witherspoon's coach thinks this is no big deal:
Walsh said Michigan is still Witherspoon's top choice. "He's just exploring other options," Walsh said.
"Other options" include six coaches, including ones from Penn State and USC to go along with Tennessee, slated to visit Witherspoon's school this week. Witherspoon himself is saying things that are less positive, though those quotes remain locked behind paywalls. Wilson's got another trip set up for BC and seem concerned about his role in the Rodriguez offense. Probably 50-50 with both at the moment.
So with a couple linebackers wavering, a surprise commit from Cardinal Mooney linebacker Taylor Hill would be a nice bonus. This remains unconfirmed at the moment, but mods over at Recruiting Planet are usually reliable about these things, especially when it comes to Ohio. RP is an offshoot of Buckeye Planet. Scout is now listing Hill as a Michigan commit.
Hill is a low four-star top 250 type to Rivals (Scout gives him three stars) who committed to Oklahoma over LSU in the summer, then had the misfortune to switch his commitment to WVU two days before Rodriguez took the Michigan job.
You might think that a couple early offers from the likes of Oklahoma and LSU would warrant a higher rating than Hill's currently sporting, but a quick glance at the Pitt combine numbers listed on his Scout page clear that up: 6-2, 190, 5.00 40 yard dash. The 40 isn't that big a deal. Camp 40s are notoriously unreliable and difficult to compare to other times and places. Plus , a 5.00 has to be the result of an injury or some freak occurrence. 190-pound guys who run a five second forty don't get recruited by D-I schools, let alone Oklahoma and LSU. But "190" is kind of a red flag, especially since the kid plays DE at Mooney and will have to switch positions in college. There's a lot of projection here -- he has to get bigger, much bigger, he didn't run that well in the limited time gurus saw him, and he's switching positions -- thus the lowish ratings for a kid with some impressive offers.
Rich Rodriguez has had little opportunity to prove himself at Michigan, as is usually the case a month after your hiring, but he obviously has a few things down. Score-O is not one of them:
Working a crowd, however, is. Rodriguez and most of the staff traded their box seats for spots in the student section to watch Michigan demolish WMU 6-1. The rewards were an incessant stream of "Rich Rod-ri-guez" cheers, one second-intermission "Beat the Buckeyes" (no pressure), and an extended "We Want Pryor." Excitement hung in the air. In January.
Then there is this from new S&C demon Mike Barwis:
For a certain sort of Michigan football fan this is the equivalent of shooting heroin into your eyeballs. Barwis appears to have missed an opportunity to be a professional wrestler: he's got an unparalleled gravelly voice, a catchphrase and finishing move ("the bottom line"), and enough muscle to cave in the side of a Pinto. (Another member of the staff also missed his calling inside the squared circle.) He's also a diplomat and a gentleman judging from his responses to questions about Michigan's existing system and Ryan Mundy.
Reading between the lines on the Mundy response yields this: Mundy was a great kid and a dedicated worker but had no idea what he was in for despite going through four years in Michigan's system. He got his ass kicked, improved, but never quite caught up to the guys Barwis got as freshmen.
Reading between the lines about Michigan's current system: lol, 1970.
Jim Carty flagged down Steve Morrison, who coached with new defensive coordinator Steve Shafer at Western Michigan:
Q: What's Michigan getting here in Scott Shafer?
Morrison: The thing that jumps to my mind is passion. He has so much energy. And it's genuine. He has the ability to inspire people. He's a passionate guy who gives 110 percent. He's fun to be around and fun to work with, that's for sure.
Michigan was old and backwards and clunky and staid in 2007; now they are not. Youth is the order of the day on and off the field. QB coach Rod Smith is 35*. WR coach Tony Dews is 34. OL coach Greg Frey is 35. Secondary coach Tony Gibson is 37. LB coach Jay Hopson is 40. DL coach Bruce Tall is 48. OC Calvin Magee is 44. DC Scott Shafer is 41. At the collegiate level coaching is the domain of old men, but only Carr holdover Fred Jackson (57) cracks 50; most of the current staff isn't anywhere near it. They haven't won anything, and they're looking to be Rodriguez someday. They have nothing but the future.
The total makeover in the program's attitude happened overnight -- on New Year's Eve, it appears -- and many are still getting used to the idea. There is fretting about our long string of NFL QBs coming to an end, the lack of internal hires on Rodriguez's staff, the immediate future of a program that counts 7-5 as an end-of-the-world type of season, the continuation of a tradition unbroken over 40 years.
These are all valid concerns. They are also the sort of talk that would cause Mike Barwis to eat your soul and crap it out as a little doll to follow you around, berating you about how you could lift that car if you weren't such an irredeemable knob.
*(Some ages approximate, as I can't find DOBs for many of these guys and am going by college graduation years; they might be off but by no more than a year or two.)
For a long time it seemed like Michigan was three-quarters of the way up a cliff, looking down. "Hang on" was the mantra of the day, be it to old methods or fourth-quarter leads or Michigan's place in the assemblage of climbers. Rich Rodriguez seems the type to look up, grab Ohio State's leg and throw them down into the mucky-muck, and get ten points for climbing The Wall -- that's worth a five-second bonus for the Eliminator, Kyle.
And it's about damn time.