Regardless of how true or how big of a deal the story seems to us, it already is the top story on ESPN and will be all we hear about this week. Fair or not, it is a national story already and isn't going away anytime soon. I hate to say this, but I only envision it getting worse. The negative PR for this specific story is only starting.
Freep reporting violations by UM
Boren's b%#@! A$$
I don't believe Marrell Evans would be one of them based on his words after he left, but you never know
Don't forget Tacopants, that dirty sonofabitch.
He's such a whiny bastard
that we have given him enough touches in the last 5 years to keep his mouth shut!?
The fact that Greg Frey was singled out leads me to believe it was one of Wermers/O'Neill. It wasn't Boren because he wouldn't know about any of this. He was gone in the Spring before any of this even occurred.
To Kurt Wermers: You are a pussy. Not for transferring, not for having trouble meeting TEAM requirements, but for talking shit about the coaches and team on the way out.
I doubt it was O'Neill.
I will now resume with my midnight saturday night wack off session.....
- No ability / space given to U of M to comment. Only one quote from Coach Rod. I realize this is investigative journalism and you don't want to give too much opportunity to U of M to spoil your thunder, but you need to present the other side of the story better.
- As noted, numerous anonymous sources.
- Rosenberg "playing dumb." Try to imagine what his interview with Stokes was like. Q: So you worked really, really hard in the offseason right? Q: So you spent like, a zillion hours working out, right? etc.... (obviously, Stokes was trying to play along with the media and give somewhat exaggerated estimates of how much he worked)
- The answers we didn't see. Don't you think Rosenberg asked Stokes, "So, were you required to work all those offseason hours, or was it voluntary?" It would have been a natural follow-up question, right? Stokes must have responded that it was "voluntary," but Rosenberg left that out of the article.
Because that wouldn't have made as good of a story.
The fact that he cherry picked a few different freshmen to be interviewed rather than say senior leaders like minor or graham makes me all the more squeamish about this article.
It took this story to finally convince me to register for MGoBoard.
I'm a working journalist - albeit, thankfully, not in sports journalism. I'm willing to go further than most, I think, on sports blogs to defend the MSM (though I'll never defend Drew Sharp).
The Freep story isn't bad for using anonymous sources, per se - that's just part of the business sometimes, unfortunately. I think they've adequately sourced the fact that the practice schedule for players has been rigorous and, most likely, exceeds the legal amount for players under NCAA rules. (Whether or not those rules are fair and/or applied consistently is a different issue.)
What's journalistically wrong with the story is the inference it makes: that by virtue of the players' participation in practices beyond the allowed amount, it was compelled by coaches. This, as far as I can tell, they have no sourcing for in the story. The fact that there is pressure on players - be it a desire for playing time, or whatever - does not mean the coaches transformed "voluntary" to "mandatory."
They have point A (players practice beyond normal, allowed amounts). And they have point C (that would constitute an NCAA violation, if directed by the coaches). But they haven't at all sourced point B (that the coaches made them mandatory.)
In short, I don't think it's bad that the Freep ran the story; if there's an actual violation, I hope they report it. But I don't think they have the story here. And beyond not having the story, they use some slanted, insinuating language in the story that leads a reader to draw very specific conclusions - the story is short of objective.
I don't question their reporting ability. But their editor should have made them get more fact before they published this.
And that's my first MGoPost.
Of course, now you've set the bar pretty high for the rest of your posts.
And a very good one it was.
I enjoyed the take from the journalist side and that it was thoughtful and reasoned.
Thanks. I'm particularly proud that I wrote it after an evening full of vodka and a Hold Steady concert here in the District. Now off to bed, ha.
Well done, clarity will hopefully come with the next article.
Well Stated BlueinDC. Welcome.
Question, and sorry if this has already been mentioned in the multitudinous other pages in the thread:
Does it bother anyone else that the Free Press obviously spent copious amounts of time on this and then got the other side of the story less than two days ago? This has clearly been in the works for two, maybe three weeks. Maybe longer. They went out of their way to interview "10 current or former players and the parents of four others." This had to take a long time.
Yet when it comes to getting the story from the administration, they hit them with it less than 48 hours before the story is to run and "request a response" to their "outlined" allegations. There is no interview, and no indication of how specfic they were when they "outlined" the allegations. More than likely they were extremely general. There's no two sides to the story as far as the Free Press is concerned. They purposely gave U-M just enough room to issue a statement and nothing else. No coaches, graduate assistants, Q-C folks, or school officials were contacted for this other than to "request a response." That's bullshit.
I would imagine that's pretty standard. If UM breaks any story, freep or whoever else was doing the work would have done all the work in vain. No problems there.
I don't buy it. Why would the Freep be worried that U-M would suddenly scoop them on a story that's supposed to be really, really bad for U-M? Are they worried that an article will go up on mgoblue.com about it? Either that or I just don't follow what you're saying.
If you're working up a big long job of exposing a person in a way that will earn you potentially a good chunk of money, do you tell them a few weeks in advance so he might go turn himself in first? By waiting to the last minute, it is supposed to make the reporters look better.
I'll admit I probably am not explaining this very clearly. I'm tired.
No, I get what you're saying, I just think, you might give them the courtesy of asking a few questions rather than "requesting a response." Who knows how detailed their "outline" was? It sounds to me as if it was purposely designed to elicit nothing more than the terse statements they got, which of course make the school officials look just as bad as if there was no comment, because they now appear to be ignoring the scope of the thing.
Besides, I just don't think the university would scoop the story like that. The Freep thinks U-M is guilty of major violations, and one of three things would happen if they gave too much advance notice:
- University thinks there are no violations and doesn't report. Story not scooped.
- University thinks there are minor violations and reports. Story not scooped, as sensationalistic bombshell aspect remains.
- University thinks there are major violations and reports. Free Press has whole story before anyone else anyway because they already have the interviews.
Of course, I certainly concede that the Freep might be thinking along the same lines as you are, in which case (no offense to you) shame on them for putting "the scoop" ahead of the basic journalistic integrity of finding two or more sides to a story.
No argument to the integrity part, and yes, I'm coming from the standpoint that no for-profit organization values integrity that highly. I'm cynical like that.
"RR bringing in "his kind of player" that takes nothing but cupcake classes"
You're apparently forgetting that in 2008 three-quarters of the team were Lloyd Carr's recruits, and of the freshmen signed by Rodriguez several were Carr recruits to begin with. So players brought in by RR would have had a small impact on the GPA.
The fact that you can indulge in speculation about the nature of the academic performance highlights what I maintain is a near-criminal failure of the athletic department to publicize the GPA of last year's team. The only discussion of it by anybody was by Bill Martin at a non-public event, mention of which was hidden behind the paywall on Rivals. There has been absolutely no article about this on MGoBlue, and considering the constant allegations about Rodriguez's character and football ethics since he got here it's bizarre to me that the athletic department is choosing to bury the story in an official capacity. The absence of official information enables people like kmd to speculate about whether the academic performance was in fact genuine.
The question remains: how was the team able to compile this allegedly outstanding GPA when being forced to spend these allegedly hugely rule-breaking amounts of time at practice? Something isn't adding up.
I feel awful for Brandin and Je'Ron. Even though the Freep points out that they weren't complaining or aware of the rules, to use those innocent comments from excited freshmen who were more than likely exaggerating at least to some extent is bush league. Not only does it make it appear like they're supporting the Freep's claims, but it could also hurt them in the locker room.
yeah it made me sick to read that too... Rosenberg is a pimp.
I agree. This makes Carr's policy of extremely limited media availabiliy for underclassmen seem very intelligent. I am sure Rodriguez will put in a similar policy immediately. It sucks for us, I was really enjoying hearing from all of the players.
The only way I see them doing any more interviews will be in controlled environments on Mgoblue.com or for Inside Michigan Football.
.... still seems like RR has to go through a long, rough way once again..
kmd, do you believe Harbaugh's assertion that exactly the same sort of thing was occurring under Schembechler?
Thank you FA for deleting the new coach thread.
Yes thank you that blew up quickly. I think we can put our pitchforks away now.
can we just get this season started and sort this out later? Please? I think withdrawal has set in and directed everyones attention elsewhere.
a simple metaphor for this situation:
On Sundays (I call them TORTURE SUNDAYS, btw) I have to get up early to help my dad set up his security system at his business. It takes a while, and even though he never said I have to do it, I feel like I have to or else he'll be mad at me (and job security doesn't exactly rise from blowing it off). Then I have to work my scheduled hours right after that.
So I'm going to go to the local newspaper and say that he's making minors work over the legal number of hours (not really, but I'm trying to keep the metaphor going here, obviously). Who do you think wins this case?
Obviously, him, although he'll look bad at first. I have no evidence of his "illegal activity" because it wasn't truly illegal. End Game. Even though if you added the hours I did the camera work to my total work hours, it would be over the limit, you can't really do that.
Hopefully this helps a little bit, even though it's a once-a-week example, it's the same concept (apple slices to apples, it's still damn apple).
How is it at all obvious that he'd win that case? You can just argue that you're being paid under the table in the form of additional wages for your time spent beyond the legal limit. It's pretty naive to think getting minors to work more than the legal maximum number of hours is as simple as implying it's mandatory and only logging the maximum number of hour as long as you don't verbalize it.
The post was never really meant to get into technical points and rules, it just seemed like an interesting metaphor that was worth presenting. Wouldn't there have to be some sort of concrete evidence that (hypothetically, at least) the minor was paid under the table?
I wonder if courts could legally look at how much you make, compare it to your wages/hours worked, and figure that you were/weren't paid under the table. (the NCAA can probably check hours easily, but that doesn't mean the accounts are accurate) I still think the players complaining might be screwed here because they signed a compliance form stating that they didn't practice over hours, and saying "they made me do it" seems a bit too vague to be used as solid evidence against the university.
That said, the metaphor doesn't cover the coaches allegedly watching 7v7s, either.
Always good to have a high team GPA, but when your accused of overworking the kids, it could be a life saver.
Really, these allegations are a boat without a paddle. What is voluntary and what is mandatory? Kind of subjective, no? Even in the NFL guys catch hell for missing (mandatory) voluntary workouts. What if a practice starts mandatory but half way through it becomes voluntary and no one leaves? It might feel mandatory, yet still be voluntary. I hope the NCAA's actually cares to find the difference, and doesn't let the dirt of gossip bury our team.
As for next week, RR should give the team a little "Players! Rosenberg and the Free Press have formally declared that Rich "Coach Rod" Rodriguez is an enemy of the NCAA. They have declared that I am a cheater. They have declared, in effect, that all of you *also* are cheaters... We have made mighty teams kneel. We have unhorsed a hundred kings and made them our slaves for the glory of Michigan. And these are crimes?"
Just because mandatory vs voluntary is subjective doesn't mean it's a loophole you should be allowed to abuse. It's one thing if your teammates are peer pressuring you into going, but it's an entirely different thing if the coaching staff is taking attendance and punishing players by making them run and cutting playing time if they don't show up. It's kind of like sexual harassment, where it's in the eye of the beholder. If you're made to feel like attendance is mandatory, then it should be classified as mandatory.
Greatm its on ESPN right now. Claims were "generally" validated.
in the words of chris crocker, "leave michigan alone!!!!!!!! we've suffered enough!!! LEAVE MICHIGAN ALONE!!!!!!!!"
Honestly, if I were Rodriguez, there would definitely be a part of me right now wishing I had stayed in West Virginia. He's been shit on almost since day one by the local media. The guy has not had chance since he's been here, and not just with the papers, but on the radio as well (Valenti and Foster have been unbearable when they discuss him).
I just hope all this negativity doesn't start to impact recruiting. It's just that this kind of stuff doesn't seem like it's ever going to let up, even if they start winning. And if it continues, who knows, maybe a few kids will think the drama isn't worth it? Especially if this turns out to be another rough year, more "allegations" surface, and Rodriguez's job security is put in serious jeoprady (I trust that Martin and Coleman are more rational than d-bags like Rosenberg and other media-types, though).
How will this effect the Freep's access to the program? What about Rosenberg, is he still able to cover Michigan as normal or does he get shut out. Very interested to see how this pans out.
Rosenberg's version of normal coverage of Michigan is to write opinion columns decrying some new evil that Rodriguez has perpetrated in his quest to destroy the University. So yes, Rosenberg is still able to cover Michigan as he normally would.
I assumed he spent time with the program, practice, press conferences, games, etc. Sounds like he is more of a no talent ass clown in the peanut gallery.
I have a hard time believing that RR would knowingly violate clear NCAA rules right out in the open. That is pretty much what the FP story says (or strongly implies). I mean, it says he regularly required players to put in 10-11 hours on Sundays when the NCAA limit is 4 hours. He would be an idiot to do that and think no one would find out. That would be like writing checks to the players. Even schools that allegedly funnel money and other improper benefits to players do so in a way intended to make it hard to discover and prove. Lets wait until all of the facts come out before we assume RR is a total moron. RR is pushing these kids to work harder than many of them have ever worked before, but it seems far more likely to me that this situation is a question of what qualifies as "mandatory" rather than "voluntary" under NCAA rules.
This is all part of the transition from Country Club Carr to a Coach driving his players to a higher level. nothing more, nothing less. To think that an experienced HC would make a mistake this grand is just silly.
About the 12 hour Sunday, the ESPN piece doesn't mention anything for dinner (probably an hour), study table (probably 2-3 hours), lifting is probably in there (that is likely on a different set of limitations from team meetings/practice.
And look at the Carr regime. He really believed that summer workout were optional. Henne regularly went home during the summer instead of spending time with his teammates. (I think that I read an article around this with regards to his not being a captain, even though he was a senior QB who started for 4 years.)
The regime and the expectations have changed. and this is all for the better.
I doubt this is serious. Relax, and this will blow over.
Here are some relevant NCAA material related to the article.
I used to be a student-athlete tutor, and trust me, athletes misinterpret the rules all the time. A coach can say "I'd like to see all of you here for 10 hours tomorrow doing your voluntary workouts" but the athletes will take that as "I am required to be here tomorrow for 10 hours." Trust me, every athlete will tell you they feel pressured to do all the voluntary stuff, and it becomes so ingrained that they actually think it is mandatory.
Do you think the athletes know what the exceptions to the rules are?
This is exactly the problem with the FP story. They should have done a much better job pointing out that this is not a simple calculation and that there are many exceptions. The story leads the reader (incorrectly) to assume that the players themselves fully understand all the rules and are capable of making all of the necessary calculations to conclude that rules are being violated. I do not know what the FP's motives behind the story are, but at a minimum this is very lazy journalism.
On the other hand, many people here seem to be assuming that the players fully understand how to contact the compliance office (or that a compliance office exists) and make a formal complaint without anybody related to the team or athletic department finding out for fear of punishment, and have faith that the internal compliance system will actually take action and not accidentally leak their identity.
Also, if so much of this time that player's are complaining about is truly voluntary, wouldn't they just not go? This seems to suggest that either they don't feel certain things are actually voluntary, or it's not being made clear to them.
Clearly, unless FP totally fabricated this (which I do not believe), some players are unhappy with the amount of work they are being required to do. But that does not constitute an NCAA violation. The question is whether RR is requiring players to put in more "mandatory" time than NCAA rules allow. I have no idea whether he is or is not. The problem with the FP article is not that it points out that players are raising questions. It is not that it uses anonymous sources. It also would not be a problem if they were simply calling for an NCAA investigation. The problem with the FP story is it makes it seem as if this is a very clear case of violations when I do not believe FP knows whether rules have been violated or not. Some (many?) readers who read the story will immediately jump to the conclusion that RR violated rules because FP was lazy and/or sloppy (or, possibly, had an agenda). That is unfortunate.
I took a quick look at the NCAA compliance materials in the other thread, and assuming even just some of the quotes from players are true, there are some pretty cut and dry violations.
I looked at them too and the only conclusion I came to is that this is a much more complicated question than the FP article makes it seem. But if you are right, then RR is an idiot and should be immediately fired not just for cheating but also for being a moron. The proof is the fact that he only made it through one season before getting caught. That is why I don't think it is as simple as you think. No sane person would believe they could make 100+ players spend 10+ hours every Sunday doing mandatory football workouts if the NCAA rule is 4 hours without getting caught. It makes absolutely no sense. At worst, I think we will find RR is being more aggressive than past coaches in deciding what does not count toward the 4 hours and what staff members may be present at "voluntary" activities. The idea that RR intentionally violated the rules right out in the open in the manner the FP article implies is so stupid it just cannot be what happened.
From my experience talking to players, MANY sports have "inhumane" voluntary workouts and they are all on Sundays. You could probably ask any member of any sports team on any college what their Sundays are like. Now, the players may say they spend 8-10 hours doing stuff, even after coming home late from a game the day before.
The Freep simply does not understand college athletics culture, and how many hours a week athletes put in, voluntarily and mandatory. Yes, reasonable adults who are not exposed will be shocked, but it is the norm and well within the rules. Compliance officers are always present to check off on practice times etc. Lawyers for each college have looked over everything and they will talk with NCAA to make sure this or that is acceptable.
NCAA is never going to find a single athlete that sticks to only the 20/4 rule and never do any voluntary workouts. The players who chose to remain anonymous are just being lazy and resents all the hours they put in.
Ay-Ziggy-Zoomba? Who are you?
“Workouts aren’t mandatory, but neither is playing time.”
Why does the Freep insinuate that there is something wrong here. First of all, the idea here is completely fair. Football players are allowed to remain on the team as long as they fulfill the obligations to the team as specified by their scholarship. They don't lose their scholarship just for skipping workouts. Therefore, the workouts are not mandatory for staying on the team. This being the case, is it not fair for the players who attend the workouts (i.e. work harder than those that don't) with playing time. In fact, it is not only fair, it is sensible, as the players who attend workouts will also be better than those that don't and thus deserve a higher spot on the depth charts.
This leads me to my second major problem with the Freep article, namely the lack of specifics as to what they defined as a mandatory workout and what the punishments were for missing "mandatory workouts". To me, it appears that players were yelled at for not being as conditioned as the rest of the team because they chose not to do extra work. Then, they didn't play because they weren't as conditioned as the rest of the team.
My final problem is with the Freep's assertion that academics were neglected by the football team. First of all, they set a football-team class record GPA. Second of all, a theoretical player who chose to spend his time studying instead of attending extra workouts and subsequently spends all of his time on the bench still graduates with a degree form an elite university. Instead of paying tuition, he sat on the bench in the fall and had to practice football a lot. This seems fair.
I think what it boils down to is even if you think Rich Rod is some sort of evil bastard hell bent on destroying the Michigan football program, at the end of the day its still the same athletic department that's been here for ages. To assume that since the arrival of Rodriguez the AD has suddenly decided to no longer report offenses or ignore them all together is just silly. This is the same AD that existed under Carr, and Moe before him, and Bo before him. To think that they have suddenly gone rogue as a result of hiring Rich Rod is stupidity at the highest level.
This couldn't be worse. If you read other places, you can tell that there are a lot of people against RR. This will only add fuel to the fire.
My favorite part of the article was "They said that Michigan coaches have a saying: “Workouts aren’t mandatory, but neither is playing time.”"
How many times in your sporting life have you heard this? It's true. You reward those who put the time and effort in. What I don't get is, why are these players not going anonymously to the compliance department to complain instead of the freep?
Edit: I also love the...
"The NCAA also limits teams to 20 hours a week, and Rodriguez apparently exceeded that limit as well...
With three hours on Saturday and a full day on Sunday, players tallied about 12 hours on those two days. They were off Monday. Players said they would spend an additional three to four hours with the team on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, bringing the weekly total to 21-24 hours."
If we're bitching about 1-3 hours over during the season...jesus. Those times are estimates too. When you're upset about it, you're going to think it was longer than it was...and STILL only 1-3 hours more?!?!
My favorite part of the article was "They said that Michigan coaches have a saying: “Workouts aren’t mandatory, but neither is playing time.”"
"The student-athlete's attendance and participation in the activity (or lack thereof) may not be recorded for the purposes of reporting such information to coaching staff members or other student-athletes."
"The student-athlete may not be subjected to penalty if he or she elects not to participate in the activity. In addition, neither the institution nor any athletics department staff member may provide recognition or incentives (e.g., awards) to a student-athlete based on his or her attendance or performance in the activity."
You may say it's part of sports, but that doesn't make what they've done any less of an blatant rules violation.
Also, I don't think the players were especially complaining about the 21-24 hours with 20 hours maximum (the actual time commitment is more, because games are counted as 3 hours even though they actually take up at least 6-7). There is the 9 hour meetings on Sunday when the NCAA maximum for a single mandatory event is 4 hours. There was also the off-season training schedule which ran 15-21 hours per week when the NCAA limit is 8 hours. Saying that what's at worst the third most serious offense isn't that bad isn't a very convincing argument.
The repercussions of this are likely to be found, not in sanctions, but in recruiting. While it is not very likely that the actual players (particularly those we actually want) will be affected by this report, it will cause qualms among at least some parents.
haha hey hey i went to Saline High School. Honestly I dont know what to believe from all of this. I really hope this is just dumbass reporters being stupid. But if this is true what are the concequences? Im not too familiar with the NCAA
Winning will cure everything...the only reason any of this garbage has any traction is 3-9.
The NCAA will not respond to this with anything beyond typical monitoring. Football requires work and dedication, the only people that feel this is inappropiate are those who never played football. An average high school football player probably spends 10-20 hours a week working on improving beyond organized activities with the team, a great majority of this being strength training. Why would one be shocked if this was the case in college?? Did anyone here about the new allegations that we have violated the maximum allowable hours of voluntary study table time? It was deemed to be unfair to the rest of the student body...
I really really really wish I hadn't opened up mgoblog tonight. Whether this is true or not or whatever, I'm not sure how to react right now.
I'll just say I'm very disappointed if this turns out to be true. I'm just so tired of having our University shown in such a negative light throughout the local and national media.
Leaders and Best and Go Blue everyone.
I don't doubt the coaches were tough last year, either forcing or requiring additional workouts and training. Don't forget they had 30+ turnovers last year, 27% conversion of 3rd downs (last in cfb), gave up the most total points on defense in UM history, gave up the most yards ever in the big house (vs. ILL), had lowest time of possession in last 10+ yrs, and finally had the worse record in UM history. There was some proverbial and literal ass kicking going on because of the conditioning RR required and because of the poor performance on the field. All workouts are 'voluntary' for the most part, those who wanted to play, stay or improve in his paradigm did and the others left. I think the article stretches to claim it causes kids to fall asleep in class or otherwise not perform in school or that it is a violation when it cites former players that clearly have an axe to grind.
God, I can't believe this is happening.
Even if this isn't true, this sort of accusation is devastating to a coach's reputation.
Total BullShit ^
yeah right asshole...neg me even though what you said is total bullshit.. if it is NOT true, then it wouldnt hurt a coach's reputation.
you are a fucking idiot.
What's the point of having any mandatory practice at all, then? Other than to have a time to punish people that don't show up to the optional practice, I suppose. Optional practice, 12 hours everyday, whoever shows up the most gets to play. I find it hard believe that things are how people claim, where the only difference between the NCAA definitions of mandatory and optional practice is that you can't revoke a player's scholarship/kick them off the team for not attending optional practice.
truthfully, i'm more concerned about getting more negative media for the program than i am with the possible reprocussions. since michigan has apparently never had a major violation, even if everything is 100% as bad as it might be, i still think we'll probably get a glorified slap on the wrist. OTOH, we will have to hear from our rivals about dickrod cheating for...well until he retires. seriously, i already know several spartys who have facebooked "[friend] says dickrod cheated and still didn't make a bowl game. HAHA"
If I was RR, I would get the hell out of AA as soon as possible. It seems like everyone is out to get him and nobody has a nice thing to say about the guy. How much of this can he take? hell even when he talks about his QB choice, people write articles like he's crazy.
After starting Sheridan last year, seeing the results, and then saying that Sheridan is still in the running this year can be justifiably considered crazy. I don't care if he looks decent in practice, because apparently that was the case last year and he still sucked in games.
Do you think that Harbaugh's allegations that Bo steered players into easier courses are accurate and truthful?
I don't know enough about how things were run back then to comment about that. My understanding is that things were a lot more loose back then, and I could see that happening. Nowadays, coaches aren't allowed to have information about what classes the players are taking or their grades or anything like that.
I think now it's usually more of a mutual agreement between the player and the academic staff. I think it's hard to make a distinction between pushing somebody to an area so they can get good grades/stay eligible, and making sure a player doesn't enter a situation where they are likely to fail. When issues due arise and players say they're pushed towards easier things, I tend to blame it on players not knowing their own limitations. I think a lot of players come in now having a good idea of what they are and are not capable of, and sometimes they happen to be overconfident.
Nowadays, coaches aren't allowed to have information about what classes the players are taking or their grades or anything like that.
This is not correct.
I don't know enough about how things were run back then to comment about that.
I don't think you know enough about it now either.
for this post. To bring that shit up in the midst of this story is beyond stupid.
EDIT: referring to the Sheridan/crazy comment.
If he can't take the fact that people aren't writing nice things about him then he doesn't belong here.
I was at the bar tonight and saw ESPN running a story with the stereotypical Rodriguez and M behind it, denoting the obvious "Oh God, Michigan is in trouble take."
Now my table was by no means a group of college football experts, but I attempted to explain the situation as best (and without bias) I could, as the sound on the TV was off. I said, the Freep is accusing Michigan of requiring the players to attend more practices than normal and basically do things outside of what the overall league considers okay.
I got a shrug. Everyone went back to watching baseball.
I think the Freep has successfully found an issue that pisses all of us off, but means less than Burundi's social policies to the rest of the world.
if this is true, i'm kinda disappointed at RR for violating rules. if it isn't, fuck the media for bringing up bullshit the week before the first game.
i know absolutely no program is 100% clean, but if we're going to get caught for a violation, might as well be for working out too much i guess.
more upset that players would bitch to the media about it though. i mean really? complaining about working out more than the ncaa allows you to do? and a week before the first game? cmon! why would you rat out your own team for this kind of thing?
"This is one...Big...Damned...Conspiracy...and everyone's in on it!"
If you were coach, would you want someone who doesn't work his ass off to be your team leader? Would you want to start him? What does that say about your standards, your leadership? Does that embody the "All in for Michigan" mantra?
From the player's perspective, do you want to work hard to earn your spot, or have it handed to you like it is your birthright? Do you want to have teammates that don't work hard? Are you playing for the team or for yourself? Again, are you "all in for Michigan?"
The key is this: that if you don't work hard, you probably won't get the position. If you don't show up to voluntary practices, you probably will not impress the coaching staff enough to make it. If your conditioning is poor, why would the coaching staff put you in the game? Players need to work hard. It is part of sports that to win, you must work hard. Practices may be voluntary in that they are not required, but the attendance of the player is indicative of his work ethic, and thus his team mentality.
I am not going to get worked up about this. I am going to let this get vetted by the powers that be. I will just be glad when it's next week and we're celebrating with Muppets Temptation and Hawaiian War Chant.
FWIW, we did manage to win a national championship and have some pretty good seasons without 9 hour meetings on Sundays and excessive amounts of forced "optional" practice. Obviously there was room for improvement with the conditioning program, but the issues people had were with the ancient training methods and cheeseburger milkshakes, not the fact that we weren't breaking rules like all the other schools apparently do (which totally makes it ok). People are defending the coach's right to run a program this way as if we'd be terrible without it, even though things worked out pretty well in the past and the new way has yet to have any tangible dividends.
1. Neither you, nor I, nor anyone else has any solid clue how things operated under Carr. There's a reason the premium message board for Michigan's Rivals site is called The Fort - that's the nickname Schembechler Hall had when Bo, Mo and Lloyd ran the show. No information came out of it unless the head coach authorized it. Precious little info was slipped out from insiders who worked there or had friends in high places.
2. With that said..."voluntary" workouts during the offseason have been around for a very long time. The problem with old Michigan is that they actually WERE voluntary - considering the gradual decay in physical fitness and strength/conditioning in the latter years of the Carr era and the bit and pieces of info about said years that have slipped out as time passed by, it's pretty safe to assume that the "voluntary" workouts were actually voluntary (no quotes to signal sarcasm), and it would have taken some egregious laziness to wind up in the doghouse (see: Watson, Gabe).
on ESPN article it says one former player who started last season says reports are accurate ... Could that guy be Carson Butler ?
It would fit. He's still local,
brawling with playing for the Lions, so it would be easy for RosenBS to get in touch with him, and he certainly has plenty of motive to speak out against Rodriguez.
Would Carson Butler be a guy that ESPN would call? My guess is that its someone with a higher profile who still is in the college game...but transferred. Think about it.
if they thought they had something bad to say about Michigan.
At how fast the original espn article came out after the FreeP one it doesn't seem like they just went and called 6 players and using just one player's quotes.
It would make since they wanted verification of what was written in the Freep article before running the story themselves. Maybe they're just as skeptical of Rosenberg as the rest of this board.
Football players I know are saying this is horseshit.
Wow. There's almost 375 replies. After reading more and seeing more this is total bullshit.
“We know the practice and off-season rules, and we stay within the guidelines,” Rodriguez said in a statement issued Friday to the Free Press. “We follow the rules and have always been completely committed to being compliant with all NCAA rules.”
I could be totally wrong here, but I'd trust what RR says at this point over what "unnamed" players say. This smells of frustrated players who aren't getting PT. Which, like, ok it's not ideal if you don't feel good enough to bring this up to at least your position coach, but give RR a friggin break. The man takes do much crap for what's amounted to nothing to date. (Just to be clear, if we did break the rules, we should be punished as that's fair, but I don't buy it.)
What's more, if USC can get by without a scratch with Reggie Bush's fiasco, this should dissipate. Agree totally that they couldn't have picked a worse time to publish this though. Rosenberg is a douche.
There are a number of problems with this article that make me believe it is a personal attack on the regime from a vocal critic (Rosenberg), whose reputation is about to take a serious hit if the program achieves success. Let's take a look at each of these problems as objectively as possible.
1. First, you can't just say 10 former or current players because that is too vague. Anonymity aside, who are these players? Are they recruited players? Walk-ons? How many of them transferred? Are they playing this year? Are they likely starters? Are they upperclassmen or underclassmen? All of these questions must be asked because the credibility of the player matters as well. For all we know, these 5 players could be Boren, O'Neill, Wemers, Butler and one other player. Also, 10 players is just far too low. There are a lot of walk ons who never play. Who are these players? Far more information must be provided for these accounts to have any sliver of credibility.
2. Second, the timing of the story is obviously suspicious. A week before the season, the story gets released, either for agenda purposes, shock value or both. When were these interviews conducted? I would be very curious to know the times for each player.
3. Third, a bulk of the story is meaningless because the word "mandatory" or "required" simply can mean floors and not ceilings and I'm sure most college coaches view the words that way. In other words, minimums are set, but if players want to play, they must practice extra on their own accord. For weak players, that floor may be a ceiling, but that's actually incorrect.
4. Fourth, the only issue then is whether or not the players exceeded weekly limits on football activities (20 hours) and the daily limit of 4 mandatory hours during the season. There's also the "quality control" issue but if Barwis is the "trainer" it's totally a non-issue. The "mandatory" 4 hours is the same as 3. You are given an opportunity to leave, but if you do, your playing time will be adversely affected, so no one left (maybe the walk ons did). Therefore, the only issue is the 20 hour/week limit during the season. The story paints a sorry circumstantial picture of that "violation." The best they could do was "21-24," with little verifiable information other than anecdotal.
The whole "mandatory" time is not really an issue. Players are expected here and elsewhere to commit above and beyond the requirements. I mean, I'm sure of that. The situation is worse when the player is not guaranteed a scholarship, which occurs at SEC school that oversign. Then, they are fighting for that scholarship so I guess you can then say there is a mandatory element to the off-season workouts. But that is not a problems here. I think what the story is peeved about is how you can bring in a trainer to oversee the workouts. That trainer, however, can be under Barwis, so he's going to keep track of who shows up and monitor their performance. The use of S&C, then, is a way around the voluntary rules. Make the trainer an integral part of the process and all the sudden players are being monitored. The idea is quite innovative and not disallowed.
Ultimately, the lack of information on the players involved, paucity of players used, use of very circumstantial evidence and just wrong descriptions make the story a rat. The timing also is an issue. There is obviously an agenda here. I just hope Rosenberg didn't have help from the inside.
This isn't an undercover story about Mexican drug cartels. If the Freep is so sure of its sources, let's hear who they are. I bet that most of those who squealed are "sour-grape" kids who weren't going to get much playing time. Wait until you start working for a real employer. I've got some bad news for you. Sorry, but life isn't fair.
Also, Mike Rosenberg has had it out for RR since he arrived 20 months ago.
We got no jobs, no food, our pets HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!!
That's all I need. Thanks for nuttin.(FREEP)
That is all.
Michael Rosenberg and Mark Snyder do not have mustaches. They have never had mustaches. Several former or current co-workers at the Detroit Free Press corroborate allegations that they have had laser hair removal treatment, in violation of Mustache for Michigan regulations and men who are not pussies everywhere .
Rosenberg and Snyder have been heard, muttering from their effeminately smooth faces: Follicular workouts are voluntary, not mandatory. You can't force us to grow icky hair. When we baited and misquoted Freep junior support staff that didn't know of our slanted and harried agenda, we have found: "The...[hairless duo] have...receipts showing purchases...of (large quantities of) Nair."
Mustaches for Michigan failed to contact Rosernberg/Snyder to comment because, quite frankly, fuck them and their non-mustached faces.
We know there is a constituency of people who did not and do not want RR. But these guys (Rosenberg/Snyder) are just reporters, right? There has to be someone with an axe to grind green-lighting this stuff.
I've seen enough people better versed in journalism than I commenting on the lack on integrity apparent in an article such as this. My question is, who is pulling these strings? Editors, advertisers...? Just a thought.
Although all of the negative press drummed up over the last 12 months by the freep makes it feel as though there is some vast conspiracy to oust Rich Rod, it really all comes down to money.
If Rosenberg and Sharp write fluff articles about how U of M players visit hospitals or volunteer at nursing homes, maybe a few U of M homers will read it.
If they write an in-depth season preview, going over potential starters, the schedule and impact freshman, the vast majority of U of M fans will read it.
If they write an investigative piece on how Rich Rod is undermining family values, causing the downfall of the Michigan football program, and cheating; U of M fans will read it, Michigan State fans will read it, OSU fans will read it, Notre Dame fans will read it, West Virginia fans will read it, the rest of the Big Ten's fans will read it, it will get picked up by espn, and several other media outlets leading to even more people reading it, etc...
More hits = more money.
Trashing Rich Rod = more hits = more money.
I'll buy that.
...I enjoy coming to this blog. As a Domer homer I have found it a great site when doing breakdowns of offense/defense, trend analysis, etc, particularly for a rival program. And I understand the angst of what feels like a negative barrage of criticism and such, but to see the learned men of Mgoblog recount letters they sent directly to the reporters (take that! ha ha!), and to go through conspiracy theories, fashion petitions and use silly retorts like "everybody does it" is a departure from the typical on here. There is undoubtedly hyperbole in the reporting of the issue, as there is with EVERY news article for the most part these days. Reporters do not report, they offer pre-determined slants and opinions nowadays. Kind of like this um, I don't know, blog (in fairness most of these blogs are more balanced). But it is the nature of the beast today so citing some persecution complex seems a bit silly. The issue I see is this...disgruntled or not, "soft" or not, R Rod still has a cultural dissension that has not yet receded amongst some players. And he is in year two, and to be frank, should be clear of this issue. Even if it is just a couple of players. Fair or not, Michigan rarely if ever found itself in the news for these issues under prior regimes. And even if it is all false, allowing this to even seep out still says something about his control of the program. I am not indicting his football coaching abilities, that still has to be played out since it is far too early, but at this rate he might not be allowed to see it through...
Please save the "Weis is schematically fat jokes", I was just offering my opinion.
Assuming NCAA does bother to investigate, how is that done? Basically, what powers do they have to find the "truth"? From what I understand, they can't subpoena individuals and it doesn't seem likely that voluntary workouts would be documented as compared to mandatory workouts, so how exactly does the NCAA investigate to find prove to justify sanctions? Perhaps if enough players like Clemons cooperate that could be sufficient, but you'd think the NCAA would need mostly current players.
Surely someone out there has experience with this?
[Note: Not sure this is the best thread for this question, but I thought it was sufficient. Also, this hypo is not meant to start a "is it ok to break the rules if you don't get caught" discussion, but I realize that is a very real risk. I'm just interested in learning about the nuts and bolts of NCAA investigations.]