This is surely not dispositive of anything, but it is an interesting indicator of the ongoing, no-end-in-sight warfare between the Freep and Michigan.
In today's varying media sideshows, it has come out that the Freep today requested from the University a list of those student-athletes who supplied testimony to the NCAA in its investigation. The purpose of that request is seemingly transparent; to see if any names cross-checked with the Freep's mystery lineup of "current and former players" and "parents" who gave interviews to the Freep in August '09. The Free Press admits as much; that that was what they were after.
The purpose for the Freep request is equally apparent, one might think. To see, one supposes, if the Michigan and the NCAA "asked the right guys the right questions." But that quickly leads to another question: If the Freep is doing follow up on its own sources, why not ask the sources themselves? Did they talk to the NCAA? Maybe the Freep did. Maybe sources who once talked to the Freep will no longer do so. But it is speculation, absent any explanation by the Freep.
We also do not know if the Freep supplied anything on its own to the NCAA investigators. Did the Freep supply names, notes, information, statements? Of course, the Freep would never tell. Did the Freep supply its anonymous sources, either under some form of idenitity-protection, or not? Probably not. The Freep may have been reckless in granting anonymity in this case, but it would not be reckless in protecting the names of those sources. Still, we just do not know.
I presume that there was no science, and no real method on the part of Mike Rosenberg in doing his August '09 interviews. My guess is that he called whoever he felt would talk. And possibly he went specifically to guys whom he thought would talk, and would give him what he wanted, in light of his getting his hands on the July audit memo that said that CARA forms were missing, that all persons having responsiblity for the CARA forms had been instructed on proper procedure and that no other NCAA violations were known. Rosenberg knew that Michigan might have a hard time defending a CARA-violations allegation if one were made, so he set out to make it happen. It would be easy to pick off some really disgruntled guys -- Clemons, Boren, Mallett, Sears, Wermers, etc. -- as targets of phone calls from Rosenberg. That may indeed have happened. Or maybe not. We just don't know. And the Freep is not going to tell us. Nor will the Freep tell Michigan.
But the Freep does want to get into who Michigan, and the NCAA, talked to.
And so we have this window, into the asymmetrical nature of war between the Freep and Michigan. The Freep will keep on sending FOIA requests to Michigan. No one gets to send a FOIA to the Freep. The Freep will keep picking away at the story, looking for leads, looking for names. Michigan will play by the standards of the NCAA and the popular media; to be transparent, and fair, and expose everything.
Today, in a slight reversal of that asymmetry, Michigan declined to supply to the Freep the names of the players invovled.