further adventures in Jed York being unsuited for his position
Ute up. Michigan's scheduled a replay of that 10-7 anti-classic against Utah for next year. The Utes will slide in to an open date September 20th, completing Michigan's schedule like so:
Sept. 6 MIAMI (OHIO)
Sept. 13 at Notre Dame
Sept. 20 UTAH
Sept. 27 WISCONSIN*
Oct. 4 ILLINOIS* (HC)
Oct. 11 TOLEDO
Oct. 18 at Penn State*
Oct. 25 MICHIGAN STATE*
Nov. 1 at Purdue*
Nov. 8 at Minnesota*
Nov. 15 NORTHWESTERN*
Nov. 22 at Ohio State*
(Stolen from Varsity Blue.) Lame. No offense to Wisconsin, but when Wisconsin is your best home game and there aren't even any other contenders your home schedule sucks. And Utah is a less extreme version of Boise State: they're tougher than the usual non-BCS fare but good luck getting anyone to acknowledge that. So you get the credit of beating Eastern Michigan with a significantly raised level of risk. I know scheduling is hard and all that; Utah is still a nonconference opponent with little upside.
Things might be getting better. The South Bend Tribune drops this in a fluff job about ND AD Kevin White's diabolical scheduling genius:
-So taken was Michigan by the potential recruiting aspects of the Irish playing off-site games in talent-laden Texas, Louisiana and Florida, the Wolverines are pursuing home-and-home arrangements in Florida and Texas to boost Michigan's recruiting.
If that ever comes to fruition, nice. About the worst opponent I can imagine Michigan signing to a home-and-home from either of those states is Texas A&M, and I would love that matchup.
At least we're not Penn State (God, how many times have I said that over the past decade?), who have scheduled Coastal Carolina, Arkansas State, Temple, and EMU over the next couple years. Their most interesting games those years are against Syracuse. There are two TBAs... hopefully they are filled with something interesting.
Butler did or did not do it but has returned. Same Free Press article says that...
Tight end Carson Butler likely will be returning to the Michigan football team.
U-M coach Lloyd Carr said in Chicago last week that he would have a final meeting with Butler late in the week to determine his status. Carr said he wanted to make sure "it's the right thing for our team first of all." A person with knowledge of the meeting said it went well. Butler is expected to be with the team when the players report for training camp today.
From a purely football standpoint: awesome. We need tight ends like whoah. Mike Massey will probably be okay, but Butler had clearly passed him by midseason and Michigan's new zone game often calls for two tight end sets. Butler's return is found money. The questions are now:
- What did Butler do during his time off the team? Hopefully run precise routes and work on his hands; hopefully not sit around watching William Shatner roasts.
- Is he out of the doghouse? He's on the team. Even if he's been diligent this offseason will he be permitted to play? Previously I speculated about a Pierre Woods-esque benching that, while perhaps justified by off-field stuff I'm not qualified to comment on, hurt the team on the field. Butler was thiiiis close to getting the boot before the St. Patrick's Day Nerd Massacre, on double-secret probation with Germany and Arrington, and has stairs to run if he's going to make it back.
Though Butler's back, his actual return to the field remains murky. I'd be surprised to see him before EMU.
Omar Hunter, this is your life. Notre Dame has been negative recruiting the hell out of Michigan ever since Charlie Weis showed up on campus. But now we have a nuclear weapon:
A Notre Dame defensive lineman has been arrested on a misdemeanor charge of propositioning a prostitute.
Derrell Hand, 20, was arrested during a prostitution sting by South Bend police, the South Bend Tribune reported on its Web site.
Notre Dame: the place so awesome that football players have to solicit prostitutes to get action. The poor, poor regular schmoes in their senior-year dorm musicals don't have a chance.
Actual journalism is being committed over at Western College Hockey, which took in the Select 15s -- an annual prospect/camp showcase of the country's best 14 and 15 year old hockey players -- and reported back. This is of interest because two Michigan commits attended. WCH on the pair:
Jon Merrill(Little Caesar's(MI)): Easily the best player at the camp. He's 6'3, but skates like he's 5'9". Very smooth with the puck. Excellent in the defensive zone. Does a great job of picking up his man in the defensive zone. ...
Jared Knight(Compuware): Never really got things going offensively. One of the faster skaters at the camp, and can get to top speed very quickly. Extremely quick release on his slap shot, and still gets good pace on it.
Jon MF Merrill? Maybe? Probably not, but it's worth noting that Merrill's commitment has been in place since the beginning of last year. That's around the same time Michigan offered one JMFJ.
Merrill and Knight will report to campus in 2010 assuming they don't get picked off by Major Junior en route.
Hey, FGCU fans! Reed Baker is coming to your cittttay! (If it's even a city and not like a town or a hamlet or three fishermen who play whist on Sunday nights.) Get your shirts! Not that they're still in the store! Challenge contest: what does FGCU stand for? No looking it up.
Etc.: Lacey talks about the Maize Rage revival (no permalink, sorry). MVictors recaps Jamie Morris talking about the Harbaugh thing on WXYT. McGuffie is Lemming's #10 player in the country. Woo? AP article on Carr comments has some info I hadn't seen elsewhere.
The University of Michigan and University of Notre Dame athletic departments announced jointly on Monday (July 30) a 20-year contract extension in the Michigan-Notre Dame football series, extending the series from 2012-31. With the current contract expiring after the 2011 season, the new contract guarantees that the two winningest football programs in NCAA Division I history will meet every season for the next 25 years.
"We are pleased to have reached a formal agreement with Notre Dame to extend our football series," said U-M director of athletics Bill Martin. "We are thrilled that the series between two premier college football programs will continue uninterrupted for the next 25 years."
"The Notre Dame-Michigan game has been a red-letter date on the football schedule for a long time, so it made perfect sense to make certain the rivalry continues annually long into the future," said Notre Dame director of athletics Kevin White.
Like... WTF? There is apparently no break in the series. Did we give up on the ND/OSU alternating thing? Or did we just say screw it, we'll get an interesting nonconference opponent? I dunno.
Game of the Century of the Year. We had a #1-#2 matchup last year that didn't work out so well. If voters see fit to place Michigan #2 to start the year, we'll have another: Appalachian State is #1 in I-AA. Slightly higher probability we come out on the right end of this one.
Meme of irritation. As mentioned over the weekend, the Michigan-ND series is taking a break in 2012. The exact quote that contains all knowledge about this AFAIK:
White said the Fighting Irish will take a short break from their Big 10 rivals in the future, replacing Michigan with Oklahoma for a two-year period, then facing Arizona State instead of Michigan State for two years.
It's explicitly two years and with a direct replacement. But this Irish fan in the comments says:
To back up ChrisND, supposedly UM wanted ND to play in the Big House two years in a row to shift to having ND at home and OSU away/ND away and OSU at home each year. The same thing could have been accomplished by playing two years in a row at ND, but that was not discussed. One thing as well, as this would have the same effect on ND with the UM and USC games (similar to UM's case). I enjoy playing UM, despite the recent blowouts in recent history, the series is relatively balanced over recent history. (NOTE: THIS IS NOT A CALL FOR SEVERAL FOLLOW UP POSTS RECALLING HISTORY FROM THE 1800s).
Chris Wilson also has this version of the story:
And here's MGo's rather comprehensive PSU preview, although there's little mention of the Wolverines basically forcing the Irish to drop them by asking for two straight games in the Big House.
The more insecure portions of the Irish blogosphere are repeating this ad nauseam as further proof that Michigan is the root of all galactic evil. I call BS. If ND was willing to accommodate Michigan's request to split the ND/OSU home-road rotation, the simplest solution is to take a single year off and then resume the series as before. Demanding two consecutive home games makes no the sense.
Where is this coming from? Does anyone have a link to someone reporting this or is it just a face-saving fantasy based on that old Bill Martin interview in which he said "we want to keep playing Notre Dame" and Notre Dame fans immediately assumed that meant we were going to back out of the series as fast as possible? The meme is spreading rapidly through the ND internet population and is poised to be an annoying urban -- er, rural Indiana legend as the series break nears.
Also, you can file this under "easily predictable": Kyle King flips out and renews his push for a Georgia-Michigan series. I would be up for that. Also, if Alabama's looking for a high profile opponent at around the same time...
Red quotes. I don't remember where I got these; apologies to whoever I stole them from. Probably WCH. Anyway, a couple weeks ago CSTV had some NHL draft-related articles that quoted Red. Red on goalies:
"You rarely find a 19- or 20-year old goalie playing in the NHL, whereas you will find the odd 18- or 19-year old forward," said Michigan head coach Red Berenson, who's seen Wolverine goaltenders Steve Shields and Marty Turco make it to the NHL since he took the reins at his alma mater in 1984. "The forwards, you can get away with their mistakes, and play them when they're younger. Defensemen, their mistakes are more important, and it takes them longer, and goalies' mistakes are critical. Look around the history of the NHL and find me a rookie goalie who's 18 or 19 years old who's on a winning team."
He maintains his longstanding opposition to early-entry:
Berenson's thoughts on that sort of development plan for a goalie don't differ much from his long-held views on skaters signing early when they aren't NHL-ready.
"Are you ready, as a college player, to give up your senior year to play in the American League?" Berenson asked. "If you are, then you're thinking differently than I am. If I were a goalie, I'd go to college, and I'd stay for four years, and I would get as ready as I can for pro hockey, but even then, I would expect I might have to play a year or two in the minors."
Elliot Olshansky also has this incendiary quote on his, um, slog(?):
"The NHL [teams] are becoming the biggest enemies of college hockey," Berenson said. "They're afraid of losing players that they draft, so they're signing them early whether they're ready or not. They're saying that they're going to take over the development - which the NHL hasn't necessarily been good at - but they're going to take over the development of these young players."
Rules and such. Also from a couple weeks ago was a whole bevy of potential rules changes coming down the pike for college hockey. Yost Built has summaries and opinion. In brief:
- A two-ref, one-linesman system starting in '08. Wha? Weird. Unless they're planning on slapping orange bands on several linesmen I don't know that college hockey has enough referees. I mean... there are referees out there but they're the sort of referees who would get fired from the never-ever league. See: Scott Hoberg.
- The elimination of ties starting in '08. Overtime would get modified to make scoring more likely in the extra session, possibly extended to ten minutes, and then a shootout would follow. I'm indifferent to this.
- They're thinking about changing the handpass rule but don't know how yet.
- The addition of an "embellishing" penalty that's supposed to be called concurrently with an opponent penalty; a dive should now only be called on its own. Won't have much effect on the game but will prevent my head from imploding when the dive-obstruction duo is called.
Yost Built, as mentioned, has more.
(Side note: Yost Built also offhandedly mentions that the NHL is implementing a new rule: all faceoffs come from one of the nine faceoff dots. This is an excellent change that gets rid of those silly faceoffs just inside the offensive zone that when "won" instantly put everyone offsides and force a dump-in. It also provides one fewer thing for the referees to track. College should follow suit.)
More Adidas. Since the shoe company is probably going to get a lot more mention amongst Michigan fans please note that it's not "adidas" even if the company refers to itself as that. It is a proper noun and should be presented as such. END angry grammar man section.
So, here's Nike with an offer they say would be the highest contract they have in college sports, and I'm still concerned, because these are long-term deals. How ever I set this up is going to impact this place for a long, long time. The long and short of it is, we were very fortunate with our timing. Adidas was hungry to have a major college bra
nd and they laser focused on us. If you look at their strategy, they take one or two schools in every conference, and that's it, whereas Nike tries to saturate the country with all schools. (Adidas) has Tennessee, Notre Dame, UCLA and Wisconsin. Everybody has said Notre Dame has the richest Adidas contract, but you can't get it, because it's a private institution. I know this contract exceeds it.
I'll name some of the unique features in this contract. There is a $6.5 million signing bonus. There is never a signing bonus. We're going to get it in two weeks. What am I going to use it for? I have to finish up this facility stuff and get Crisler going. If I had any spare bucks, it'd go into endowing scholarships. It's pretty simple.
We've got an annual (Consumer Price Index) escalator. Annual.
We got a most favored program clause. There's never going to be an Adidas school that gets a nickel more than us, either in product or money.
But wait, there's more:
The other thing we received is that ... you know, markets go in cycles. Eight years from now, who knows what the situation is going to be economically. The market may be way below where it is now. I've seen that happen in my business career. Well, guess what? We have the option to extend. It's no lose. If the market's gone up, we negotiate a new deal. If the market's gone down, we say we like this deal and we'll keep it another five years.
A sweet deal all around for Michigan. Whenever you sign a contract and one of your main rivals' message boards has a week-long conniption fit over it, you have done well.
There's some stuff about Crisler in there and then a discussion of this month's looming issue:
Q: You talked about Big Ten revenue. Are you concerned about the rough waters the Big Ten Network finds itself in? (The new network is struggling to get picked up by major cable operators in the Midwest)
Martin: We anticipated this. Jim Delany counseled us on this a year ago. Fox counseled us on this. Do I think it will get resolved? Sure I do. One way or another, we'll get it resolved. I feel very good about it. Long term, it's going to be tremendous, and I'm not thinking in terms of the money, I thinking about exposure.
We want it on basic (cable). We don't want it on a premium sports tier. The Golf Channel, Versus, they're on basic. What we're going to provide is much more exciting to our state and region.
Q: Are you prepared for a flood of angry e-mails if some football games aren't on the local cable outlet this fall because a deal hasn't been reached?
Martin: Join the list (laughs). I don't fret about that stuff. We'll be fine. This is exciting, what's happening in the Big Ten with that channel.
Q: Are you concerned it's become a public fight?
Martin: I don't like seeing it. I don't.
Negotiations with Dish Network do not appear to be going well. Their parent company has petitioned the FCC to get the BTN declared a "Regional Sports Network." Apparently there is some sort of arbitration process that RSNs go through with satellite providers or something. Argument:
EchoStar claimed that after three months of negotiations, it has been unable to strike a carriage deal with Big Ten Network "due to its insistence on unreasonable terms, including rates that are far above market, and its demand for nationwide carriage on EchoStar's basic tier."
The No. 2 direct-broadcast satellite provider claimed that Big Ten Network is trying to position itself as a national network, not an RSN, so that it can "evade the RSN classification so that it will not be subject to the arbitration provisions" of the News Corp.-Hughes order, which only applies to RSNs.
"Although the Big Ten Network has held itself out as a national network, its programming, pricing structure and other aspects of its business model are consistent with an RSN, not with a national network," EchoStar said in its filing.
"In particular, the pricing and packaging structure proposed by the Big Ten Network is comparable to that of a traditional RSN and bears little relation to the greatly reduced pricing structure of existing national college-sports-based networks, e.g. CSTV and ESPNU," the filing said.
The BTN counters by saying that it only wants the widely-cited $1.10 figure for subscribers in the BTN footprint and is asking less than a tenth of that for everyone else. Do we have an expert in the peanut gallery who can provide more detail on this? I'm not sure what all the implications are here.
The Hoosier Report also points out this Q&A with a Time-Warner exec from the same cable/satellite industry publication:
MCN: At this point, as you're looking at both of those networks, do you see them as being sports-tiered networks in terms of their value? You mentioned that you're not getting complaints with the NFL Network, but the Big Ten's a little different. You have systems that represent markets where Big Ten schools are and there might be a great desire among those subscribers [to be able to watch] that network.
BW: Well, I think that, again, it's a real assessment as to what we think the value is that the content brings to our consumers. There's no question that there are fans of the NFL, hockey, the Big Ten, tennis â€” there are fans of every sport you can find.
I think striking the right balance is the question. Of course, we're in the business of providing video content, so the most compelling offering is going to be able to offer our consumers everything they could possibly want. If bandwidth were unlimited, we would do that at the right price, and let the right people pay for it that want to pay for it.
So I think that â€” particularly for sports programming where they're looking for high payoff â€” we have to be responsible about figuring out who's going to pay for that. And I don't think that that burden should be borne by the breadth of customers.
Particularly, the Big Ten is an interesting one only because they've kind of cast themselves in a hybrid of a regional sports network and a national service. But you'd probably be hard-pressed to find a regional sports network with an eight-state core market. But we're still evaluating, and we have an open door with respect to every programmer who wants to do business we us, so we're talking to them and evaluating, and trying to determine where our customer sets are.
More BTN later today.
Etc.: Maize 'n' Brew previews the hell out of Oregon.
From, weirdly, somewhere in Alabama:
White said the Fighting Irish will take a short break from their Big 10 rivals in the future, replacing Michigan with Oklahoma for a two-year period, then facing Arizona State instead of Michigan State for two years.
Via Mark Snyder. From the tone of Press-Register article it sounds like this is more Notre Dame's choice than Michigan's. The Irish have signed a deal with the Big East that requires them to play three BE teams a year, which sort of crams things up when you're also playing Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan, Navy, and USC every year and are trying to get seven home games a year, which requires the importation of service academies and the like. Michigan is likely to sign up a big name in Notre Dame's stead -- at least they'd better -- but this makes it highly unlikely we accidentally schedule ourselves into two interesting games in either of those years given the current climate of college football. Which sucks.
Note: no idea why there are useless "read more"s at the bottom of my posts now. There was a feature I implemented (and used once) that did auto-show/hide that seems to be inserted on each post automatically now. Don't know why, I haven't made any changes. I'm looking into it.
I had no idea this was part of Big Ten bylaws:
Big Ten football has revenue sharing, in which each school has to contribute into a pool a percentage of its revenue from each home conference game. The minimum amount is $300,000 per game and the maximum is $1 million.
For the 2006 season, the Gophers contributed over the minimum amount for every home league game -- $450,424 for Michigan; $345,076 for Penn State; $335,888 for Indiana and $681,161 for Iowa. So the Gophers contributed $1,812,549 to the pool. But each school wound up getting back $2,805,819. Minnesota ended up with $993,271 more than it contributed. Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State contributed $4 million each to the pool, Iowa contributed $3.5 million, Wisconsin $3.2 and Michigan State $3.1.
So we got docked $1.2 million from this pool. Why does this happen? Is it not enough to share all bowl and television revenue evenly? Bleah.
The Wit and Wisdom of Charlie Weis. I am permanently indebted to Braves & Birds for clearing up the exact sort of blustery nothing that is the vast bulk of Charlie Weis's public utterances: Grayson Moorhead Securities. For some reason, journalists just lap this stuff up. If I had to speculate I would say it's a combination of the generally low intelligence levels possessed by generic pundits (I swear the next time I see something like "numbers are for eggheads and nyyyyyyyeeeerds" I'll scream; wanton ignorance seems downright prized by large portions of the chattering class) and their panting desire to be insiders. If you are not that bright the fake inside baseball Weis provides seems a telling glimpse inside a major college football program instead of irritatingly grandiose fluff.
Anyway, the free Blue Ribbon preview of Notre Dame has a few classic Grayson Moorhead moments:
"When guys graduate you replace them. That's why you give scholarships to other guys."
But wait! There's more!
"It's very, very important that you treat everyone the same if you're going to be fair."
This longer passage perfectly illustrates Weis's ability to transform the banal into ephemeral genius:
The buzzword for the offensive line in the spring was "cross-training." That doesn't mean there was a glut of 6-5, 300-pounders on Notre Dame's racquetball courts. It means because of depth issues across the line, several linemen trained at more than one position.
Take for example sophomore Dan Wenger (6-4, 282). He is a promising center but is stuck behind senior John Sullivan (6-4, 290) on the depth chart. So Wenger spent the spring competing with classmate Matt Carufel (6-5, 295) at right guard, while at the same time working as the backup center.
The idea of moving a player stuck behind an established starter to another, nearly identical, position? While still having him take some reps at his previous, nearly identical, position? I... wow. Let's just say that never would have occurred to anyone else in the history of coaching.
Junior Mike Turkovich (6-6, 299) is the starting left guard, but he is also a candidate to move to tackle if anything happens to either sophomore right tackle Sam Young (6-8, 315) or junior left tackle Paul Duncan (6-7, 292).
But it's necessary, Weis says.
I wonder if he can explain this mystery to us.
"[Wenger] is not beating out Sullivan at center, so if he's going to get on the field it's going to be at guard," Weis said.
About that preview. About the only thing it's convinced me of is that you should not buy Blue Ribbon. It's not so much the understandable factual errors like this:
Right guard should be settled by the preseason, with either [Dan] Wenger or [Matt] Carufel earning the job. If Carufel were to win the job that would bring cohesion to the line, because he and Young played together in high school at St. Thomas Aquinas High in Coral Spring, Fla.
(It's actually Wenger who was a teammate of Sam Young.) Rather, it's the junk that passes for analysis like "Wenger and Young have cohesion." This is most obvious in the section on Notre Dame's defense, which is frankly ludicrous. I mean... seriously:
Apart from Zbikowski, the Irish are well stocked at defensive back, a position that won't be too affected by the switch to the 3-4.
Cornerbacks abound, giving the Irish plenty of depth. Senior Ambrose Wooden (5-11, 190) is back in the starting lineup after playing a reserve role last year. He'll be opposite senior Terrail Lambert (5-11, 191), who started the final 10 games of last season, finishing with three interceptions, including the game-winning touchdown against Michigan State. [links are mine; you can see the glory of "depth" for yourself. -ed]
Shockingly, there is no mention that the abundance of cornerbacks is an abundance of cornerbacks who happen to be complete crap at football. This is a secondary that finished the year 90th in pass efficiency defense despite playing almost entirely teams that couldn't pass.
Seriously. Michigan (27th), LSU (4th), and USC (30th) were all pretty good. Air Force was shockingly 17th, but against a Mountain West schedule. Purdue (46th) was all right. But the entire rest of the schedule was a disaster: MSU (61st), UCLA (81st), GT (82nd), Navy (85th), PSU (92nd), Stanford (94th), UNC (102nd... leading passer JOE DAILEY!), and Army (116th) were all bad. To finish 90th against that murderers row means you were lethally bad.
And yet this preview somehow makes it out to be as strength:
Defensively, the Irish will be running the 3-4 under first-year defensive coordinator Corwin Brown. What that meant in the preseason was that several linemen and linebackers found themselves either switching positions or learning new ways to play their old positions. Despite the controlled chaos, the defense is better off then the offense. There's depth at every position, especially the secondary where no fewer than eight players have legitimate claims to a starting job. One player who won't have to worry about competition is safety Tom Zbikowski, who appeared leaner and more focused on football during the spring.
(Emphasis mine.) Then, the topper:
Notre Dame's defense will keep it in games.
So... a unit that's switching to an entirely new scheme, had possibly the worst major college secondary in the country last year, and might be starting a 270 pound nose tackle is going to "keep it in games"? Corwin Brown might have an enormous penis but that's asking a lot. Blue Ribbon looks over the majesty of all this and concludes:
If the offense can find a consistent rhythm, be that with the passing or the running game, expect to see the Irish vying for their BCS bowl tie-in.
Ha. Ha. Ha. This is probably why Blue Ribbon's Oregon preview scared the living daylights out of me, then projected the Ducks to go 6-6 again: Blue Ribbon is run by crackheads.
I don't think Rickey Hampton of the Flint Journal has any super secret inside information that everyone else lacks, but he puts out a nice column on Carr that says this:
When Lloyd Carr retires from coaching, which he will almost certainly do at the end of the 2007 season, he'll miss moments like his encounter with Kevin as much as the heated action with his Big Ten rivals.
"One of the great things about my profession is I have literally met thousands of people, like Kevin, that I wouldn't have met if not for this profession," said Carr. "And so many of those people have had a tremendous impact on me."
Carr, who turns 62 later this month, won't say he is retiring. But it would be a huge upset if he doesn't.
Dunno about "huge upset", but the column has some interesting quotes from Carr and some insight into the recent 1997 reunion.
Etc.: Burnt Orange Nation has a great post from Chris from Smart Football, a site which I've referenced in this space before (though I can't find it). Looks like there's more coming. This is real inside baseball, so to speak, not that Weis stuff.
Also: vicious, monkey-headed, cow-eating badgers who are "swift as deer" plague Iraq. I thought we had a "where are they now?" for Booker Stanley until that "swift as deer" bit.
Also also: the Orange Bowl catches fire; Japanese announcers take over.
Blogs blogs blogs. Some of the Big Ten stragglers have picked up blogs of note:
- Indiana is now covered by The Hoosier Report.
- Paging Jim Something-something violates the first rule of naming your blog -- make it something other than a random collection of letters -- but also covers Minnesota.
- I think I've mentioned Hawkeye State but if so I am mentioning it again. Hawkeye State. Hawkeye State Hawkeye State Hawkeye State. Unless they lose to ISU, in which case I will call it Cyclone State.
Still AWOL are blogs for Illinois (understandable), as IlliniTalk hardly posts and usually doesn't put much more than a link or two up, Michigan State (also understandable, though it would be better if there was one blog everyone was really excited about that just got suckier and suckier until it disappeared three years later and was replaced with an even thrilling-er blog), Northwestern (come on... I've been to Evanston; there's no excuse not for some bored student to have a blog).
Oh no he di'in't. Speaking of PJS, they've been all over this minor internets brouhaha started with one endearing post from NDNation:
So I just moved into a new apartment, and it so happens that Tim Brewster, the new U of MN coach, lives in the same place. Last week there was a "meet and greet" for the coach, and he gave his spiel about how great things would be for the MN Gophers, how they were changing the program around, and how excited they were to be moving into a new stadium in '09. He repeatedly made the statement "we need to keep Minnesota players in Minnesota" and told the crowd if anybody was from Cretin-Derham, to spread that message. I went up to him afterwards and told him congrats and good luck, but that I was from ND and we might be recruiting the same Minnesota players.
In what I can only describe as bizarre, Brewster basically went off on me, saying how sick he was Notre Dame and our arrogance, pompous attitudes, and fear of playing Minnesota in their new stadium. When I told him it was the collective opinion of ND fans that it was our athletic director who wouldn't budge the schedule, he went off on Weis of all people, called him a "slob, a disgrace to Notre Dame, with his dirty mouth and appearance" or something similar. He said Notre Dame could never recruit another Minnesota player until Weis was under 350 pounds. This whole time I was kind of in awe that another D1 coach could be so tactless, especially around somebody who he had never met. I should have asked him if had a Notre Dame opt out clause in his contract, like Holtz. Oh well. But now I really wish we would play them in for their first game in the new stadium
Wheee for unsubstantiated probable-fantasy from the looniest place in all the tubes! Except someone actually asked Brewster if, when prompted about Notre Dame, he momentarily contracted Tourette's. The response, as you might expect:
The gist of this posting was e-mailed to Brewster and he was asked if this conversation had taken place. Brewster's response was:
"I may be a first-time head coach, but the info in that e-mail is ridiculous. Charlie is a good friend of mine. There is a good reason why I don't read the Internet."
(Doesn't read the internet? Move aside Amish, we have a new punching bag.) Not that he'd cop to it even if he had said the mean and nasty
and so so true things he is accused of saying. For MNIrish's part, he stands by his posting:
I'm not making it up! I was honestly just trying to joke with him as a conversation starter, knowing that coaches can't comment on specific players,but can talk about a school (ie Cretin-Derham). As a Minnesotan, the U of M is my second favorite program, and I have been impressed with Brewster from the start. I actually debated about whether to post my encounter, chalking it up to a bad day for the coach, but now for him to say Weis is a good friend? Unbelievable, from what I heard from his mouth. My feelings aren't hurt, I know a lot of people don't like Notre Dame, but we like Weis and don't think he is a disgrace by any means. And he doesn't deserve to be berated like that.
I'd be more inclined to believe him if the ludicrous, unflattering personal anecdote delivered against a member of the ND Nation enemies list (contents: everyone less enthralled with Notre Dame than Tom Lemming) was not a standard form of expression over there.
Indoctrinate. Indoctrinate. Beilein's running a first-ever Michigan basketball camp, as per his usual tactics; Eric Lacey has some information:
Went to Michigan basketball camp today and saw a lot of signs of offseason progress. The camp itself is taking off, attracting more than 230 in the first session and could get up to 300 for the second.
Plus several of the current players that are working it look in great shape including Jerret Smith, Anthony Wright and Ekpe Udoh. Wright has lost about 25 pounds due to extra cardio workouts immediately after playing pickup ball. Smith also looks slimmer and Udoh says he's gained nine pounds of muscle.
More at the Detroit News' blog, but hurry over in case someone posts something else and you have to scroll down the page. Which would be tragic.
Jim Carty now has a blog under the auspices of the Ann Arbor News and has an interview with Beilein up. Our new God-Emperor seems cautious about rasing expectations too much:
Q: Incoming freshmen guards Manny Harris and Kelvin Grady have received a ton of attention prior to even stepping on the court. What's your approach with them?
BEILEIN: I've watched a lot of their film. Those are the films I've watched quite a bit. Grady, he really seems like he has a high IQ. Kids who are quick as he is, you rarely expect their mind to catch up to their body quickness. But I was really impressed with the games I saw him in, how he had a good mix of making plays and knowing when to slow it down and run a team. I was really impressed with that.
Manny's not going to be 18 until October 29, so he's going to be one of the younger freshmen in the country. Everybody has to be careful of expecting too much from Manny. Let him just sort of go through the process and learn. I'm really impressed by what I saw, but I don't want to build on that any more.
K'Len Morris and Zack Gibson are really freshmen. K'Len's never played. We're going to have a lot of very, very young players.
Other brother Daryl. Texas wide receiver Daryl Stonum is announcing Sunday between Michigan, Florida, and USC. He has visited one of those schools, which is us. Should be a slam dunk. Someone sent me this; provided in celebration.
Etc.: Does the Big Ten have a wack, impossible-to-enforce new recruiting "rule"? (Personal opinion: no, and the Sporting News is full of le crap.)