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|1 hour 29 min ago||I got goosebumps||
... when he tried on the jersey and was ready to cheer him on when they got to run out through the tunnel and touch the banner.
I don't know how much of a hassle it was to do this but the way he and his dad lit up hopefully made it all worthwhile. Well done.
PS. Mr. Gardner, I like your attitude, and I know you didn't do it for the praise. It's still worth noting and praising - good deeds always are.
|11 hours 43 min ago||Not an endgame but a way station||
- Athletes become free to market themselves however they wish. Boosters paying them with bags of cash and new cars, etc. - it's all good as long as it's not against the law (e.g. No-show jobs are against the law in some places).
- full-cost of attendance, five-years-or-until-you-graduate scholarships. They can't be revoked by the athletic department, only by the student or the university for cause (e.g. academics, code of conduct violations). Covers a meal plan where the school supports it.
- a reciprocal letter of intent. An athlete signs one, they've got a scholarship no matter what; the school can't revoke it or tell them "sorry, we got a five-star so you're out". The athlete can formally revoke it at any time if they want to go somewhere else.
- lift transfer restrictions. You want out? Sign here to revoke your scholarship and you're out.
- Lifetime medical insurance for any graduating student-athlete, with a variety of minimum coverage levels depending on the sport (football ends up with the highest level for obvious reasons). You were on the roster for a year, even as a walk-on, you're covered at some level.
- dissolve the existing bowl relationships and write new contracts that don't transfer cash to bowl execs, but rather to the bowls and schools.
The main points I see in favor are
|12 hours 50 min ago||Title IX isn't an NCAA regulation||
It's federal law. The NCAA isn't the one enforcing the equal-participation clause so even if it is destroyed and replaced with the TheWorldAccordingToLetsGoBlue2004, Title IX reform isn't happening. Nothing in the morass of lawsuits around is going to change that.
As far as a legislative fix, exempting football would gut Title IX; the whole point is to balance those 85 male athletes with 85 spots for female athletes. That "fix" essentially repeals the equal-opportunity clause and won't happen except in Section I's dreams.
|15 hours 25 min ago||I'm not concerned as much with Harris the RB||
as I am with Harris the top recruit. That is, I like our RBs through 2016 but losing a top recruit is never good. If our OL shapes up our current crop will look good, and if they don't Harris is unlikely to make that much difference.
Hope he ends up at the right place for him.
|1 day 10 hours ago||This is why I was ambivalent about Nathan ...||
Edited because while I was ambivalent, I didn't need to say it twice.
|1 day 14 hours ago||This is why I was ambivalent about Nathan ...||
... And he's not going anywhere unless we eat his contract - he's got just under 1.5 years at $10M each, I think? - so the Tigers are pretty much up the creek. Especially when the long term is Verlander's deal looking worse by the start.
The bright side is that they can still win this year, but it will require throwing good money after bad - either we give up the next cheap young talent to replace our aging players, or we take on some outlandish contract to get a real player. I imagine that taking Carl Crawford's contract would be a huge incentive to the Dodgers, for example.
I have faith in DD to gauge the market and get the best deal. I don't have faith that the deal will help a lot, because pitching is volatile and the pitchers we can get won't be that good without overpaying.
Hindsight is 20-20, but we'd all probably feel better if we had let Rondon/Albuquerque blow some early season games to give them the chance to grow into the roles than be stuck with Nathan and the giant fork sticking out of him. Alternatively, if we bring up our best minor league pitcher and ask him to throw gas for an inning every three days, that might be better than trading him away for a veteran who won't really be that much better.
|6 days 11 hours ago||I loved Art Fair||
It's one of the things I miss about A2. They have things called art fairs out here, but they're so much smaller and usually less vibrant.
|1 week 4 days ago||My top two are||
"GiveItToWheatley" - 1993 Rose Bowl
"Carter Scores!" - 1979 Michigan v. Indiana
Videos courtesy of The Wolverine Historian
|1 week 6 days ago||I doubt Brandon's seat is warm||
He's not doing himself any favors with the fans, but unless that fan disengagement turns into a a noticeable revenue downturn, his bosses likely won't care.
That said, as fans we should care about the AD being flush with cash because it puts us in a great spot in a post-OBannon world. I agree with Brian that we should care more about the long-term future of Michigan athletics and the erosion of fandom's willingness to keep that revenue stream flowing, though, and that's my biggest beef with Brandon's approach.
|2 weeks 14 hours ago||That was not what we were hoping to hear||
My condolences. Take the time you need; we'll be thinking good thoughts for you.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||I would not read a separate soccer blog by Brian||
... but I read these articles here because it's one-stop shopping and I like his writing enough to learn more about US soccer. Somehow a separate blog feels like a bigger investment that I'm not willing to make.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Thanks for this||
The odd part is that for my M-fandom life (1977-) Minnesota has been a body-bag game. The Little Brown Jug is neat, but the game is a foregone conclusion; I'd much rather play Wisconsin or Nebraska, historic rivalries be damned.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Being in the stands for||
3. Anthony Carter's first touch as a true freshman - punt return TD. The stands were wondering who that pint size guy standing back for the ball was, and I had read the A2News article a few days ago and was excited to see him play.
2. Wangler to Carter.
1. The GiveItToWheatley Rose Bowl.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||My sin ...||
... and the reason I'm no longer as active in the Church of Michigan Fandom, is that I no longer believe that it's a positive force in my life.
I hate being in the doldrums after a loss and not being there for the family. The joy after a win doesn't quite equal the lows, and there haven't been as many.
I am increasingly sure that football slowly but irrevocably causes brain damage, and that's not OK for a university - or me - to support, especially one that aspires to high academic standards.
I look at the blog and the fansites and see so many people saying horrible horrible things about kids whose only sin is wearing different uniforms, or choosing to go to another college which suits them better.
I will follow their future career with considerable interest, but I'm not going to emotionally invest in fandom any more. The team has never loved me back, and it's time to just be friends.
Fan is short for fanatic, and I'm not one any more.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||I was at that Rose Bowl ...||
... Watching Wheatley torch the Huskies was awesome, except they kept coming back, so he had to rip off another long gain.
To be fair, that 87 yd TD started with a huge hole opened by a fantastic line. Wheatley ran through one tackle and then turned on the jets and was gone. One of my three favorite Michigan memories (the other two are Anthony Carter :).
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Butch Woolfolk||
Was also a track star turned stellar RB. Not as good as Wheatley in my memories, but I don't know who was faster in reality.
For a while I thought that was Michigan's birthright - find a linebacker-sized track star, give them the ball. Profit!
|5 weeks 1 day ago||Three ...||
For best all around player, Harmon, Oosterbaan or Woodson.
For best OL, Dierdorf, Hutchinson or Everett are probably best, with Molk a bit behind for C.
For personal favorite, Anthony Carter or Tyrone Wheatley.
|5 weeks 1 day ago||I am not sure he belongs in that company ...||
... mostly because I don't know how much credit to give him versus his staff versus his players. That said I was gld he coached my favorite team. RIP Coach Noll.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Or a cousin ...||
Your uncle can have other siblings besides your parent.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||Yeah, they never do that ...|
|5 weeks 5 days ago||My best guess is overwork||
He's racked up more innings and pitches than anyone in baseball over the last few years. Unfortunately, if that's true, it's unlikely to come back. Johan Santana, CC Sabathia and Roy Halladay were all pitchers with dominant runs as a staff workhorse who basically woke up one day and had nothing left - injuries and workload took their toll.
This, by the way, is yet another example of why long term contracts for a pitcher are about like betting on a hard eight (e.g. a crapshoot).
As far as the Tigers other issues, the bats look good - Cabrera is rounding into form, VMart is killing the ball, Hunter is ageless, and AJax while cooling off is still decent. Avila still is ok at the plate as well, and Suarez is an improvement of the Vortex of Suck we had before. The bullpen, well. There's a reason you don't bother to sign free agent relievers to anything but extra cheap contracts - pitchers are volatile, and relievers are sweating dynamite even when they don't have age and elbow issues in their past.
Basically, if it's not Mariano Rivera, don't bother.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||One of the Alcindor UCLA teams probably takes this cake||
Curtis Rowe, Sidney Wicks, Lucius Allen, Lynn Shackleford - oh and possibly the most dominant player in college hoops history, the guy who got the dunk banned.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Even if women's sports made a zillion dollars it wouldn't matter||
... Because no women's sport has a roster size like football. If your school has a Division I football team, that's 85 roster spots which are men only. It takes three women's teams to match that. It's not the dollars, it's the players.
For a team at the top end of the football heap, that's just accounting. For the dregs of Division I, that's a huge issue - even if they gave no scholarships, they still have all the other expenses of four college programs that have to be kept going. That's why I think that most of those teams - the ones losing money on football today - will drop back to Division II or drop football entirely in the event of a football union or something similar.
I think that will be good for college football, since the top end teams will end up competing for twice as much talent, and produce a better product. I think it will be good for the schools that drop the game, as they can spend resources on their primary educational missions.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Let me be clearer||
I'm saying that colleges that are losing money and not enhancing their collegiate standing by playing Division I football should drop back to Division II if/when their players are treated as employees. That means some of them will drop football entirely, but the college will be better off as they'll have more money for their primary purpose - education.
Yes, it also means that some players who go to college on scholarship now won't be able to afford school. That's a downside, but I believe it is outweighed by treating the ones that do more fairly, and by letting the non-big-time schools focus on things they're good at and supposed to be putting front and center.
To use your example, the current situation is like running a restaurant that's in danger of dying and ordering Kobe beef because the five-star restaurant down the block is advertising it ... when you're really a Denny's.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Not so||
You're starting with the assumption that a school has to have football or some other revenue sport hence they must carry no revenue sports, but that assumption is flawed. "Gender-proportionate athletic opportunity" and "must offer non revenue sports" are not at all the same thing. Nothing says a school has to field a football team, or any other revenue team, or any sports at all. In fact, if a school cuts football, Title IX becomes easier to meet.
In a world where student-athletes are employees and more fairly compensated, that's exactly what some schools will do, and college football will be better for it. The colleges likely will as well.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||The central point of Bacon's article||
Is one that worries me too:
Regardless of any specific policy issues, treating your customers as nothing but a wallet makes them think of your product as a product with no value beyond the economic exchange. If you don't treat your customers as participants in the shared delusion of rooting for laundry, then don't be surprised when they tell you that the laundry across the street has better players for cheaper, or that it's easier to buy a new shirt.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Disney has always been a premium product||
... but to their credit they usually deliver exactly what the customer is expecting if not more, and they have a unique experience to sell. They have done a good job, by and large, over the years of delivering that experience while not charging so much as to get you to reconsider whether it's worth it.
Michigan, judging by our sentiments, has not done that.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Two personal favorites that I attended||
Videos from the Wolverine Historian - thanks!
Runner-up: 1993 Rose Bowl, or The Wheatley Show:
My personal favorite is 1979 vs Indiana:
I would not have believed it if I wasn't there - and yes, that was the loudest I've ever heard the Big House :<)
|6 weeks 6 days ago||He is worth it by nearly any measure||
Success on the field? Check.
Heck, as of October 2013, Alabama's football graduation rates were 73%, same as Illinois and Maryland, and better than Oregon, Wisconsin, MSU and Indiana.
Whether or not you think coaching salaries are out of control, there's little doubt that he should be at the top of the scale.
|7 weeks 4 days ago||I too mostly defend DB ...||
... But alienating ticket holders at the time when the schedule is least exciting, the team is coming off a disappointing season and doesn't look to rebound to championship levels, and your ticket sales are trending very badly would be a stupid move.
DB supposedly has marketing skills and should know this. If he can't build and reinforce the long-term prospects for our AD he's not the man for the job. We will find out a lot more once we see how this next season goes. If the team stumbles outside of the 8-4 "floor" seemingly created by the schedule, if ticket sales don't go well, if the AD ends up permanently bleeding fans ... his job might not be secure. That would suck because it would be a major setback for the U and the program. I see that as unlikely, though.
My main concern with DB is that he's treating the program exclusively as a for-profit business. In doing so he's forcing his customers to see themselves as wallets involved in a business transaction, and not as alumni/fans who love the colors and will support them through good times and bad. Once people see themselves that way and start making decisions driven by the dollars, the fanbase will shrink, unless there are more people who see games as an economically viable choice than fans who go to games because it's what a good fan does to support the laundry. I believe there are more of the latter than the former, so I think this is a long-term problem. The ironic part is that once he has his customers educated, they will also be more immune to the emotional/fandom arguments to bring them back.
The more people he forces to step back and evaluate the economics, the worse off we are.