OT - Arizona making Sparty look like choir boys

Submitted by dahblue on March 7th, 2012 at 9:11 AM

This came up on my Twitter feed and it's a doozy.  Seems like Arizona football has more than a couple swell guys on the roster who (allegedly) decided to go all Sparty and beat women.  This one sounds a good amount worse than the potluck showdown in East Lansing.  I have a feeling that they won't be dealt with in a Dantonio manner:





March 7th, 2012 at 9:30 AM ^

Looks like Ebbele was a starter last year at OT, Tevis was in the 2-deep at safety, Bender and Grandon were RS soph and Fresh respectively... not sure if they played much.  (all according to Rivals depth chart)

oriental andrew

March 7th, 2012 at 9:44 AM ^

Wow, ugly incident. 

One of the men responded by shoving one of the women backwards. The man was later identified as former safety Joshua Robbins. After being shoved, the resident slapped Robbins, who then proceeded to punch her in the face

sophomore offensive tackle Fabbians Ebbele forcibly entered the home and “began punching everybody he could reach,”

Members of the party identified [sophomore cornerback Jourdon] Grandon after he “punched a female guest in her face with a closed fist and began punching other females in the face.”



March 7th, 2012 at 9:47 AM ^

Too Bad for Players, Arizona. But once you've crossed the line over to punching women in the face, actually, punching anyone, you've cooked your own goose. What were these guys thinking? Answer:  they weren't thinking. I hope the Arizona community doesn't pressure those who were injured to do nothing.

There are so many things I hate about this

  • Supposed loss of face (leading to really stupid actions.)
  • Losing your head (leading to really stupid actions.)
  • Athlete sense of entitlement. (they can crash any party, any time.)
  • Athlete lack of accountability. (no one's going to do anything to me. . . . I'm a star.)
  • Posse, mob, gang mentality (you insult my brother, you've got a problem with me.)

I can't help but think to the article at Grantland last week on the Malice at the Palace.

BTW, I have no idea what the racial makeup at the party or among them football team participants is, and honestly, it is irrelevant. Anyone who acts this way deserves to be disciplined.


March 7th, 2012 at 9:55 AM ^

This obviously sounds terrible, but we all know newspaper reporting can be a bit exaggerated..."Michigan exceeded practice hours by up to 20 hours a week".

I have just 1 question if a 210 lb and 300lb football player were punching women in the face with a closed fist, don't you think there would be some mention of people being taken to the hospital for treatment?

I'm guessing it's a bunch of overblown BS.   Regardless RR will need to come down hard on these idiots.    They just had their 1st practice the day before.   Classic RR pr disaster.



March 7th, 2012 at 10:05 AM ^

This one has a pretty bright-line rule: NO PUNCHING WOMEN. I don't care if he didn't throw his full weight into the punch, or if he just smacked 'em upside the head a bit...



March 7th, 2012 at 1:22 PM ^

Sorry but if a woman jumps in a fight and tries to strike me, she will be struck.  Not justifying what the players did in this case at all.  But if you swing like a man you will be swung on like a man.


March 7th, 2012 at 10:13 AM ^

Four were charged in Arizona.  Fourteen were convicted at MSU.  That does not qualify as "making MSU look like choir boys."  Anyway, here's my guess on what happens:

The guy who started it was an ex player: will probably be banned from the facilities.

Three current players were charged with assault: probably gone.

One current player charged with trespassing.  I'm guessing he runs a lot of gassers but stays.

Those who weren't charged with anything will probably also run extra gassers.

If RR leverages this correctly, he will be seen as cleaning up the mess and lack of discipline left by the previous coach.  All of those charged were sophomores and could put a bit of a hole in his depth chart, but I think the rather conservative fanbase there will be more understanding of his having to "root out bad apples."

I really can't imagine RR wanting to pull a Dantonio here, nor can I imagine people in a very "law and order" kind of state wanting criminals to represent their university.  His attrition count should be quite interesting this time around.    



March 7th, 2012 at 10:48 AM ^

I can see what you're saying, but reading the initial reports of the AZ incident seem a lot worse than the initial reports of the MSU incident.  Maybe it's the level of closed fist woman punching in AZ?  i'm not sure.  Could also be the 10-30 football players comment.  There's no telling what charges will eventually be handed out in AZ.


March 7th, 2012 at 10:17 AM ^

This is a good opportunity for RichRod to kick some kids off of the team to make room for more three star slot receivers and "hybrid" safety/LBs who can't play football. 


March 7th, 2012 at 10:37 AM ^

The two best players on that defense were Mike Martin (Lloyd Carr) and Ryan Van Bergen (Lloyd Carr).  The majority of the guys were recruited by Rodriguez, but there really weren't any stars on the 2011 defense that were recruited by him.  Kovacs is a solid player, Ryan is a solid player, and Demens was recruited by Lloyd Carr.  You're giving a lot of credit to a guy who recruited a bunch of so-so players, a couple impact guys (so far - there could obviously be more who develop), and zero superstars yet.  He was good at recruiting offense (Denard, Roundtree, Toussaint, Lewan, etc.), but that was always seen as his specialty.  He pretty much sucked at recruiting defensive players, and he sucked even worse at developing them.  There's no way around it.


March 7th, 2012 at 11:02 AM ^

The guys in his first full class were RS freshmen when he got fired.  Complaining that there were no superstars at that point is just silly.  It isn't a surprise that the best players on the team were seniors (and there were only 3 who played in the Sugar Bowl, so it isn't like they dominated the roster by any stretch).  That is almost always the case and Rich Rodriguez isn't to blame for not having a time machine so that he could go back and be solely responsible for their recruitment.  Mike Martin also signed his LOI when Rodriguez was the coach and never played under Lloyd Carr.  Same goes for Demens.  Bringing them in is a testament to Coach Carr, but acting like RR had nothing to do with their recruitment/development is again, just silly.

You also left out Craig Roh (honorable mention all-conference last year) and Blake Countess (who I think will certainly earn that star lable). 

Do you really think the defense is going to suck next year or be at a talent deficiency (like, say, having one upperclassman on the roster in the entire secondary)?  Would you actually change your mind if/when the facts prove otherwise, or is this concept ingrained like it is for so many others?

The development charge is also weak.  Brandon Graham (led B1G in TFL two years in a row, all-American, first round pick), Stevie Brown (dramatic improvement as a senior, draft pick), Jonas Mouton (2nd team all B1G, 2nd round pick), and Donovan Warren (all conference despite busted ankle and natural slowness) had no trouble playing well under RR.  Martin and RVB didn't exactly see their production skyrocket with a new staff either.  When the guys who "didn't develop" are Obi Ezeh (he of the 5+ second 40-yard dash and three week stint in NFL camp who was obviously worse than a sophomore on his own team) and sophomore BWC, you are totally reaching.


March 7th, 2012 at 1:00 PM ^

I never said RichRod had nothing to do with players actively working against him. On the same frame of mind, players who are supposed to be upperclassman and team leaders who actively campaign against a guy who has been on campus less than a year get a much bigger part of that blame. Mike Martin, Denard Robinson and company knew a shit ton more about Michigan football and teamwork than any upperclassman RichRod was left with


March 7th, 2012 at 2:27 PM ^

Not going to lie, it must suck to have a job that depends on the efforts and whims of 18-22 year olds. You can say what you want about those upperclassmen, but in the end, they're still ~22 years old. If RR needed them to be the leaders of his squad, he should have worked his butt off trying to get them to buy in or leave.  That's what he really needed coming after a guy that was as loved by his players as Carr. Instead, it just became more difficult to deal with and ultimately hurt them in games, as evident here(notice the announcer pointing out all the seniors).

RR was good at laying down the law and being a disciplinarian when he needed to. Hope he gives these kids the appropriate punishment


March 7th, 2012 at 12:11 PM ^

The explanation is always players.  You don't expect a defense to get better when they lose Branch, Woodley, Hall, and Harris and we didn't (that 24 ranking is inflated by playing a 3-9 ND and a bad Big Ten that sent Illinois to the Rose Bowl and doesn't reflect the beatdowns to App. State, Oregon, and Wisconsin).  Then we lost far and away the two best players on the team (Crable and Adams).  By 2009 we were down to less than 25 scholarship guys on defense and Rodriguez's first class were still true freshmen.  We then lost Graham, Brown and Warren, saw Woolfolk/Heininger/Jones knocked out for the season with injury, and replaced everybody with either a total newcomer or a senior who had hardly ever sniffed the field before.

The mystery is really solved when you look at the recruiting classes 3-4 years before each season.  Crable, Burgess, Hall, and Woodley came in 2003 and we were good in 2006 (and didn't peak until those guys were seniors). 

In 2005 our linebacker class consisted of just Brandon Logan (never started).  The DB class was Johnny Sears (kicked off team by Carr), Chris Richards (booted by Carr for St. Patty's Day assault), and Brandon Harrison.

In 2006 the DB class consisted of Stevie Brown and Jonas Mouton.  I'll let you figure that one out.  The rest of the LB class was Obi Ezeh (thrust into the lineup but always struggled, benched as a senior), Cobrani Mixon (transferred to Kent State after 2006 season, ended up all MAC first team two years in a row), and Quintin Patilla (transferred to GVSU when RR arrived, never played there as far as I can tell). 

In 2007 the LB haul was Austin Panter, Marell Evans, and Brandon Herron.  Warren and Woolfolk made for a nice CB haul, but at safety we only got Artis Chambers and Mike Williams (left team due to head injuries). 

We also added one quality d-lineman per year in these classes (Taylor, Graham, RVB)

When you don't add a corner for two years, don't add a true safety for three, and your two best linebackers are converted DBs, you are probably going to have some struggles in the back 7. 



March 7th, 2012 at 12:17 PM ^

That's a lot of words to try and justify a simple fact.  The defense got worse every year RR hand his hands on it.  You lose players every year... usually your best most experienced ones.  That is college ball.  What happened at Michigan was epic (in its awefulness).  Seems like you are going through contortions trying to absolve the coaches.  Why?


March 7th, 2012 at 12:49 PM ^

Coaches don't make teams good or bad (except through recruiting, and they impact teams that will show up years down the road).  Larry Coker and Charlie Weis walked right in and had fantastic immediate success.  Bill Belichick had a losing record over a long period of time before Tom Brady wound up in his lap.  Jim Caldwell can take a team to the Super Bowl or to the worst record in the league.

Our defense sucked from 2008-10 because our recruiting actually did suck from 2005-07.  In 2008 our recruiting got a lot better on both sides of the ball (thanks to both Carr and Rodriguez).  Lo and behold, the defense is back on track in 2011 and the team is winning BCS bowls. 

It isn't about absolution or blame.  It is about understanding what makes a team good/bad/mediocre in college football.  Bo wasn't just smarter than all the guys Indiana ever hired.  Gary Moeller didn't get a lobotomy before he went to Illinois and a supercharged brain enhancement when he got the head job at Michigan. 

As such, to bitch about Rich Rodriguez's recruiting efforts here at Michigan when the team is in fantastic shape as his players enter their junior/senior seasons is not only stupid, it can lead to poor practice when mistaken assumptions about "his types of players" and dumb memes about "in-state recruiting" go unchallenged and become the conventional wisdom.


March 7th, 2012 at 12:58 PM ^

Again... let's keep perspective.

Our recruiting was not 110th in the nation between 2005-2007.  But that is where our defense ended up.

If you think coaching has no impact, at all... zero... nada... on the quality of a team (aside from recruiting) then I don't know what to say to you. We live in different worlds.


March 7th, 2012 at 1:10 PM ^

Yeah... I agree.  But that isn't what I said.  Can you seriously tell me you think our recruiting was 110 in the nation during that time?  Let's see... what teams were better than us defensively during the 2010 season:



Rice (!)

The entire MAC (except Eastern)


all the Louisiana "alternate campus" schools

don't make me continue....

If you think our recruiting was worse than all of those schools you are trying too hard to find an answer other than "in addition to all the other problems, defensive coaching sucked during the RR years."


March 7th, 2012 at 1:16 PM ^

Comparing yardage conceded in the MAC with yardage conceded in the Big Ten and acting like it reflects the value/ability of the defense is intellectually dishonest.  USC was ranked in the 90's in pass defense in 2010, it doesn't mean they didn't have a better defense than many teams ranked ahead of them.  It also doesn't mean Monte Kiffin didn't know what he was doing.


March 7th, 2012 at 2:26 PM ^

I would describe our defense as very few scholarship players that are not freshmen. Some might call it decimated. If your point was that it was one of the worst in college football, we already established that. Recruiting rankings matter much less when half your class is not on the team


March 7th, 2012 at 3:26 PM ^

Hoke has said they made the mistake of not reteaching fundamentals on the line after the 97 national championship. They suffered the next year for assuming the players still grasped those concepts. How does this insight from our coach factor into your paradigm of only the recruiting class mattering and not the coaches?


March 7th, 2012 at 2:39 PM ^

I'm not sure if that's true.  The '05-'07 classes netted Michigan Jonas Mouton, Donovan Warren, Ryan Van Bergen, Brandon Graham, Terrance Taylor, Steve Brown, Obi Ezeh, James Rogers, and Troy Woolfolk.  I think there are a number of Big Ten teams who didn't get that much talent/production from the '05-'07 classes.  Michigan was probably middle of the pack, at worst.


March 7th, 2012 at 1:13 PM ^

If you can explain away any of the examples I mentioned I'd be happy to join your world.  But I'm guessing, like everyone else it ever gets mentioned to, you can't but will choose to stick to your guns because believing it is all about players and that the fearless leader is just a scout and a figurehead wouldn't be as exciting.  Did Bo just coach a lot worse in 1984?  Carr in '05?  Did Rich Rodriguez get way better at coaching offense in 2010 after forgetting how to do it for two years?  No, no, and always no.

Also, acting like recruiting rankings = how good you are doing at recruiting, is the same fallacy that got Charlie Weis a 10 year contract.  If you can look at the guys we actually brought in, especially at linebacker and in the secondary, and tell me we were set up for any kind of success then you are just saying "Michigan can't be bad because they haven't been before and I'd be mad if they were."  You can put any number you want next to it, but a two-year haul that produces Brandon Harrison, Stevie Brown, and Jonas Mouton to play 7 positions is a failure.  You can't coach up invisible cornerbacks and linebackers who are playing in the MAC.


March 7th, 2012 at 1:19 PM ^

The explanation for all of the instances you cited, and the ones you didn't is that success and failure in a complex endeavor is complicated, not simple.  Your mistake is that you are being absolutist and looking for one factor that explains the complete whole.  If you do that, you end up with simple, and stupid, answers.

Recruiting matters.  Coaching matters.  Luck matters.  Leadership matters. Lots of other things matter.

If you insist that coaching has no effect on the quality of a team then, yes, you live in a different world.  


March 7th, 2012 at 1:43 PM ^

I never said coaching had no effect, but that it is infinitely smaller than people think and never explains swings between good or bad.  If the same coach can have such drastically different results, how can you argue that it plays a significant role?  Jim Caldwell went 14-2 in his first year with the Colts.  He went 2-14 in year three.  Same guy, night and day difference in results.  Unless you assume some crazy phenomenon where he is really good at his job one year and terrible another, the dramatic change is all accounted for by changes to the roster.  Maybe a better coach would have won the Super Bowl that year, maybe a worse one wouldn't have won a game this year.  Still, coaching has nothing to do with whether the team is good or bad.  Charlie Weis did the same shit when he went 3-9 as he did when he went to multiple BCS bowls.  He just didn't have the experienced, future NFL draft picks on his team.

Any coach is either good, bad, or somewhere in the middle.  If Gary Moeller is a good coach (and we assume this makes a positive impact on team success), his terrible record at Illinois makes no sense.  If he's bad, then his incredible success at Michigan makes no sense.  If he's somewhere in the middle but can have either fantastic or terrible results based on external factors (namely the players on his team), then you are finally starting to see the light.


March 7th, 2012 at 2:35 PM ^

The guy who had a losing record through his first three seasons at Stanford?  I think I've heard of him.  Funny how he got way better at coaching once Andrew Luck got a few seasons under his belt. 

I just can't explain it.  Luckily for Stanford, his predecessor didn't waste 3 years waiting around to be awesome.  That guy must be really great.


March 7th, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

I'm sure there are a number of factors, and they are each important. However, if you believe coaching matters, "just very little," how do you account for a guy coming in to perennial poopers like Ball St and San Diego St and, in time, turning each into dominant programs, and then righting a foundering Michigan ship, as well?