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 11:41 AM ^

I could argue you point by point, but frankly, I don't have the inclination at the moment.  It's been a frequent discussion over at TTB in the past, and I've already laid out my argument numerous times.  Mouton, Brown, and Warren were all 5- and high 4-star recruits.  Yippee.  A few of those guys turned out to be decent.  Rodriguez must have been a great defensive coach to take a 5-star guy like Warren and turn him into an undrafted free agent, right?  And Brandon Graham was a good player as a sophomore in 2007, before Rodriguez arrived.  I'm totally unconvinced that his "development" was anything but a natural maturation that could have happened under virtually any FBS coach.

Regarding next year's defense, no, I don't think it will suck.  Because it will be a team coached by competent coaches.  But do I think there are many superstars waiting in the wings that were recruited by Rodriguez?  No, not really.


March 7th, 2012 at 2:24 PM ^

I just never understand the logic that you keep repeating that Rich deserves the majority of the credit for having guys like Mike Martin, who never played under Lloyd, and deserves the majority of credit for guys like Blake Countess, who never played under Rich.  You can give both pre- and post- credit for enticing them to want to come, then getting them to stay with their commitment, but it always seems to work out in Rich's favor at both ends of the spectrum.


March 7th, 2012 at 2:53 PM ^

I initially responded to a dumbass post complaining about Rich Rodriguez's recruiting when he was here.  That view is completely erroneous.  Then people slightly changed the subject.

It isn't a competition between Rodriguez, Carr, and/or Hoke.  Carr added a bunch of guys to the 2008 class before he stepped down.  Hoke did a great job locking down Bryant and adding Clark to the 2011 class.  In between Rodriguez added a bunch of really good players, though he certainly wasn't without flaw in recruiting (should have offered Bullough and probably could have handled the Hankins situation better, needed more OL in 2010). 

It is about understanding how you end up with a good football team.  The answer isn't "coach better".  It is also about people refusing to acknowledge that you don't end up 11-2 because the head coach was shitting his pants for 3 years.  If Coach Hoke goes 7-5 or worse in four years, it won't be because he is getting worse at coaching.  If he wins a national title, it won't be because he got way better at it.  It will be about the guys we bring in.  If he leaves Michigan for whatever reason and another guy has a ton of success, it will almost certainly be because Brady Hoke brought in a great class in 2012/13. 

That is just the way the world works.  There is no motive or agenda, just reality.  Unfortunately people who do have an agenda (mad at RR because we lost) or who don't understand reality because they don't have the proper knowledge base (SEE Gary Moeller's career) or have been bamboozled into the hero-worship culture we attach to football coaches still refuse to accept it.  When those people are making decisions or formulating policy while operating under poor premises (need to land the in-state recruits, spread = GAY, Martavious Odoms is a shady guy who can never play in the Big Ten, etc.) you can end up with negative consequences.


March 7th, 2012 at 4:12 PM ^

While I agree with the majority of what you wrote -

I feel like you have convienently undervalued coaching and overvalued players to make your point.  Wisconsin hangs out around #40 in recruiting every year and has gone to the Rose Bowl with 2 different quarterbacks.  They get there because they develop players.  That's coaching and talent evaluation.  Tom Brady got injured at the beginning of the season, sat out the year, and the Patriots went to the playoffs.  Because there was more to their team than 1 player.  While the Colts of 2011 prove your point that players can be pretty darn valuable - the 49ers of 2011 disprove it.  They basically changed the entire coaching staff (save a running backs coach?) and kept the same roster.  The same team that went 6-10 went 13-3 and went to the NFC Championship.

With that said, I think you have made some excellent points about Rich Rodriguez in your posts.  People generally don't look at the big picture like you are, they keep it much more narrow so that they can be comfortable with their anger.  I certainly don't care to discuss the downfall of Rodriguez any more than it already has been, but felt like jumping into a discussion that had some merit to it.


March 7th, 2012 at 4:22 PM ^

I think the reasons we've won and loss are more complex than that, and go over many years. And I do think the primary factor is talent.  I don't think Saban is instituting any miraculous systems new to football...just getting really good players and coaching them well in the basics. But that last part isn't to be discounted.  We've had problems with recruiting AND retention, and there's a lot of blame to go along. But a team that was making 2 games improvements (and 2010 just barely, because we were a lot closer to losing wins than we were to winning losses) then makes a 4 game improvement doesn't all come from just talent improvement. 2008 had more talent on defense than any year before last, and while better, it wasn't good...because it was a poorly coached defense. You had a team this last year that at worst took a minor dip in offensive coaching, and big jump in defensive coaching. And it's not just players getting older, because the freshmen contributed much more successfully than they did when the lamet was "they're all so young!!" by people.  

The popular refrain has been "well, the Big Ten was much worse"....and it might have been, but that pretty much takes away credit from recruiting and moves it to the rest of the league. Probably a little of both, again, but the viewpoints seem selective.

What was being said was that there hasn't been a lot of great recruiting on defense...going back to the end of Lloyd, and continuing through Rich. If you split the recruiting rankings by offense and defense, most of the strength is probably on offense. (And still doesn't explain holes like the offensive line, which was thin when he got here, and thinner in depth when he left....if anything seemed like an area he knew needed help....)  There's a reason on defense our talent base seems to be mostly seniors (duh)...and then you have to credit freshmen like Countess. I'm still not seeing the high draft picks that were lacking other than in up years like 2006 in the waning days of Lloyd's career coming up this year, or the next couple, with Rich's recruits. The recruiting was good enough to be MSU+ (though not enough to beat them, apparently), or a dream Iowa year....but not nipping at the heels of OSU where Michigan needs to be to really compete. This was true with some of the up and down success of recruiting at the end of Lloyd's tenure...and the above mediocrity (for Michigan) recruiting through the Rich years.  We need guys who are going to end up as 1st round, sure 2nd round, and multiple 3rd round picks.  Then we can complete no matter the strength of the Big Ten.  I think we're on that path.  


March 7th, 2012 at 11:00 PM ^

3 of the 18 guys who played in the Sugar Bowl on defense were seniors, and one (Woolfolk) came in off the bench.  We only had 3 senior starters throughout the year (RVB, Martin, and Heininger).

The "we were just as young" thing is also silly.  Talbott, Avery, Christian, Vinopal, Gordon, Gordon, Johnson, etc. all played because there was literally no one else on the roster in 2010.  Having Jake Ryan and Cam Gordon is an improvement over just having Cam Gordon, even if the younger guy wins the job.  Having Blake Countess (and Hollowell and Taylor) along with the returners from 2010 makes you better.  Having Desmond Morgan split time with upperclassmen (Herron and Hawthorne) and eventually win the job is a lot different than shoving a guy into the starting lineup just because he's the only dude you've got.  The new staff didn't make a bunch of the old guys better, they found better guys.  That is why the defense improved.  Roh, Demens, Avery, Gordon, and Kovacs got a year older, and that helped (I think all of them improved), but the big jump came because Heininger (returning from injury), Woolfolk (same), Countess, Ryan, Beyer, Morgan, Clark, etc. (even Hawthorne, since he didn't really play in 2010) gave us a bunch more good players and allowed for options/competition. 

We also lost plenty of guys since Hoke arrived (three guys who had played the year before transferred out) but I don't hear anyone complaining about attrition now because the team was good.  The fact is and always was that losing guys who aren't going to play isn't a bad thing.  I'm glad Justin Turner and Vlad Emilien aren't taking up a scholarship and I'm glad that Christian/Vinopal/Johnson made the same decision to leave when they realized they weren't going to play.

Again, this isn't about liking one guy over the other.  I don't have any particular affection for Rich Rodriguez and would gladly slobber kiss Brady Hoke's face.  This is just the way the world works and it is a shame that so many of our fans have yet to take advantage of the great opportunity we were granted (renowned coach struggles and is villified/fired, replaced by guy with limited resume who is praised as a Christ-like figure due to immediate success) to learn this lesson.


March 7th, 2012 at 4:31 PM ^

Last year's impact players were either:

1.  Carr recruits on offense

2.  Carr recruits on defense

3.  Pre-2010 RichRod recruits on offense

4.  A walk-on named Kovacs

You could also arguably add in Countess and Ryan.  Rodriguez was a terrible terrible defensive recruiter, and that is why we are still talking about the possibility of playing numerous true freshman in 2012 and 2013.  He gave out early offers to plan C guys with no talent like Greg Brown and Teric Jones.  The entire hybrid safety/linebacker class of 2009 is pretty much worthless.  He left behind no reliable starters at defensive tackle.  His best DL recruit up to this point is Craig Roh, a guy too slow to be a speed rusher and probably too small to play SDE (but we're forced to move him there this year because of Rodriguez's shitty recruiting).  On the offensive side, his OL recruiting after 2009 was mind bogglingly bad.  He left behind no potential star outside receivers. 

But he still managed to get commits from a ridiculous number of small slot receiver/scatback RB types, like Austin White, Martavious Odoms, Teric Jones, Terrence Robinson, Tony Drake, Jeremy Gallon, Vincent Smith, and Drew Dilieo.  Did I leave anyone out?  How much would you like to trade one or two of those guys for a reliable upperclassman defensive or offensive tackle?


March 8th, 2012 at 9:48 AM ^

Gage, you don't wanna go down that path...

[Edit* Seems some folks are clueless in tagging this as "offtopic".  It's a line from Pet Cemetary.  My point, in short, is why are you folks rehashing the same tried shit again about RR, bare cupboard, fair shot, etc?  "You don't wanna go down that path" because the OP is about a "fight" involving AZ football players and has nothing to do with Rich or his performance at Michigan.  The only RR parallel is that his discipline was tight at UofM and it's assumed it will be the same at AZ.  Oh, the Lorena Bobbit shit is a bit off topic as well, no?  Moving along now...]


March 7th, 2012 at 10:30 AM ^


Pre-Sandusky, this was a low point in the Paterno era: "Six Penn State football players, including stars Anthony Scirrotto and Justin King, turned themselves in Friday to face charges that they barged into a party and started a violent fight at an off-campus apartment earlier this month."

That one involved less women punching, but did include a PSU's players girlfriend and also bring your "boys" to back you up.

As I recall, most of those charges were dismissed or reduced.  Have no idea what will happen in the Arizona case,.


March 7th, 2012 at 10:46 AM ^

There are no reports of anyone being treated, yet a bunch of people were punched by 240+ lb. football players? Of course, if this is true, they should be kicked off the team (they = whoever hit a woman). The details don't quite add up yet though. 


March 7th, 2012 at 11:25 AM ^

My guess is that most of the injuries were relatively minor (drunk swinging can connect for damage, but lots of times there can be glancing blows) and perhaps the newspaper did not have the information necessary to release updated medical reports on the victims.  Plus, with college students you have an additional layer of bureaucracy related to parents and administrators that could slow the distribution of information about the other side of the attack.


March 7th, 2012 at 11:13 AM ^

As sad as this whole fiasco is, it will probably buy RR the capital to kick a bunch of these idiots off the team and start anew.

What gets me is how do you justify hitting a woman in the face?  I looked up Grandon and he is listed as 6'/186, which is my height and about 30 pound heavier.  I know that if I were to rear back and punch my wife in the face, she'd be out and suffer serious damage.  There is no logical argument that these massive human beings were fearful for this safety when the women attacked (and frankly, my guess is that the male students at AU aren't that intimidating either), so throwing hands with women proves only (a) how big an idiot these players are, or (b) how out-of-touch they are with reality.  


March 7th, 2012 at 11:25 AM ^

I can think of few things more disturbing than calling your team in to rough up a party because they did not want univited guests to attend.

If everyone involved is not disciplined (with the main players all removed from the team) it will not be acceptable to me.

A sense of entitlement, violence (especially towards women), and disrespecting non-athletes are all serious issues.  Any player that participated in this- that either started this or came in to support their teammates in this nonsensible way lack any of the decency required to represent their school as student athletes.


March 7th, 2012 at 11:26 AM ^

Having just arrived in Tucson after being fired here, he cannot be seen as being lax in the discipline dept, but his record at Michigan doesn't give any reason to think he'll go easy. If anything, this will help him in his rebuilding, as it will indicate that the players recruited by Stoops are bad apples who need to be booted.

It's nice that AZ players are driving around in Navigators, though. Guess they're not hurting for cash.


March 7th, 2012 at 12:53 PM ^

There are like two rules to maintaing your athletic career:

  1. Don't punch women
  2. Don't kill anyone

You're pretty much absolved of everything else, especially if you have a father-figure like Duncetonio.


March 7th, 2012 at 12:53 PM ^

There are like two rules to maintaing your athletic career:

  1. Don't punch women
  2. Don't kill anyone

You're pretty much absolved of everything else, especially if you have a father-figure like Duncetonio.