Unverified Voracity Is Giving You The Silent Treatment Comment Count

Brian August 7th, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Colt DelVerneHelp Colt. Former Michigan kicker Jeff DelVerne has a four-year old kid with a brain tumor. They're having a golf scramble/lunch/silent auction on September 15th in Ottawa Lake. Click the flyer at right for a bigger version with details; RSVPs are requested by September 1st.

You can also provide direct help here.

Well what was the point of that then? As you may have spotted on the message board, Michigan has updated its roster for fall and changed a large number of the weights they just issued to the media in Chicago. For example, Willie Henry is now 314 pounds, up from 302, and seems all but certainly destined to be a nose tackle down the road. Other notable changes:

  • Terry Richardson is +8 to 162, which is better but still too small to see the field.
  • RJS is +7 to 213, which ditto.
  • Mario Ojemudia is vaguely plausible at 231 (+8).
  • Ben Braden is down 11 to 308.
  • Chris Wormley is +11 to 279, i.e. one pound more than Craig Roh.
  • Ricardo Miller is down to 226 from 234 last year.

Either Willie Henry's high school weights were massively outdated or he's put on a lot of weight he'll have to reshape over the next year or two. It's probably a combo. Meanwhile, the slight Chris Wormley redshirts just evaporated.

Who likes touchdowns? You do.

You: don't talk to anyone. As Heiko noted yesterday, the proverbial Fort is back and in full effect:

Michigan's athletic department has made a few changes regarding media access for the upcoming season:

  • Players' family members cannot be interviewed without permission from the athletic department. 
  • Freshmen will be withheld from media day.
  • Practice will be closed to all media.

When asked why these changes were being made, an athletic department spokesman said "are you stepping to the man?" and delivered a Degeneration X crotch chop in the general direction of the media.

This is probably good for the site since it relies less on that whole "talking to people" thing—gross—than traditional media, but as a fan I'm disappointed. Ohio State is taking the opposite tack, letting media into dang near anything. Eleven Warriors is bringing back observations like this

Day Two of Urban Meyer's first fall camp at Ohio State may have been the best offensive practice since his arrival. Quarterback Braxton Miller delivered the goods and wide receivers Devin Smith and Evan Spencer finally looked like the skill position players Meyer offenses always covet.

Another bright spot has been the emergence of Meyer's first recruiting class. The two-deep is littered with freshmen with everything pointing to several playing Sept. 1.

…and Michigan media is going to recycle press conference quotes until there's a game. Ohio State even signed up for the ESPNU show that's essentially college Hard Knocks, a prospect that caused several Michigan athletic department staffers to expire from massive cerebral hemorrhages when they heard the news and made the mistake of thinking about having cameras at practice. I'm openly dreading this upcoming Mott practice thing since it's just going to be 90 minutes of punting drills again.

This is of course fine as long as Michigan wins football games, but it's just another way in which it feels like the program feels its fans are not part of the team.

CAMERAS AT PRACTICE /dozens die Doug Karsch and his weird hair wisp bring you the officially-sanctioned version of what went on inside said Fort:

Within, we find out that:

  • Michigan is playing Alabama
  • This is fall camp
  • They have sleds
  • The practice jerseys are even more ADIDAS
  • I'm sorry, I forgot what I was saying.

Coming soon: no talking to former players either. But before that happens, TTB catches up with Troy Woolfolk:

The main difference between the coaching staffs is that Coach Hokestresses physicality.  We would do drills that had nothing to do with football, but just to see the toughness in the player.  We'd do this one drill where there was just this towel on a mat.  And at the beginning there're two people holding it, and one person had to eventually take it from the other person.  It gets really rough down there; people get bloody noses and stuff.  It teaches you into becoming a man and how to hold yours. . . . [If Coach Hoke came to Michigan in 2008], we probably would have won a National Championship in 2011."

Jake Ryan is his pick for a breakout player this year.

Yes anonymous snark. Athlon Sports takes up the Sporting News baton by publishing anonyomous coaches' takes on their conferencemates. These are usually great. I mean:

“I hated to see the Zooker get let go last season, but you could see it coming."

My assumption remains that all of these come from Joe Tiller. Unfortunately, the Michigan one is really boring.

Gardner WR Gardner WR Gardner WRRRRR. Apparently I'm naming my Roomba "Gardner." Anyway, WR hype is collected by Nick Baumgardner:

"He's a great athlete, I feel like he could play anywhere and he could probably take my spot if he tried," Michigan senior safety Jordan Kovacs said. "He's a natural athlete, and if they play him at receiver, I'm sure he'll be pretty good.

"Wherever he plays, he's going to make big plays."

This is going to be a fascinating subplot. Here's hoping he's ridiculously good. That probably goes without saying.

Deathborg pairing is go. Michael Spath talks to Billy Powers about Jon Merrill's return and comes back with news about who his partner will be to start. It will be Trouba:

"We have some very nice pieces to work with this season, and if those two get together early, and it's a pair we really like, you could see them stick together for most of the year," Powers said. "It's not set in stone, but we like to have a veteran guy with a young guy and that's a pair you could really see emerging into something special."

If Merrill manages to maintain his form from his 6-10 games and avoids the slide that he suffered towards the end of the year, that will be a killer pairing. Now if Red would only ride it like it was an intergalactic space donkey. If that works out like you think it might, those guy should be 30 minutes a night players.

In other hockey news, new 2015 commit Brendan Warren makes me feel old by being born the year I graduated from high school. He's the usual: supposed NTDP lock who may or may not arrive the high end prospect he's expected to be.

He's a top seven guy. Trey Burke finishes seventh in a CBS Sports poll that asked college coaches "if you could add any one player to your team for next season, who would it be?"

The list:

  1. Indiana sophomore Cody Zeller: 35 percent
  2. UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad: 12 percent
  3. Ohio State junior Aaron Craft: 9 percent
  4. Creighton junior Doug McDermott: 9 percent
  5. Murray State senior Isaiah Canaan: 7 percent
  6. Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel: 7 percent
  7. Michigan sophomore Trey Burke: 5 percent

Impressive company. I'm a little surprised to see Aaron Craft in third place, but I'm telling you guys who can affect the game without using possession are super valuable. That's another reason to get excited about Zak Irvin, who sounds like a lockdown perimeter defender.

BONUS: updated rankings have started to come out. Scout relents and moves Irvin into their top 100 at 62; Walton is 43 and Donnal 80. IIRC both of the latter guys are essentially static. MaxPreps has close to identical rankings of Walton (42) and Donnal (73) but Irvin is near five-star status for them at 26. Both ESPN and Rivals have repeatedly praised Walton and Irvin this summer, so bumps are expected when those services debut new rankings.

The "W" stands for "I put no effort into this, not even figuring out what W stands for." Apparently both teams in the Wisconsin-Nebraska game this fall are going to look like they're wearing crappy UTL knockoffs. Nebraska's uniforms were pretty meh but Wisconsin's are self-parodying:


I don't think that's electrical tape but it could be. Best UW take: "They're the uniform equivalent of scheduling Wofford."

Etc.: Jerald Robinson pleads to his minor destruction of property thing. UMHoops has scouting video of Derrick Walton's 16/13/7 performance in the Adidas 64 championship game. Slovenia! Has anyone noticed that the #6 team in the country according to the coaches' poll has 70 scholarship players? Also, 2012 USC as the overhyped 2008 Georgia team.

The Big East could get a real TV deal. NBC Sports to the rescue. Trey Burke, Jordan Morgan, and Corey Person purchase lemonade. Basketball's game vs NC State is at 7:30 on ESPN.



August 7th, 2012 at 12:56 PM ^

I've thought for a while that if Antonio Bass hadn't gotten hurt the past 7 years or so of M football would have been very different than they were.  I wonder whether getting Gardner on the field (at a position other than guard) may be the lottery ticket we need to have a shot at beating Alabama or avoiding a nasty upset or two. 

Mr. Yost

August 7th, 2012 at 1:15 PM ^

If the fans lose interest? You really think restricting media access is going to make the fans lose interest?

You realize this is major D1 college football, right? As in, Michigan could put a bubble over the stadium and Schembechler Hall and only lift it on Saturday's and Michigan would still pack The Big House, buy gear and watch the Wolverines on gameday.

Fans lose interest? Team starves? Michigan lost more fans during the RIch Rod era than it will from this. You act like people are going to stop buying tickets or donating money because they can't watch Michigan All-Access on ESPNU.


August 7th, 2012 at 1:24 PM ^

I totally agree with this.  Partly because so many fans don't read the shit the media gets anyway, and partly because those of us who would read it love Michigan football so much that not getting media tidbits only makes us more excited for everything else. 

All I care about is the team winning.  And you know what, if 11W can get a bunch of info about an OSU practice, then so can our coaches, and I wouldn't like that if I were them. 

Also, on the updated roster, Wormley is actually two pounds lighter than Roh, not one pound heavier.  Not that it makes a huge difference. 


August 7th, 2012 at 3:24 PM ^

Restricting media access is like putting a velvet rope at the entrance to your football program's inner sanctum.

It's not going to undermine interest, at all.  Mountains of losses might do that, but creating scarcity of information around your program is only going to make every morsel of info, every quote and every 147-second Karsch CTK video update much more scrutinized by everyone.

Mr. Yost

August 7th, 2012 at 1:10 PM ^

"but it's just another way in which it feels like the program feels its fans are not part of the team."


This is the problem with social media, even blogging in today's society...the fans truly think they're a part of the team. They are in no way, shape, or form a part of the team. They're a part of the gameday experience, a part of the atmosphere, a part of what supports the team...but they are not THE team.


August 7th, 2012 at 12:49 PM ^

Here's hoping to a full recovery.

On less important stuff-

  • I think they're changing the weights just to mess with MGoBlog. Next is a mass numbers change to make Seth's head explode.
  • I'm not sure how the reinstitution of Fort Schembechler is a slap against the fans. The media maybe. To buy that is to believe the media sales pitch that they are the eyes and ears of the fans. Fans are part of the program on game day. The rest is selling a new jersey to the fans, which I thought people were against here.  We saw how well the whole "open media" thing works.  Open your house to vultures and then don't be surprised when they start looking for a carcass. Or try and kill for one.  We'll see if OSU is that open come Michigan week. It's all sunshine and flowers down there now.
  • I haven't had time to watch any of the Countdown videos yet...is Karsch still the tallest man alive?
  • Won't touch Troy's quotes, other than to say I like toughness.
  • Anyone else read the "coaches quotes" and think they're either fabricated, or that they made a huge error by putting them in quotes, because they're paraphrased at best? No coach (and few humans) talk like the way those overviews were worded. They're...overviews.  But it DOES look a lot like a media soundbyte overview that appears in publications and sites all over the place.


August 7th, 2012 at 12:48 PM ^

I've seen the Fort opened up to God, country and fans....RichRod was fired after 3 years of it.  I feel more a part of the team when we win 11 games and know nothing about practice than I do when I know that Jack Kennedy practiced well and they go 3-9.


August 7th, 2012 at 1:41 PM ^

This is of course fine as long as Michigan wins football games, but it's just another way in which it feels like the program feels its fans are not part of the team.

I'm pretty sure the program tried to let the fans be part of it (via granting the media more access), and it ended with freshmans quotes being mangled and NCAA problems.  I'm more than happy to donate to a "put landlines around the practice facilities" fund myself.  

The point is not for the fans to be part of the program, but rather for the program to be part of the University.  I always prefered things like Carr using the team as a springboard to raise funds for Motts to "Here are some photos of guys doing padless drills."

Wolverine 73

August 7th, 2012 at 1:28 PM ^

Those old TD videos are awesome--and it is great to see someone throwing/passing/running, and be able to pick up who it is almost immediately from his build and his number and the way he moves.  It is also great to see which TDs look familiar and which you identify instantly from the opponent, formation, down and distance--e.g., Henson's rollout TD to beat Ohio State.  So many great players and great plays.  Thanks for posting, they have brightened my afternoon.


August 7th, 2012 at 1:45 PM ^

With the amount of bandwidth that has been expended on this site decrying the lack of fairness of the local media with regards to the Michigan football team, one wonders if a media blackout is not warranted?

If the media isn't fair then isn't it wise to give them as little rope as possible?

With regards to OSU, it has frequently been suggested that, with certain exceptions like Bruce Hooley who was promptly ridden out of town, the local media is much "kinder" and can then be trusted with more access.


August 7th, 2012 at 1:56 PM ^

If I had to face Alabama, after what Alabama did to MSU a couple years ago, and the part where they're national champs, I'd want to keep practice private too.  Everyone knows how good Saban is when he has time to prepare.  We'll need to minimize what he knows to prepare for.

snarling wolverine

August 7th, 2012 at 2:03 PM ^

After three years in which we were an extremely leaky ship in terms of media relations, I'm fine with the opposite.   If you don't want the media to take quotations out of context and run with them, don't give them out in the first place.

I don't think it's very healthy from a team aspect to allow players to freely communicate with the press.  Think about what a fiasco it was when Tate Forcier was texting the media with his weekly crises.  These are young guys, and they don't always understand how their spur-of-the-moment reactions can backfire.



August 7th, 2012 at 2:05 PM ^

not Western, not UConn, not Utah. Fall camp is thus more like Ohio week than feel good time.

I'll take what tidbits I can get, but the less that leaks to Saban unintentionally, the better. (Of course intentional deceptive leaks are welcome.)

As for contacting the families, I am guessing the Daily will be able to get permission whenever they ask, and it will be a cold day in hell for certain other MSM reporters and columnists. So the Denard, Pahokee, Molk's mom, etc. articles are likely to continue.

So, yeah, sucks without an overdosing amount of practice porn, but OK.


August 7th, 2012 at 3:23 PM ^

Best to the DelVernes and Colt with his tumor.  Hopefully the community can rally.

Are we really living in a world in which Cody Zeller is one of the best 2-3 players in college basketball?  Ugh.

As for the Fort, I care very little as long as, you know, they keep winning.  I don't think that college teams should be run as open exhibits for the fans, but to try to make it 1984 again just makes the inevitable leaks and outburts that much worse because of the misinformation out there.  I mean, don't implement your entire new offense in front of the cameras, but a little more transparency might help the program in the long run as opposed to letting the vast majority rely on crap they read in the Freep and at MLive.




August 7th, 2012 at 4:00 PM ^

Miami was given tons of shit for not putting out a media guide this year, but their Asst AD's reason was the fact they are immediately obsolete. They literally just stapled a bunch of sheets together, not even in color. Of course, it just played into the whole Miami is Frugal meme. But I think it should be heading towards online media guides. The press should be able to live without those colorful thick covers to start at. 




August 7th, 2012 at 11:10 PM ^

what the issues ARE where this "fort" business is concerned. IS a bit of a slip on the OP's part to conflate fan with team, no? I'd like to see someone really thrash through the issues here. 

These are kids, and they need privacy and protection from an often-exploitative press, so I don't think that annoyance with the new measures is (likely) the right call here. 

If Hoke's motivation were paranoia, maybe. If it's a healthy desire to create a little space in which to breathe and operate, especially for the team's young men, it might just be a good thing. We Americans have reached the point where we tend to confuse candor with narcissism, verbal diarrhea with the truth. We need to get our interior lives and privacy back, become more reflective again. . . stop assuming that because someone has a nice ass that we would be interested in anything that comes out of their mouth.

I admire the fact that Hoke, like Carr--and Mattison and Borges, for that matter--are not needy types who have to go looking for the media's approbation. Play football, get the kids to class. . . the rest will follow.