Submitted by Brian on June 12th, 2013 at 11:58 AM






Uh. Right.

Some Alabama guys heard some things that caused a small rumble on the 247 Crystal Ball towards the Tide. What they heard: Alabama, not Michigan, was the other team in Hand's top two.

This was kind of right, as Hand announced today that Virginia Tech didn't have the major he wanted—Sports Management—and that his top three was in fact Michigan, Alabama, and Florida with LSU and USC also on the docket for officials even though he "doesn't want to get anyone's hopes up($)" at those two schools. In retrospect, "Bud Foster is my favorite coach but I haven't talked to him in a while" was a death knell for the Hokies.

Is this good? Is this bad? In what direction should we be running? Clockwise, to wind the clock of joy? Or counter-clockwise, to deflate the balloon of hope?

Well, let's go back to two three facts:

  1. Hand was planning on majoring in engineering until he visited Michigan, whereupon he told Rivals radio that he'd "recently decided" he wanted to do sports management instead.
  2. He hasn't talked to the Alabama guy in that field yet—he talked to an engineering professor—but has called Professor Needs A Raise at Michigan "amazing" and oh yeah "amazing."
  3. Alabama fans don't think Alabama actually offers undergrad sports management. Also their engineering school is not amazing.

Leaning clockwise. Helping in this regard is Mike Farrell—very plugged in with East Coast kids—declaring Michigan "clearly the team to beat" and TomVH getting a "you don't understand, dude had us wanting to sign up right now" quote from Hand in re: Professor Needs A Raise. Also, Hand called Sam Webb today during his dang radio show and Webb came back sounding pretty content about things you guys:

"[Hand] said the reason Virginia Tech is out is because of academics … at Michigan, when he came on the visit, he said he was blown away by his interaction with the sports marketing [ed: think that's actually supposed to be management] professor. He raved about it, went on and on about it… and he said it again in an interview I just did with him. He said it was the best academic presentation he's been around, said it made a profound impact on him. … Now, at Alabama he's looking at potentially engineering. … He said the thing that sticks out to him about Alabama is the engineering professor is a football guy. …

I think relationships will be key, amazingly key, and with the single biggest relationship obstacle out of the way for Michigan I think they'll be tough to beat. THAT'S JUST MY OPINION. … But Hand is a relationship guy."

Professor Needs A Raise turns out to be named Mark Rosentraub, FWIW.



While you're here, don't forget to check out MGoUser Canzior's post on Hand.



June 12th, 2013 at 3:25 PM ^

Seems inappropriate to tag the post as flamebait when so far it's gotten several thoughtful, informative responses -- especially from those with personal experience of the major.

That's exactly what steering is: influencing his choice. No one's suggesting anyone's holding a gun to his head.

You're right, if I'm uncomfortable with this I should be uncomfortable with how many athletes end up in a small number of majors that very few non-athletes end up in -- and I am. At many universities, this is a way to get athletes through without giving them a real education.


June 12th, 2013 at 4:25 PM ^


I don't know.  When I was there - a lot of people snickered at the major as a joke, but if you really wanted to work in Sports, it's not a bad way to go.  Is it odd that a large percentage of students that have such athletic talents might be interested in Sports Management as a career?  I don't think so. 

That said, the schedule was also slanted to accomodate practic/game schedules, especially for football.  I had a ton of 830 am classes which was conveniant for players that had to be at practice by 230.  That was no coincidence.


June 12th, 2013 at 9:42 PM ^

When someone wants to become a conductor majors in music, or an actor in theater, or a dancer etc. most of them won't be conducting the Boston Pops, winning an Oscar, or, uh....on Dancing with the Stars? But we don't kill them for their academic tract. I'm not sure why athletes are different.


June 12th, 2013 at 7:41 PM ^

The life of an athlete and a nonathlete are two totally different unrelatable things and the better and more successful the athlete, the more unrelatable it is to regular people like you and me.  Say Da'Shawn Hand did major in engineering, worked his butt off and graduated with flying colors in 4 years, what then?  He gets an engineering related job with a starting salary at $50,000-60,000 if he's lucky? HECK NO!!! Minimum wage in the NFL is 8 times that and seeing as he has first round talent he'd get paid much MUCH more than that!!  If he's lucky and injuries aren't an issue then he play's a 10 or 12+ year career before he retirees and hangs up his cleats.  At that moment he's 34, probably has lingering medical issues that he has to foot the bill for now that he's retired and all he's ever done in his entire life is football.  He probably has a wife, couple kids, and if he's EXTREMELY lucky has only a few dependents that are directly related to him.  At that moment what in God's name is he going to do with an engineering degree?  Who's going to hire a 34 year old with no experience when there are ton's of kid's coming out of college every year that will work long hours and get paid lower wages?  And he's been living on an NFL player's salary for over a decade so he has NFL player expenses and no job to pay those with so he would probably, like the vast majority of all pro athletes especially in football, go bankrupt or at the very least downsize extremely.  That's why alot of athlete's are majoring kinesiology or sports related business majors because when they are done in the pros, they can get a job in relatively the same world they have been working in and their experience as an athlete are at least somewhat applicable.  I'd much rather see him at Michigan getting a useful degree rather than AL getting what would basically amount to a worthless piece of paper that you spent 4 years of his life working toward.


June 12th, 2013 at 11:03 PM ^

I definitely concur with all of the aforesaid statements. My majoring in SMC, as it was formally abbreviated, prepared me more than adequately for law school--and for being an attorney now. IIRC, not even half of the classes that I took in undergrad were even in Kines; and we HAD to take Econ, Accounting, Calc, etc. in addition to our other general requirements.


June 12th, 2013 at 5:25 PM ^

SM grad class of 2011, not an athlete

It wasn't the hardest of work, but it still took decent amount of work to get good grades. Enough group projects to make your head spin.

That being said, it can certainly improve and be a bigger program. For as great as U-M is and the pull the U-M name carries, there's not that great of networking opportunities or getting placed within a sports organization after graduation. We're lacking in that. 

the Glove

June 12th, 2013 at 1:06 PM ^

I hope somebody close to Hand lets him know that Michigan's engineering program is just a little bit better than Alabama's. And by little bit I mean worlds better.


June 12th, 2013 at 1:12 PM ^

Proud Sports Management grad.  I will say, it's an interesting place.  Lots of athletes, and like many majors there are hard classes and easy classes.

It's good to see an SMC prof gettting some credit.


June 12th, 2013 at 1:16 PM ^

The only other thing I want to know (that I don't already) is where he ate on his visit to Ann Arbor. He has made numerous hints to FOOD being very important and made hints towards one place "leading" in that department. That is really the only other thing that could be a negative for Michigan vs all of this very positive news.

This recruiting class could really get interesting if we have Hand and Peppers (and don't forget McDowell)... Unlike ole miss last year we have had numerous "very good" recruiting classes previously and have tons of "solid 4 stars" other than those two guys. If we got on a roll it would be interesting to see if some of these big name pipe dreams became very viable options. Then there's the scholarship availability. We really should enjoy this since we are fans and are allowed to do that!


June 12th, 2013 at 1:25 PM ^

Subs, ice cream, cake. I mean....it was just CRAZY.

Book it guys. Hand is going to GO BLUE. The social media hype from all the espn 150's we already have is channeling all of his inner being toward his destiny.....THE WINGED HELMET. He saw it in his dream. He just doesn't want us to know yet.

And not to change the topic....but I can still see Clark lighting up Braxton Miller in last years game at the shoe. Even tho we lost that game, it's good to know d hand will soon be here to finish the job.


June 12th, 2013 at 1:58 PM ^

I think it's ok to post these but the M Block intereviewed Hand's position coach John Harris and here are a couple of excerpts from the interview:

-"The mystery will be Florida when he goes to visit because he hasn't seen it yet.  He likes their staff."

-"He does like Bama, I mean it's Bama.  And he likes Michigan.  He does say, I'm not sure he says it publicly, but he does say he has slight interest in LSU and USC."

The good thing is that these schools will have to really, really impress him to make up ground.


Eastside Maize

June 12th, 2013 at 1:59 PM ^

I hope we beat Saban for Hand. 2 or 3 years down the road we meet Bama in the playoffs and Hand has a monster game. After our victory Hoke double points at Saban........ A man can dream.

Cali Wolverine

June 12th, 2013 at 3:36 PM ^

...per Tom V..."Da'Shawn Hand said he hasn't been to Alabama in around a year, hasn't gotten to Florida yet." Crystal Ball 54% Michigan now. If Stanford was a player, I would be more nervous.


June 12th, 2013 at 3:37 PM ^

You grow ferns and peppers in your backyard and Mone Drake.

Then go down to Marshall and start Bunting for Cole.

On your way back, stop in Ohio and get a Hand-job

You will wake up the next day a champion 


June 12th, 2013 at 3:38 PM ^

Said this in the board post, but I'll say it here to: 

To everyone unsure of Hand's excitement over Bama's engineering program, while ours is clearly superior, you have to realize that our program is extremely intense, both in course difficulty and in workload, and your average football player can't just take a couple of engineering classes, pass them easily, and walk away with a degree. Guys like Jordan Morgan are absolutely the exception. What I get from him being impressed by Alabama's program is less "it's the best I've ever seen!" and more "it's the best I've ever seen that I could reasonably balance with being a star athlete at a major university," which I think is reasonable. The head of the department being a "football guy" just says to me that he understands what Hand's football workload will be like, and won't make his life impossible with academics, as Michigan's elite engineering program would do.


June 12th, 2013 at 5:03 PM ^

and six guys quickly picked Bama, a whole slew of people have now picked Michigan (with 2 people picking Florida. Okbro). 16 of 24 in the past 24 hours have picked Michigan

Looks like all the speculation was right. VT is out, down to Michigan, Bama, and Florida and a lot of people think Michigan is in real good position right now


June 12th, 2013 at 5:06 PM ^

Michigan is the team to beat. Alabama people must have thought Michigan was the team being dropped. Hand will make his choice sometime in the next 3 months BOOK IT!


June 12th, 2013 at 6:46 PM ^

I think he commits Sunday after the UM vs ND game. He will then get a taste of what the Big House is all about!!!!!!

Lots to be excited about fellow wolves!!!!! Time to bust some nuts in Cbus.....