Horsefaces Everywhere

Submitted by Brian on February 19th, 2016 at 1:36 PM

I broke. Now I fisk everything.

Michael Weinreb, writerist who does not mind bashing head against same wall

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Weinreb poops on Michigan in print approximately every six months with whatever logic is at hand. The latest is at Rolling Stone. Weinreb points out that Harbaugh is crazy, because that's a new insight, and then launches into his usual concern trolling act:

Not surprisingly, given that Harbaugh is an undeniably brilliant football coach, this strategy is working. The Wolverines lured the nation's No. 1 recruit, Rashan Gary, and one of the country's best recruiting classes. But there are two underlying questions to consider here:

Here we go.

The first is whether this can possibly be sustained, or whether Harbaugh will eventually burn himself out, as he did at Stanford and with the 49ers.

Anyone still parading this line out after the Jim Tomsula experience is either so braindead they're writing a 12,000 word article on Daniel Holtzclaw or simply dishonest. Harbaugh left Stanford for a job with the 49ers after a 12-1 season that completed the most stunning turnaround in recent NCAA history. Stanford did not want to lose him. They left everything more or less the same after he left.

Harbaugh left the 49ers after a year-long disinformation campaign by Jed York, who emphatically proved he was the problem over the past year. 49ers players fled San Francisco en masse after Harbaugh's departure. York hired a vastly unqualified yes-man who may literally have been Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force to run the team into the ground and fired him after just one year. Harbaugh's final 8-8 season was an injury-riddled mess; in his absence Colin Kaepernick evaporated and the team barely crossed midfield in most games. If you're still on Team York in 2016, you have issues.

What happens, say, if Michigan beats Ohio State and qualifies for the College Football Playoff next season and a top-tier NFL job looms on the horizon?

Like they did two years ago? Like they did this year? I don't think Harbaugh's guaranteed to retire in Ann Arbor but if he wasn't deeply interested in a run of significance at Michigan he wouldn't be here in the first place. Meanwhile this worry boils down to "what if Harbaugh is good at his job?" Heaven forfend.

What happens if Harbaugh doesn't get something he specifically demands from the Michigan administration?

This has already happened. It will continue to happen. Harbaugh may not have many filters but neither is he a literal child who will pout and leave the first time he's told there are limits, which, again, has happened repeatedly already. This is a guy who has turned around four separate football programs. One of them was under Jed York. He is used to not getting what he wants. Meanwhile find me an NFL team without an owner.

What happens if the academics in Ann Arbor began complaining about the bills coming due?

Michigan's athletic department is self-sufficient. Again, you'd have to be an idiot or deeply disingenuous to even bring this up.

And the second question surrounding Harbaugh is what all of this might mean for college football.

Nothing? Other than Michigan might be good?

Maybe, by essentially professionalizing the recruiting process, Harbaugh is dispensing with the pretense that college football is still an amateur sport.

This is the sentence that finally broke me. For one, the idea that Harbaugh is "professionalizing" the recruiting process makes zero sense. All he's done is recruit a little harder within the rules and his weirdness has made that viral. No part of that is professionalizing anything.

Meanwhile, the SEC and ACC are tossing six figures at recruits. Nobody cares about this. Michigan's athletic director publicly and repeatedly asserted that Rashan Gary turned down money to sign with Michigan, and the media reaction was absolutely nothing. Again, I am all for the professionalization of something that is already de facto professionalized, but pretending like it's Harbaugh shaking the NCAA's foundational concept is the work of an idiot, a liar, or a lying idiot. None of this has anything to do with money.

But here's the thing: If you read beyond the headline of Sankey's complaint, he has a legitimate point. A Pac-12 study last year revealed that athletes in the conference spent an average of 50 hours a week on their sport and were often "too exhausted to study effectively." I have no idea if Sankey and his member schools are serious about exploring this idea, but this is the sort of concept on which the Big Ten should be leading the way.

He does not have anything approximating a point. Michigan isn't adding time. They are moving it. They are in fact moving it away from finals, for as much as that matters. They are moving practice time to a point where there is no studying to do.

In reality, it doesn't matter either way. The players will put in the time, both in the Big Ten and SEC. A little money, a flight or two, doesn't matter. It'll help Michigan recruit, the players will get a bit of a tan, nobody will be negatively affected, end of story.

But Weinreb don't care. In six or nine or twelve months we'll get another of these. It's tradition. The man simply cannot be dissuaded no matter how bad these pieces look in retrospect. Remember this one?

I would worry that Harbaugh is doing this for the money (a reported $48 million over six years, which would make him the sport’s highest-paid coach) or out of some misguided sense of obligation to his alma mater, and that he is not prepared to play the game within the game by embracing the salesmanship of the job, the one key aspect college coaching demands that pro football doesn’t (see: Belichick, Bill).

"Worry" dispelled, worry about the opposite, rinse, repeat. Keep paternoing that chicken.

Greg Sankey, malfunctioning corporate robot

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This is his feeble attempt to justify banning satellite camps:

“That had nothing to do with a particular program, just a concern of, wait, we have agreed to a recruiting structure,” he said.

We did, and it allows for coaches to act as guests for remote camps. You banned satellite camps amongst yourselves, but that's your business.

“… Are we going to allow the recruiting and the pressure on young people, the earlier recruiting, the bringing in boosters to practices to watch when you’re on these satellite camp tours?"

This is a non-sequitur, and particularly hilarious/infuriating coming from the SEC commissioner. Harbaugh shows up at camps. If players want to show up where Harbaugh is, they do so. If they don't want to go, they don't go.

Nothing about a satellite camp accelerates recruiting, and lol the SEC commissioner is talking about boosters. Greg Sankey is ON IT, guys. He'll get right to the bottom of this "booster" business, once and for all.

“Over and over I have sat in AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) meetings and heard football coaches say we don’t want football recruiting to go the way men’s basketball has gone, meaning, let’s try to anchor to the best we can our football recruiting in the scholastic environment. It’s around education, it’s around people who are supervised by administrators and school boards. That seems a healthy approach for recruiting, not going out to create other opportunities.”

…to be around football coaches in a camp environment that you have decided is perfectly fine as long as it is in a different geographical region. This is a complaint against 7-on-7 and Nike camps and Rivals camps and the like inartfully repurposed against Harbaugh.

Sankey is actually making an argument in favor of satellite camps, which bring NCAA compliance along with them and expose players directly to coaches without the intermediaries that infest basketball recruiting. This is the best argument he has against satellite camps: one in favor of them.

Mark Emmert, figurehead

...because he has lawsuits to deal with.

That's what "not prohibited" means. It means it is okay if you do it. I looked this up.

Maybe flatulent twit Mark Emmert should concentrate on enforcing the zillions of rules on the books currently that are being flouted more and more dramatically with every limp-wristed NCAA enforcement action.

Pat Narduzzi, personal foul enthusiast

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going pro in something other than beer bonging

Behold the dumbest "think of the children" ever:

If I was a high school player, and you’re telling me I couldn’t go to Cancun or Daytona on spring break, I’d be kind of like, ‘Are you serious?’

Think of the casual sex and drunken falling off of balconies. This is the fake-ass concern people opposed to Harbaugh have come up with: college football players are being denied a week of drinking at 9 AM. A Notre Dame recruit died over spring break in 2010. A few years later we're fighting for the sanctity of waking up in vomit that may or may not be yours.

You'll note that the ACC and SEC are trying to ban satellite camps, too, but they don't talk about that over and over again in public, because they don't have even a fake-ass pearl to clutch there. There is zero reason for satellite camps to be banned; doing that in fact hurts various kids trying to get noticed. Think of the children! Why won't anyone think of the children?

Horsefaces

All of these men are horseface. It has been decreed.

Comments

alum96

February 19th, 2016 at 1:46 PM ^

Could you expand on the line items Harbaugh has been rebuffed at getting from either the AD or the school president?  You hint there are multiple items and I'd be curious what he has asked for that either party has deemed too extreme.  Thanks.

re: Narduzzi - he strikes me as a meathead who grew up a jock and will always be a jock mentally.  He has the same petulant mindset as Dantonio but "jockier".  So taking away that sort of guys ability to drink all day and go on a rager is indeed taking away part of his identity.

Blue_sophie

February 19th, 2016 at 1:59 PM ^

My spring breaks often involved sleeping on my parents couch and playing Fallout 2. Taking that away didn't impact my identity one way or another.

Also, I'm pretty sure Narduzzi can find plenty of places where he can wear cargo shorts and funnel beer in Pittsburgh (e.g. any North Shore parking lot).

Blueroller

February 19th, 2016 at 1:54 PM ^

The whole thing is brilliant and devastating, but this is the sentence that finally broke me… Into uncontrollable laughter: "A few years later we're fighting over the sanctity of waking up in vomit that may or may not be yours."

Steves_Wolverines

February 19th, 2016 at 1:59 PM ^

Don't let Sankey get all the spotlight. Can't forget about the SEC's little brother; the ACC.

John Swofford should get an honorable mention, at the least. 

Link? Link: http://espn.go.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/91082/acc-commissioner-john-swofford-not-a-fan-of-jim-harbaughs-spring-practice-plan

(I know this was brought up on the MGoBoard earlier this morning. I thought it would be nice to introduce another name as often as Sankey.)

MI Expat NY

February 19th, 2016 at 1:59 PM ^

While it is obviously not the main reason he opposes the spring football in florida thing (I assume Pitt has made clear he's not getting the funding to do it), he does have a point, even if it's said in the most meatheaded way possible.  

A college football player gets almost no time during the year when he is completely free of school and football commitments.  Spring break provided a few of those limited days.  Now, football is taking that away too.  Think about it.  Football players are basically supposed to be on campus all summer, taking summer school, working out, etc.  Fall camp starts in early August.  Fall break is likely a weekend with a game.  Thanksgiving is the week of the most important game of the year.  Christmas break means preparing for and traveling to bowl games.  Now spring break means travelling to practice.  Then you have finals and it all starts over again.  

There are obviously positives of Harbaugh's plan, and I don't mean to suggest that the negatives outweigh the positive.  But taking away from the very little time in the year that a college football player can just be a normal college kid is a real negative.  

Magnus

February 19th, 2016 at 2:09 PM ^

I have no problem with the NCAA saying, "Look, nobody can practice or have any contact with players during the school's designated Spring Break." Everyone needs a break once in a while. But other schools are practicing during that time; they're just not picking up and moving that practice to Florida.

Whatever the rules, they should be consistent.

MI Expat NY

February 19th, 2016 at 2:26 PM ^

So you agree then?  I said his real complaint isn't about protecting spring break.  I also said college football players deserve a real break now and then.  I never said that rules should be forebid spring break practices.  Nor did I say that Michigan shouldn't travel to Florida.  I simply said that denying a real break for the players is a negative.  This is true even if most of the players don't mind.  

Blue_sophie

February 19th, 2016 at 2:12 PM ^

When I was 17 I turned down a full scholarship to go to college because I would have been required to work in an engineering lab year round. It was a good gig from a financial perspective, but I preferred to be a "normal college kid" and have the "normal" experience of waking up in my own vomit. This was just a choice that I made, and it is a choice that scholarship athletes get to make. 

MI Expat NY

February 19th, 2016 at 2:23 PM ^

So, I take it you had the financial wherewithal to go to college without the full scholarship?  You presumably could have also pursued a career in engineering without taking that scholarship?  Neither equivalent is true for many D1 college football players.