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

Blue_sophie

February 19th, 2016 at 2:35 PM ^

Are you suggesting that college sports are a form of coersion?

FWIW I ended up at a different school (which didn't offer engineering) where my scholarship didn't depend on working in a lab. Honestly I think it's a fair analogy given the fact that most of our football players have multiple offers from various types of D-1 programs.

MI Expat NY

February 19th, 2016 at 2:43 PM ^

College football for those with NFL aspirations is certainly a form of coercion.  Coercion with benefits, certainly, but coercion nonetheless.  

And I disagree that there is much of a parallel between your situation and college football players of limited financial means.  Even if you say the choice is between a school that holds practice over spring break or one that doesn't, that D1 college football player is going to effectively have a required full-time job on campus for the vast majority of his four or five years in school, no matter which scholarship he takes.  For a kid that otherwise could not afford college, that is not remotely the same as choosing whether or not to take a college scholarship that requires a full time engineering job or one that doesn't.  

Rabbit21

February 20th, 2016 at 8:33 AM ^

There is always a path to an education if you are willing to take it, there's Junior college and student loans or joining the military and using the GI bill, the road may be tougher but you can actually get an education coming from a background of lesser means if that's what you want to do. Like with anything choices are made with different incentives, trade offs, and incentives. Coercion is an awfully strong word for that.

It would be nice if being an athlete didn't come with such insane time requirements and to the extent something can be done it probably should.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad

Ziff72

February 19th, 2016 at 2:14 PM ^

These kids are getting free air fare, food and lodging to Florida for a week.  If you asked some of the "normal" students if they would sit thru 4 classes on their favorite subject to get this what percentage would say yes?   My guess is it would be rather high.  Really high.  I'm guessing the percentage of guys on the team grumbling about this trip is under 10%. 

MI Expat NY

February 19th, 2016 at 2:29 PM ^

As I said, there are also positives and I wasn't saying that this one negative outweighed the positives.  Just doesn't change that taking away some down time from the players is a negative, even if it's being raised in a very disingenuous manner by certain conference commissioners and football coaches.  

DM2009

February 19th, 2016 at 2:16 PM ^

I really do think it's a legitimate point of view that NCAA athletes spend too much time on their sports and deserve a break.

The problem is that they've gone about and selected what might be the smallest thing to complain about. Something to legitimately target would be having basketball tournaments during finals, forcing athletes in sports like softball and baseball to spend a month away from campus to start the season in February, paying players what they are actually worth, etc., etc., etc.

It's a recruiting issue masquerading as a THINK OF THE CHILDREN concern. Just be honest about it.

samsoccer7

February 19th, 2016 at 2:29 PM ^

I get that.  Welcome to being an "intern" basically.  If you're a preferred walk on it sucks more b/c you're paying for school, paying to play football essentially, and still having your holidays spoken for.  However, having football games on wed, thurs, fri nights also screwed this up.  Where was the outrage then?  Where was the outrage when we extended bowl games to Jan 8 or whatever?  Nobody gave a shit b/c of $$$$.  This is small peanuts compared to all of that.  Plus they get more time to study for finals, which is more important than going on spring break, arguably.

MI Expat NY

February 19th, 2016 at 2:36 PM ^

I agree that all of those bring negatives as well.  If the NCAA/Conferences/etc. were honest and cared they would either pay the players (ha!) or change a lot about the sport.  Basically undo everything since about the early 90's.  11 game seasons, no conference championship games, one bowl game possible on or about Jan. 1st so that it would have limited interference with finals.  Obviously none of that is going to happen, and some rule saying schools can't practice during spring break would be hypocritical.  Doesn't mean the loss of a spring break for football players isn't still a negative.  

MI Expat NY

February 19th, 2016 at 2:48 PM ^

That would be one of the aforementioned positives about doing this.  I don't see anywhere in that statement that he would have hated going home (or to the beach) for a week, either.  

For him the positives outweigh any negatives.  I am happy that is true.  I expect it is true for a good portion of our players.  Let's just not pretend that there isn't any drawback to the plan.  

santosbfree

February 19th, 2016 at 1:59 PM ^

I usually grimace while reading (or hearing) Brian defend every Michigan action against reproach. We're not perfect, and it bothers me when people act like Michigan isn't capable of the same wrong-headedness or mistakes as other programs. MGoBlog can be like the Fox News of college football fandom. That being said, this was an immensely satisfying read. Sadly, it only serves to make us as a fanbase feel more justified. The larger public will ignore this rebuttal in favor of more haranguing.

El Jeffe

February 19th, 2016 at 2:08 PM ^

Wow. Did time start for you only when Harbaugh got hired? Go back and read Brian's posts after Shane got knocked silly, or certainly any posts about Brandon, or even this one about Swenson, and see if the Fox News shoe still fits.

P.S. I didn't neg you. I didn't think your post was offensive, just extremely wrong.

Bilka19

February 19th, 2016 at 2:04 PM ^

Good stuff!

This obsession with what Harbaugh & co. are doing is getting out of hand.

Looks like it's Harbaugh against the world. I'll put my money on Harbaugh.

Kwitch22

February 19th, 2016 at 2:08 PM ^

I do love the fake outrage by the $ec & ACC, is it our fault their coaches are lazy, or didn't think of this first? Maybe they should worry about bagman and the fact that apparently at Tennessee you have to rape someone before you earn a letter in football.

Magnus

February 19th, 2016 at 2:12 PM ^

That's kind of missing the point. SEC coaches generally have no reason to "think of this" type of thing, because going somewhere with warm weather is not really a draw when you go to Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, etc. If you go to Clemson or Miami or South Carolina, you're not going to want to spend spring break in New York or Minnesota or Ohio.

UMProud

February 19th, 2016 at 2:08 PM ^

Epic rant...please replace horseface with fuckface thanks.

These millionaire NCAA & conference officials are fuckface hypocrites adding no value while sucking at the tit of collegiate sports.  Without people like Harbaugh and the Michigan athletic department these sobs would be gumshoes at some corporate job sending out mass emails aimed at making people think they actually did something at work.

Monkeys or drunk koalas would be more effective than these dummies.

VinegarStrokes

February 19th, 2016 at 2:25 PM ^

i used to think one had to be quite toothy to be considered a horseface but you captured the essence of it.  these pigfuckers are indeed horesfaces.   i also used to think alanis morissette was a bit horsefacey but weinreb is the epitome.

charblue.

February 19th, 2016 at 2:10 PM ^

this issue, whether a team should allow its kids visit a destination location for a little R&R in a supervised setting, between iimited football practice sessions has drawn so much ire.

Why it's almost beyond the pale of a rules-,making body that wants to head into special session to deliberate over whether collegiate sports are creating too much of a time demand on student-ahtletes, who might otherwise have to pay their way for some fun in the sun somewhere sunny, whether they can afford Cancun or Dayona spring break. Actually, Daytona is sort of iffy in March and April. I'd much prefer Bradenton and the Naples area or somewhere near Tampa.

Nobody says boo when players work out all summer and avoid getting sumer jobs because they are preparing for fall camp and the upcoming season. How come that issue never comes up?

Fact is, how many schools would actually want to foot the bill of hosting their entire team in Florida for a week when there is no payoff at the end of the trip in the form of a tournament that nobody goes to or a bowl game in Boise where the biggest reward for the players is the free stuff the NCAA allows as sort of a swag payoff not to complain about missing family time during the holidays.

You know, the NCAA will never do anything that really makes a difference about time demands for students, especially as it relates to college basketball, because the organization makes all its money from year to year off the NCAA Tournament. And nobody even thinks to raise that as a question. I mean basketball players don't get time off for Spring Break unless their break comes after the season ends. 

MGoStu

February 19th, 2016 at 2:12 PM ^

I'm intrigued by the idea that all these kids have the money to go to Cancun or Daytona on spring break. SEC players don't count cuz they get paid, but it's cool that all the kids in the Big Ten have more money than I had at that age.

michgoblue

February 19th, 2016 at 2:13 PM ^

This piece was spot on.  When I finished readingt this post, I actually imagined Brian (bearded and wearing his M hockey jersey, of course) standing up from his laptop, dropping a mic in a room in which nobody was around to see it, and walking to the kitchen to grab some lunch.

Well done.

My name ... is Tim

February 19th, 2016 at 2:14 PM ^

Weinreb is the absolute worst. I suppose if Penn State kicked Michigan's teeth in throughout my time at school there I may harbor a lifelong grudge against them, but I doubt I'd spend my life writing inartfully argued missives against them. I'd probably just wear some troll-y t-shirt or something.

At least, arguably, these other buffoons have some sort of actual self-interest they're trying to protect in the process.

dragonchild

February 19th, 2016 at 2:15 PM ^

Oddly enough there is one:  the Green Bay Packers.  They're owned, because everything in a country that has embraced the ancient concept of property ownership has an owner, but it's not AN owner.  It's a stock.  It's not traded (direct sales only, apparently) but there's a hard cap on share accumulation, which means no one can be a majority stakeholder.

I'm not sure if they're any easier to work with than any other NFL team, but it is an interesting piece of trivia.

readyourguard

February 19th, 2016 at 2:23 PM ^

Narduzzi was one of many coaches to attend the Sound Mind/Sound Body camp which every year in the summe ZOMG THEY HELD A FOOTBALL CAMP IN THE SUMMER WHEN KIDS SHOULD BE RUNNING THROUGH SPRINKLERS AND GOING TO MOVIES AND WORKING PART TIME AND FINDING THE PARTYS AND PLAYING GRAB ASS.