I broke. Now I fisk everything.
Michael Weinreb, writerist who does not mind bashing head against same wall
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.
As a student athlete, I like the idea of knocking out some of my spring practices when I don't have to worry about class.. #perspective
— jake butt (@JBooty_88) February 10, 2016
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
“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
NCAA prez Mark Emmert says NCAA will have April meeting focused on cutting back on time spent on athletics. Emmert believes it's too much
— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) February 19, 2016
...because he has lawsuits to deal with.
NCAA prez Emmert clearly against the spring break football trip. "There's a difference between not being prohibited and being OK."
— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) February 19, 2016
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
going pro in something other than beer bonging
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?
All of these men are horseface. It has been decreed.