How It Goes Down

Submitted by Brian on August 4th, 2010 at 11:37 AM

les-miles scissors

The hire of David Brandon as Michigan's AD already put a stake through the heart of any dim chance Les Miles had at the head coaching job in Ann Arbor, but if it hadn't this should disqualify him($):

"I got called to coach Miles' office. I had no idea it was coming," Elliott Porter said of his being asked by LSU to 'grayshirt' this season and re-enroll next year. "He just told me that they didn't have room for me. I moved out of my dorm today and I am now back home trying to figure everything out. It's been a rough 24 hours." …

"I have to win a waiver, but it shouldn't be a problem," Porter said. "It's unfair how they told me at the last minute." …

"I want to be somewhere that I am wanted," Porter said. "I understand how things are going at LSU, and they didn't have room. To me what happened today wasn't fair. But it's how things go. It's a business. And I fully understand that now."

That's a Rivals article from the Tennessee site; Porter is thinking about signing with UT. Meanwhile, LSU is lying its ass off about the situation:

"Coach made every attempt to get him to stay but the young man wanted to leave," LSU media relations director Michael Bonnette said.

…every attempt except for actually giving him the scholarship promised six months ago. As an aside, one of the Google News hits for Porter is an irrelevant piece from New Zealand serendipitously titled "Slave labor system rotten to the core."

While that's a little over the top—those excitable Kiwis—this is a clear-cut case of a school signing too many kids and jerking one unlucky one around when too many qualify. Porter had a frickin' dorm room and is still trying to find a new place to land on August 4th. As points out, college football is explicitly not a business. This is supposedly the reason the kids are amateurs, and anyone who gets the impression it is a business might take a huge amount of money from shady characters or enjoy a party in South Beach someone else is paying for. By allowing coaches to take chances like this the NCAA is degrading respect for its other rules.

More importantly, they're treating athletes like meat. By putting himself in a situation where there was a possibility he'd have to cut a kid in August, Miles has established that his job is more important than his word or the players he recruits. I'm not one of those guys who thinks Michigan's head coach has to be raised from birth by helmeted ascetics to learn the Chi Of The Iso in the Hidden Temple of Hardass, but that's a bridge too far for me. I'll be at the head of the mob if he ever gets hired by Michigan, which he won't so whatever.

Also, the usual: the NCAA needs to make LOIs binding for the school, too, for at least one year and preferably two. They can increase the scholarship limit slightly if necessary to compensate. No school should ever benefit from signing a kid to a LOI they do not honor.



August 4th, 2010 at 12:34 PM ^

This doesn't surprise me. Miles comes from the Bo School of Business. Tough love, baby.

This may end up being the best thing that could have happened to the kid.


August 4th, 2010 at 1:02 PM ^

Dude, I'm a Spartan fan and even I know that Bo would never have done such a thing.  He would have cut someone for not putting the team first.  He would have cut someone for skipping practices.  He would have cut someone for conduct unbecoming a Michigan Man.  He would not have offered more scholarships than he had available and then cut the guys at the bottom of the list.

Bo had something that Miles apparently didn't pick up from the Bo School of Business:  integrity.  You might try looking it up somewhere.


August 4th, 2010 at 12:43 PM ^

Make all scholarships binding for four years. For every kid that is offered a scholarship, accepts the offer, qualifies, and then is subsequently not provided that scholarship for ANY reason, the institution's Athletic Department must fund that student's attendance at the school, whether or not they play any sport, at the same level as it would have been funded had they actually been able to attend on an athletic scholarship.

AD's will tighten the reigns really quickly when they're all of a sudden paying full ride for classes, food, housing, access to athletic facilities and more for a dozen kids that will never see the field/court/etc out of their general fund and only maintain a 2.5 like the rest of the players.

Tim Waymen

August 4th, 2010 at 12:55 PM ^

More importantly, they're treating athletes like meat.

100%.  I thought LSU's priority was to challenge its students to "achieve the highest levels of intellectual and personal development," not to screw them over if they're of no use to the football program.  LSU could, at the very least, pretend to treat the football team members as student-athletes, even if it's just a label as critics argue.

I'm not talking about about whether UM or any other school is innocent or guilty when it comes to the broader issue.  Maybe it's wrong for someone to earn a scholarship for his/her athletic ability, maybe it isn't; whatever the case, I think that LSU is crossing a certain line by (barring any behavioral issues) taking away a student's scholarship just as he's about to enroll but before he's stepped on the field because the coach found someone better than him.  They're something particularly bothersome about this.


August 4th, 2010 at 1:15 PM ^

In hindsight, a certain ill-timed sailing trip might have been the best thing to happen to Michigan in a while.

Thanks, Universe!!!

(EDIT: To clarify, this doesn't indicate a decrease in the general bloody-mindedness of the universe. It's just that this time, said bloody-mindedness worked out in our favor.)


August 4th, 2010 at 1:54 PM ^

Show yourself for the a-hole you are.  Glad he isn't here now, and by this November will be ecstatic he isn't here.  Good things are coming.


August 4th, 2010 at 2:26 PM ^

has got to put a stop to this. If the practice continues, teams seeking to be competitive will HAVE to engage in this kind of behavoir just to keep up with all the slimeballs.


August 4th, 2010 at 5:10 PM ^

What a difference a few years makes. Many in the UM Nation so adamantly  wanted Les Miles in order to keep Bo's legacy going. I wonder if fans understand that RR was hired by Coleman and Martin to take Michigan in another direction, to create another legacy? I think Michigan fans will be glad for RR one day. The last two years will be ancient history.


August 4th, 2010 at 11:23 PM ^

Listen, I love Les Miles but we need to get off of that band wagon. The only way Miles would end up here would be if RR has another bad year or two. I wouldn't want that because that would almost assuredly burry the Michigan program. I want RR to be successful and to be considered one of the greatest coaches in Michigan history. That would mean that the football team has taken a great leap forward. I don't think we're caring who the coach is as long as we win again.


August 5th, 2010 at 1:20 AM ^

It's one thing if you're coming down to the end of the class and tell a kid: "Listen, we've got three spots available and we're going after four guys because they're probably not all coming here. But if they do all come, we're going to have to grayshirt one. If that's a problem, don't sign yet; we'll wait and see what happens with the others. You'll probably have a spot, but if you want to wait to be absolutely sure, no problem." That's not ideal, but at least the kid knows there's potential for the situation to arise and can make a mostly-informed decision.

Pulling the rug out from under him with no warning more than a year after his commitment and so late into the process that the kid's already living in the dorms ... that's scummy.

Hardware Sushi

August 5th, 2010 at 11:21 AM ^

I'm a fairly new follower to MGoBlog, so I'm just getting acquainted with everyone here and their sentiments toward RichRod, Les, Jimbo H, and more. I'm glad to read quite a few comments supporting Rodriguez.

Personally, I've been excited about hiring RichRod from day 1. It was pretty obvious the first season was going to be a major dropoff and last season was disappointing in the sense that we started so well and bombed down the stretch, but it was still a team with freshman quarterbacks, youth at every position, and injury troubles.

It's the stories about the players' attitudes, the way RichRod has handled the Mealers' unfortunate yet uplifting situation, and the potential for the years to come that have me very excited. I'm in full agreement that we have a great chance to look back upon the past two years as simply the growing pains a institution experiences when making the transition from one great era that people cling onto into another great era full of success.

Or maybe I'm just too optimistic... :)