Jihad The Second: Mike Forcier, Mike Schofield Deny Allegations Comment Count

Brian August 30th, 2009 at 2:06 PM

Earlier: Practical Matters.

jihad20062007terceraguerramundial01l[2]  barwis_thumb

Tom has talked with the parents of a couple guys on the team. Mike Forcier, whose two elder kids have been at Michigan, Stanford, and UCLA:

"I haven't read the article yet, but I also haven't heard anything about over practice, or anything like that.

"I've had three sons in college football now, and they've all gone through the same things so far. Tate has been doing the same things as his brothers were at UCLA and Stanford."

Mike Schofield, the somewhat confusingly-named father of freshman offensive lineman Michael Schofield:

Michael came home a couple times to visit, and there was no one chasing him home to get back to practice. He played games at the dorms, they went to hospitals for sick kids, camps for special needs children, and none of that was in the paper.

They went to study halls a lot, and none of that was in the paper.

My youngest son went to Michigan's sports camp in June, and I said to Michael, "here’s your brother who gets to see and workout with your coach, who you can't even see until August." There were no coaches in disguise monitoring the workouts. The timing of this is terrible.

The worst part of all of this is that the reporters targeted the freshman, with misleading questions they can get them to say anything. I’m a fire chief, and I deal with the media. I don’t let my men deal with the media, because they can get them to say anything. They could make us sound like the worst station out there if they wanted to.

Without names, this article means nothing to me.



August 30th, 2009 at 2:17 PM ^

I have to agree that this free press article has the worst timing. Who at the free press is so much against Michigan? This is going to be a huge distraction this week as they prepare for opening day against Western Michigan.


August 30th, 2009 at 2:23 PM ^

the most logical candidate who is against Michigan, if you believe the conspiracy theories, would be Rosenberg. More to the point, it might be the former and current players who don't like the training regimine of the new staff. Do we really need to point this out?

MI Expat NY

August 30th, 2009 at 2:30 PM ^

Our players spend waaay too much time in practice to pay attention to any outside distractions!

Seriously though, I don't think outside media issues generally have much effect on college sports. Things are only distractions if they're allowed to be. Rodriguez either led off today's practice or will lead off tomorrow's (depending on when the week's off-day is) by saying something along the lines of "you've probably heard about the article, (followed by something about the press and disgruntled players no longer with the program out to bring you down), that's for me to worry about, all you must be concerned with this week is preparation for Western Michigan. This is the last time that the issue will be discussed."

As long as players aren't exposed to the media and are advised not to read the media (something they're probably advised not to do anyway). I don't see this being a real distraction. As the first game approaches, that's pretty much all you can think about. This is really a distraction only for the fans.


August 30th, 2009 at 2:21 PM ^

On the front page of espn.com, there is a video of joe schad talking about how a current starter, and starter last season both said that the reports were accurate...this is starting to get annoying because there is no way that this is not happening all over the country. However, this is disturbing since its our own players blowing the proverbial whistle about all this. I am more worried about all these allegations coming from within against the program.


August 30th, 2009 at 2:30 PM ^

"In that sense, assuming that Carr's staff really were the sticklers they're widely reputed to be (an assumption backed up by the Free Press' reports), the exuberance of their successors is just another case of Rodriguez and Barwis bringing the program into the 21st Century. The fact that they're being singled out may only be because they're doing it at one of the very few places that knows the difference."

Enjoy Life

August 30th, 2009 at 2:59 PM ^

"However, this is disturbing since its our own players blowing the proverbial whistle about all this. I am more worried about all these allegations coming from within against the program."

As I have posted elsewhere: There is a statistical certainty that a few people will be upset in any situation. This is no different. And some of the sources cited (Hawthorne & Stokes) were in no way bashing the program. They were merely talking about it.

There is NO evidence of widespread dissension.


August 30th, 2009 at 2:29 PM ^

Quoting the article:

"Football players in the NCAA's Division I Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) said they spent an average of 44.8 hours a week on their sport — playing games, practicing, training and in the training room — compared with a little less than 40 hours on academics."

I don't really want to go back through the Freep article and count up the implied hours, but in the very least we can decide how above or below average we are. I assume somewhat above since the Bowl Subdivision average is probably split more or less by BCS and non-BCS participant.

USA Today link


August 30th, 2009 at 2:33 PM ^

I too am most concerned about this coming from players who are still on the team. I understand Stokes' and Hawthorne's comments were likely taken out of context, and were possibly baited, but if there are others this would probably contradict the "buying into what we're doing" meme we've heard so much about this offseason. It could really divide the locker room, and more so, could divide the players from the coaching staff. That could create a huge cascade, ultimately resulting in firing of the staff (maybe not this year, maybe not even next year, but eventually due to internal strife).


August 30th, 2009 at 2:35 PM ^

If this were about paying players, favoring some players over others, etc., then it could lead to the apocolyspe you suggest. If the only thing RR and staff are doing is demanding tough practices and pushing NCAA practice limits, he's not getting fired. This ends when the players who can't adjust to RR regime leave or are weeded out. Period.

Jeffy Fresh

August 30th, 2009 at 2:33 PM ^

In Bo's time there were no compliance officers, nobody cared about how many hours the team practiced, and everyone did just fine with their lives. If the Free Press tried to print some bullshit like this the "journalist" would get punched in his pussy little face. I practiced way more than 20 hours per week when I was in high school. This is D-1 football. For the free press to try to make a story out of something that is without a doubt the norm in college football, it is obvious they have a vendetta against Michigan and RR. No wonder why Lloyd forbade any interaction with the press, they do nothing but try to fuck us in our hiny holes.


August 30th, 2009 at 2:36 PM ^

Here's the relevant passage, which Brian highlighted, for hours past the allotted 20, assuming I can read and comprehend:

"With three hours on Saturday and a full day on Sunday, players tallied about 12 hours on those two days. They were off Monday. Players said they would spend an additional three to four hours with the team on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, bringing the weekly total to 21- 24 hours."


Average (see previous post) was 44.8 hours per week. So we're actually at most below the average? Jeebus. Get fucked, Freep. And thanks for providing the proper context.


August 30th, 2009 at 3:39 PM ^

Eh, I agree with the Panda. The quote implies the full number of hours for Saturday and Sunday, and doesn't change tone when describing Mon (off), Tue, Wed, Thurs, and Fri (assumed off?) I read it as 1-4 hours over the maximum 20.


August 30th, 2009 at 3:46 PM ^

Magnus also did this math elsewhere, but to put it in the context of the quoted text:

Saturday + Sunday = 12 hrs
Monday = OFF
Tuesday = 3.5 hrs (i.e., "three to four hours")
Wednesday = 3.5 hrs
Thursday = 3.5 hrs
Friday = OFF (???-- not mentioned)
Freep Total = 22.5 hrs

USA Today average = 44.8, so we're 22.3 hours below the USA Today average. Not sure where the other 20 hrs you implied are coming from.


August 30th, 2009 at 4:00 PM ^

"in excess of the limit per day"

so the count would start with 20. i went back and re-read, though. it looks like your/the Magnus tally is correct. which makes the Freep's work all the more galling. i suspect their work is way off, since as i said i doubt UM does far less than everyone else. really, i'm not sure what it amounts to other than certain anonymous players bitching. and i'm pretty sure it isn't starters bitching either.

iow: full of sound and fury, etc.


August 30th, 2009 at 3:38 PM ^

there's no way the Freep goes to press with this if we're talking a couple hours worth of "violation". if so, the story has nothing to stand on. i went back and read Brian's take and he seems to agree with your reading. if so, i can't believe the Freep put this in their paper. that's just a hit job.

The FannMan

August 30th, 2009 at 7:26 PM ^

Has that hit-job feel to it, don't it? As much as I would like to agree and say that the Free Press wouldn't do that to Michigan, I am not too sure. They are trying to sell papers and generate web hits. Note that they waited to run the story until they could put it above the fold on the Sunday (and most expensive) paper. All the other stories they could cover, and they went with this. Page one, above the fold.

The ambiguity to this as far as what player worked how many hours in what workouts is the most troubling thing. It allows Rosenberg to lump hours and quotes together to form vague allegations. Why didn't he get specific and write something like "Player A said that his week was typically x hours on Monday, y on Tuesday" and so on? That way he could total the hours allegeldly worked by a specific but unnamed player. He could even identify which hours were mandatory and which were "vountary workouts." That would have been a solid peice of journalism that would have been hard to dimiss.

So why didn't Rosenberg do that? Maybe the answer is that the specific totals would show 24 or so hours a week, including some time that was "voluntary." But that is no way to sell papers and generate web hits.

Remember, hit men get paid.


August 30th, 2009 at 2:55 PM ^

Kudos to Mr. Schofield for this response. Howeva, we do have names, at least one of whom is quoted specifically: Terance Taylor. The clear import of his words was that Sundays were excessive. If he had to be there that Sunday for that amount of time (which needs further clarification) that alone is a violation.


August 30th, 2009 at 2:56 PM ^

Well looks like I won't be listening to any local sports radio for the next few days. I'm sure the local sparty hosts are going to have a field day talking about this stuff.


August 30th, 2009 at 3:17 PM ^

Someone is undermining Michigan because they didn't get the spot they wanted or they didn't like being told to run everywhere for practice. This is a strategic allegation! If it is coming from a coach or coaches. The purpose is they fear what Michigan will soon become a threat. Go back in history and see how that even the Big 10 made rules to hinder Michigan's dominance. Michigan, in turn, left the B10 for 10 years. This mess is not new. I just wish we kick enough butt over the coming years to shut up the haters. Or just let them eat 40 years of crow.

Even Tressel admits to Michigan's ability to truly transverse transitions well. Personally, I think that Michigan will weather this storm. The comments parents made about the kid's and their Michigan activities was very helpful. Media Hype? Who knows? It is apparent that someone is doing some major hating. I don't think it is true. RR can't be that stupid. He knows he is at Michigan right? The team under the media electron microscope.

I hope things sort themselves out and exonerate my Wolverines. Michigan doesn't need this now!


August 30th, 2009 at 3:18 PM ^

Ever. From anyone. This is the first hint of UM's EPIC FAIL this season. I get a lot of clients who are former Michiganders and I used to kid them about UM "once upon a time having a football program" after last season. Apparently I was fairly prescient as I'm afraid this is a terrible harbinger of things to come. You can't win with people who don't want to be there, and this is how that manifests. I can't imagine some douchebag bitching to the PRESS about "long practices" under Bear Bryant or Urban Meyer, etc. I will no longer make that joke as it will hit too close to home. My condolences fellows. =(


September 2nd, 2009 at 8:22 PM ^

I did not know that SEC fans knew about words like "prescient". I always thought you guys don't go to class. You and Bubba have been drinking too many mint juleps. All that talk you forgot about how Florida got spanked the last two times ('96 and '08) Michigan faced them. Alabama lost to Michigan the last two times they played each other. So take your prescience turn it around and remember to look back at UM kicking SEC butts. We are not OSU. We will not be down for long. Remember that! Trunk nose pachyderm!


August 30th, 2009 at 3:27 PM ^

Joe Schad is now on his way to Ann Arbor, according to his Twitter feed.

So, I'm assuming he'll be on his way to every other program after that, right?

turbo cool

August 30th, 2009 at 4:32 PM ^

if we beat western, this will be forgotten. i immediately got in a frenzy when i heard this but i'm starting to think it's all a bunch of bs. i just talked to one of my good friends who was on the team last year and he agreed that it's just a lot of hot air.

Crime Reporter

August 30th, 2009 at 9:17 PM ^

The Freep and other media outlets will continue to publish material like this becuase it sells. They are a business, and right now, that business is slowly dying. I would know. I've been in it for 11 years. Right now, the number of Internet clicks that site is generating, plus the buzz its creating is some of the best free advertising that exists. Even if people hate the article (and I'm one of them), it has people talking. Look at what it has done to this board. We are giving the paper exactly what it wants. Right or wrong, the article already served its purpose perfectly.


August 30th, 2009 at 4:26 PM ^

I am friendly with some of the former members of the team. During a family gathering, the subject of offseason workouts came up, and I specifically asked if there was a limit imposed by the NCAA and the player responded: "there are limits, but these workouts are voluntary. Of course, the coaches have a saying: if you don't come to the volunteer workouts, you volunteer to not play."

End of Story IMO.


August 30th, 2009 at 4:45 PM ^

How about they take a poll of every single college athlete, at big schools and little, and define:

Hours of Scheduled Practice in High School
Hours of Actual Time Spent on *Sport* in High School, including working out alone etc.

I guarantee you that the bigger and better the school, the higher the differential between those numbers will be. In order to be good at something, you have to work at it. It is that simple.

The biggest complainers will be the kids who aren't good enough to start without working out all of those extra hours, who know that they have no opportunities in the NFL.

Heinous Wagner

August 30th, 2009 at 5:15 PM ^

After almost 30 years in journalism as both reporter and editor, I read a story like this and see something that was rushed to print before it was nailed down.

If these violations have been occurring since RichRod got here, why haven't any of the departed players gone on the record and/or ratted him out to the NCAA? What would Boren have to fear? Or Threet? Or any number of graduated seniors? Or a host of disgruntled West Virginians who saw the same pattern there?

As an editor, I would send this back to the kitchen for more seasoning. As a reporter, I'd worry that my desire for a scoop has overriden my lack of on-the-record sources, and in the end, sacrificed accuracy. If this reporter is right, he has scored a major coup. If he's wrong, he'll go the way of Rob Parker.


August 30th, 2009 at 5:32 PM ^

You are correct sir. This article is getting page views and generating revenue. That's what they want, and damn the facts at this point. It's about the bottom line. The Free Press is probably scraping close to the bottom of its revenue stream.


August 30th, 2009 at 5:16 PM ^

Mike Schofield brings up a good point about media control...which raises the question:

Will RR excercise tighter controls over the media than he has?

Carr was paranoid about allowing some players to talk to the media, maybe over-paranoid at times...but it was effective in keeping young guys from saying things that would be easily twisted by Rosenberg-ites.

Media Day, is hard to put a cap on, but perhaps RR should cut down on so much of the open-ness to the program that he has allowed. It was a great/nice idea in concept, but clearly is backfiring and not working as the Rosenberg-ites are relentless in picking over the program for anything worth speculating on, like a seagull picking over a piece of old fried chicken lying in the beach parking lot.