Kurt Wermers Got Out When He Had To

Submitted by Brian on July 20th, 2009 at 1:28 PM


Former Michigan offensive lineman Kurt Wermers was academically ineligible when he announced his transfer to Ball State last week, sources told ESPN.com.

… But according to sources with knowledge of the situation, Wermers was already out.

His academic struggles would have prevented him from suiting up with the Wolverines. Wermers wasn't even enrolled in summer school at the time of his departure.

Four things:

Wermers' comments now appear even more self-serving. She didn't break up with me, I broke up with her. And she was a whore anyway. Meet my new girlfriend, who looks like a horse. I mean, really: "I thought I'd get out when I could." Super.

(No offense, Ball State fans, it's just that you're in the MAC and all that. You're a very pretty horse.)

Ugh APR. My concern about Michigan's APR tickling the edges of the 925 cutoff is now increased: you get two points per player per semester, one for keeping them at school and another for keeping them eligible. Michigan got 1/2 for Threet in his final semester; they get 0/2 for Wermers, which makes his departure the equivalent of two guys.

Um, why would Wermers be in summer school? Weird little addendum from Rittenberg there at the end. Wermers left the team months ago and Rodriguez officially announced it in May. Obviously he wasn't enrolled in summer school.

Who is Deep Throat here? I'm sure Wermers' academic status is common knowledge in a certain circle of folks close to the program, any one of whom could be a source credible enough for Rittenberg to go with. I hope none of the coaches were peeved enough to be one of them.



July 20th, 2009 at 1:35 PM ^

I wonder what that little troll farside286 has to say about this, considering that he continually insisted that Wermers got out because certain members of the team were stealing stuff from teammates. As improbable (and offensive) as that explanation was to begin with, it's even more unlikely in light of this news.

Farside286, if you're out there, I'm dying to hear what your little troll voice has to say about this. Fucker.


July 20th, 2009 at 1:54 PM ^

With RR's rep for gettting on players' asses for underperforming on the field or in the classroom, I can see how someone who didn't take care of business in the classroom could feel like he wasn't "part of the family" and that it was "strictly business" at UM.

I'm guessing that RR "tore him a new one," and Wermers decided to respond by quitting.

Even though he decided to be a butthead on the way out, I hope he learns from his mistakes and actually decides to go to class at BSU. He obviously has no NFL potential; he really needs to take advantage of his scholly and get a degree so that he has something to show for his football "career" besides burned bridges and broken dreams.


July 20th, 2009 at 2:05 PM ^

Trolls and others often trash Rodriguez on class grounds-both for his WV background and his approach to coaching. Here we have a clear-cut case where a kid leaves, trashes RR in the process, and RR and staff never said a word, protecting the kids reputation. That is a classy move.

Of course, I hope there was no leak from the staff in this, in which case I'd have to retract.


July 20th, 2009 at 2:09 PM ^

I really don't care if it WAS one of the coaches who let the cat out of the bag. Normally, I'd agree that it'd be a pretty classless thing to do. After all, to be kicked out because you couldn't cut it in the classroom is pretty embarrassing for anyone. Let the guy leave with some dignity, right?? But I'm sorry... when Wermers opened his trap and bad-mouthed the program and coaches, all bets were off.

We've had quite enough bad press with this "erosion of family values" bullshit, coupled with a bunch of other less-publicized departures. If a coach leaked the info (aka the TRUTH) to ESPN in an effort to set the record straight and stop some of this bad press, I couldn't really blame him.


July 20th, 2009 at 4:11 PM ^

Although if coaches are making vague statements because of FERPA, then it seems possible in the Wermers case, a coach (or someone else inside the program) "leaked" info about his academic inelligibility when in fact it was something else entirely. Hell, we may never know. Not that it matters, really. He's gone. We move on.


July 20th, 2009 at 2:22 PM ^

it's the one detail that ties the whole story together. it also adds to the lloyd-was-maybe-off-his-game-the-last-couple-years narrative. yet another of his recruits subject to less than normal attrition. brian is worried about the APR because of problems from the last remnants of the old republic. if this is rodriguez sweeping them away, so be it. he's tried to be nice.

The Other Brian

July 20th, 2009 at 2:13 PM ^

"I hope none of the coaches were peeved enough to be one of them."

Disagree. RR and co. sat back and took it when Boren left while nuking every bridge possible. To let some 3rd string nobody shoot off at the mouth with impunity...it's like, "Enough is enough. You want to run your mouth like you've got all the facts, well here are some facts for you."


July 20th, 2009 at 3:04 PM ^

Look, Wermers did a shitty thing. He is, however, 19 and evidently not very bright, as evidenced by his scholastic achievement, and his handling of this situation. If the coaches did this, they're adults - they are, and should be, held to a higher standard of behavior. Football is not an important enough endeavor to savage a teenager in the press.


July 20th, 2009 at 4:26 PM ^

Someone released denigrating information about him that has no business in the public domain. If you thought that Carty was an asshole for publishing the academic information of Michigan athletes (which I did), then you should be against a leak here, if that's what occurred.


July 20th, 2009 at 6:11 PM ^

The only problem with that is it seems to be public knowledge when a player is academically ineligible. Don't know where this falls into FERPA, but this info is almost always known with incoming players and is frequently known with other players when they are not on the field/court/rink for half a year.

Gotta disagree on this one.
It shouldn't matter if Wermers ran his mouth, as this info frequently becomes common knowledge regardless of the situation of the player getting off the team.


July 20th, 2009 at 7:35 PM ^

How are you ever going to get around it? Sooner or later Wermers, like every other academically ineligible player, would have disappeared from the roster. What are you going to tell someone who asks why?

Also, I see no violation of any law and very little privacy stuff here. Eligibility status isn't part of the record, otherwise schools would be obliged to keep it private whenever a student flunks out. Flunking out of school might be embarrassing, but you can't expect that to be private info.


July 20th, 2009 at 8:55 PM ^

Eligibility status isn't part of the record, otherwise schools would be obliged to keep it private whenever a student flunks out.

You know that thing you sign that authorizes the school to release your grades? Why do you think they make you sign it. Again, the fact that it is frequently done doens't make it right.

Further, there's no possible way you can argue vindictiveness if he just didn't stay eligible. The timing of this - days after Wermers mouthed off, makes it look worse.

Remember when Slocum left? No one said a word about his eligibilty status or his grades - they said he left school.

The law reads:

Schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record.


July 20th, 2009 at 9:33 PM ^

Actually, there was a ton of talk about Slocum's status, both before he left and after.


"Update: Rodriguez said Slocum’s departure was due to him not meeting academic and football obligations."


"Nearly two years after he last played football, Marques Slocum is a Wolverine. Slocum, who has been working to gain eligibility since arriving in Ann Arbor last fall, is elated to have reached the academic standing he needed."

This happens all the time. Good heavens, we just spent however much time dissecting JT Turner's eligibility status and nobody seemed to have a problem with it, as well as Witherspoon's last year. Merely being eligible or ineligible is not a privacy matter and given the prevalence of the availability of that news on the Internet, you'd think this would have been contested by now if it really was illegal.


July 20th, 2009 at 11:07 PM ^

I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembers seeing reports about player eligibility.

People are acting like it's something that isn't known.

I believe there was an OSU player this week who announced he's going to be playing at some prep academy.


Because he couldn't even meet minimum standards for the NCAA. (OSU has no minimum standards)HE didn't announce he didn't qualify, yet it's become public knowledge.



July 21st, 2009 at 11:52 AM ^

that IF one of the coaches or staff leaked the info that its wrong. And that may be the most likely scenario. But its not like they released his grades. Someone just leaked that he was academically ineligible. And that, while wrong, is not calling him names or talking shit about him. Its just the truth. (supposedly. Just like everyone else on this board I don't really know all the facts)


July 21st, 2009 at 3:24 PM ^

Precisely. Eventually, even the most blockheaded of people will start to figure it out. This is why ineligibility by itself can't possibly be a private matter. The alternative is for everyone to speculate wrongly about what rules the player broke or what other, worse trouble he got in that caused him to leave. That's worse IMO than everyone knowing he's ineligible.


July 20th, 2009 at 11:14 PM ^

I would recommend against reading any information about UM football before the season starts and against reading anything about recruiting at all in any off season as you may be subjected to evil information like this again, which just may ruin some kid's life.

Right or not. When someone picks a position with this sort of scrutiny, they need to think before they act.

Facts of life.

Do I agree with it if one of the coaching staff released the info? No. Do we KNOW one of the coaches released this info? No.
Am I going to blame the coaches?


July 21st, 2009 at 10:36 AM ^

Every season, a number of schools announce that player Z is academically ineligible to play in the upcoming year or is ineligible to play in the bowl game because of academic issues. I repeat, it happens EVERY season, and it happens in other sports, too. Granted, transcripts are not released, GPAs are not discussed, and classroom attendance is not addressed, but the player is announced to be ineligible. So how is it perfectly within the institution's right to announce this in those instances, but it's now somehow a major transgression of NCAA rules if a Michigan staff person gave the info to Rittenberg? What is it that makes the situation totally different wrt to Wermers? Is it because technically he's no longer a UM student?

That doesn't mean it would have been the "right" thing to do ethically, but people keep bringing up an alleged breaking of the law, and I don't see how that applies here but not in all the other academic ineligibility stories.


July 20th, 2009 at 2:21 PM ^

his doorbell would ring and there'd be a flaming bag of poop on his doorstep, and the Pahokee kids would be giggling in the bushes. You can't expect a guy to study in that environment. Inside sources at BSU tell me that it was RR himself that would provide the Florida players with the poop, the bag, and the matches.


July 20th, 2009 at 2:40 PM ^

i'm starting to wonder if Wermers was more busy creating a WoW character powerful enough to kill all other characters and less focused on line assignments and, you know, his introduction to literature course.



biakabutuka ex…

July 20th, 2009 at 2:52 PM ^

An embarrassing fact got out about him, he's probably been punished enough. Without the media parsing every word of what he said, I don't think he would have looked as spiteful as he did. Plus, this *partly* corroborates his story, since he obviously wasn't getting the help he needed. I'm guessing he just didn't know how to speak up when he needed help. That's just something you live and you learn about. On the Boren scale of betrayal I give him 2 or 3 hoagies tops.


July 20th, 2009 at 3:01 PM ^

Excerpts from an NCAA.com article by AP sportswriter Larry Lage:

(August 25, 2008 - 5 days before Rich Rodriguez's first game as Michigan head football coach)

A two-plus hour practice that is as intense as one can be without full pads is over, but Kurt Wermers can't leave yet. He's being disciplined.

The offensive lineman starts his extra work with a bear crawl for 100 yards and 100-yard sprint.

"If you don't like being punished, don't be late!" assistant coach Greg Frye shouts. "C'mon Wermers!"

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound freshman is so exhausted on his next bear crawl that knees are dragging and hands are sliding on the artificial turf. After more crawling and sprinting, Wermers tries to outrace Frye from the far corner of the field to the indoor practice facility.

"I was supposed to be at a team meal at 10:30 and I got there at 10:31," the exhausted Wermers - flat on his back - says to trainer Paul Schmidt.

"Just remember," Schmidt says. "Early is on time and on time is late."

(August 26, 2008 - 4 days before Rich Rodriguez's first game as Michigan head football coach)

At practice, Carlos Brown's option pitch with his left hand comes up short, sending the football bouncing off the turf.

"Run it again!" Magee demands with a few not-fit-to-print words mixed in.

Brown does, perfectly flicking the ball to Brandon Minor.

Rodriguez's wife, Rita, and their two kids - along with other coaches' wives and children - are around again today. Sometimes they watch practice, sometimes they just hang out on the indoor practice field.

"Bo (Schembechler) never had wives and kids around like this,'' former Wolverine Vada Murray said while watching his first Rodriguez-led practice. "But I love the pace of this practice, and Bo would've, too."

Link to the full article:


Those who stay will be champions. Go Blue!


July 20th, 2009 at 4:36 PM ^

Since when has an offensive lineman been late for a meal...

Just kidding, it sounds like RR and coaches run a very disciplined team. They're used to dealing with guys who need that discipline though too. If it translates into wins, then more power to him.

Foote Fetish

July 20th, 2009 at 3:02 PM ^

...the dude knew he wasn't coming back because of his grades. He had the option to just go quietly and respectfully, but he didn't (regardless of how much spite was actually intended in his comments). If you're going to make accusations about a high profile coach's program at a high profile university to cover for the fact that you're not making the grade, then this is what you get.


July 20th, 2009 at 3:23 PM ^

Corroborate what? Wermers didn't mention academics in any way, shape or form in his statement, yet you seem to be implying that the program somehow failed Wermers in some undefined way. Football players have had a wealth of special academic help made available to them for a long time now, so to insinuate that the program is somehow responsible for his academic failure is just as silly as Harbaugh claiming that UM prevented him from becoming a history major.


July 20th, 2009 at 4:10 PM ^

I thought the program forced them all to take History courses, like the one on Ancient Sports. Now I'm all confused.

I was a History Major. I also spent 20-30 hrs a week at the Daily, worked part-time (Pizza Bob's, IM Softball umping, South Quad Cafe ConXion), dated, and was an active member of a fraternity. I also got drunk and did other things a lot, and played out probably 20 seasons of EA Sports NCAA Football, beat several Final Fantasy Games, and never missed a single show of my best friends' band.1 And looking back at college, I remember as much time sleeping in as going to classes or doing course work.

This notion that athletics and academics are mutually exclusive things is ridiculous. Maybe when you're 40 and you have work and commutes and family time and meals are events, and friends and familial relationships take entire evenings, time seems limited. But anyone who thinks you can't get a History Degree from Michigan while doing something else does not remember college.

Then again, I've seen World of Warcraft in action, so if Wermwood, the Night Elf Hunter of Teldrassil, was still playing that time goblin while trying to study and play football, I can see how it would be hard to keep up.

Hey, he lost his place on the Michigan Football Team, and his shot at an education from the University of Michigan, but I bet his character's got Sweeeet epics!2.

1. That's over 4 years, but you get the drift.

2. An "epic," or "epic-level item" is the game's highest level of obtainable gear that most players have access to, or was back when Misopogon was a red-bearded dwarf warrior who was adept at killing Troggs.