Names Named, Heads Should Roll

Submitted by Brian on May 26th, 2010 at 10:06 AM

stocksMichigan's epic document dump provides a harrowing window into the world of TPS reports, staplers, and increasingly alarmed emails that is the University compliance environment. I started reading these things and I could not stop, delving deeply to 73-page Exhibits that are little more than compliance folk making heroic efforts not to bludgeon the football administration and hardly getting responses.

A couple things are clear.

Brad Labadie should be fired. Now. I'll leave the decision as to whether he should be put in stocks on the Diag up to Brandon, but I vote yes. The vastly ineffectual management of Scott Draper should also see him go out the door. If either of these individuals had competently executed his job, there is a strong possibility this whole thing never happens.

Brandon said yesterday that none of the seven people who got naughty notes put in their permanent record would see further repercussions. I strongly disagree with this decision.

Here's why:

You Can Take This Job Description And Shove It, Except You Can't Because It Doesn't Exist

The CSO made several attempts to obtain written job descriptions for the quality control staff from Scott Draper and Brad Labadie during 2008 and 2009. A copy of the written correspondence related to these efforts is attached as Exhibit 15. Draper provided the first version of the job descriptions on August 28, 2009 after the University began its investigation following media inquiries. See Exhibits 3 and 4.

Exhibit 15… good lord.

April 2008

Judy Van Horn asks Ann Vollano to get job descriptions for all sport-specific administrative staff. Her only sin here is saying "Let's strategize on how to implement."

July 2008

Van Horn emails Draper about a meeting that Draper may or may not have to attend about "compliance monitoring systems that are under Brad's purview":

There have been some glitches with systems that Brad thought would work better under Rich but haven't as well as times where Brad has felt hounded by CSO staff and CSO staff have felt him to be nonresponsive. I think we need to touch base to make sure we can close out 2007-08 and have a workable plan and strong relationship moving into 2008-09.

In this email Van Horn mentions the CSO is expanding monitoring of QC-type people, a "growing employment area" subject to "increasing NCAA scrutiny and controversy" and they are proactively attempting to get these agreements in place in order to avoid any troubles.

Draper responds:

If there is an issue with Brad, I need to know about it. If he was disrespectful or anything along those lines that is something I need to address. If it is not, then as his supervisor I should be made aware of it and handle it with Rich. … Please help me understand what is going on I am in the dark. If there is an issue I need to be made aware of it. Brad reports to me.

August 2008

Vollano sends a memo requesting job descriptions for all sport-specific staffers in an effort to ensure Michigan is "meeting NCAA coaching staff limit requirements," asking for a response no later than August 22nd.

September 2008

Vollano emails Draper, reminding him to turn in the form requested in August. Draper says he did it, asks Vollano to look for it again. Vollano says it is not present and the CSO has been "on high alert looking for it." Draper says he will re-do it and bring it in in the morning. Rich Rodriguez is CCed on this email. He does not receive further correspondence.

October 2008

Vollano emails Draper having received football's "limitations form" but still needs the job descriptions.

December 2008

Vollano:

Brad:

I have left a couple of messages but I thought that maybe email would be easier. I want to remind you that I need job descriptions for all of your non-coaching-specific staff members, As you may recall, the "Designation of Coaching Category" form for the 2OO8·09 academic year was changed and to include space for each member of your non-coaching sport specific staff to sign. In addition, a copy of each sport specific staff person's job description was to be attached. I have your form but I do not have any job descriptions for any of the non-coaching sport specific staff. The job descriptions should include the title of the position and a description of duties. Once we have the job descriptions, we will have the staff members sign an agreement related to their role with your sport. The role of non-coaching, sport-specific staff continues to receive increased scrutiny from both the NCAA and Big Ten Conference staff. These agreements will ensure that we are meeting NCAA coaching staff limit requirements. Thanks for your attention in this matter. An Email would be sufficient if it is easier for you, Take care! Ann

P.S. I have attached a copy of the form with all of the signatures and positions that you turned in. lf there are any people missing, please let me know. Thanks!

Labadie responds that he "just listened to the voicemail from earlier where you said you are not taking it personally" and asks for the people who need job descriptions… that Vollano has already told him twice already on the memo.

lets_all_go_to_the_lobby11

August 2009

The 28th: Draper submits a job description for QC staffers. It is a hastily slapped-together piece of crap.
The 29th: Free Press report published.
The 30th: Draper submits another job description for QC staffers.

You Say CARA, I Say "Shut Up, I'm Playing Halo"

You know the CARA forms? Yeah… about them:

The CSO made repeated requests for the CARA forms during 2008 and 2009. Most of these requests were made to Brad Labadie by email. See Exhibit 18. Scott Draper received a copy of several of the e-mail requests to Labadie. The CSO also notified Joe Parker, Senior Associate Athletics Director, Development/Corporate Relations, about the football CARA forms issues in early 2009. After the requests to Labadie produced no CARA forms from football, on May 19, 2009, the CSO office again informed Parker about the absence of CARA forms for football. Parker contacted Labadie and Draper about the issue the same day. Van Horn also notified University auditors of the issue, and the auditors found no CARA forms for football when they reviewed CSO records in April and May 2009. …

CSO officials did not meet in-person with Rodriguez to notify him of football's failure to provide CARA forms until July 30, 2009. The University is satisfied Rodriguez was unaware of the problem until he received the auditor's memorandum dated July 24th, 2009.

… The CSO was persistent in its efforts to gather CARA forms from football, including eventually seeking the assistance of the direct of athletics. The University believes, however, t he CSO should have met with Rodriguez to alert him to the CARA forms issue and seek his assistance much sooner than it did. The University believes that had the CSO done so, the CARA forms issue likely would have been addressed at a much earlier date.

The next section details what Rodriguez's part was in this. The U did not believe Rodriguez knew about the specific CARA procedures; RR states that he was not briefed until the summer of '09, but the matter was on multiple rules education agendas. Van Horn stated she and RR "agreed that Labadie and Draper would continue to be the administrators responsible for football compliance issues."

As you'd expect, the compliance issues are sheltered from the coaches as much as possible since they have more important things to be doing. The U is "satisfied Rodriguez did not know that the football program had failed to submit its CARA forms for more than 18 months."

Let's go to Exhibit 18, then. It's 73 pages.

January 2008

"Compliance assistant" Rachel Strassner sends a general email asking for telephone recruiting logs, off campus contacts, and CARA forms for December '07—before Rodriguez was hired. On the 31st, Strassner specifically emails Labadie asking for CARA forms from October, November, and December of '07, telephone logs for December, and a bunch of other stuff. Again: before Rodriguez is hired.

February 2008

Monthly reminder from Strassner. On the sixth, Strassner emails Labadie again requesting missing docs: one week of CARA forms from November, recruiting logs from Mike Debord, December telephone logs from all coaches, and October contact logs from most of the coaches. On the 12th she emails again asking for the missing CARA week, a number of contact logs, and everyone's telephone logs. On the 20th she's still missing the single CARA week and believes one other week has an overage.

March 2008

Reminder ping. Strassner now sending emails with the subject line "Compliance Documents – STILL MISSING". The November 18th week that has been outstanding for months is still outstanding, as are contact logs and telephone logs. Questions about possible overages have not been answered.

A week later, Strassner sends an email to Michael Parrish, cc-ing Labadie and asking for CARA forms for January and February, February telephone logs, and February contact logs. Vollano replies to this, noting the university's auditor will be in on Thursday and "Auditors like to find things missing so they can put them in their reports." A week later, both Vollano and Strassner request the missing logs again. A week later, the email mentions the auditor "is in the process of reviewing football's records"; it does appear that the rogue November CARA form has been submitted along with most of the missing Carr-era documentation and the contact/eval logs from the first couple months of the Rodriguez regime.

April 2008

Ping. Strassner now trying "Compliance Forms Missing – DELINQUENT." We have our first Labadie sighting as he emails that Carr and Rodriguez didn't make calls in certain months and that the CARA forms are "being completed." Quiet month after this.

May 2008

Ping. Apparently everything except the CARA forms has been submitted because Strassner's gone down to DEFCON 3: "CARA Forms – Delinquent" and all the telephone/contact log mentions have been dropped. Unfortunately, as time passes the CARA forms keep building up. Labadie has not submitted CARA forms since January 6th. At the end of the month Strassner asks again. Also, CSO still needs Fred Jackson's telephone log from December.

June 2008

Draper is now getting CCed on "Football CARA forms MISSING"; Strassner has taken the desperate, futile step of using the little doohickey that makes your emails "high" importance. CARA forms and the rogue Jackson telephone log have not been submitted. Getting slightly snippy: "Please let me know when I can expect these."

July 2008

This is the point where Brad feels "hounded by CSO staff" and CSO staff feels he could be a tetch "nonresponsive." The department stops asking about the 2008 CARA logs here so it seems like they were submitted at this point.

August 2008

Michigan sends a memo to all coaches and admin staff reminding them about CARA forms for 2008-09.

September 2008

Strassner has either moved on from a student job or an internship or thrown herself off U Towers, leaving one Roy Shavers Jr the thankless task of attempting to get CARA forms from Labadie. He takes up the monthly pings. The U reduces the submission frequency from weekly to monthly. It is the CSO's hope that this will simplify the process by "avoiding the need to ask you at the end of each year to account for past weeks of your team's countable athletically related activities."

October 2008

Just a ping.

November 2008

Ping, and then Shavers emails Labadie to remind him he needs to turn in CARA forms for August and October.

January 2009

Ping, ping. The U has pinged Joseph Parker at this point and he now (Jan 8) asks Draper, Labadie, and Parrish to get the CARA forms completed, mentioning that "we need to put a process in place to ensure this information is delivered to the CSO staff in a timely manner." Bill Martin is CCed. Labadie responds that he will get CARA "cleaned up" at upcoming meetings/workouts.

Twelve days later, Parker emails Labadie again asking about CARA.

March 2009

Ping, ping. Parker emails on the fifth noting that "as a follow-up to our conversation yesterday, compliance has not received any CARA Forms for football for 2008-09." Draper replies that Brad is acquiring the "last remaining signature[s]" from the seniors.

April 2009

Ping. On April 3rd Vollano asks "any idea when we can get the CARA forms?" Incredibly, she then adds "I do not want to bug you about it but as an FYI, the university auditors are going to start their audit of CARA" instead of "if you do not give me the forms I will chop your head off."

On the eighth Shavers emails Vollano noting that they are missing all CARA logs and the telephone logs from November, December, January, and March. Vollano pings Parrish.

May 2009

Ping. On May 7th Vollano emails Labadie with a last-ditch plea: "I just wanted to let you know that the auditors are here doing CARA. They have an empty folder for football. Any chance you bring them over?"  Double incredibly, she ends the email "Thanks for your help" instead of "I hate you so much."

Labadie actually responds here: "Figured out what the voicemail was about. Sorry I've been out this morning and I just got the auto reply that you are out later today." Vollano replies the next day asking for the forms ASAP so the auditors can review them, nothing that their report goes to "Bill, the President and Regents."

Two weeks later, Parker emails that Vollano has been requesting the documents for "several months" and asks if they can submit the CARA forms by tomorrow. Labadie replies "Yep. Had them finished yesterday at workouts and they should have been delivered today."

Poor, sweet Ann G.Vollano the next day:

image

For this, she has been officially censured. Poor, poor Ann G. Vollano.

lets_all_go_to_the_lobby11

August 2009

Van Horn and Draper set up a meeting. Unclear why, but "CARA forms" is on the agenda. A week later, Michigan sends out the annual CARA memo. A meeting agenda with Martin on August 18th summarizes the "formal communication" regarding the 2008-09 CARA Form fiasco, noting that "at the time of audit during may 2009, no football CARA forms from the 2008-09 academic year had been submitted to the CSO," that "all other varsity sports" had submitted the forms, and that an "inordinate amount of communication occurred between CSO, football administrative staff and sport administrators regarding football CARA forms."

A section later it notes that "having student-athletes provide written verification of the time they spend in CARA activities protects the head coach and institution from unfounded allegations."

August 28th: CSO finally receives CARA forms for winter and fall of 2008. They are signed by Rodriguez, but not student-athletes.
August 29th: Free Press report.
August 30th: Vollano emails Labadie a special individual ping stating they need the August 2009 CARA forms. Labadie replies in 21 minutes. Subsequent CARA reports are submitted monthly with student-athlete signatures.

-----------------------------------------

You'll note a few things other than a torrent of email from poor, sweet athletic department compliance personnel virtually begging Labadie for CARA forms: the documentation problems started before Rodriguez even arrived, that Labadie had been "hopeful" the bookkeeping processes would be better under Rodriguez, and not even the freaking auditors being in the office looking at an empty folder could get a response other than "ohhhhh, that's what that voicemail meant." The main document also states that Labadie was the responsible party for the warm-up and stretching time that put Michigan over on Mondays during 2009, although Labadie said that this opinion was based on conversations with Barwis. Why the person in charge of football compliance administration thinks he should talk to Barwis instead of compliance is unknown.

Most importantly, either Labadie lied to Draper when he said he was just getting the "last signatures" from the seniors for the 2008-09 forms or Draper lied to CSO. The main document states the CARA forms, hastily submitted the day before the Free Press report, have no student signatures. Draper, for his part, made zero effort to check up on his employee despite his apparent desire to play Tropico at work all day. He had no idea there was anything going on for months, and complained to compliance that he needed to know what was going on with the person who reports directly to him.

The worst part of all of this is how comprehensive, intelligent, and concerned the compliance side of all this was. CSO constantly badgered Draper and Labadie for the missing documents and was in the process of putting together a system that would hopefully have clarified what the QC assistants could and could not do. They anticipated potential problems with the QC staffers! Judy Van Horn just won a prestigious award and it's not hard to see why: Michigan's compliance department was machine-like in its precision. Its primary flaw was being far too polite to the unresponsive Draper and Labadie—not once did Strassner threaten to mail Labadie's pets to Albania, or shave his head in his sleep, or put him in a bun and leave him on Justin Boren's doorstep. If they had been cut-throat about it and immediately raised holy hell with Martin, Rodriguez, and others this may not have occurred.

Maybe there are things yet unrevealed by 100 pages of emails. Maybe there were behind-the-scenes reasons Labadie could not put the documents together. However, if there were the proper thing to do was to express this. Labadie didn't even get them in when threatened by an audit; it took  the freakin' Freep report to get the sloppy, unsigned CARA forms in—the ones that Labadie claimed he was just getting the last signatures on five months earlier. The main document specifically states that when Rodriguez took over it was decided to leave the CARA process exactly the way it was under Carr, and Labadie still completely failed to file reports for a whole year when the system had been in place for several years and was apparently not an insurmountable task for anyone else in the department. Rodriguez's response makes it explicitly clear that no one informed him the already-prepared job descriptions for QC people had not been submitted and that the lack of CARA form submissions was also unknown. Why was it unknown?

Labadie told the enforcement staff that he did not tell Rodriguez that he had failed to submit CARA forms because he did not want Rodriguez to look unfavorably upon him.

There is no possible excuse for the massive breach in protocol here and the missing CARA forms and QC assistant job descriptions are the primary reasons Michigan is reporting major violations instead of a selection of secondary ones. Everyone involved with Michigan football compliance administration has failed massively and should be fired. Now.

Comments

Maize and Blue…

May 26th, 2010 at 10:21 AM ^

I respect what DB has done so far, but the compliance department failed miserably. You have to wonder if they have any people skills what so ever. Emails, voice mails, what about a good old face to face conversation. People worried about their boss seeing them in an unfavorable light- Do your damn job right and you wouldn't have to worry about it. You would think with Gantt charts, Outlook calander pop up reminders, and an empty folder with missing documents that someone would get out of their cushy chair and track down the person who is not doing their job. It seems like a classic case of pass the buck or screw RR you decide.

turd ferguson

May 26th, 2010 at 11:45 AM ^

i agree.  sadly, though, this is the blessing and the curse of the email era.  poor, sweet ann g.vollano wouldn't have left the same paper trail of good intentions if she had knocked on some office doors instead of sending emails.  i just wish she had picked up on the power of cc'ing important people (direct and indirect supervisors) on some of those emails.

the banality of this whole scene makes it that much more painful.

RockinLoud

May 26th, 2010 at 12:03 PM ^

People worried about their boss seeing them in an unfavorable light- Do your damn job right and you wouldn't have to worry about it.

This times 1000.  I work with people who are so lazy and do whatever the heck they want most of the time, regardless of what the boss tells them to do, then when they get a verbal warning (or worse) they complain about it.  Maybe, just maybe, if you actually did your job right you wouldn't have to worry about getting in trouble.  That's just me, but what I do I know, it's not like I was on the job for three months and got the promotion they'd been trying to get for years. 

GOBLUE4EVR

May 27th, 2010 at 7:35 AM ^

even worse is the the whole idea of putting windows messenger on work computers would make WORK conversations easier... WM was the down fall amongst the women in my department at GM... i worked  with 2 women that would have up 6 conversation boxes opened at at time... my other personal fav is the whole "i just had an email/WM conversation with you, so now i have to come to your desk and talk about it" conversation that goes on most of the day... but they make sure to throw in some shop talk in there to make it ok... what made it even worse was we were contract employees at GM so we had to work twice as hard as the GM employees (it wasn't hard) to make sure that our boss wouldn't get a talking to from our GM bosses or that our owners wouldn't get a call...

Rasmus

May 26th, 2010 at 2:16 PM ^

If you'd ever had these kinds of responsibilities, you'd know there is more to it. Large institutions are riddled with people like Draper and Labadie. This kind of avoidance and procrastination happens all the time.

If you are from one department, trying to get something from another, it's not as simple an equation as you seem to think. You can remind them, pressure them, and so on, basically doing everything the CSO did (which included face-to-face conversations). But snitching on them to the big bosses is not a card to play lightly -- you have to continue to work with these people and you don't want to be constantly asking the higher-ups for help.

Now, there is no question that Van Horn was way too patient in this case, especially with Draper and the QC job descriptions -- she clearly knew that would be a problem area. In her defense, however, she could hardly have known the Free Press would do what it did. Some chaos in the first year of a new coaching staff is to be expected, and there was no reason to think the NCAA would single Michigan out even if they were sniffing around, which they weren't. The Free Press made this happen all by themselves.

TSWC

May 26th, 2010 at 3:55 PM ^

...make calls and meet face to face. It's just that's typically not the sort of thing that gets documented. Just because there are a bunch of emails doesn't meet there weren't in person meetings (but maybe there's specific mention of a failure to meet in person that I didn't see or don't remember). That's one of the reasons people like to email--it's great to have records to CYA. 

zlionsfan

June 1st, 2010 at 2:18 PM ^

Having worked with massively incompetent people before, I have plenty of first-hand experience that says when you are dealing with people who a) have no intention of doing their jobs and b) are protected enough that they can get away with it, you could call them out in a meeting with everyone all the way up the hierarchy and they'd have an excuse at the ready. It's more difficult to evade responsibility in person, but people who are exceptionally gifteed at it can do so no matter what the setting is.

Of course, that means there's someone higher up who's shielding the massively incompetent person, and the problem could be resolved easily if both people were axed. (Sadly, in the cases I saw, that never happened.) Maybe DB is making nice for public consumption, but will work behind the scenes to slide the incompetent people out the door.

Blue-Chip

May 26th, 2010 at 10:22 AM ^

Thanks for putting this together Brian.  For all the coverage of this, it's nice to see something that actually talks about what happened, and not what a bunch of people made up or assumed.  That said, this was a pretty sad state of affairs in reporting practices.

Wolverine318

May 26th, 2010 at 10:24 AM ^

You are the man Brian. With that said...I would proof read this a second time..Look at this passage,

 

July 2008

Van Horn emails Draper about a meeting that Draper may or may not have to intend about "compliance monitoring systems that are under Brad's purview":

There have been some glitches with systems that Brad thought would work better under Rich but haven't as well as times where Brad has felt hounded by CSO staff and CSO staff have felt him to be nonresponsive. I think we need to touch base to make sure we can close out 2007-08 and have a workable plan and strong relationship moving into 2008-09.

mi_vandal

May 26th, 2010 at 10:29 AM ^

 

So my question is why, at some point, the pings didn't start getting cc'd to Bill Martin?  If Draper sees that Martin is cc'd, and thus his boss knows that the football admin isn't doing their job, perhaps that spurs him and his staff into action....  what would stop Van Horn from going up the ladder with these problems?  That's how bureaucracy works, amirite?

Maybe it's a sign that getting Martin involved would have been futile, and compliance knew it - I don't know.  I do feel confident that if DB was around in 2008, he would have been made aware of these issues, and he would have fixed it.

Mud

May 26th, 2010 at 10:53 AM ^

This reminds me of those stroke commercials where someone's hair is on fire or their sporting an arrow through the chest and they nonchlantly say " I'll have it looked at later."

 

I think the Time Lost is Brain Lost motto definately applies here.

Don

May 26th, 2010 at 10:31 AM ^

Did he have any idea this clusterfuck was happening? If not, why not? If he did, why didn't he get to the bottom of it immediately, bang heads, and remedy the situation? I'm puzzled how he could not have been aware that something was amiss.

And FTW:

"put him in a bun and leave him on Justin Boren's doorstep."

InterM

May 26th, 2010 at 12:05 PM ^

I think the answer is hinted at in Michigan's response.  It seemed to me that every time Martin's name was mentioned in that response, it was in direct proximity to the words "I don't know" or "I don't recall."  There's no indication that Martin ever tried to get to the bottom of this, light a fire under anyone, etc.  I can only assume that Judy Van Horn and the compliance folks thought it wasn't worthwhile to get Martin involved.  I suspect that they wouldn't reach the same conclusion with our current AD.  Whatever strengths Martin might have had as an AD, I think we can safely assume that managing a bureaucracy wasn't one of them.

chickenbroccolibake

May 26th, 2010 at 10:32 AM ^

Thing the first, I really hope there is no legal motivation for not firing these guys.  Ie, somehow canning these guys [who should be canned] would somehow imply a "wilful failure to monitor" or whatever.

Thing the second, while compliance may have been "machine-like in its precision", they really failed at raising hell.  If you send an email for something you need to receive, and it doesn't come, you need to get up in that person's face.  If they are still turds, you need to raise hell with their boss, and so on and so on.  You can't keep sending emails into the void.  You've gotta get all Walter Sobchek on the mess.

Tim

May 26th, 2010 at 10:51 AM ^

The NCAA has already charged Michigan with the violations that it's going to charge them with.

If anything, firing these guys would show that Michigan is committed to fixing potential problems, and is looking to behave better in the future.

His Dudeness

May 26th, 2010 at 10:37 AM ^

Read this whole thing. After working in an office for the last five years, having never worked in one prior, I can understand this situation. Some people need a friendly reminder and others need a taze, bro.

saveferris

May 26th, 2010 at 10:41 AM ^

I can't help but think that some of this information should have been dug up by the Free Press before they went ahead and printed their hack job article last year.  This is the kind of research and evidence I would expect a professional newspaper journalist to produce before running with their story.  Of course putting that kind of effort into doing your story properly would've meant spending a lot more time on it and not being able to ambush the program the week before their season started, which seems to be more and more the driving motivation for the article in the first place.  Hit them just before the first game to achieve maximum profits, maximum publicity, maximum prestige.  Did we do our due diligence on this before we ran the story?  Who cares.  Despicable.

Section 1

May 26th, 2010 at 12:06 PM ^

Don't forget; the Freep was rushing the story into print the week that the football season started.

And Rosenberg let no one at Michigan know about the story, until the Friday before they went to print.  The chronology goes something like this:

July 28, 2009 - CARA Audit memo is distributed to AD's office and others.

--?--   - Memo is leaked to Rosenberg.

August, 2009 - Rosenberg conducts interviews with anonymous "current and former players" and some of their parents(!?).

Friday, August 28, 2009 - Rosenberg and Snyder call Bruce Madej and tell him that they need to meet with him about an important matter.  They go to Madej's office, and lay out the story.  According to Rosenberg, he tells Madej that they'd like to have a response from the University.  Does the University have any documents to disprove teh allegations?  It is complete bullshit; there is no way that the University can respond before Saturday, when...

Saturday, August 29, 2009 - Freep.com posts the strory which shows up in banner headlines on...

Sunday, August 30, 2009. - Michigan barely had time to get press releases crafted for Bill Martin, Rich Rodriguez and Mary Sue Coleman.

tmotts62

May 26th, 2010 at 1:18 PM ^

IIRC, media day (when Rosenberg ambushed the freshmen into out-of-context "confirmation" of the violations) was early August.  Which would suggest that the memo was leaked promptly.  And no, to respond to your point in the other thread, I'm not suggesting any of the CSO or FB admins did the leaking. 

JeepinBen

May 26th, 2010 at 10:43 AM ^

I mean... Rittenberg reads MGoBlog occasionally, hopefully he (or someone) gets this information more disseminated. 

As usual, I'm left feeling that if everyone read MGoBlog the world would be a better place

Jivas

May 26th, 2010 at 10:44 AM ^

If not fired, that motherfucker needs to get demoted, have his desk placed in the basement, and have his Swingline stapler taken away from him.

But I'd prefer fired.

Mojo 3

May 26th, 2010 at 10:51 AM ^

Hey Brian - Awesome post. I have read your blog for years but this was the first time I have taken the time to post a response. It was great to see something about the details of what was actually going on prior to the report even coming out. With that said, I have to believe there is a lot going on outside of these emails. They know that anything put in writing can be used later.

One thought that came to me while reading this...... maybe Brad is in one of those positions where he is getting hit from both sides. He can't get the information and responses he needs from the coaching staff/players, and he is getting hit from CSO weekly about not turning in the forms. It isn't like Brad just needed to sit down at his desk, complete the forms, and click send. He had to get the information/signatures from coaches and players. Obviously he cannot throw the coaching staff under the bus in the emails for being non-responsive to him. He is between a rock and a hard place. The fact that Draper doesn't seem to get this straight way in advance, makes me think he felt Brad was doing his job. And Martin not even getting involved........ I don't know. Just hit me while reading this that it could be a really tough spot to be in.

Blue in Seattle

May 26th, 2010 at 11:38 AM ^

Entry from January 2008

"

January 2008

"Compliance assistant" Rachel Strassner sends a general email asking for telephone recruiting logs, off campus contacts, and CARA forms for December '07—before Rodriguez was hired. On the 31st, Strassner specifically emails Labadie asking for CARA forms from October, November, and December of '07, telephone logs for December, and a bunch of other stuff. Again: before Rodriguez is hired.

"

Usually looking at only one section of a department and their performance that is clearly deficient, it's easy to conclude that "oh my god this guy sucks".  But to me this looks like a long term slipping of the excellence expected from the original design of the CARA forms.

From my experience in the Navy, reading an incident report that is very thorough ALWAYS looks like everyone involved is a complete screw-up.  But the goal of such a thorough review is to find the various root causes so that you can correct them, not punish them.

Punishment is decided by the end result.  For example, the submarine that performed an emergency surface evolution for a VIP on board, but ended up hitting, and sinking a fishing boat, killing almost everyone onboard did result in a firing of the Captain.

incidents where equipment is broken, even very expensive equipment, almost always results in extra training for all involved and some black marks on people's performance records, which while not a firing, do significantly alter their ability to be promoted in the future.

At the end of the day this is a slap on the wrist, self administered, for the University of Michigan demonstrating that they failed to fillout the forms of their own process.

We forget that we don't know anything about the process setup at WVU for their athletics programs to demonstrate they don't "over practice for a competitive advantage"

Basically could Rich Rodriguez made sure his staff took the time to learn all Michigan procedures that were new and confusing? - yes

Could the compliance department at Michigan done a better job of training the new staff on the process and explaining it's importance? - yes

Was the compliance department getting a little slack in their procedures prior to Rich Rodriguez being hired? - yes

I'm assuming no where in the documents is it recorded what kind of conversation David Brandon and Scott Draper or Brad Labadie had.  If their response was, "forms? we don't need no stinkin' forms" then I'd scratch my head as to why Mr. Brandon didn't escort them off campus.  If it was more like, "yes we allowed ourselves to get lax in running the process that is our responsibility, and did not do what we could have to make the coaching transition smoother" then I think that you really have to also consider how hard it would be to find new people more competent  to replace them, or do you trust them to improve.

Pile on to this, that before the Free Press made this a story, the University had finally corraled everyone and said, "enough! coaches fill out the forms, compliance figure out how to improve this clumsy and tedious process"

I'm guessing that pretty much things were corrected, the spankings and timeouts were completed, and then someone thought it would be funny to send something to their friend at a news paper.

and the rest is history.

 

 

jdelverne

May 26th, 2010 at 11:41 AM ^

I love the in depth breakdown Brian.  Great job, but no way Labadie and Draper are this unresponsive.  They are taking the fall or else they would have been fired already.  If they get fired, they go to the press with the "real story".  No one would last this long without getting immense pressure to produce the reports unless those reports reveal something they should not.   This story doesn't add up..

mtzlblk

May 26th, 2010 at 2:26 PM ^

That either the email trail was fabricated, or that the forms were actually submitted and completed corrently, but the emails requesting them were fabricated.

Can you be a little more precise in how you think this doesn't add up?

I know a mountain of evidence can be daunting to go up against, but do tell because I'm sure the NCAA committee they are submitting this to will not go through it with a fine tooth comb and would appreciate the help.

03 Blue 07

May 26th, 2010 at 3:05 PM ^

No, I think what he's saying (which seems possibly valid) is that it's possible that the football staff people wouldn't provide them with the info they needed, and rather than blame it on the football staff, they dicked around and tried to string compliance along. It may be possible that the football staff was uncooperative, or that they were trying to hide the amount of activities that were actually going on. Do I think this is the case? No. Is that because I give U of M and its coaches the benefit of the doubt? That probably has something to do with it. But also just because I can't see either Lloyd's regime or RR's being that shady, especially since we don't really have any evidence to corroborate such a claim, and in the case of Lloyd, we have a track record of over a decade at U of M that would suggest otherwise, and in the case of RR, we have a track record of about a decade at multiple institutions that would suggest otherwise as well. Thus, although possible, I think the "Labadie and Draper are covering for the football staff" angle is not as likely as Labadie (and Draper) just being woefully incompetent and downright shady in b.s.'ing the compliance people.

Mojo 3

May 26th, 2010 at 4:04 PM ^

Just saying there is probably more to this story that is not in emails. The coaching staff may find paperwork incredibly annoying and a necessary evil of the position (don't we all?). So it is feasible that Ladabie/Draper had a tough time getting the necessary info out of them, but knew that throwing them under the bus would be a death sentence. I would hope U of M would not hire folks as incompetent as Draper/Ladabie come off in this report. If the situation I described above was truly the case, UM is never going to volunteer that info if it isn't documented. Of course, I know they do a lot of interviewing in these cases and I would hope that we weren't telling the NCAA blatant lies either. Impossible to corroborate that many stories.

Other Chris

May 26th, 2010 at 10:52 AM ^

From the Daily's salary database:

2009 Labadie,Bradley R UM_ANN-ARBOR Athletics Administrative Specialist 1 72,000.00
2008 Labadie,Bradley R UM_ANN-ARBOR Athletics Administrative Specialist 1 70,000.00
2007 Labadie,Bradley R UM_ANN-ARBOR Athletics Administrative Specialist 1 63,000.00
2006 Labadie,Bradley R UM_ANN-ARBOR Athletics Administrative Specialist 1 51,000.00
2005 Labadie,Bradley R UM_ANN-ARBOR Athletics Administrative Specialist 1 46,000.00

 

2009 Draper,Scott Arthur UM_ANN-ARBOR Athletics Athletics Operations Asst Dir 1 99,000.00
2008 Draper,Scott Arthur UM_ANN-ARBOR Athletics Athletics Operations Asst Dir 1 98,000.00
2007 Draper,Scott Arthur UM_ANN-ARBOR Athletics Athletics Operations Asst Dir 1 88,000.00
2006 Draper,Scott Arthur UM_ANN-ARBOR Athletics Athletics Operations Asst Dir 1 80,000.00
2005 Draper,Scott Arthur UM_ANN-ARBOR Athletics Athletics Operations Asst Dir 1 72,000.00

Blue in Seattle

May 26th, 2010 at 1:37 PM ^

up until their recent letters of reprimand year, 2009.

Actually, since Brandon did the letters in 2010, seems like they were punished based on the internal audit and the internal correcting of things in 2009.

Again, the Free Press uncovered old news on an issue that was already corrected within the Athletic department.

Can we put the pitch forks away now?

Rasmus

May 26th, 2010 at 3:18 PM ^

Labadie's job may have been slightly upgraded in the year his raise was more than 10%.

The small 2009 increase is probably recession-budget related, and has nothing to do with performance. 

10% is a very high annual increase for a private non-profit institution, so I'm guessing these people are state employees. If so:

http://www.afscme1583.org/

Firing them for cause would be a complicated process where you'd have to have all your documentation in order (including a history of poor performance evaluations), provide warnings, and the like.

chriscamzz

May 26th, 2010 at 4:16 PM ^

As a U of M employee, I can state that University employees are not considered state employees.  These also would not be union type jobs but rather professional/administrative, so they would likely fall into an Exempt category where there is much more flexibility in terms of the termination process.  It's still a public institution, and it's hard to get fired from the University, but not because this is position is covered by union contracts.

Rasmus

May 27th, 2010 at 8:02 AM ^

for the info. Sorry for jumping to conclusions. I suppose maybe the 10% thing is because the football program can afford to give everyone the highest increase the University allows.

Don't get me wrong -- I don't begrudge anyone who can get a 10% annual increase from their employer...