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



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.


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:


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


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.



May 26th, 2010 at 12:23 PM ^

I imagine reading through everything would probably cure most anyones insomnia.  Thankfully I don't have it so it was nice to read a concise review.  I don't understand.  Don't these people run into one another a couple times a week?  I think I have more personal interaction with my boss and she's a couple thousand miles away.  They should have copied Rich Rod on some of these requests.  He can be pretty intimidating.  Last thing I would want is him showing up in my office asking why I haven't provided the information.  I would have gotten on it immediately.


May 26th, 2010 at 12:38 PM ^

As much as I hate to defend some of the stupidity displayed here by the AD's office, this lack of oversight and missed administrative opportunities is indicative of the situation at most institutions that I have worked for (I can only speak to academics, but I presume that large private-sector companies are the same).  It is unfortunately the nature of the beast that massive institutions (like UM) have so many points of weakness that an oversight here or a mistake there is all that is needed to create what (appears) to be massive instability.

Right now, I work as an attorney for a prominent academic institution, and half of my day is spent chasing down researchers, following up on research plans, and tracking paperwork both in and out of the institution.  And I am not talking about just compliance paperwork and innocuous agreements; there are quite a few living creatures (mice, flies, etc.) and active cell lines that are floating in administrative limbo, owned by one party while being distributed by another, all lacking the necessary paperwork to make these transfers legal and binding.  

The silver lining, of course, is that life finds a way to move on despite insufficient paperwork.  Our researchers are not being nefarious in not obtaining the necessary paperwork; they are just busy with their work and most don't even think about the legal side of it.  Government grants are tracked as well as possible, but dates and reports are sometimes missed and nobody loses any sleep over them because nothing bad really happened.  Of course, if a local newspaper, in great need of eyeballs and any semblance of relevance, decided to perform an "expose" by contacting our researchers and scouring our books, they would uncover "massive instability" and "a clear pattern of malfeasance."  Ignore the fact that these words could be thrown at virtually any major school, government agency, and company in the world - the newspaper would have its white whale and would technically be correct that a lack of oversight existed.

My point is that for all the gnashing of teeth, rending of garments, and thousands of pages of exhibits, the final result was a couple dozen extra hours of stretching, some individuals being places and seeing things they should not, and a gross disregard for, and negligence in, filling out monotonous paperwork.  Maybe I am jaded by my job and the far more relevant scandals at USC and Kansas, but all this hoopla proved was that UM's compliance office dropped the ball a couple of times on minor issues, and considering what they have to deal with in such a big athletic department, I am pretty impressed.


May 26th, 2010 at 12:52 PM ^

I work for a large, multi-national corporation and my primary client is the U.S. Government. I have seen billion-dollar projects wither on the vine because functionaries "don't have the time" to write that report, go to that meeting, close the loop.

In essence, these folks are betting on the come that Hope will, in fact, be a strategy. "Nothing really bad will happen." Mostly, they feel this way because nothing bad had happened before. Past being prologue and all....

Unfortunately, it sometimes doesn't work out so neatly. A study in Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) for the Three-Mile Island accident, space shuttle Challenger and Columbia accidents, and many others, reveals that the crucial information that would have prevented the accidents were known well in advance. Organizational failures, (i.e. "human error") were at the root of the systemic problems.


May 26th, 2010 at 12:46 PM ^

Not good enough.  The should be flogged on the 50 yard line.  It is obvious that the internal structure of the football team, became complacent, and had a large sense of entitlement.  Great job Brian, flushing these characters out.


May 26th, 2010 at 12:50 PM ^

incompetence is incompetence.

It is incredible that eventually, Van Horn actually had to remind Draper and Labadie why CARA exists...

"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."

It seems to me this should have been communicated during an exit interview.


May 26th, 2010 at 1:01 PM ^

Brian you're always dead on, but a bit short sighted to desire immediate firings.  What do employees typically do when fired?  Hate on their firing employer do they not?  You yourself write:

"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."

Wel, with a frothing, bruised Freep salivating for data to justify it's hack job, what'd be action item #1if Labadie and Draper got the shit can? An interview for each, arming said Lansing, er Columbus, er Detroit Free Press with new potentially undesirable ammunition to back Rosenturd up.  The ex-employees would very likely choose the path of vindicating themselves by deflecting the blame to others including possibly RR, who knows, doing way, way more damage.  Cutting these two inept employees loose now would possibly open a whole new can of media worms that Brandon is wisely going to skirt for the time being. 

El Jeffe

May 26th, 2010 at 1:39 PM ^

I like this kind of thinking, and if Brandon is thinking it too then he's even more of an art of war ninja than I thought. I'll be interested to see whether, in the frenzy of a midyear B11 title run for UM (amiright, people?), two or three compliance staff are presented with very attractive severance packages and a wicked binding gag order.

Edit: I mean nondisclosure agreement, not gag order.

Feat of Clay

May 26th, 2010 at 1:25 PM ^

I should feign surprise but I've worked at the U a long time.  I could cite dozens of examples where people within the U don't act in the mutual interest of the University, and refused to cooperate with colleagues even when their requests are reasonable or relate to things that are compulsory.

Of course, the examples I know about don't bring the NCAA down on your heads.


May 26th, 2010 at 1:32 PM ^

I've casually interviewed with Judy Van Horn about a career in NCAA compliance, and I was thoroughly impressed by her. Smart as a whip I tell ya. I met Ann too and she did seem like a nice sweet woman, with a lot of stuff on her desk.

So thank you to Brian for restoring my faith in the compliance department, which I thought was top of the line, and apparently still might be. And Judy, I'll still listen to any job offers you might have. Ya know. Just in case you need someone to do some yelling.


May 26th, 2010 at 1:42 PM ^

Great job, Brian, for your diligence in finding those facts.  It looks like things were out of control before RR got there.  I suspect he kept the existing staff because of pressure to do so and because those incumbents were the only ones who knew the Michigan system.  Nonetheless, he should have been aware or made sure there were systems to catch the inadequacies.  


May 26th, 2010 at 1:42 PM ^

All I know is that Rachel Strassner and Judy Van Horn are instantly beatified as saints for their calm demeanor throughout this whole process. For weeks and months Rachel attempted to get brad to file the missing information, and for weeks and months Brad never attempted to respond. It would have taken me about 3 weeks to get to the point where I am sending an email with some seriously nasty undertones about what im going to do to your balls if you dont get me the info im asking for. The fact that these women managed to maintain a professional demeanor throughout is unbelievable.


I just cant believe the level of incompitence displayed by Draper and Labadie in doing the job that they where hired to do. I have never worked a job where I could get away with being this stupid, they emailed back and ofrth for 5 months with no progress whatsoever yet no one was fired or made accountable!

Tom_Harmon 2.0

May 26th, 2010 at 1:44 PM ^

I had a work-study job at the Michigan School of Music throughout my undergrad (2006-2010).  My department's responsibilities included:  getting music out to two bands, bowing/copying music for two orchestras, getting music out to three choirs, as well as helping random people who stopped in to the Ensembles Library asking for parts to specific pieces.  As well as bailing out non-music-major ensembles when they needed help getting music out to their players on time.  And loaning out utility instruments (i.e. English horns, bass clarinets etc.) to people who needed them.

I can assure you that my boss would have canned my ass if I showed this level of unresponsiveness to a STUDENT, let alone the freaking COMPLIANCE DEPARTMENT.

03 Blue 07

May 26th, 2010 at 2:49 PM ^

Unbelievable. Seriously, unbelievable. I am certain that Scott Draper has many responsibilities. However, my take on this is that his head must roll. This is absurd! What kind of business would let something like that-- him ignoring repeated requests, protecting his underling, etc- which resulted in a huge, huge fiasco- go unpunished severely? That guy must have some SERIOUS pull to still have his job. You fucked up; you were the guy in charge of this/had direct responsibility; you didn't get the guy below you to DO what he was supposed to do...instead, you seemed to be protecting him; it resulted in a complete shitshow. Do the honorable thing and resign. How could you not if you were him? You're an assistant AD, and you have a lot of responsibility. You failed in a key area of that responsibility, resulting in very bad things for your organization. If this were me, I'd sink to a level of self-loathing that could only be rectified by offering my resignation and months of booze and hanging out in a dark room.

Think about it: the result was/is your University's football program's image being tarnished. If he tendered his resignation and it was not accepted by the AD, then fine. But, in all honesty, the only honorable thing to do, in my opinion, is offer your resignation if you are him.

Oh, and clearly Labadie should be fired. What these two did, and really, especially Labadie, is so egregious to me, I can't even explain it. I actually agree: firing them isn't enough. As an attorney, I'm trying to wrack my brain to think of if you could actually sue Labadie, and what for. . . I honestly believe his conduct rose above mere negligence and showed a "willful and wanton" disregard for his actual duties, etc. Yeah, I know- you can't sue him, really. There's not a claim that I can come up with, but good lord, just firing him does NOT seem like enough of a punishment. I cannot wrap my head around the level of suck that Labadie and his boss, Draper, displayed in the execution of their duties. If these guys have any pride, they have to be deeply, deeply ashamed, at the very least.


May 26th, 2010 at 2:29 PM ^

yes. I don't think there was anything malicious, especially because the failures started happening under Carr's watch. This was the institutional equivalent of this:

Neglect-induced failure to perform.


May 27th, 2010 at 9:05 AM ^

OK, so I am laughing thinking to myself what each of those three guys in the backfield are saying or thinking.

QB: "Oh shit! Here, you take it."

FB: "WTF?! Well, here goes nothin': ahhhhhhhhh!"

TB: "What? Oh man! Woooooob, woob, woob, woob!"  (ala Curly in the Three Stooges)


May 26th, 2010 at 3:43 PM ^

Brian never ceases to amaze me with his ability to deliver more in depth reporting than all of the other major media outlets. 


May 26th, 2010 at 4:09 PM ^

An excellent bit of research and reporting and I also appreciate the fine back and forth in the comments that is not hellfire and brimstone, but reasonable and measured.

My question is this: I've played Tropico, I thought it was a good game, but it clearly holds special meaning for you (The Age of Miracles).  Is this an unprompted declaration of affection for the game, or some secret engineering code word that I am missing out on?

Section 1

May 26th, 2010 at 5:25 PM ^

Your comment is technically different from the kind of garbage on the and sportstalk radio websites (their comments being, "RR is the sole reason we have had to deal with this crap..."), but not different in kind.

We know, for a fact, that David Brandon has stated that no one person is responsible and that if there had been one person responsible, it would have been easy to single that person out.

And for you, in particular, I don't think that your fearless leader Brian agrees that Labadie "is the sole reason we have to deal with all this crap."


May 26th, 2010 at 5:18 PM ^

people would die and i would be convicted of felonious negligence.

These horses' asses sit around (probably looking at porn) and make excuses why they don't do their jobs and why they lied to people who DEPEND on them to do their jobs?



May 26th, 2010 at 5:46 PM ^

may not be as blameless in this whole mess as has been suggested.  From Rodriguez's response:

"Several weeks later Barwis and assistant strength coach Dennis Murray spoke to assistant athletic director for compliance Ann Vollano about the same subject. Barwis and Murray understood Vollano to confirm that warm-up/stretch, cool-down/stretch and injury prevention do not count. On June 23 and June 25, 2009, Murray sent emails with weekly calendars of workout activities to Vollano. Rodriguez was not copied on the emails. Vollano responded to Murray with a voice message which seems to confirm that warm-up and stretching activities do not count…

"Barwis and Murray said Vollano also observed some summer workouts in 2009. Murray said he and Barwis offered to take Vollano through a workout so she would know exactly what they did and could tell them what counted and what did not count. Murray said Vollano declined to go through a workout but confirmed that the warm-up, cool-down and injury prevention components would not count. Barwis said Vollano also told the entire football staff and team at the start of the 2009 season that warm-up, stretching and cool-down do not count toward the CARA limits.

"Vollano confirmed that she spoke to Barwis and Murray about whether certain workout activities counted toward the limits, but she said she understood the strength staff was only monitoring those activities, not conducting them. In other words, Vollano said she understood the activities in question were done individually and not as a coordinated group activity. Vollano also said she never observed a summer workout. Vollano said Barwis and Murray did offer to take her through a workout, but she thought they were offering to do that for her own personal interest in physical conditioning but not to ensure they were counting activities correctly for compliance with NCAA legislation."

Section 1

May 26th, 2010 at 7:58 PM ^

But what I take away from that is not that Ann Vollano is an outlaw.  And Barwis is clearly no outlaw.  Rodriguez, for his part, is not only NOT an outlaw with respect to this particular incident; Rodriguez is demonstrably innocent.

No; what I take away from all of this is that the only person who acted with malice is the person who implied that in all of this, Michigan may have been "cheating," gaining a competitive advantage, or was somehow placing student-athletes in peril.  (R-o-s-e-n-b-e-r-g.)

But the vast majority of the unthinking public holds the opinion that Michigan, and particularly Rodriguez, were guilty; guilty of doing all of those things.

Thank God for Brian Cook and MGoBlog.  


May 26th, 2010 at 6:52 PM ^

and I have a doctoral degree and teach at at Mid-Atlantic university and make a good salary. I would give all of this up in a heart beat to relocate to A2 to work for the University of Michigan in any capacity in academics or compliance. I have about ten years left in my career. Come on Dave Brandon...make my day.


May 26th, 2010 at 7:17 PM ^

This is what happened to Strassner:

Rachel Strassner was named the director of compliance for the Western Michigan University athletic department in June of 2008.  Prior to joining WMU, Strassner was a compliance assistant at the University of Michigan.


I agree that the two deserve to be fired, but in the current situation, it might be better to wait or do something else more quietly.  As for possible mitigating factors, name a party involved and I can think of a scenario damning to that party while making everyone else seem innocent.  In particular, the theory that Labadie and Draper were getting hit from both sides might have merit, but it's still not enough to excuse the facts we have in front of us.  After all, they hardly needed s-a input (perhaps a little from the coaches) to compile the job descriptions.  This is especially true for the first version (Exhibit 3, which, probably unfortunately, is short enough for everyone to read).  


Great job, Brian, on leafing through all of this.

Edward Khil

May 26th, 2010 at 11:52 PM ^

It will just look like Brandon is looking for scapegoats. Thanks to Brian, we now see that they're extremely worthy scapegoats.  But Brandon could not have known what a source of wisdom mgoblog truly is.

I'm sure these two guys know they should be starting their job search yesterday.  Creep away, fellas.


May 26th, 2010 at 8:03 PM ^

From Brian's digging, it does look like things were starting to go off the rails before Rodriguez was hired. 

When was Labadie hired, and was he always in the same role?

And didn't Draper take on a new role when Rodriguez came in?  I seem to recall he transitioned from Director of Football Operations to an Associate Athletic Director for football, or something like that. 

Anybody know this stuff?

Sextus Empiricus

May 26th, 2010 at 11:17 PM ^

Van Horn should be fired as well...failure to escalate...she owns the archiving and presentation of these forms should they ever be's not enough to send weekly/monthly emails...she should have taken this to Martin after any forms were delinquent for more than a month.  That is going to happen from now on.

In the end I think everyone including Labadie and Draper are better for this (though clearly they are overpaid).  Brandon came just in time.  As screwed up as all this is - it's a relatively easy fix from a management perspective - for a competent executive. 

Penitent employees can be loyal and vicious advocates for change if given the right leadership - so I'm not going to take him to task for keeping people on.  He set the bar low to retain your job - tell the truth.  In his position as a new AD - I think he is team building big time.   

The real work is being done by the players – returning the level of play to historic levels.  The QC and admin tasks are simple – there is a reason Draper had little respect for the job description requirement. 

This sort of paperwork can be easily automated.  It sounds like from comments Brandon has made this is in the works.  Michigan Football needs to get in the automation swing.   Playbooks, CARA forms, recruiting expenses, phone records...all this stuff should be at the fingertips of players, coaches and admins as needed.  CARA forms should gate access to any football activities when late.  That is not new - but given the IT available now - it's inexcusable not to punch this bullet. 

Ultimately this is a loss of focus on Martin's part - especially in light of the previous probation.  The important thing is that the learning is real.  I'm very pleased Brandon is giving his time to Michigan.  We are lucky.

Edward Khil

May 26th, 2010 at 11:46 PM ^

Poor, sweet Ann G. Vallano was perhaps too reticent in cc'ing superiors (including Martin).  But she no doubt expected these infractions to be reported by the auditors when they found the empty folders in March 2008.  Brian's entry for that month notes that "the rogue November CARA forms" turned up during the audit.  But Ms. Vallano no doubt expected their initial lack to be reported, along with the lack of any reports past January 6 of 2008.

Every audit should at least take a look at current adherence to procedure in addition to a more in-depth review of prior year adherence.

She probably figured, "If it's not important to them (the audit's recipients, i.e., Martin et al), why should I break my back?  All I can do is keep asking."


May 26th, 2010 at 11:57 PM ^

Reading through this reminded me ust how dysfunctional a given workplace can be, even at professional institutions like UM with highly qualified people. at these positions.  There's always some wisenheimer in certain organizations who thinks there shit doesn't stink and considers it OK to blow off important duties and requests.

I cringed reading those e-mails. I wish I could say I have not encountered and dealt with a lot  of Scott Drapers and Brad Labadies in my  own work career. 

Sometimes people are afraid to raise holy hell.  They want to be liked and want to keep their jobs.  They don't want to throw others under the bus.  But there are times when it must be done.  There were many missed opportunities.

Lastly: How can I send Ann Vollano some flowers to cheer her up?


May 26th, 2010 at 11:57 PM ^

Reading through this reminded me ust how dysfunctional a given workplace can be, even at professional institutions like UM with highly qualified people. at these positions.  There's always some wisenheimer in certain organizations who thinks there shit doesn't stink and considers it OK to blow off important duties and requests.

I cringed reading those e-mails. I wish I could say I have not encountered and dealt with a lot  of Scott Drapers and Brad Labadies in my  own work career. 

Sometimes people are afraid to raise holy hell.  They want to be liked and want to keep their jobs.  They don't want to throw others under the bus.  But there are times when it must be done.  There were many missed opportunities.

Lastly: How can I send Ann Vollano some flowers to cheer her up?