Post-Release Three And Out Q&A: Part I Comment Count

Brian December 21st, 2011 at 5:18 PM

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The ever-loquacious John Bacon gave me 6k words on the following questions about Three and Out that seemed to touch on most of the questions provided in the comments and via email. As per usual, we'll split that into two posts, the second of which will run tomorrow. Unfortunately, the answer to "why Greg Robinson?" turns out to be "I don't know, either," but some things are just unexplainable.

1) LAWSUITS

The book seemed reasonably two-sided once things got to Michigan. The WV stuff is more one-sided -- just Rich's POV. Did JUB see anything that supported WV's position in those 'negotiations'/lawsuits?

As stated in the book, then-Governor Joe Manchin and former A.D. Eddie Pastilong did not respond to repeated requests for an interview. Ousted WVU president Mike Garrison entertained the idea, and I went so far as to send him several questions in the hopes of encouraging him to cooperate. We talked on the phone a couple times, and at one point he asked if I was for or against Rich Rodriguez. I told him I simply wanted to find the truth. He declined, saying he couldn’t answer the questions if he didn’t know where I stood. That seemed odd—it seems to me you either know what happened and what you think about it or you don’t—but that’s his decision.

I don’t think their silence left much out, however, because we were able to get five other central figures to speak freely, and on the record—and in each case, at considerable personal risk. Ike Morris owns an oil and gas company in Glenville, WV; Dave Alvarez is the president and CEO of a construction company in Meadowbrook, WV; Paul Astorg owns a Mercedes Benz dealership, and Matt Jones owns a handful of convenience stores, both in Parkersburg. Don Nehlen, the former West Virginia head coach, is now a spokesman for the coal industry. None of them have ever been Michigan boosters, but all have been long-time boosters for the Mountaineers, before, during and after the Rodriguez era. They are all private businessmen who depend on their reputations to be successful. They have a deep knowledge of West Virginia football politics, with close ties to all sides, and had no incentive to do anything other than throw Rodriguez under the bus and extoll West Virginia’s leadership. None of them had anything tangible to gain by speaking to me on the record, with a lot to lose. Yet they all did.

So, while I would have liked to get the above three people on the record, the people I spoke to answered every question I had, on the record, which I believe gives the reader almost everything they need to know about what happened in West Virginia.

As for the lawsuit, I assume the reader is referring to the buy-out provision in Rodriguez’s West Virginia contract. While Rodriguez maintained that the president, Matt Garrison, had promised him they’d cut it in half if he wanted to leave, which the above subjects confirmed, the contract was nonetheless legally binding. West Virginia University was well within its rights to sue for all four million, which Michigan and Rodriguez ultimately acknowledged, and paid.

2) LLOYD CARR
If JUB had to make a guess as to what caused in the great Carr switcheroo (from making first contact with RR to the continuous cold shoulder), what would it be? And does JUB think Carr informed the Freep investigation?

Before I delve into this, I’ve noticed some confusion over the timeline in some of the posts I’ve seen. Clarifying the sequence of events should clear up a lot of this.

On Monday night, December 10, 2007, Rodriguez received a call from Lloyd Carr, which marked the first direct contact Rodriguez had from someone representing Michigan. (Rodriguez was my source, and his recollection of it was consistent in a handful of accounts over a couple years.)

On Tuesday, December 11, Lloyd Carr told Bill Martin that Rodriguez would be a good candidate. This marked the first time someone within the department had made this suggestion to Martin, according to Martin himself, whose recollection of the conversation was also consistent over several interviews.

On Friday, December 14, Rodriguez met with President Coleman and Bill Martin in Toledo, and agreed on the basic tenets of a potential agreement.

On Sunday, December 16, the deal was finalized, via phone and fax.

On Monday, December 17, Rodriguez met Lloyd Carr outside the Junge Center for a brief handshake, on his way in to his first Ann Arbor press conference, where he would be named Michigan’s next coach.

After Rodriguez returned to Morgantown that day to start packing, Coach Carr met with his team a day or two later for a suddenly scheduled morning meeting, and offered to sign the transfer papers of anyone who wanted to leave. This has been corroborated by over a dozen people in the meeting room that day – both staffers and players – plus the Big Ten compliance office, Bill Martin, and Judy Van Horn, who spoke on the record about the day and its aftermath. The reporting of these events is air-tight.

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

It’s important to note, looking at this timeline, that all this occurred before Carr got to know Rodriguez, and before Rodriguez met with any of Carr’s assistant coaches or players. Thus, the idea that Carr offered to sign his players’ transfer forms only after he became concerned about how Rodriguez would treat his assistants and players is hard to believe. For whatever reason, before Rodriguez had met any of those people, Carr had made up his mind to help his players transfer.

Until Coach Carr speaks, I can’t say why he called the transfer meeting. (As stated before, I made repeated requests to interview him at his convenience. While he declined to respond, I have since confirmed there is no question he received my requests and made a firm decision not to reply.) But I can say that he definitely did call the transfer meeting, that it was a premeditated decision—based on Draper’s call to compliance to have the forms and personnel ready to process the anticipated flood of requests—and it occurred before Rodriguez met any of his assistants or players.

Yes, I have a theory as to why, but it’s just that. Some have suggested that it’s my job as a journalist to fill in the blank with my best guess, but I believe the opposite is true: it’s a journalist’s job not to do so. If my theory proves wrong, it would unfairly influence public opinion, and might be difficult to reverse. (I’ve seen this happen frequently during the past three years.) Until Carr decides to answer such questions, I am going to let the facts above stand, and the readers can come to their own conclusions.

Carr’s speaking on these issues might help his cause, but as we’ve seen with other subjects who were interviewed for the book, it might not. If Carr had simple, innocent answers to the questions above, it would not be hard for him to find friendly journalists in the local media happy to communicate his message, directly or indirectly, as he has done in the past. To date, he has not attempted to do so.

[CARA, Shafer, Robinson (Denard and Greg), and the emotional stability of Rodriguez post-jump.]

3) CARA FORMS
What does JUB think about Labadie and Draper's complicity in the whole CARA affair? It seems that both spoke to JUB, but he never shares his own judgment of what went wrong. Were they just overworked-clueless-frustrated, or were they acting on someone else's orders?

To clarify, Scott Draper declined to be interviewed, but Brad Labadie spoke with me at length. In our interview, he mentioned how difficult the CARA form process was to complete each week, and how he admires Coach Carr like few others. As was my goal throughout the book, I’ll only go as far as my confirmed reporting allows, then let the facts speak for themselves and the readers to form their own judgments. One of those facts is the on-the-record comment from former compliance director Judy Van Horn—a gentle soul, not normally given to criticizing colleagues, and one who had considered Labadie a trusted friend—that Labadie engaged in “out-and-out lying.” This caught my attention, as I suspect it did the readers’.

4) FREE PRESS SOURCES.
Did he ever find out the names of all the players who talked to the Free Press? Other than Greg Matthews & Toney Clemons nobody else was mentioned.

Mathews and Clemons both came forward, which I felt made naming them in the book fair game. As for the rest, I think I have it largely figured out, and in some cases confirmed, but I don’t think it’s good enough to print the names of a couple players who have not come forward, as it puts an unfair burden on a few. In any case, I’m more sympathetic to college students, whatever they might have done, than I am to the adults who were not above manipulating them for their own purposes.

5) DEFENSES 6) GERG INVOLVEMENT.
What was Rodriguez thinking as his defense imploded again and again (and again and again)? On related points: what was his relationship like with Greg Robinson versus the other D-coaches? Was there truth to the rumors that Robinson was an empty figurehead and that "Rodriguez's guys" had the inside track with the Head Coach?

There seems to be some inconsistency with how he portrays RR involvement with the defense. He mentions more than once that RR trusted Gerg and wanted to give him space even though he felt strongly that Demens should play more and Ezeh should play less. I felt like Bacon was implying that RR gave Gerg the slack to hang himself with.....but doesn't that contradict the fact that Gerg implemented a 3-3-5 and seemed to change some of his scheme toward what RR preferred? So how much did RR really influence things on defense?

Taking this from the top, while trying to avoid repeating too much of my last batch of answers for MGoBlog a couple months ago, Rodriguez’s original sin was not getting Jeff Casteel to Michigan—and in the book I explain how that falls to both Michigan and Rodriguez in equal measure. (As I wrote, he was not willing to leave Morgantown without his strength staff, but he did without his DC.) Everything after that was a compromised attempt at retrofitting, and none of it worked.

Rodriguez was asking a lot of Scott Shafer to arrive in Ann Arbor without knowing virtually anything about the program, the staff he was inheriting or the 3-3-5 system Rodriguez would eventually ask him to use before the 2008 Purdue game. Not surprisingly, it didn’t work, and while that mostly falls on Rodriguez, Shafer brought his own psychology to the equation. While Greg Robinson got along exceedingly well with Rodriguez’s staff in almost identical circumstances, Shafer did not. The dynamic the reader cites above more closely describes Shafer’s relationship with Rodriguez’s staff than Robinson’s. While I think he is a decent, hardworking man—and the staff could have done a better job working with him -- Shafer kept largely to himself. (I probably spoke a few sentences with him during his time in Ann Arbor.) Further, his stubbornness (or selfishness, take your pick) in continuing to recruit Denard Robinson as a defensive back – against Rodriguez’s wishes—would have cost Michigan its future Big Ten Player of the Year, and is indicative of the poor chemistry between Shafer and the rest of the staff. If Scott Shafer is still Michigan’s defensive coordinator, Denard Robinson is not your quarterback.

Greg Robinson was very well liked, as noted above, but he faced the same problems Shafer did: little experience with Rodriguez’s staff and system. This resulted in the conflict cited above: Rodriguez respected Robinson and wanted to demonstrate this in front of his staff, but he was also utterly frustrated not just with the poor results, but with the passivity the defense often displayed – arguably Rodriguez’s least favorite trait in a player.

As for my reporting on the defense in the book, it’s worth remembering the original idea was to spend three months to produce some magazine stories on the spread offense coming to the Big Ten. A simple, small idea. Well, three years later, here I am. I didn’t have any idea most of the story would take place off the field, not on it. And I certainly didn’t believe initially that the defense would prove to be such a story.

Further, in 2008, because I was largely unknown to the coaches and the players, the conversations I had with them were not nearly as frequent or as fruitful as they were in 2009 and 2010, especially after I worked out with Barwis and company for six weeks, which opened a lot of doors. But even after that, while I had many conversations with Greg Robinson over those two years about the team in general and some players in particular, he was usually as tight-lipped with me about the particulars as he was with the rest of the press.

Also, I spent almost all of the position meeting time with the quarterbacks – which we assumed, correctly I feel, that the readers would want to know about first and foremost. The slices of dialogue readers enjoyed in the quarterback meetings and hotel rooms represent a sliver of the time I spent with them to gain that trust and find those gems. I simply could not be everywhere at once – and in any case, I honestly don’t believe there’s much more to say about the defensive meltdown than what we already know. Whatever could have gone wrong—recruiting, injuries, coaching, and translation problems – went wrong, a perfect storm of failure. Spending more time in those meetings in the hope of hearing an argument or two would have illuminated very little that we didn’t already know.

The defense was historically horrible, but it was hardly mysterious.

7) SELF PITY
Compared to other coaches JUB has been around, where does RR fall on the maturity scale? I feel like we, the Michigan community, treated him unfairly. And yet... Rodriguez's level of immaturity/self-absorption was at times shocking, e.g. the constant mentioning of the cockroaches, the thinking Groban was a good idea, and the overall level of self-pity (fuck ME!).

I don’t think it’s mutually exclusive that Rodriguez faced more obstacles than Michigan coaches have in the past, yet still added to his problems, often at the most inopportune times. As they say, just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Both can be true.

The above question is also why I do not believe the book is biased toward Rodriguez. I have been gratified to see serious national reviewers describe the book as fair and balanced, invariably pointing out that Rodriguez’s flaws and mistakes are hardly hidden. (You can find their reviews on Amazon, with the longer versions posted at their publications—though perhaps a better gauge of the book’s accuracy can be found by asking the players and parents who saw it all up close.)

When a reasonable reader can pull out all of his shortcomings above exclusively from the book (which I’ve listed below), it suggests Rodriguez’s warts were not concealed. In fact, Rodriguez’s main complaint with the book is that I produced a case to justify why he was fired. While I disagreed, in some ways he read the manuscript more closely than many readers. His list included my descriptions of the following:

-Not preparing for his first press conference, which could have gone better;

-The way he fired Carr’s assistants and failed to connect with the 2007 senior class before they left;

-His inability to convince Michigan he needed Jeff Casteel, while persuading Martin he needed Barwis, his staff and a new, million-dollar weight room;

-His many botched press conferences, including the behind-the-scenes lead-up to them;

-His post-loss tantrums, which display his almost pathological hatred of losing, going back to putting a blanket over his head as a pee wee football player (not uncommon among the highly competitive);

-The seven missed “match points” I identify in 2009 and 2010, any one of which, I argue in the book, would have been enough to keep his job. (This counters the claim that he never had a chance, something I never believed and have never stated);

-The Final Bust. That chapter was by far the most painful for him. He was very displeased with my take on that, as I wrote that it revealed he had still not learned essential things about being Michigan’s head coach, including establishing a circle of trusted advisors, and knowing his audience. As I report in the book, even some of his most loyal supporters leaving the banquet hall thought that night marked the end.

-The biggest obstacle any A.D. would have in retaining Rodriguez, in my opinion, is presented for the first time in this book: after a while his problems became his players’ problems, and his pressure became their pressure – including the frequent talk of cockroaches, and the overdeveloped sense of “Us versus Them.” The players grew weary under their weight, something you can see evolving in the book. Despite coming back for more, again and again, the players finally broke at the Gator Bowl, where some of them came out of the tunnel for the second half laughing—a clear sign that they had had enough.

You have to admit, that’s a pretty weighty list, enough to keep his critics busy for months. However, I told Rodriguez I was not trying to justify his being fired  (nor argue for his retention) but simply trying to explain how it all got to that point. Which, to me, is fundamentally different.

In fact, I’d say, just about every reason you can think of to retain him is in the book, and every reason to let him go is, too—including the ones listed above, giving his detractors ammunition they could never have wished for before the book’s publication. How many of the items above were readers aware of before reading the book? The list of revelations does not suggest the author is trying to protect or promote Rich Rodriguez, but simply trying to identify the many factors that led to his demise.

I’ve also noticed readers who believe the book tilts toward Rodriguez usually didn’t like him before picking up the book (or still haven’t read it). Studies show we are naturally reluctant to change our minds after we form our first impression – and Rodriguez’s were not good.

That said, many of Rodriguez’s most prominent qualities, I believe, are endemic to big-time coaches. They have egos, they are loyal (often to a fault), they are quick to feel disrespected, and they feel losing is not merely a professional setback but a personal failing. Schembechler’s post-loss tirades were legendary. He was inconsolable for days after a defeat to the Buckeyes. Moeller’s implosion at the Southfield restaurant has been covered ad nauseum, while Carr’s mindset is documented in the book.

In short, to paraphrase a great line from “Casablanca,” I’d say Rodriguez is like every other big time coach – only more so.

Comments

go16blue

December 21st, 2011 at 5:33 PM ^

"The biggest obstacle any A.D. would have in retaining Rodriguez, in my opinion, is presented for the first time in this book: after a while his problems became his players’ problems, and his pressure became their pressure – including the frequent talk of cockroaches, and the overdeveloped sense of “Us versus Them.” The players grew weary under their weight, something you can see evolving in the book. Despite coming back for more, again and again, the players finally broke at the Gator Bowl, where some of them came out of the tunnel for the second half laughing—a clear sign that they had had enough."

This is a reason that the timing of his firing may not have been stupid on DB's part. Obviously it didn't work out well, but when a team reaches that tipping point they can either pull it together (we win the Gator Bowl and finally turn the corner) or they break (what happened). I still don't think it was a good decision, but before the game it was unclear what had to happen; afterwards it was very clear.

jmblue

December 21st, 2011 at 8:15 PM ^

Why don't you think it was a good decision?  When should we have fired RR?  If you say "in December," keep in mind that that likely would have meant Harbaugh never even being a candidate, which could have undermined Hoke from the beginning.

I think Brandon handled the process as well as he could have.  In 2007 everyone wanted Miles, but we refused to operate on his timetable, and people have complained about it ever since.  In 2010-11 we operated on Harbaugh's timetable.  He had the chance and said no.  That was that.  No one can say he was out there and we didn't give him a chance.  Hoke was the one who said yes, and the fans were ready to rally behind him.

 

Bosch

December 21st, 2011 at 9:31 PM ^

"The job was never offered to [Harbaugh or Miles]," Brandon said in an interview with The Associated Press Tuesday after informing the team of his decision. "We did have different discussions with them that were helpful and positive."

Seems odd that Brandon would say this it wasn't true.  Plus, I have not heard anything different from Harbaugh's camp.

http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/22389/michigan-ad-no-offers-to-miles-harbaugh

Bosch

December 21st, 2011 at 11:31 PM ^

not to hold my breath while you work to produce any exerpt from those discussions..... from Brandon, Harbaugh, Miles, anyone........

If it was insinuated to either coach that they could have had the job, you should be able to find discussion to that regard somewhere.

I preemptively apologize for the condescending tone.......  I'm just a little put off by all of the "assuming" going on in this thread.

SysMark

December 23rd, 2011 at 12:05 PM ^

No I am not.  I'm sorry but you are either not reading carefully or not able to follow.  I did not claim to know his motives in offering anyone the job.  Just that from a tactical standpoint he would not put himself in a position to be turned down publicly,  The job would only be "offered" to someone he knew would accept it.

Smash Lampjaw

December 22nd, 2011 at 9:26 AM ^

I hope this mini-spat from last night has subsided enough for me to pop out of my foxhole to offer this note safely. I don't know who-all counts as Harbaugh's camp, but some people who knew him quite well thought that he was coming to Michigan right down to the final hours of his decision. I am not interested in joining this back-and-forth, though.

Steve Lorenz

December 21st, 2011 at 5:33 PM ^

Carr was so anti-Miles that he was willing to reach out to anybody and give them initial support. That's my belief anyways. 

As far as the transfer stuff, I think he was aware enough of Rodriguez's system AND also so much of a player's coach that he probably felt he was doing what was best for the players. 

JT4104

December 21st, 2011 at 5:50 PM ^

On that note though why does carr completely go off his rocker and basicly spend the 15 practices before the Cap One bowl installing what was a spread offense for that game. To me it almost seemed like while he obviously did want to win that game he also showed his players who were recruited for a different kind of offense how successful it could be in that type of offense.

I really think those 2 had spoke once or twice after RR was hired and for whatever reason it didn't go well and Lloyd felt like that maybe he made a mistake in even speaking of RR in the first place.

It just doesn't come together how you can be the guy to bring up RR, then tell kids you will sign transfer papers for them and then implement a spread offense for your bowl game that just about shows those kids it can be successful.

 

The Barwis Effect

December 22nd, 2011 at 12:18 AM ^

To me it almost seemed like while he obviously did want to win that game he also showed his players who were recruited for a different kind of offense how successful it could be in that type of offense.

Eh, I don't know about that. The passing spread U-M used in that bowl game is completely different than the running spread employed during RR's time at U-M.

maizenbluenc

December 22nd, 2011 at 9:12 AM ^

and I really think it unraveled between Rich being pissed that Carr offered up the transfers, and Carr being pissed about how Rich handled the firings. It is clear to me how a wide rift comes about in those two actions.

zander

December 21st, 2011 at 5:39 PM ^

once told me( in regard to performance) people don't  really change, only circumstances. Being at the right place at the right time often involves a lot of luck

dahblue

December 21st, 2011 at 5:41 PM ^

I thought the new policy was to be done with the RR talk?  I know it's Bacon's book and that any RR talk generates lots of interest, clicks and posts...but he's moved on (well, at least physically) so what gives?

MI Expat NY

December 21st, 2011 at 5:49 PM ^

Relax.  Brian's just providing a forum for interaction with Bacon concerning his book, which you may have noticed was of great interest to many readers of this here blog.  As long as the questions and conversation similar to those that would happen at one of his book signings/Q&A sessions, I don't see a problem with it.  This is far different than focusing on everything that Rodriguez has done/is doing since leaving Michigan.  

dahblue

December 21st, 2011 at 6:20 PM ^

I'm pretty relaxed and it's not my blog...I'm merely a passenger here.  Just seemed a little weird to declare RR off-limits and then bring him back (in the body of Bacon) a few days later.  That being said, it'll be a nice relief to stop seeing all of the "RR has the softest skin" threads.

MI Expat NY

December 21st, 2011 at 6:30 PM ^

If you can't see a difference between Brian's post on the subject of moving on and allowing some interaction between readers and Bacon, I don't know what to tell you.  There was even a post about this Q&A on the same day (I think) of Brian's moving-on post.  You should remember, you probably made the exact same comment on that post.

 

michgoblue

December 21st, 2011 at 5:41 PM ^

"If Carr had simple, innocent answers to the questions above, it would not be hard for him to find friendly journalists in the local media happy to communicate his message, directly or indirectly, as he has done in the past. To date, he has not attempted to do so."

Could it be because Carr simply does not care what Bacon's view of these events is?

Carr has never really cared much to justify himself to the media.

Besides, while we on MGoBlog have become somewhat obsessed with the details of this whole issue, the general M fanbase really doesn't care.  The overwhelming majority of the Michigan fanbase is just happy that RR is gone, and thinks favorably of Carr. 

Finally, on the issue of transfer papers, I still don't get what the problem is here.  This is NOT uncommon.  Coaches recruit kids and convince them to come to a school to play for that school, in a system that they want to play in, for a coach for whom they have developed a relationship.  As much as these kids committed to Carr, he committed to them, and by allowing them to re-evaluate a life choice based upon a drastic change in circumstance, Carr acted honorably, not maliciously.  Even Bacon has not alleged that Carr ENCOURAGED the kids to transfer.  He simply told them that if they wanted to, he would support them.

 

gremlin

December 21st, 2011 at 5:48 PM ^

Agree 100%.  Carr did act honorably in allowing his players to trasnfer.  

 

The only negative thing many people find with Carr is how he kept losing to OSU at the end of  his tenure.  It's really a shame that those losses came to a proven cheater.

 

Carr is a Hall of Fame coach who gave Michigan everything he had.  Recruiting kids to play for HIM and then supporting them if they want to transfer b/c he's retiring is nothing but honorable, and should be thought of only as such.

 

 

willywill9

December 21st, 2011 at 6:08 PM ^

It's not the worst thing in the world, but I will say it's unfair that he didn't at least let RR know he "had an obligation" to his recruited players, and would sign their transfer request forms.

The worst part about it all, is if you recall, people blasted RR because he didn't "try enough" to retain players (e.g. Ryan Mallett)   This is one of the many cases where RR took a shot on the chin, and didn't complain about it (publicly).

DelhiGoBlue

December 21st, 2011 at 6:52 PM ^

probably played out the way Rodriguez wanted it to.  JUB was subltle about how he said it, but I was left with the impression that Carr did encourage both Mallett* and Boren to transfer.  The  reason was relatively clear, Mallett was a cancer and Boren was about to become one and Carr knew that as well or better than anyone else.

 If Rodriguez really wanted to retain Mallett he would have made a real effort, like a recruiting effort and convince him that he needed Michigan every bit as much as Michigan needed him. It is of my opinion that Rodriguez probably didn't want Mallett around any more than Mallett wanted to stay for two reasons.  1.  The aforementioned cancerous maturity level of Mallett and 2. Trying to get him to adapt to the system and the system adapted to him coupled with his level of maturity.  Well, it wasn't a risk worth taking, of that I'd bet on.

*Jim and Debbie Mallett (parents of Ryan) have related that Carr did in fact encourage Ryan to transfer if Rodriguez wasn't able to use his skills.  They have also said he, Carr, was a warm and honorable man. 

Cope

December 21st, 2011 at 7:46 PM ^

Many people don't make head on moves like that in conflicts. They just do what they think is right privately. I see him doing this. That may have worked against the effect of RR keeping those players, but doesn't negate RR's responsibility to attempt to retain them if he wants to use them in his system.

Cope

December 21st, 2011 at 8:27 PM ^

And correct me if I'm wrong but I thought the decisions were made later. RR asked to meet with them before they left, so they couldn't have signed yet. It was stated in this thread that Mallet was still seeking advice at the time of the bowl game. I don't know of any papers being signed in that room.

DelhiGoBlue

December 21st, 2011 at 8:42 PM ^

JUB wanted to leave, if not he did nothing to dispel that notion.  There were only two transfers that meant anything, Mallett and Boren.  Mallett's decision was made after the bowl game and Boren's decision didn't become official until well into the spring, long after RR had taken over.

Carr talked to the team about transfers,of that there isn't much dispute but the truth is nothing of substance came of that until weeks to months later.  A fact JUB simply didn't bother to mention in connection with the "transfer meeting".

UncleLeo

December 22nd, 2011 at 11:43 AM ^

I apologize if this is dumb but I admit to not knowing the NCAA rules all that well. Wouldn't Carr have had to sign the transfer papers early/before RR took over? After Rodriguez became coach, wouldn't the players need him to sign the transfer papers and not Carr? I'm not suggesting that Rodriguez wouldn't have signed them, but some coaches have been dicks about releasing players and, at that point (pre-Capital One Bowl) Carr and the players couldn't have been sure that Rodriguez would allow everyone who wanted to transfer to be released.

Blue-Chip

December 22nd, 2011 at 12:04 PM ^

If memory serves, and again I wouldn't rule out being wrong, but a date was set for RR to take over as head coach. If that's the case, Carr's signature would do until that date arrived. My only hesitation in how I understand what I've read on the subject is that I though RR was slated to take over the day after the Cap One Bowl. If that was the case, anybody who left would have been out for the bowl game.

Deep Under Cover

December 21st, 2011 at 7:00 PM ^

HA!

I will not argue that Lloyd Carr was a good coach and I am sure he loved his players and they loved him back, but I wouldn't call him "honorable."

Carr's issue with Les Miles is very much personal and stems from a very DIS-honorable thing Carr did years ago.  I am not the morality police, but this thing in turn lead him to try and black ball Miles (to which end he succeeded).  Putting a personal issue before the program is selfish and dishonorable.

The issue?  I am sure I will get neg-banged for this, but people hate when I dance around the  rumor (which I have heard from very reputable sources, so I will call it a rumor here though I take it as fact), so here is the rumor:

- Lloyd and Les used to be assistant coaches at UM together.

- Lloyd was very smitten by another assistant coach's wife (NOT Miles' wife, but the man was a very good friend of Les')

- An affair ensued, then eventually a marriage (Lloyd's wife now)

- Les didn't like that at all, I am sure some unkind words were exchanged

- As a result, Carr didn't like Miles anymore (nor much of the "old guard")

This explains a few things.

First, it gives a reason why Lloyd hates Les so much (and before you go and call that ridiculous, think about how many rumors there were about Les sleeping with another coach's wife or something to that extent as the origin of the disconnect between the two coaches), which really is a shame because it caused us to miss out on a great coach who would have loved to come back to his school.

Second, this explains the origins of the Carr faction vs the Old Guard.  DB (who is loved by everyone here, right?) is part of that old guard, and guess where Carr has been since then?  Not playing a very powerful role anymore...

So, whatever.  Now I have thrown the rumor (my fact) out there.  I get tired of people talking about rumors about what MILES did to get blackballed or people making excuses for Carr's hatred for him.  Also, it demonstrates why I find Carr to be a self-serving egomaniac.

BOX House

December 21st, 2011 at 8:54 PM ^

That's certainly not the rumor that I've heard. The rumor that I've heard (I beleive from Mgoblog) is that Les Miles had an affair with Gary Moeller's wife, which is what ignited Carr's disdain for Miles. If that is the case, I think it's very honorable that Carr stood up for what Michigan values should be. 

I've never heard Carr mentioned as a party to any affair. And to hear him mentioned in one is gut-wrenching. 

Drowning Man

December 21st, 2011 at 9:32 PM ^

was ever the wife of an ex-assistant coach. But I do know that Lloyd was cheating on his first wife with Laurie Carr, to whom he is still married. 

Lloyd is no angel. I think he stands for the right things in terms of college football, and I liked him as a head coach, but his professional integrity didn't extend to the bedroom.

wolfman7

December 21st, 2011 at 11:09 PM ^

This is absolutely false.  It was a rumor started to tarnish Miles when he was being considered for the job when RR got it.  Most likely started by Carr.  As you say Carr had an affair and ended up marrying that woman.  Laurie Carr was former coach Bill McCartney's brother's wife.  Miles was close with McCartney and both despised Carr for that and that is the reason for the animosity between Carr and Miles.

chitownblue2

December 22nd, 2011 at 9:10 AM ^

Dear Lord, what the hell is wrong with you people?

Obsession with Michigan Football to the point where you think you can reasonably detail extra-marital affairs among a host of people 20+ years in the past means you probably have severe emotional problems.

Stop with the "______ slept with _____" bullshit. You're coming off as fools.

michgoblue

December 22nd, 2011 at 10:18 AM ^

Who the hell cares about who slept with who back in the 1980s. 

Miles and LC don't like each other.  Fine.

Personally, I like LC plently, and I can't stand Miles, but that is just my uninformed fan view.

I don't care WHY Miles did not come here - I am just happy that he didn't.  He is a smarmy guy who chronically over-signs, throws his players under the bus and literally eats grass (that last bit is just odd, not a reason to dislike him).  He is not the guy that I would want as the face of Michigan football.

 

wolfman7

December 22nd, 2011 at 7:02 PM ^

Those of us who know Miles personally (and yes I have known him since his UM days) feel the need to respond when others accuse him of salacious behavior that is not true and set the record straight.  We Miles defenders only responded to untrue rumors about him and defended him.  You don't like that tough shit.

wolfman7

December 22nd, 2011 at 7:04 PM ^

Those of us who know Miles personally (and yes I have known him since his UM days) feel the need to respond when others accuse him of salacious behavior that is not true and set the record straight.  We Miles defenders only responded to untrue rumors about him and defended him.  You don't like that tough shit.

BRCE

December 21st, 2011 at 8:02 PM ^

What does Tressel's cheating have to do with his total ownership of Carr? Little to nothing. If you think it produced better talent in recruiting, the recruiting services often disagreed.

Tressel outschemed Carr up and down from his first year on. It's soooo pathetic that people try to excuse this with "Tressel cheated!" just because they are butthurt fanbois of the coach he made look foolish.