Sam McGuffie, Others Leaving Team

Submitted by Brian on November 18th, 2008 at 12:52 PM

There will be significant attrition this offseason. The first to fall:

In today’s weekly Big Ten teleconference, Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said sophomore Zion Babb was no longer with the team. Rodriguez said the wide receiver hasn’t been with the team since Sunday.

So… yeah. I was sitting on this until I had some outside confirmation and this serves as outside confirmation since three guys were mentioned as a group of players who had already made their decisions. The other two who have told the coaches they are out: sophomore LB/S Artis Chambers and Sam McGuffie.


Okay. Done panicking? Some context for this information:

How solid is it? Very solid. Three sources very close to the situation.

How official is it? It is not official until it is official. Earlier this year I said freshman RB Mike Cox was transferring based on equally solid info, but Cox reversed course and decided to stick out the year. Until someone actually enrolls somewhere else there is always the chance for a reconciliation.

Is this the end of it? No. The rumors are flying fast and furious about a couple guys buried on the depth chart; I don't have confirmation on anyone else and at this point I think they're still on the fence.


Promote RichRod

November 18th, 2008 at 12:58 PM ^

for the RR system, is a frosh, and got significant playing time. This is BAD FUCKING NEWS for the future.

Upside? We won't be hearing the term "Youtube sensation" in the foreseeable future.


November 18th, 2008 at 12:59 PM ^

What are the rumors saying about the reason for McGuffie's transfer? Babb is not surprising since he doesn't fit Rod's scheme, but if McGuffie peaces out saying Michigan is going to suck forever or he's not being used correctly, or something like that, its bad press and then of course the medias will pick up on it and make the offseason suck even worse than season itself.


November 18th, 2008 at 1:02 PM ^

None of these 3 are current starters and probably wouldn't start next year either, so I don't see much damage on that front. How will this affect recruiting? I know people transfer, but it's not usually in flocks like this is it?


November 18th, 2008 at 1:02 PM ^

I heard McGuffie had a death in his family last week. I'm sure that has something to do with it, or it's just a really big coincidence. Besides, Shaw may end up being a better back than Guff, and they have a million other guys to choose from after that, so the world has not come to an end just yet.


November 18th, 2008 at 1:04 PM ^

for future recruiting scare me more than losing those guys. McGuffie is the biggest loss, but I think we have enough talent at RB to be just fine. Next year Brown and Minor and Grady will still be here. We also have Shaw and Toussaint, who I think will be a beast. We could also use Vincent Smith or Gallon at RB if need be. McGuffie was a good fit though and I will miss him. We heard rumbles about Stonum earlier this year. I think Texas recruiting could become a problem in the future. Lets hope Beaver loves it here and becomes a heisman candidate.

Yinka Double Dare

November 18th, 2008 at 1:05 PM ^

I hope Sam waits a bit. This is a pretty shitty time for him right now (injuries, team has been bad, death in the family) and I hope he waits it out a little before making the decision, after this time has passed a little. The other two I can see since they're not really playing at all and can probably see the writing on the wall that it isn't going to happen, but McGuffie started the opener as a true freshman, and has been getting playing time when healthy. We have depth there but we've been using him, so I hope he'll stick around.

In the end he's got to do what's best for him though.


November 18th, 2008 at 1:06 PM ^

that less than a year ago Rich was absolute king of the world, Top Dog, on the doorstep to the dream of playing in the NC.

Now he's looking at the world from the bottom of a deep well. And it's raining.

Do you think he slaps himself with repeatedly with a yard marker, trying to wake up from what is obviously just a bad dream? The dude has to be in a Lehman Brothers state of shock with what happened in just 12 months.

There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like . . .


November 18th, 2008 at 1:06 PM ^

I do a little, but I would rather players be here that want to be here. If they want to be little bitches and whine about not getting enough playing time or there are to many Running Backs on the Depth Chart. I say Good Bye.

Same goes for recruits...

chitownblue (not verified)

November 18th, 2008 at 1:11 PM ^

My first reaction would be to want this post deleted, and the poster banned. But, I think this should stand as a testament to the utter self-interest and stupidity of some people.


November 18th, 2008 at 1:41 PM ^

Granted he expressed his point a bit inelegantly (and the bizarre capitalization didn't help), but unless you believe that being involved with some group enterprise (in this case a football team) entails no collective responsibilities or duties to other members of the group, I think it is legitimate to make value judgments on *certain* reasons for transferring (ambiguous though these sometimes are to outside observers).

Granted, neither Artis Chambers nor Zion Babb were ever going to be showcase players on this team. They provided a role, however, and their attrition diminishes the team's depth and the value of their sporadic contributions. It also diminishes the collective game experience this team has, which seems especially crucial in a transition such as this.

Is it therefore so illegitimate to be unmoved when players decide to leave the program because, in their estimation, their role on Saturdays is not substantial enough?


November 18th, 2008 at 2:02 PM ^

Is there a more reasonable explanation, particularly for Babb and Chambers?

The broader point was, however, that certain reasons for ending your participation in some group enterprise (in this case transferring from a football team) entails real costs on the other members of the group. The duties and responsibilities for team and player seem to be reciprocal. Barring particularly unbecoming or unfair behavior on the part of the coaches or severe mitigating circumstances (as discussed re: McGuffie above), I think it's legitimate to express one's displeasure at the decision to dissolve one's responsibilities to the group, which the first poster did albeit in an inelegant fashion.

Or do you think a transfer is legitimate under any circumstances?

chitownblue (not verified)

November 18th, 2008 at 2:08 PM ^

If a kid goes through grueling, vomit-inducing practices day after day, and sees no opportunity to ever set foot on the field, I have a hard time getting upset with them. It would be admirable of them to stay, and I'm sure many do. But I won't call them pussies.

Six Zero

November 18th, 2008 at 1:09 PM ^

W.... T.... F.... is HAPPENING???????????

I cannot EVER IN MY LIFE remember not enjoying the Ohio St. week as much as this. Northwestern?? No Threet?? Losing McGuff???? Are you KIDDING ME??


November 18th, 2008 at 1:14 PM ^

i've consistently pushed back on those who have brought this up, and thought there was nothing to it. And transfers happen at every program. And yet. With Brian's hint at even more attrition than these three, what do people think about this issue now?

Bottom line, I wish any kid the best and the chance to be happy.


November 18th, 2008 at 1:16 PM ^

Brian, take off the blinders. Losing McGuffie hurts, big time. I think -no offense to the kids--that the rats know when the ship is sinking. Look at the number who have left, transferred, committed elsewhere after naming us leaders, and most damning, made and then dropped their commitments. It's an ugly picture.
At some point, you need to stop blaming the kids who don't come / transfer / decommit, and ask seriously if the problem lies elsewhere. Hint: our new coach isn't doing very well.
Maybe your sources can shed some light on why Michigan no longer seems to be a recruiting beacon to 5 star kids.

Disgruntled old fan.


November 18th, 2008 at 1:21 PM ^

I'm suddenly seeing FJ's comments to the media in a whole new light now. I bet you a hundred dollars that Sam didn't just tell FJ he was too hurt toplay. I bet he told FJ that he was LEAVING MICHIGAN. That was what "shocked" Jackson. I bet Sam made up his mind and told FJ last Friday night or Saturday morning.

All this attrition: one more comparison to 2007 ND and Jabba the Weis.



November 18th, 2008 at 1:23 PM ^

This may not just be football related either. I grew up 20 mins. from AA and had a good friend go there with me; she wanted to attend UM for as long as she could remember. Yet, after her first semester she couldn't deny that it didn't fit for her; she transferred to a small private school in Maine and loved every second of it. While football does take up a lot of time for these guys, some of them do look at the other aspects of college. Sam may not feel like he fits very well with Michigan as a school, regardless of how the season and team have gone.


November 18th, 2008 at 1:26 PM ^

And he talked with Sam as of last week and he didn't mention anything of the sort....

FWIW... he's going to dig a bit and get back to me though I'll keep you all updated


November 18th, 2008 at 1:34 PM ^

Am I the only one who thinks losing McGuffie is ok? Did ANYBODY see him get absolutely clobbered mutliple times during the year. Though he was a quick kid, he took some major hits this year, directly resulting in a few injuries. Late in the season it became clear to any Michigan fan that McGuffie just couldn't take a hit. My impression was that he was very clearly outmatched for D-1 football, and he knew it too.

Shaw is the future, Minor is the future. We got much better CONSISTENT production out of them, which is probably why McGuffie remained on the bench even when healthy. Nothing is fucked, Dude.


November 18th, 2008 at 1:40 PM ^

I don't think it's "ok." But, I'm not really worried about it. Shaw has definitely shown that he's the premier RB in the class. McGuffie did add depth and that's important - especially considering how much Brown, Minor and Shaw have been injured.

I was actually impressed how McGuffie took hits (the fact that he got up...eventually). He took some monster hits and held onto the ball, which is more than some of our other players. I hoped he'd add some mass and actually learn how to deliver hits.

All that said, it's the depth that I'm most concerned about...


November 18th, 2008 at 1:41 PM ^

i wouldn't say it's a good thing, but i think of all places we could afford to lose someone, RB is it. we have lots of depth there now and some guys coming in next year. not as big of a loss as losing a talented offensive lineman would be (of course, we'd have to have a talented OLineman for that problem to present itself).

i'd love for him to stay b/c i think he can be special, but if he's not happy here he needs to do what's best for him.


November 18th, 2008 at 1:47 PM ^

Jesus, what a load of shit.

He's out matched for D1 football? He can't take a hit? McGuffie wasn't the best at YAC but he's a freshman, and beyond that he had a couple of great games and made some nice plays that involved huge hits even when he was dinged up. That reception he got leveled on, he didn't drop the ball. That's taking a hit!

Just stop posting. We don't need this crap around here.


November 18th, 2008 at 1:35 PM ^

I must have missed it. Who got banned, and for what?

I'll be interested to hear why Sam is leaving before I form much opinion here. Granted, he may feel he is jumping a sinking ship. But, I also immediately thought of that death in his family. He's alone, far away from home, in the frozen north. He almost had second thoughts on signing day, and those are the sorts of thoughts that don't always go away. Plus, I've heard rumors that he just doesn't fit in very well with his teammates - nothing really negative either way, just a poor fit. Put it all together, and may prefer to be down south or in California. He's a kid.

As to the others, if they aren't going to play here, I wouldn't blame them for leaving. Let's see how and why this all shakes out.


November 18th, 2008 at 1:36 PM ^

because there was no way IN HELL that he was going to play a kid who just earlier told him he was going to be transferring at the end of the season.

matty blue

November 18th, 2008 at 1:37 PM ^

...if you look at a) the running back depth chart, b) the possible homesickness, particularly with a recent death in the family, c) the injuries, and d) the disappointing team results...put them all together, and it's not surprising that a 19-year-old kid might say "get me the hell out of here." this doesn't immediately appear to be an f-you type move, at least it doesn't yet..."brown"'s assertions to the contrary.

i'm disappointed, but i wish him the very best wherever he ends up.


November 18th, 2008 at 1:46 PM ^

Thanks chitownblue. I reacted to my sense of panic before scouring the boards for a new post from TomVH.

I certainly hope McGuffie will stay, but I'll wish him well whatever his decision may be.

Deepest sympathy to the McGuffie family as well.


November 18th, 2008 at 1:41 PM ^

-Shy introverted personality
-New state, new culture
-Cold weather
-Family not really around
-Recent concussion

I'm fully serious when I posit this: McGuffie may be dealing with a garden variety depression.