Unverified Voracity Catalogues Vitriol

Submitted by Brian on October 2nd, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Kind of a big deal. As of 9 PM Wednesday, this was SI's college football front page:

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That is the lead story—a scathing roundtable from three of SI's main CFB writers—and six of the eleven top stories on the sidebar either about the Morris incident or tangential concerns (the OSU attendance thing).

Excerpts from that lead article:

STAPLES: Did Brandon throw Hoke under the bus, run him over, back up and run him over again? Or did he run him over three times? …

RICKMAN: Everyone in a position of power here is most concerned with protecting themselves, so they're passing blame around. "I didn't see it." "We didn't have enough evidence." Hoke's trying to keep his job. Brandon's trying to keep his job. At the crux of it, this is a person we're talking about. A kid who has his whole life ahead of him. And the best we can get out of an athletic department at one of the most prestigious football programs in the country is, "We should have done better." 

This is awful on all levels. …

SCHNELL: I’m not going to accuse a coach of knowingly putting a player in danger, but I will say this: People in charge do some desperate things when they think they’re close to losing their jobs. As for Brandon’s role, it’s his athletic department, and the buck stops with him. If he’s going to take responsibility, ultimately, then he needs to hold a press conference and allow questions, not email out a few paragraphs long after most people have gone to sleep. That’s a coward’s way out.

I was not kidding about "scathing."

Speaking of scathing. Stewart Mandel:

I was pretty surprised to wake up Monday morning and find that Brady Hoke hasn't been fired yet. The poor performances are bad enough, but the disregard (and flimsy excuses) for player safety should've been grounds for immediate dismissal. Is there any good reason for having him finish the season? The only thing I can think of is recruiting, but come on. Everyone in the nation knows he's gone after this year.

-- William Daniels, Mt. Morris, Michigan

Well then I can only imagine how surprised you were to wake up Tuesday morning and find out that Shane Morriswas diagnosed with a concussion on Sunday but no one thought to inform the head coach by the following day.

The Morris situation has provided a mind-numbing window into the level of dysfunction within the Michigan athletic department. Hoke’s days were already numbered due to the program’s on-field deterioration into a poster for offensive ineptitude. The only way Hoke’s team is going to a bowl game this year is if there aren’t enough eligible 6-6 teams. The Morris story only intensified the level of outrage surrounding Hoke.

Mandel goes on to say the stuff about 5-0 and we're defending the guy, and I mean… come on. If this happens to a successful coach it is a strike but not one that dooms a regime, and a sizeable majority of the anger in the Michigan fanbase right now is directed at the athletic director for the ham-handed mismanagement everyone is citing.

Additionally in scathing. They asked Don Canham's widow what she thought:

“I just think it’s gone way overboard with the crazy music and Beyonce and Eminem and that sort of thing,” Canham-Keeley said. “I guess he’s trying to cater to the students but it’s obviously not working. For me the pageantry of the football game is the band coming out on the field and the tradition of the drum major.”

“I’ve narrowed it down to fireworks, flyovers and empty seats,” she said.

“To me it’s become a circus, and that’s not what it should be. I’m born and raised in Ann Arbor. I grew up with Michigan football. That’s not—to me—Michigan football.”

She goes into the Beyonce/Eminem stuff and you're like "oh she's just old" and then she immediately cuts to how the students aren't buying it and you're like that's a fantastic point I forgot you were Don Friggin' Canham's wife.

Yet more in scathing. USA Today's Christine Brennan calls for firing everybody:

…at a Monday news conference, Hoke said Morris did not suffer a concussion. He also said that he and Brandon hadn't discussed it.

But, after midnight early Tuesday morning, Brandon released a statement in which he said that Morris had indeed suffered a "probable, mild concussion," whatever that is.

Brandon also said that he had met with "those who were directly involved" since Sunday, which clearly would include Hoke, who of course said he hadn't talked to Brandon about it.

So the two are either not telling the truth or simply incompetent. Or perhaps both.

Not in scathing. Denard Robinson spoke up for Brady Hoke's character, as did Jordan Kovacs and Elliot Mealer. Former kicker Jay Feely defended Brandon… by attacking the students as whiners.

For Students complaining about $295 season ticket prices, that's about 1/3 price of NFL tickets ... Even bad NFL teams w/ no tradition

They're not just complaining. They're not going. Yelling at them about that doesn't fix the problem. The customer is always right, right? You wanted customers. Now you've got 'em.

The oracle speaks. Detroit media jihadist Jeff Moss likes to get on Wojo for not having strong takes, but the more reasonable you are the more people pay attention to you when you come down from the mountain and say NOPE. Wojo has done so:

Brady Hoke's fate was sealed before Shane Morris wobbled on the field, before the clumsy statements and misstatements, before every media outlet in America leapt on a juicy controversy complete with compelling video.

This is on athletic director Dave Brandon now, and if Hoke should be fired, likely after the season, Brandon should be, too.

That speaks volumes.

Meta-protest. I would like to protest this from Wojo's article, though.

A few hundred fans actually marched onto the lawn of Schlissel's campus house Tuesday night chanting for Brandon's dismissal. There's a mob outrage to this, which is uncomfortable.

It's not a mob until it does something unreasonable. About a thousand people peaceably assembled, talked/shouted at each other, and then dispersed. They wanted to make a point the only way they could, and did.

Actually being there was fun. One guy nearby exclaimed "this is so much better than a home game," and I don't know that he was saying that just because he wasn't watching a football team get its jibblies kicked in at the time. Once a random hero decided to start us all in the direction of the president's house there was more passion on display than these students get to express when Michigan's blasting music at them during every lull.

After, a clearly skeptical media guy came up to me and asked me some nasty questions—"do you think this stunt will hurt Brandon's ability to hire a new coach?" was his leadoff. I was taken aback by "stunt." A stunt is something an organization does for attention. This was the opposite, a movement so grass roots it was literally unorganized.

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We want our athletic department back. If it's a mob it's got the most articulated complaints of any mob in history.

Also that guy with a megaphone takes a badass picture. Apparently he's a public policy senior:

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Just lookin' at that dude like that is more leadership than Brandon's shown this week. #ThisGuy4AD

I LIKE DAN DAKICH. He had me on his show yesterday after I tweeted something jerky out in frustration at things Mike and Mike and Colin Cowherd were saying, and I appreciate the opportunity for a half hour segment, which you can find here. A couple of clarifications and omissions:

  1. Dakich thought some of my other examples of Brandon errors were petty, and they were, but that was the point. The things the hypersensitive Michigan fans have been complaining about for the duration of his tenure have come home to roost in a major way. This is how they handle everything, and there's no reason to expect they'll change.
  2. I don't think I said the Dakich-Burke combo was creepy. I said I was "off to patent a system that turns all color commentary into Dan Dakich hitting on Doris Burke" once; a podcast demanded that "this happens over and over again. GET A ROOM! ON MY TELEVISION!" And I think that's it. For the record, she was totally into him.
  3. Apparently my level was quite a bit lower than Dakich, so when we talked over each other it was just him. Our conversation felt a lot more even to me on the phone; I thought it was a good back and forth—I've had radio appearances that I thought were unfair (cough **ALBOM** cough); this was not one of them.
  4. Dakich really is my favorite color guy other than maybe Jay Bilas right now. The reasons he's good at color can make him come off as abrasive, but I'll take that a thousand times over PRIME TIME PLAYER BAYBEEE blather. I mean, there was one time Michigan was playing K-State where Dakich called one of their post guys out for never passing the ball and he never passed the ball. Every time he got a touch we were on the edge of our seat. That's adding to a broadcast.
  5. I didn't much like the part of the interview that slid into the Guys Like Me From Gary Who Are Adults versus You Guys On The Internet Who Are Beta Males. I have a mortgage, man, and 2005-era blogger cracks are so dated.

Anyway, if he's interested I'll gladly go on any time.

Well… that's not good. Bill Connelly's updated projections foresee this:

  • 8-4 or better: 2.1%
  • Bowl eligible: 35%
  • 4-8 or worse: 33%

Michigan is expected to go 5-7 when all possibilities are jammed together.

And half of this is based on the system that was ranking Michigan 19th before last weekend. It's possible that this is a little grim since we'll probably play Gardner the rest of the way but with Utah losing to WSU it's not like we can even claim the Utes are much good.

Upshot: buy a helmet, and put it on top of your existing helmet. Then dig a bunker under your bunker.

SIDE NOTE: The chance the West winner is 4-4 has dropped to 0.1%. Dagnabit.

Offensive line starts are not particularly indicative, unless you don't have any. Buried in a random Barking Carnival post:

While O-line starts does correlate with stronger offensive performance, it’s not everything. Ohio State is the only team with fewer than 30 O-line starts performing above-average, but they’re well above average, and you don’t have to go much higher before the scatterplot becomes a field of white noise and the trendline levels out.

That said, this chart doesn’t take into account that we’re on a new offensive system and we’ve lost our QB, so the fact that we’re not too far below the trendline for our number of O-line starts is an optimistic takeaway. But honestly it’s not much to hang one’s hat on. If we start playing better, it won’t be just because the players are getting more experience – it’ll be because they’re getting more experience in an effective offensive system.

(Horizontal axis: number of O-line starts at the beginning of the year (Texas is adjusted for current personnel); vertical axis: offensive S&P; and I’m using a power law trendline, to reflect that the difference between 0 & 30 starts should be more impactful than the difference between 90 & 120)

Looks like you're good or not good and OL starts are a very minor factor, what with the random scatter of the plot.

Etc.: The MZone has come back with what's undoubtedly the creepiest post I've ever featured in. Hypothetical AD Rich Rodriguez would have handled this better than Brandon did. I am dead serious about this.

This made Inside Higher Ed, which… okay. Are we in Cat Fancy? I think that's the last outlet that hasn't covered this.

Comments

los barcos

October 2nd, 2014 at 11:22 AM ^

What is "Schnell" getting at with this quote:

I’m not going to accuse a coach of knowingly putting a player in danger, but I will say this: People in charge do some desperate things when they think they’re close to losing their jobs. 

I don't get this at all?  Is he suggesting Hoke left Shane in the game because he was desperate for a win, and Shane presented the best option to do so (regardless of whether he was injured)?  Because that's what it seems like, and if so, the author has no idea what the hell he is talking about.

 

davidhm

October 2nd, 2014 at 11:31 AM ^

I think what he is implying is that Hoke was desperate to get Morris reps- which would translate to wins down the road and a preview of what 2015 would look like. He, and Brandon, would then have a leg to stand on when it comes to keeping him around one more year.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad

los barcos

October 2nd, 2014 at 11:35 AM ^

Getting reps for Shane at that point is clearly not a factor - Morris was coming in for one play to hand off so DG could get back into the game.  

Knowing what I know about the MSM media, this Schnell guy probably had no context of the game, saw the headlines "Hoke Leaves Starter QB in Game Despite Concussion," and sounded off.

Hail-Storm

October 2nd, 2014 at 1:57 PM ^

it was not the ankle. It was two things (that turned to three with the cover up). The return (twice) after the headshot. The fact that Morris did not get replaced earlier for his onfield play (Gardner gave best chance to win). And the resulting cover up or ineptness.

you are right, I think of players with hurt ankles, broken feet, and such as warriors. I'm sure if Shane wanted out for the ankle, or Gardner wanted out for the foot, Hoke would have concurred and complied without issue.  When it comes to the head injury, that decision needs to be removed from both the player and the coach.

Indiana Blue

October 2nd, 2014 at 2:40 PM ^

right in front of where I was sitting.  It was in the 3rd quarter, when we were pinned near the goalline.  He was hobbling so much then that I thought Hoke would pull him.  In fact I don't even remember seeing him wave off the sideline like he did in the 4th quarter.  What a disaster ...

Go Blue!

CompleteLunacy

October 2nd, 2014 at 1:59 PM ^

Devin Gardner was performing. He was performing well. It was also the last game of the season.

Shane was not only not performing well, but clearly his injury was negatively affecting his ability to perform in the game and to protect himself from further injury (he was definitely immobile after his leg got hurt). And you have a 5th year senior (apparently healthy) sitting on the bench to come in at a moment's notice. It got so bad the announcers were openly pleading the coaches to take Shane out of the game (the word "appalling" was used). And that was all before the head shot.

Players play injured. That alone is not the problem. The problem is asking for a coach to have the good sense to know when an injury is too much for a player to overcome, before said player gets himself hurt further.

I honestly have no idea how someone can't see the difference between the two sets of circumstances. 

User -not THAT user

October 2nd, 2014 at 3:38 PM ^

...but I seem to recall that it wasn't determined (or at least announced) that DG had a broke foot until after the game was over...maybe not even until a day after.

DG went from being a guy who was admired for playing in noticeable pain to being admired for playing with pain that most mortals who have never given birth might have a difficult time imagining.

Again, I may not recall the events as clearly now as I did then, but I seem to remember Hoke being second-guessed for not subbing him on the 2-pt conversion try.  Everyone knew he was hurt, but I don't think anyone knew at the time how much.  Only to the point that his mobility (a key factor to his on-field effectiveness) was obviously compromised by the time the game was over.

bronxblue

October 2nd, 2014 at 11:57 AM ^

I'm honestly not sure; those roundtables are always a bit hard to follow because they feel contrived and are written down; context feels lost.

I suspect he's referring to Shane being out there in totality, but kinda, sorta leaning toward the ankle bcause if he was saying Hoke played Morris suspecting he had a concussion that would be a pretty intense charge bordering on libel.  

I can't wait for the next great scandal so that talking/writing heads can turn their attention somewhere else.

mgolund

October 2nd, 2014 at 12:08 PM ^

I understood it to mean that he didn't believe Hoke intended to endanger Morris, and that the press conference was a desperate means of trying to explain away the very dubious decision to keep him in.

SalvatoreQuattro

October 2nd, 2014 at 11:26 AM ^

My Dad, a retired Fedex delivery driver, once had to make a delivery him. He knocked, Albom answered,  and Mitch'a response was: "What!?" My Dad gave him a clipbook with the airbill on it to sign. Albom signs and tossed it disdainfully back at my Dad.  My Dad, as proud as he is, simply bite his tongue. Me? I would have cussed him out.

 

Mitch Albom is a dickhead plain and simple.

A2Fan

October 2nd, 2014 at 11:26 AM ^

Shane Morris put himself back into the game by running onto the field.

Any self respecting headcoach in the country would have his QB standing next to him, look him in the eyes and give him final instructions before he was returned to the huddle.

Brady Hoke did none of this & has no business continuing this shameful masquerade

Marley Nowell

October 2nd, 2014 at 11:33 AM ^

The right to peacefully protest is one of Americans' basic rights. Calling what happened a "stunt" or "mob" really belittles what they were/are trying to accomplish. I am proud of my fellow Michigan students and alums who peacefully advocated for their point of view as a group.

LordGrantham

October 2nd, 2014 at 12:23 PM ^

The protest was stupid. There are about 2,347 things going on in the world that are worth protesting. The poor public relations of a University Athletic Director is not even close to one of them. It's the definition of a first-world problem, and it's a tiny first-world problem at that.  Personally, I think it's embarassing that people who likely can't be bothered to do anything about real problems are on the front lawn of the President shouting because they're pissed about the football program. Neg away.

Magnus

October 2nd, 2014 at 1:28 PM ^

The definition of a "mob" is "a large crowd of people, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence."

Large crowd of people? Check.

Disorderly? Check. Brian himself said it was not organized.

Intent on causing trouble? Check, at least in the pursuit of getting person(s) fired from their job(s).

Intent on causing violence? I hope not.

Aside from it fitting the very definition of a mob, I think it's a little bit creepy that a bunch of students just walked on over and crowded the president's front lawn. There's no need to go on the dude's land (albeit not technically owned by him) just to prove that you don't like two guys who were hired years before he came to Michigan. It's creepy and indicates a lack of boundaries and a sense of entitlement.

BiSB

October 2nd, 2014 at 1:42 PM ^

Methinks you fail to distinguish the CHASM between "not organized" and "disorderly." "Disorderly" means "involving or contributing to a breakdown of peaceful and law-abiding behavior." My desk is disorganized. It remains remarkably peaceful.

I suppose if you want to call ANYTHING that has any negative impact on someone as "trouble," then gee whiz, they were sure looking for trouble. However, if you want to use a reasonable definition of trouble as something that the 'mob' itself does, then your statement is crap.

By your definition, ANY protest is a "mob." Which is, as they say, a large steaming pile of fucking bullshit, sir.

Magnus

October 2nd, 2014 at 1:55 PM ^

The word "disorderly" has two definitions, including "lacking organization; untidy." Did or did not Brian say that the group lacked organization?

And no, my definition doesn't suggest that any protest could be a mob. Clearly, organization of the group would move it away from being a mob. Furthermore, not every protest is designed to cause someone to lose his/her job.

Does Brandon deserve to lose his job? I think so, yeah. But whether he deserves to or not has no bearing on whether it's called a mob or not.

Also, Brian says numerous things in the post, such as "It's not a mob until someone does something unreasonable." But, like, that's not even part of it. And if it is, then I would suggest that a gaggle of students marching onto the lawn of someone's residence is a little bit unreasonable.

umumum

October 2nd, 2014 at 2:15 PM ^

BiSB already covered this nicely, but I hope you do believe in the right of assembly, which sometimes (though not this time) is untidy.  Much social progress would not have occurred without actual feet-on-the-ground protest.  I'm comfortable that the President's lawn will recover from the event.

[fully aware that a football protest doesn't rise to the level of civil rights marches, but whose to say where the line is drawn]

Magnus

October 5th, 2014 at 5:17 PM ^

I don't have a problem with assembling. That's not the argument. The argument is that Brian appears to be offended about the use of the word "mob." Whether I believe in the right to assemble or not doesn't change the fact that "mob" is an appropriate term for the gathering.

Furthermore, the healing of the president's lawn isn't really an argument, is it? A broken window can be fixed. A spray-painted car can be fixed. A bruise from a punch to the eye will heal. The fact that something can be fixed isn't a good excuse for breaking, bruising, ruining, or trampling it in the first place.

If I were Schlissel's wife or child (I don't even know if he has a wife or children), I might be a little bit intimidated by the fact that a couple hundred students are protesting in my front yard. But hey, never mind - the football team isn't good. Intimidation is allowed under those circumstances.

TIMMMAAY

October 2nd, 2014 at 1:45 PM ^

You're better than this. You're taking a very extreme view of the "definition" of the word mob. In this case they fit one aspect of the definition; large crowd of people. Disorganized doesn't mean the same thing that "unruly" does, and you know that full well. I'd also like to think that you know very well there was zero intent to cause trouble or violence. 

I know this blog has been a total shitshow this past week, but I expect more from you. 

Hail-Storm

October 2nd, 2014 at 1:49 PM ^

You got the intent to cause trouble part wrong. They have an intent to voice their discontent for the administration (specifically two people).  Because they're message may cause trouble for these two, there definitely was no trouble made in the sense of a mob.  This was a peaceful gathering.

In regards to your entitlement statement and get off my lawn mentality, I think you are just being a jerk.  This wasn't late at night at his personal home (a lot of presidents have a personal residence that they really live in). This didn't go on for an unreasonable amount of time (media camps out outside of peoples homes for days during news  "stories". This is an appropriate time to voice their concern.  Students have had a problem voicing their displeasure to the AD for years.  The next step is to go to his boss. 

 

Kermits Blue Key

October 2nd, 2014 at 1:51 PM ^

Then why do you coach high school football when you have to deal with mobs every Thursday/Friday night. I'm sure the crowds are large, disorderly (unlike the cheerleaders), intent on causing trouble (want to distract and cause some team to lose the game), and possibly intent on causing violence (I hope not).

Gene

October 2nd, 2014 at 1:53 PM ^

The antonym of "organized" isn't "disorderly". That would be "disorganized". And disorganized does not mean disorderly. From what I've seen, the rally seemed quite orderly, even if it was disorganized. 

And I and many others would not consider Brandon being fired to be "trouble". Trying to get someone fired without reason might be "trouble", but there is ample reason here.

 

umumum

October 2nd, 2014 at 12:32 PM ^

for a person who posts as often as you do, are you really the right person to chastize 18-24 years olds for misplaced priorities?  

Yes, there are obviously more important things going on in the world, and many U of M students are trying their little bit to do something about them.  But for some reason the media decided this one was worth covering--which obviously says way more about the media's priorities than it does the students.