Unverified Voracity Had A Deal

Submitted by Brian on December 12th, 2011 at 3:56 PM

imageBacon Qs! The time has come: the season's over, Three and Out has been digested by the people who bought it at or around launch, and we are set to get more information from Bacon on things that were omitted from the book or were included and might need clarification or explanation.

If you've read it and something stuck with you, let's hear it. Don't be afraid to ask tough questions; Bacon can take it. He sat in a press box with limited power and made it out alive.


Site note. I have been bookmarking things for MGolicious but Delicious is not updating the feed. Now it's down. Not sure what I can do other than switch link providers, but I'll try to poke around and see if I can fix anything.

Boo-boo. It (one of the its, anyway) was REVEALED!

“Turns out you didn’t have a boo-boo,” a reporter asked Robinson on Friday. “You had a staph infection?”

Robinson threw his head back and laughed.

“It was a deal,” Robinson said, repeating another popular ‘Hoke-speak’ phrase.

“I was a little sick — had a staph infection. But I went out there and still played. I did it for my team.”

Heiko got a gross shot of it.


post-ND presser

Ow. Now that the season's over how do we feel about the Denard injury == terrible throwing idea? He had that and the elbow abscess, and once past those things he did get a lot better. I'm guessing 40% this stuff, 30% plain bad mechanics (back foot throws), 30% lack of familiarity with what Borges is trying to do.

BONUS: filing "had a deal" into the Hokeopticon.

Desmond Howard being interviewed by a woman who looks like she is playing a part in a 1990s science fiction movie. Just me?


This whole thing makes me think "Demolition Man." I am biased by the high top fade, probably. Via Wolverine Historian.

Goodbye, competent instate opponent. Saturday's game against Oakland was the last Michigan will play by edict of John Beilein:

"No," Beilein said Friday when asked if he had interest in renewing a contract with Oakland. "Not at all." …

"We traditionally want to play our games at Crisler (Arena) as often as possible," Beilein said of non-conference scheduling. "I'm not saying we won't go back to The Palace if it's a type of situation that we really think benefits Michigan 100 percent."

I'm not a fan. If playing Oakland means giving up occasional games against Arkansas Pine Bluff, uh… okay. There's plenty of room on the schedule for a game at the Palace against a real opponent.

Kampe said Oakland is "good enough to beat" Michigan and that's a reason M wants them off the schedule, but they're also good enough to provide an interesting game and an RPI bump relative to a Towson. Michigan should be looking for more opponents like Oakland, not fewer. I'd rather play them outside Crisler than some SWAC team anywhere.

Insert usual disbelief at lack of annual game against ND here.

Early emergence. I'm still trying to get my head around what's going on with the hockey team, and it basically comes down to three things:

  • They are short two quality defensemen. Moffie should be a third pairing guy rotating with Clare and Serville should be redshirting. Clare's gotten better of late but his footspeed remains an issue and you can feel the panic when he gets the puck in his own zone.
  • There is no top line. The best forward on the roster is…? Depending on the day it's Di Guiseppe, Wohlberg, Brown, or (lately) Guptill. One of those guys may have been the third wheel on a vintage Michigan top line as someone else stirs the drink.
  • Special teams are terrible, terrible, terrible. Michigan's PK is last in the CCHA and PP is 8th. This was something of a problem last year; the PP has been a mess for a long time. Watching MSU run the same thing M does reveals that there are options other than "shoot from the point" and "get your shot blocked from the point."

This is not really related to the article I'm linking except that parenthetical above:

…this weekend, it was a different freshman — forward Alex Guptill — who stole the show. Guptill ensured that Di Giuseppe wasn’t missed at all. Over the course of the series, Guptill racked up three points and now leads Michigan in goals scored (nine).

“(Guptill) is doing the little things right,” said senior defenseman Greg Pateryn. “That’s what it comes down to. Less is more in college hockey, and he’s doing the simple things.”

After the first half dozen games or so I pegged Guptill as one of those big forwards the NHL drafts too high who disappoints until catching fire as a senior and leaving in a blaze of glory, but not so much. Guptill has started catching my eye for "little things" like dumping and chasing effectively; he seems faster than most guys his size.

On the flip side, a lot was expected from Hyman and he hasn't produced, languishing with 7 points. Only Glendening and Lynch have fewer points among forwards* with a regular shift. Both Hyman and Guptill are a bit older than usual Michigan freshmen (they both took post-draft years in junior) and it's a little concerning that Hyman isn't doing much of note yet.

*[IE, two thirds of Michigan's nominal top line to start the season. This is what I am saying.]

Pittsnogle redux (or I guess Jamie Smalligan but that's no fun). 2013 basketball commit Mark Donnal's latest boxscore: 36 points on 13/15 shooting with 8/11 from the line. UMHoops has video of this outburst featuring multiple three pointers, baby hooks in the lane, and a fadeaway jumper from the elbow, all against a pretty decent high school center with midmajor offers. Dude is a 6'9" post. Watching the video makes it apparent why Beilein offered Donnal as fast as he possibly could.

He doesn't look particularly athletic and doesn't seem to have the attributes needed to be a 4, so it's three-shooting center time again. Hopefully Donnal ends up reminding me of that one center from the SNES version of NCAA basketball who shot 50% from three because some programmer looked at a Colorado center going one for two (or thereabouts) on the season and decided he was awesome.

Etc.: Dave Brandon complains about OSU's recruitin' waiver. Didn't Michigan get the same thing when RR was hired? I don't recall any sanctions coming down as RR recruited dudes between his hiring and the Citrus Bowl.



December 13th, 2011 at 9:17 AM ^

I mean, the Universities feelings on it are pretty clear. But this was to the point that Rich was so upset that his lawyers got involved, which Bacon claims. And quite likely could be true. While it casts Rich in a very positive light, even the book shows him to be thin-skinned, and it wouldn't be out of character for Rich to only see the perceived slights in the book, and not the vast majority of positives.


December 12th, 2011 at 4:33 PM ^

Skipping past the Bacon/RR stuff, I'm with Brian on the Oakland scheduling.  Let's have a few out-of-conference games that aren't against schools with names that sound made up.  I like that we scatter in one or two top 10 games each OOC, but I also like a local mid-major.

That being said, I'd love to replace Oakland with UofD.  They're a growing program that actually plays in a college arena that'd be packed to the rafters if we came for a visit.  Regrettably, it'll never happen.  JB was open to the idea a few years back, but other voices convinced him that it was too large a risk to take.  The risk would indeed be high (higher than Oakland), but it'd be great fun.


December 12th, 2011 at 4:40 PM ^

Mr. Bacon has said many times that he gave RR a book to read for "factual accuracy," but that he did not agree to necessarily change what RR requested. My question then is, what did RR request be modified or omitted? What did Mr. Bacon actually modify or omit based on these requests?

Admittedly, I am not sure if this breaks any kind of ethics, or if there is some sort of editor privilege, but I really want to know what was left out at RR's request, and what he felt was bad enough to object to but was left in anyway.


December 12th, 2011 at 4:44 PM ^

Did he get the feeling that the practice hours story was spoon-fed to the Freep from inside the program?  Just want to know his gut feeling since he mentioned the FOIA request specifically asked for the CARA forms which not many people would know about.

Section 1

December 12th, 2011 at 6:22 PM ^

I've spoken about this with John.  And, I personally FOIA'ed all of the Free Press' FOIAs.

Basically, it goes like this.  In late July of 2009, there was a memo drafted by the Athletic Department's outside auditors.  In a nutshell, the memo said that everything looked okay, and all sports had turned in their CARA forms.  All, that is, except football.  And that the football people were aware that they needed to get them completed and turned in.  And that beyond that (CARA forms are not an NCAA requirement), there appeared to be no violations.

That memo (done every year at that time) was routinely distributed to a smallish group of people; a handful of of Athletic Department people including Bill Martin and several assistant/associate AD's, university counsel, and the members of the Advisory Board on Intercollegiate Athletics.  I don't have a copy of the memo handy as I write this, and I wish I did because the cc: list is important.  It is important, because it is presumed (neither admitted nor denied; but not much denied) that one of the recipients of the memo somehow let it go to Michael Rosenberg and/or Mark Snyder.

The two reporters then went to work, from sometime after July 27, 2009, until sometime before August 30, 2009, on their infamous story.

The two reporters did NOT do any FOIA's for CARA or compliance documents during that time.  And it is significant; they didn't ask anybody who was in control of compliance, they didn't gather any compliance documents.  Any/all of which would have given them away to their prey.  Instead, they focused entirely on their anonymous inteviews.  (Mark Snyder did one FOIA shortly before publication; he asked the Athletic Department if the football program had ever been the subject of any major violations with the NCAA.  The whole thing was such a "gotcha" set-up.)

Only AFTER the big story went to publication on August 30, 2009, did the Free Press turn loose one of its real, regular investigative reporters (Jim Schaefer) on the story and he immediately did what a real reporter would do -- he FOIAed a massive category of documents from the Athletic Department.  It was ridiculous in fact.  He was asking for just about everything that Compliance had for football for the past 2-3 years.

And that was the pattern for Rosenberg; ask a few guys whom he knew (and who were likely disgruntled) about practice time.  Don't ask anybody in Compliance.  Keep it all hushed, until the Friday before publication, when he and Snyder walk into Bruce Madej's office and drop it on him like a grenade.  Rosenberg (or Snyder) was likely tipped off to the memo, such as it was.  The memo itself alleged nothing and proved nothing.  But it served as inspiration for the series of interviews that have never been made public.  And that is all that Rosenberg and the Freep ever had.  If one was looking, George Smiley-style, for a mole, one would start with the people on the July memo's distribution list.  About 20-25 people (my very rough estimate) would have seen it.  I have only suspicions about who it might have been.  I have no real suspects.  If JUB has any suspects, I am not aware.  I don't think John knows.  But if he does know, I'm confident this puts it all in better context.

I hope that answers your question.  Let me know if I didn't get it. 

Section 1

December 12th, 2011 at 10:02 PM ^

The weird thing is that I fear that the larger point is badly missed, if anybody focuses on a "leak."  Because the CARA memo was nothing, on its face.  It was a smoking gun of absolutely nothing, other than that the football administrators in the AD office hadn't gotten the CARA forms done yet.

We usually think of "leaks" in terms of documents that are dynamite; smoking guns, proving wrongdoing.  This was nothing like that.  All that the memo did was to plant a seed of an idea in Rosenberg's mind.

It is Rosenberg, and Rosenberg alone (helped, to be sure, by Snyder and the Freep) who concocted this story.  Rosenberg wasn't "leaked" any powerful news of serious wrongdoing; he made it all up.  The CARA memo just got him started.

So that's my problem with the whole business of worrying about "leaks," and who leaked it.

Your question was perfectly good, by the way.  If someone gave the CARA memo to Rosenberg (or Snyder), I'd very much like to know who it was. 


December 12th, 2011 at 4:54 PM ^

I was shocked by a passage in the book where, during year 3,  I believe it was written that Brandon said something along the lines of  "Word on the street is that you want to win here and leave".  Maybe it was Rodriguez recalling a conversation with Brandon to JB.  In any event, RR did not deny it.  His response was more like "Could you blame me if I did?".  

As year 3 progressed, was this a serious possibility?  Was RR that fed up with everything that he wanted to leave the moment he turned this around to restore his credibility?  

I couldn't believe that came up to the point that DB had heard it, and that RR plainly did not deny it.  

lexus larry

December 12th, 2011 at 4:55 PM ^

As emailed to Brian previously, it was made widely known that RR and crew left their recruiting notes behind for BH and Co.  What was left behind for RR from the LC unit?


December 12th, 2011 at 5:07 PM ^

Watching that video, I was really struck by how similar Denard seems to 1991 Desmond. They both have the "aw shucks" smiles and the ready laughs (...and Heismans in their future?) Love it.


December 12th, 2011 at 5:22 PM ^

I'm most interested in Bacon's take on how Rodriguez responded to the book's publication.  Based on my reaction, the book did a lot to make Rodriguez look much more sympathetic than before.  Heck, I think Arizona's AD said he read it while considering Rodriguez for the job!  I read somewhere that Rodriguez wasn't happy and hasn't spoken to Bacon (??) and it'd be interesting to know more about how that conversation went and/or whether Bacon has spoken with Rodriguez in the weeks since that day.  I can't imagine that, at the end of the day, Rodriguez will stay angry.


Section 1

December 12th, 2011 at 6:06 PM ^

At least as of mid-last week, and by Thursday John was suffering with a nasty upper respiratory thing and a badly worn out voice from a lot of engagements in early December.

John will tell you; he stays in contact with Rich's mom and his sister (!?), and that they have been very nice to him and he feels he's got a good relationship with them.  So it's not any great generalized ill-will.

My vague understanding (John can confirm) is that the last time that John spoke to Rich was around the time that the final draft was being readied for galleys.  Like around Aug./Sep. or so, I think.

btw:  Somebody asked about changes in the book per RR request.  I don't think there were any.  I don't think Rich asked for any changes.  John can correct me if I am wrong.  John says that Rich was unhappy; if John says so, I'm in no position to dispute it.  But I don't think that RR had any impact on the final edit of the book.


December 12th, 2011 at 11:21 PM ^

Much like Hoke says "boo-boo" more often than your average CFB coach, the Daily writer pointed out in that blockquote that he regularly uses the phrase, "a deal" (for much the same purpose).

It's a weirder one than "boo-boo" or "tremendous" because it's a short phrase made up of an indefinite article and a common word, but an example (which I am inventing whole-cloth but which might also be taken directly from a Hoke presser) would be: "Yeah, we sat Denard down for a series to have a look at him; he had a deal, there, and we wanted to make sure he was ready to go."

Somehow, when spoken instead of written, that simple phrase ("a deal") sounds like a valid part of speech; only later do you realize that the coach has once again told you absolutely less than nothing about any medical condition, past or present, real or fictional.


December 12th, 2011 at 5:30 PM ^

Page 246. Greg Frey is driving to the Mott's Children Hospital, talking to Bacon. Frey - quoted - expresses disgust that former Michigan coaches were telling recruits not to go to Michigan and why (the book indicates that, according to Frey, a number of recruits had told these stories to the staff at large).

The question that will almost surely not be answered but is the most pressing to me is the who-what-why of that statement. This story was out there on the dark corners of the internet for years -- that some in-state high school coaches told the Michigan coaches that they were being slandered by their predecessors. Frey's interview with Bacon lends more credence to the rumor.

The alleged act is so shocking and so incredibly traitorous that I feel like we need to know more.



December 12th, 2011 at 5:53 PM ^

I took it to mean the former coaches currently employed elsewhere, like Campbell at Iowa, English at Louisville (and later EMU), Loeffler and Bedford at Florida, etc. Not that all of them would do it - but these are the only people that would have occassion to even speak with recruits. DeBord was working in the NFL, so he's probably the only one I'd cross off at the start.

As such, I don't see it as traitorous. It's the guy's job to land players at his current employer, not the one that fired him.


December 12th, 2011 at 5:59 PM ^

Who knows what was said? Obviously, Frey felt it went beyond the realm of normal recruiting competition otherwise he would not have had a beef with it.

One former staffer who was not employed but still made a habit of bashing the new coaches to anyone who would listen (according to Bacon) was Mike Gittleson, reportedly costing him the honor of having his name adorn the new weight room.


December 12th, 2011 at 5:33 PM ^

Questions for Bacon:

1.  A follow on to Imafreak's first question:

The book mentions a fwe occassions when Rodriguez questioned the quality and play of the defense under Robinson.  Did the other coaches express doubts about Robinson's coaching of technique or schemes?  I have seen it suggested here that the other coaches led an insurgency of sorts against Robinson, leading to the temporary installation of the 3-3-5.  Is there any truth to that?

2.  Did you personally observe RichRod's private lockerroom freakouts?  I'm not asking because I doubt it, but when I was reading the book I found that I couldn't picture how this went down.  Did you follow him into the lockerroom and just observe?  Did he ever take notice that you were listening and apologize for losing his head (even if it was not directed at you, it seems like something one would apologize for).

3.  Do you think that the Michigan community (fans, former players, athletitc department, press) gave RichRod a harder time than other major football programs?  Maybe you don't have a solid basis for comparison, but my speculation was that we are less diffcult than say Ohio and Alabama but more difficult than less established schools (like Oregon maybe).


December 12th, 2011 at 7:15 PM ^

I know it freaked out Brian, but that part never really bothered me that much. Dude hates to lose. It never seemed directed at the players (at least how Bacon tells it; it's not like ND). Many a blackboard was punished under Bo.
<br>Now, you could have a wider OT discussion on how well that style works with today's athletes unless you're a win of get fired pro anyway. There's a reason Bobby Knight stopped winning big around the mid-90's. But Rich never struck me as unique in that regard.

witless chum

December 12th, 2011 at 5:35 PM ^

...to play you, let your nice friends up the road know the method.

Izzo gets asked about by fans on his radio show from time to time. The last time I heard it, he responded with something like "I don't know. Ask the pope." Apparently, repeated overtures in many different permutations have been rebuffed. 

coastal blue

December 12th, 2011 at 5:44 PM ^

Deal mainly with Casteel:

Is there a ballpark figure that would have gotten him from WVU to Michigan? Was this ever discussed? Did Rodriguez discuss this possiblity with Martin and Brandon? Did he ever attempt to defer some of his salary to bring him in if the ADs refused the increased salary request? 

As this was his biggest failing - we've seen how much a trusted DC can help - I'd like to know more. 


December 12th, 2011 at 5:49 PM ^

He says in the book when talking about Carr that he could never quite square Carr making first contact with RR to Carr's lack of support and possible undermining of RR once RR got the job. But he also says Carr was upset that RR didn't hire more of his coaches. I would like to know why Bacon thinks Carr's lack of support was so misterious when it's very likely he was upset that he wasn't involved in in more of the decision making once RR got to town? 

Chitown already asked my other big question which was why wasn't Shafer's firing talked about more? That seems like a major decision and I would like to know if it was RR's alone or if the AD's office pressured him to have a fall guy.


December 12th, 2011 at 6:08 PM ^

What Bacon found stunning was that Carr held his "talk to me about a transfer" meeting just a day or two after the hiring presser. This was a good week before RR announced he would be keeping (almost) none of the old assistants.

And it's off-topic, but it's worth mentioning how much Carr was asking of RR/Michigan if that's what pissed him off. How many outgoing coaches get to have a heavy hand in picking his successor anymore (save Alvarez and Bellotti, who were the official ADs)? How often do you see a total scheme change where the majority of coaches are retained? Carr basically asked Michigan to live in a bubble, separate from the protocol of the rest of the college football world and then got mad when they didn't. That's arrogant as all hell, isn't it?



December 12th, 2011 at 6:30 PM ^

I have similar questions about why Carr, after advocating for him at Michigan, undermined Rodriguez once he was hired.

I have a slightly different thought, though: I think that maybe Carr didn't think RR was reverent enough to him (NOT Michigan) at the start of his tenure (i.e. not asking for advice, not noting his accomplishments publicly, etc.). Maybe that includes RR not keeping on more of his staff.  

I've seen almost the exact same thing happen in transitions of power in other contexts.


December 13th, 2011 at 12:00 AM ^

Reading Bacon's tea leaves (mmmm, leaves of bacon), it seems his suspicion is that Carr had a two-pronged agenda:

A. Get one of "his" guys in

B. If that fails, anybody but Les Miles

Calling RR was a B move but he still harbored resentment over not getting what he wanted in section A.


December 13th, 2011 at 10:31 AM ^

Perhaps I misread this, but I thought Bacon wrote that Carr was anti-Miles and gave RR a call very early in the process (p. 74-75), before it was clear Miles wouldn't be hired.

(Yes, I did just pull out my copy of Three and Out and cite it.)


December 12th, 2011 at 6:51 PM ^

That kid can play.  He needs to gain strength and he'll never be a dynamic player, but he can shoot the lights out and already is developing a low post game.  If he keeps improving, he is going to be a very talented big man.


December 12th, 2011 at 7:02 PM ^

before and during the RR hiring and about the DC and/or coaches during recruiting.

On the Carr thing.  In the book Bacon claims RR said Carr called him and told him to strongly consider the Michigan job.  Then from the moment RR is hired Carr seems to do everything he can to undermine RR and make his time in AA a living hell.  You can't have it both ways.  If Carr didn't want him here and it certainly seems that was the case based on everything written and everything he did/didn't say about RR.  What is the truth?

On the DC issue, why is Robinson mentioned so little and when the coaches met on signing day was every coach there except Robinson?  He is almost never mentioned and kind of left on an island.  The whole thing about RR forcing this crappy defensive scheme on everyone seems to be in the shadows.  I haven't quite finished the book yet, I'm thru the ND game in year three.

The book raises a lot of questions and answers some.  Mainly I think Bacon did a tough job, but the AD has little to complain about, they made their own bed on this one and we're stilling digging out of it.

From what I have read RR hasn't really learned from his time here and will do the same dumb crap in Arizona.  Fool me once...fool me twice.


December 12th, 2011 at 9:33 PM ^

JUB mentions that Bo had spoke to Carr about Rich Rodriguez being considered as a replacement.  Carr, though he may have had personal misgivings, is loyal to the memory of Bo and calls RRod.  After the hire Carr figures he followed through with Bo's advice, but that's as far as he was willing to take it.

As an aside, I wonder who JUB used as source material?  Obviously he hadn't spoken to Bo since November 2006, and he says he never interviewed Carr, and he never insinuated he was repeating hearsay.