Unverified Voracity Needs A Bigger Ark

Submitted by Brian on May 9th, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Also I lost money on Stately Victor. So I chose a bad weekend to take a semi-vacation. Every time I hopped on my phone to see what was going down, Michigan was picking up a DE commit or Ohio State was seeing its troubles expand or Michigan State fans were having entertaining meltdowns or the OHL draft was somehow giving Michigan commitments instead of stealing them. You think it's just a random weekend in May and surely the only thing you're going to miss is nothing. Not so much. But if that's going to happen every time I'm out of pocket I'll be in the Yukon until August even if we pick up some suspensions along the way.




It all started with dozens of cars over a decade. The Dispatch reports Ohio State is looking into their players' tendency to buy cars from one guy with the usual level of signed memorabilia in his office and at least one very interesting sale:

Public records show that in 2009, a 2-year-old Chrysler 300 with less than 20,000 miles was titled to then-sophomore linebacker Thaddeus Gibson. Documents show the purchase price as $0.

Unfortunately for people wishing to see OSU bombed into the stone age, the Dispatch found that "nearly half" of the cars are on record as being sold for less than the Blue Book value, which is a way of saying it seems like there's a reasonable distribution of prices when that price isn't no dollars. That's unless the cars in question are all blinged out yo—the Dispatch only knows make and model.

However, in addition to all these sales this Kniffin guy also loaned Terrelle Pryor the cars he was driving when he was pulled over three times in loaners. It's extremely implausible that the NCAA won't be able to put together another finding of improper benefits. It was also implausible that Pryor could get away with the car hijinks and he did.

Ohio State compliance is putting up a brave face, but privately the prospect of Kniffin and his 130k in IRS debt facing down the law for misreporting sale prices for these cars has to be foreboding. If there's a choice between jail and confirming documents that would expand the scope of OSU's trouble to include a lack of institutional control, skeezy guy in undisclosed state will no doubt take the latter.

Still need that smoking gun to turn up, unless OSU's crack compliance storm troopers investigating car purchases and letting that Gibson thing slide is it. Ohio recruiting guru and OSU partisan Duane Long:

What about Pryor?  I mean, every dealership owner is totally cool with letting me test drive their personal automobile for days on end across state lines.  Especially when I was in college.  Apparently that’s when I was most trustworthy.  That story is believable right?

Now we find out it’s not just star players, it’s a bunch of players AND their families.  Good Lord.

Don’t fret Buckeyes because this stuff was already cleared by OSU compliance.  Whew!!!  I knew they were on top of this.  Sure they missed years of players cashing in on items that we would cherish our entire lives but are trivial to the players in exchange for tattoos and cash.  But buying cars, they were all over it.  Color me relieved, except for one thing.  I saw a post asking one simple question, If all of this was cleared already then why the INTERNAL investigation?  Hasn’t there already been one?  Hasn’t it already been cleared?  So what if the Dispatch thinks it’s a big deal.  The answer to the Dispatch article is “It’s already been cleared”.  Case closed.  Story over.  But that’s not what’s happening.  Instead we muttered under our breath like Latoya Jackson’s mousy voice “we cleared this” and then contradicted the value of that entire “clearing” by announcing our internal investigation.  That is ridiculous.  Doing this internal investigation is a big announcement to the world “Yeah we didn’t really clear anything and we would hope you guys wouldn’t notice”.

It beggars belief that 50 different Buckeyes all got a legitimate deal with one particular salesman who has provably given Terrelle Pryor rides no one else would get. Maurice Wells' mom bought a car in Columbus. She lives in Maryland. So did Pryor's mother and brother, who live in Pennsylvania. The NCAA should be able to ask anyone with eligibility to prove they're making the payments the notes claim they are with permanent ineligibility the alternative. There's clearly enough circumstantial evidence to suggest what went down was rife with illegal benefits. If they don't they're making a mockery of their enforcement process at a school that's already done a better job of that than USC.

The car thing brings options approaching nuclear into play. Basketball players are involved and violations uncovered could stretch back a decade to when Maurice Clarett and Marco Cooper told ESPN they were given loaner cars and sweetheart deals. If the NCAA uncovers an ineffectual see-no-evil car accounting system in the wake of that very public accusation, pairing that with Tatgate makes for the worst NCAA violation in a long, long time.

BONUS: Texas fans are running a strong second to Michigan when it comes to e-outrage about this stuff. Burnt Orange Nation campaigns for a show-cause—their third post on the subject—and Barking Carnival opens up both barrels as well. A sniff of Switzer is a red cape to Longhorns.

Other possibility: Malletts be Mallettin'. Ryan Mallett's father dropped a dual bombshell as he tried to explain why his kid transferred away from Michgian, saying that Lloyd Carr told Mallett to transfer and Rodriguez didn't pursue Mallett as hard as he should have. The latter quote:

Ryan’s the one who called (Rich Rod),” Jim Mallett continued. “He said, “Can I talk about the offense?’ And then he told me, ‘Daddy, (Rodriguez) never looked me in the eye.’ He never visited with the family, he didn’t talk to us. I never met the man. But hey, it wasn’t a fit. Let’s move on.

This set off another minor war between the Rodriguez and Carr factions vying to determine which of them was incrementally less of an asshat over the last three years. There is another possibility: this is just a self-serving remembrance from the sort of guy who promises "revenge" on Miami for not drafting his kid. For one, Rodriguez never looked Mallett in the eye because Mallett was in Arkansas, not Michigan—unusual behavior for a player planning on staying at Michigan. For two, Carr told Mallett to transfer plenty before he'd even retired. I believe Carr told Mallett to GTFO, but it wasn't because he was looking out for his player.

The team. The team:

Also the team.

Stonum suspension redux. Darryl Stonum has been suspended "indefinitely" for his second DUI, which is better than the rumor I got in my inbox that he had gotten the heave-ho but seemingly not much better. Stonum had a breakout 2010 and could have done so again as a focal point when Michigan went under center; now he could be out for anywhere from a couple games to the year. Michigan could hypothetically redshirt him, FWIW.

I wish I had something to offer about how serious the on-field repercussions would be but it sounds like that's up to Stonum's actions over the next few months. A second DUI is a serious offense.

We're going to need a bigger ark. Michigan picked up a pair of WDE commits over the weekend from Ohio's Pharaoh Brown and Michigan's Mario Ojemudia, bringing their 2012 class to ten guys all from Michigan and Ohio, all offensive linemen or front-seven defensive players. This would be Brady Hoke self-parody if every guy in the class didn't sport the offer list of a guy at least on the 3-4 star borderline, but they all do so it's just good stuff. Michigan has 17 slots right now and can push that to 19 by not offering a couple of guys fifth years; with a reasonable amount of attrition they'll be looking at a class of 22 or more.

They seem to lead for Matt Godin, Chris Wormley, Terry Richardson, Anthony Standifer, and Jordan Diamond. They'll probably grab two DTs from the Pipkins/O'Brien/Day/Johnson group, which brings them to around 17. The five remaining scholarships go to:

  • Mystery QB
  • Mystery RB, Preferably Blue Chip, Thx
  • Hypothetically Qualified Aaron Burbridge or Mystery Outside WR
  • Mystery OT Probably From California
  • Mystery OT

If they end up whiffing on any of the guys counted in the class it will probably be Wormley, at which point Michigan will put the full court press on the touted SDEs who veritably litter Ohio this year and, given the way things seem to be going, get one.

Michigan's problems, such as they are: getting the second WR it seems they need, finding a true safety, and smushing MI TE Ron Thompson in. If they bloat this class up to 25 they can add Thompson, another safety, and another WR without squeezing out that fifth OL.

That's asking for six kids to leave the team before February. I can glance at the Depth Chart By Class and easily pick off six guys whose absence wouldn't be felt but that's somewhere between rude and skeezy. While Michigan won't put themselves in a situation where they sign a bunch of guys and then say "medical scholarships for everyone," the best interests of the program are now aligned with certain guys leaving it. That's uncomfortable.

Tell me something I don't know. Rivals initial top 100 is a bit light on Midwesterners and, as usual, over-represented by the Texas/California/Florida triumvirate. I'm working on a larger post about this but:

  • From 2000-2006 Texas, Florida, and California supplied 35% of NFL draft picks. From 2007-2010 they supplied 34%.
  • This year's Rivals 100 has 48 players from those three states.
  • The Midwest (MN, IA, WI, IL, IN, MI, OH, PA) supplied 17% of NFL draft picks.
  • This year's Rivals 100 has 15 players from those states.

I haven't looked at enough data to see what the issue is but my bet is consistent overrating of Big Three players at a the near-uniform expense of everyone else. Some of this is inevitable unless you expect the Rivals guys to figure out which half a Montanan is going to get drafted every year, but if you suck out the odd NFL player from the ignored Great Plains and New England states you should be overrating the rest fairly uniformly. That hasn't happened so far this year.

Caveat: it's possible that the good players in the big states get scouted sooner, leaving the rest of the nation to catch up. That would mean the final Rivals 100 would be less Big Three biased. I'm not sure yet, which is why there's a post in the works.

Etc.: Brandon Burlon's departure is official.  Michigan's solar car hits the NYT. They're going to paint the imaginary no-charge circle on the floor. Beilein thinks that helps but I'm not sure since their defense is built around charges, not blocked shots. Hockey's endzone nets are stupid.

There's been some chatter about Terry Richardson's upcoming announcement being a twitter prank from Royce Jenkins-Stone but 247's Steve Wiltfong reports that Cass Tech coach Tom Wilcher says Richardson will "probably make his decision this week." With Ross and Jenkins-Stone in the boat, Michigan is the presumed favorite.



May 9th, 2011 at 3:48 PM ^

or seeing that speech by Bo, but wow!  Gives me chills every single time!


On another note, our recruiting kicks ass.  Yay for that.


May 9th, 2011 at 3:49 PM ^

"Michigan has 17 slots right now and can push that to 19 by not offering a couple of guys fifth years; with a reasonable amount of attrition they'll be looking at a class of 22 or more."

At first, I thought he was talking about slot recievers and I was all NO DO NOT ADD MORE SLOT RECIEVERS!!

Then I realized.... That nightmare is over.


May 9th, 2011 at 3:50 PM ^

Is it me or is the worst part of the senior Mallets quote that his son referred to him as "Daddy".  The kids 18-19ish at the time and is still going w/ daddy?  I mean maybe if he was a girl, but come on...fella's.  Weird.


And then he told me, ‘Daddy, (Rodriguez) never looked me in the eye.’

Blue in Seattle

May 9th, 2011 at 4:39 PM ^

you don't speak Arkansas

I laughed at Brian's dismantling of the statement from the egotistical father.  Why anyone would believe those quotes at all is beyond me.

Now, the real-world watching part of me will definitely be watching the Patriots just to see what happens between Brady and Daddy-Boy.  how the hell is a cracka' like Mallett going to get along with G-Q Brady?

tune in next season, well if there is a season.


May 9th, 2011 at 3:50 PM ^

but he should not be allowed back on the team. He has shown a flagrant disregard for the safety of others. His failure to even follow up on the terms of his probation after the first one gave us a hint, and this second DUI shows that he's fine with going about things his way, regardless of the consequences to others. I don't take this lightly, but he's gone too far with this latest stunt. He should be happy to come out of M with a degree, after his conduct there. I hope Hoke does the right thing here, Stonum has problems outside of football that he needs to focus on.


May 9th, 2011 at 4:10 PM ^

i think most young people like to play in games, but hate to practice.

so, assuming he is able to address the newer more serious criminal charges, and assuming he convinces the coaches that he will not drink anymore, ever, i suggest stonum should be not be allowed to play in any game for the 2011 season---but otherwise be reinstated to the team so that he will be allowed to practice, help to simulate the opponent's offense, work out, lift weights, etc.

this way he will still have some structure, be able to work on his skills,  and be able to prepare himself forthe 2012 draft, or if he so chooses the 2012 michigan football season



May 9th, 2011 at 3:53 PM ^

To be honest I would rather fill depth every where else and not take a QB this year, and just wait for Morris. Unless of course we get Gunner.

The FannMan

May 9th, 2011 at 6:51 PM ^

No kidding.  However, this may, in fact, be the most significant part about the story.  As you may recall from the Fab Five, it wasn't until the feds got involved on Martin's (alleged) book making operation and Webers (alleged) perjury that the NCAA got anywhere.  The IRS and the DOJ have ways of pursuading people to talk that the NCAA just doesn't have.  This guy can tell the NCAA to get bent without much fear.  If he is into the IRS for a bundle and is looking at federal prosecution, he will be very, very willing to talk. 

matty blue

May 9th, 2011 at 4:06 PM ^

agreed...i would hope that we don't dance on that line, best interests of the program or not.

not offering a fifth year is an entirely different thing.

Little Brown J…

May 9th, 2011 at 4:06 PM ^

Is Gibbons still on scholarship? And if so, aren't they year-to-year agreements? So if they are, why are we still giving him a scholarship when we obviously couldn't do worse with a walk-on, and use his scholarship for someone else? Just a thought.


May 9th, 2011 at 4:33 PM ^

I can't have been the only person to get a queasy when I read this:

I can glance at the Depth Chart By Class and easily pick off six guys whose absence wouldn't be felt but that's somewhere between rude and skeezy. While Michigan won't put themselves in a situation where they sign a bunch of guys and then say "medical scholarships for everyone," the best interests of the program are now aligned with certain guys leaving it. That's uncomfortable.

"[R]ude and skeezy" seems to be an overly generous way of putting it. How is that not the exact mentality that leads to the whole over-signing thing that everyone here hates?

I realize that Brian's not suggesting that Michigan let guys go because there's a better, younger player who could take their spot (i.e., "Michigan won't put themselves in [that] situation"), but that's skirting pretty close to wishful "if only...sigh..." territory.


May 9th, 2011 at 4:44 PM ^

I'm not advocating booting anyone. I brough it up because hypothetical future attrition is not going to be like RR attrition when only an insane person could say it was a plot to screw kids out of their scholarships for the next wave.

Gibbons is a good example: if he leaves he's not getting a scholarship anywhere else so that's basically "you're cut." Losing a few other guys to MAC-ish schools where they'd play is probably a mutual thing. I really don't want to see the former.


May 9th, 2011 at 5:03 PM ^

Gotcha. I'm definitely fine with players leaving for opportunities that are better for them. If a 3rd stringer wants to pursue a transfer for more playing time, more power to them.

Speaking of transfers and attrition, how's the APR numbers looking?

Also, it looks like I accidentally a word in my previous post. Oops. 

Blue in Yarmouth

May 10th, 2011 at 8:05 AM ^

This is a question to chitownblue2. I want to be clear that it is a question that I am seeking an answer to as I simply don' t understand how things work in the USA (being from Canada).This is something that I have been wondering for some time and can't seem to come to figure out, so I am hoping someone can shed some light. 

When I was in University (started my degree in 1997) a couple of my classmates and I received scholarships to go to the same university. One of my buddies was a late bloomer (in terms of partying) and never took a drink in his life prior to going to uni. 

The rest of us (more seasoned partiers) were able to handle the constant juggling act of partying while still making time for our studies (because we had been doing that since 8th grade), but he bombed his first year.

When the year ended and it was determined that he didn't achieve the expectation the university had for him when they gave him the scholarship, it was revoked and he had the choice to either carry on and pay for his own way, or get out. 

My question is (and again, it is a question), why are scholarships for sports any different? If you received a scholarship based on certain expectations and you don't fulfill those, why should the university continue to provide a free education? Clearly it doesn't work that way on the academic side, so why should it on the athletic side?

Again, I am not necessarily arguing that a school should be allowed to pull the scholarship, but when comparing it to an academic scholarship, why is it different? 

The main reason I don't understand it is because in Canada they don't allow athletic scholarships (at least they didn't when I went to school). You can only get a scholarship for academic reasons. 

So again, my question is simply if a student athlete is given a scholarship for a specific reason but doesn't meet the expectations of the university, why is it okay to revoke the scholarship if it is based on academic performance, but not athletic performance?

Anyway, that is my question, and again, I am not advocating either way, I just would like some feedback from people who actually reside in the country and have that sort of knowledge (as I don't). 


May 10th, 2011 at 9:27 AM ^

Presumably, the academic scholarship your talking about came along with a very detailed list of qualifications that needed to be met or maintained. Probably, there was a GPA requirement which your friend did not meet that resulted in him losing his scholarship (probably, after being on probation.) This was all spelled out from the beginning and it was easy to determine that your friend did not make grades.

Athletic scholarships also come with academic and behavioral reequirements but not playing time requirements. If an athlete does not make grades or gets arrested constantly, his scholarship can be revoked. There are no stipulations governing an athlete losing his scholarship because he is not on the depth chart. If an athlete fulfills all his obligations to the university is it fair that he lose his scholarship because there are better players on the team--a factor that is out of his control? The fact remains that such a player has met all of his obligations as set out at the outset--unlike your friend.

There is also the issue that the players makes a 4 year commitment to the university who in turn only makes a 1 year commitment to the player but I'm probably already tl;dr.

Blue in Yarmouth

May 10th, 2011 at 9:48 AM ^

and thanks for your input.

I guess I still sit on the fence as to how I feel about it. When I factor in the idea that players already have lower standards that they have to meet in order to gain acceptance into school it shows that the reason they were given a scholarship was because of their atletic abilities and in most cases has nothing to do with academics. 

I am finding it hard to understand why one is "ok" to revoke and one isn't. It isn't going to cause any more hardship for one than the other. One was going to school for an education and to subsequently get a job while the other was going to school to play sports and hopefully get a job. The revoking of the scholarship in both instances is going to have a big impact.

I would also say that the situation isn't any different in the case of a person going to school for academic reasons when you say they make a commitment to the university for 4 years and the university only make a one year commitment to them. Is it any different for the person seeking an arts degree? They could lose their scholarship at any time if they are meeting expectations (at least they can in Canada).

Again, I don't have enough information to make my mind up on this matter, I am just not seeing what the difference is at this point. I would like any feedback anyone has. 


May 9th, 2011 at 4:54 PM ^

its easy to say "the team, the team, the team" and "those who stay..." but what happens when the difference between keeping a 5 star RB from a rival is some dude who, at best, is a practice player.

since we are all a big happy Lloyd Carr family, can't we send a few players to Ron English in exchange for a home date payout?


May 9th, 2011 at 4:42 PM ^

If anyone wants some good humor reading, check out the link to the 11 warriors post.  Here is a lovely highlight:

"please stop again if you are blaming Matta, JT, or even the Dispatch. The coaches can't be held accountable for this. The players are fully educated in what receiving improper benefits means and what constitutes a violation. The coaches cannot be babysitters and have enough other problems to worry about, both on and off the field, to be sitting there watching every single move the players make."

Whoever this Alex is, please stop.  See my sides?  They are literally splitting.

no joke its hoke

May 9th, 2011 at 5:13 PM ^

I dont buy the whole "coaches could not have known" bullshit the buckeyes are puking up because I'm pretty sure the coaches have seen the players pulling into the parking lots! I know JT is a fuck tard but I'm sure that when he saw Gibson rolling in a 94' whoride and a week later driving a 300 something had to come up.                     




                "OSU,making the SEC look like the IVY League since 2001"                                      


May 9th, 2011 at 4:45 PM ^

I have some extremely important information regarding the fraud tressel situation, and some almost-confidential info on the Michigan offense. I need to post these in a diary.

So, everyone posbang me so i get enough points to post a diary.



May 9th, 2011 at 4:51 PM ^

Um, yeah...well we can't really pos-bang as far as I know anymore.  You get points for posting.  And, honestly, I don't know why you got -127 points, but based on that, I'm not really sure any rumor-mongering you have would be very credible.  But that being said, this is the internet, and I'm sure you can find some way to post said rumors.