Unverified Voracity Needs A Posse

Submitted by Brian on November 24th, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Site note: remember how I said the blog would be off Thursday and Friday? Psyche. Tim will be around posting up basketball content. I'm taking a couple days off, but the Old Spice Classic will get its due around here.

Hey, thanks for the timely assist. The AP follows up the UV from yesterday that mocked Terry Foster's baseless blog post about Rodriguez's lack job security—the theory being that big money donors would wake up two weeks from now, find out Michigan is 5-7, and revolt—with a few timely quotes from uber-donor Stephen Ross:

"If he has a bad year next year, he'll have a lot more pressure," Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told The Associated Press, standing near midfield before the Wolverines lost to Ohio State on Saturday to finish 5-7. "I don't think he has anything to worry about right now in my mind." …

"People take shots at him for whatever reason," Ross said. "Some people like to beat people when they're down. I think he's a great man and he's been a winner wherever he's been.

"It's just that a lot of people don't like change. I think it will all work out."

Dollars to donuts some hack picks up on "doesn't have anything to worry about right now" and spins it into  a grim tale of a pre-2010 firing. Hell, this very article manages to quote Mary Sue Coleman's explicit statement of support for not just this year but next…

"I don't think it's fair to coaches to bring them in and say, `We're going to give you three years,'" Coleman told The Journal early this month. "When Tommy Amaker came in, we stuck with him for six years. It just wasn't going to work; it wasn't the right fit. But it wasn't a rushed decision."

…and deploy this sentence:

One person can end the speculation about Rodriguez's future and she has declined to do it.


lolmsm-fire-rod AAARGH

An annual tradition, now with glass houses.

posse_officers Michigan State's now-annual Posse Roundup & Engineer/Woman Beatdown was moved up this year:

Witnesses and students involved in the incident said a group of 15 to 20 men, who some described as MSU football players, stormed into the dormitory and hit and injured about seven students, some of them women.

Brent Mitchell, a communication junior who said he was sent to Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital after being punched in the face, said some of the men wore ski masks, but others were recognized as football team members.

“I walked up and said, ‘It isn’t worth it.’ A guy with dreadlocks hit me and in the scuffle slapped, hit females to get them out of the way,” Mitchell said.

It'll be interesting to see the reaction of the Detroit media to this since it seems explicitly caused by Dantonio's limp-wristed response to last year's PREWB. There is a straight line drawn from last year's incident to Dantonio's refusal to levy any serious sanctions, including on the guy who spent the summer in jail and became the starting running back, to mechanical engineering students being terrorized:

Mechanical engineering sophomore Andrew Green said he saw one of the men hit another student on his way out. “He was coming downstairs and looked at him and punched him in the jaw,” Green said.

“There was some medic treating this kid sitting in lounge area,” [journalism freshman Mitch Lex] said. “It looked like he had a baseball in his cheek.”

Even better: none of these kids had done anything to the football team. Like the Saint Patrick's Day Nerd Massacre, the target was not in the area of the violence. Posse fail.

Say what you want about Justin Feagin, but Feagin was not on the Michigan roster for a millisecond after Rodriguez found out about his cocaine blues, and if the sexual assault case against anonymous 18-year-old proves founded he won't be on the team either. If Dantonio doesn't come down on another incident where a quarter of his team roams around beating up innocent students, we'll get to see the power of public relations in full bloom. What will it take for reality to overcome preconceived notions of Rodriguez as an outlaw and Dantonio a saint?

And now for the best reason to mention this, via the comments of the above article:

If you ever find yourself being attacked by an MSU football player, just yell “Wheel Route” and you’ll quickly find yourself being left all alone.

The RCMB has been here.

Grist. Notre Dame is about to undertake a coaching search and some guy who wrote some book also wrote a letter to some newspaper about what sort of coach Notre Dame should hire next. It might be of interest given Michigan's current situation:

When Notre Dame hires an experienced, successful, major college football head coach, the success rate in turning the Irish into national champions is 100 percent. When Notre Dame hires anybody else, the success rate is 14 percent.

You read that correctly. Since 1940, every single time Notre Dame has hired a college football head coach who has taken multiple teams to major bowls and achieved Top 10 national rankings, he has coached the Irish to at least one national championship and has posted regular Top 10 finishes in the national rankings. Every single time.

This neatly excludes Willingham and is kind of a weird, hacky metric. Lou Holtz hadn't taken multiple teams to major bowls unless my perception of mid-70s bowl games is way off and the Peach, Liberty, and/or Bluebonnet bowls were big deals. So the "multiple teams" metric is kind of weird. Please note that Brian Kelly does not meet this standard and should be avoided at all costs, kthx.

Relevant for Michigan is that coaches who have established major successful programs have been successful at Notre Dame, and this is likely to hold true at Michigan given enough time.

Etc.: Jimmah! No! I agree with the WLA: if you make a list of "things Notre Dame has going for it" Clausen is in the top three with Floyd and Tate; you should probably start your guys to punch list at #4. The Big Ten basketball resume picks up a couple of nice wins with Purdue beating Tennessee and Wisconsin taking out Illinois; does Iowa get half a win for being tied with Texas at halftime? Yes? No. UMHoops gets Creighton's pulse. Henri, anglicized, is in a movie.



November 24th, 2009 at 6:58 PM ^

Fell in love with Holtz with that game I was 7 and hated Oklahoma and liked Nebraska. That game was sweet. Holtz is a bafoon now but he was a great big game coach. It was great when the Florida teams were kicking ass in the 80's and 90's and Holtz took all of the em down with Notre Danme. FSU, Mia and Florida were all upset by Holtz.


November 26th, 2009 at 12:36 PM ^

That not only was OU playing for a national title, Holtz had suspended a number of key players for Arkansas, making them even more unlikely to win. He had a very good team that year, and in his book Bootlegger's Boy, Switzer wondered if the voters hadn't already made their decisions earlier in the day (can't remember for who), that they might have voted for Arkansas after the way that handed Oklahoma their ... exactly.

Didn't State have a tight end a few years back who faced trial for statutory rape, and still played, and I think they had a recruit from Tecumseh, MI who was involved with a track coach and some sordid events involving rape, drugs and underage women. Spartans - Stay classy.


November 25th, 2009 at 9:11 AM ^

Similary, Frank Leahy coached BC to the Cotton & Sugar Bowls, and Dan Devine coached Missouri in the Orange Bowl twice. So the standard is multiple teams, not multiple programs. Which in turn means that if Cincy were to defeat Pitt on the 5th (and perhaps even if they lose, should they get an at-large bid), Brian Kelly would meet the standards set forth in the article.

While drawing the line at two major bowls might be somewhat arbitrary, it does eliminate help eliminate solitary fluke seasons. And even if the reason was to eliminate Willingham, it also takes Parseghian out of the picture.

The second requirement that the coach achieve top-10 rankings (plural) would eliminate Ty anyway, since his high at Stanford was #10 (and that for a only single week in 2001). It might also eliminate Kelly, depending on how you read it, as only his 2009 team has spent any time in the top 10 (previous high was #12).


November 24th, 2009 at 3:46 PM ^

Another guy with a lot of "pull" with the university is Bill Martin, big time donor and landlord at Michigan and just happens to be Rodriguez's boss and the man who brought him in. MSM keep throwing it against the wall it ain't stickin, I see very few realistic scenarios where he even gets fired next year.


November 24th, 2009 at 3:13 PM ^

The Peach, Liberty, and Bluebonnet Bowls were simply several in a long list of bowls that Big Ten schools were forced to ignore because, you know, we play for the Rose Bowl. Screw that other stuff.

OK, seriously, it was Orange/Sugar/Rose/Cotton in one group and alltheothers in, well, the other group. Holtz's bowls had a long history, but that was about it. Major bowls? no. Not even in the sense that there are "New Year's Day bowls" now that probably don't deserve major status but might be considered by some to have it. (Where does the line end? The International Bowl?) There were four New Year's Day bowls, only four, and things were good, and get off my lawn.


November 24th, 2009 at 3:16 PM ^

Wisconsin plays Gonzaga in the semis of the Maui Invitational tonight. It will be interesting to see how Wisconsin plays them after watching MSU eek out a win in EL.


November 24th, 2009 at 3:28 PM ^

"Rodriguez continues to recruit thugs at UM"

Coach Rich Rodriguez refused to answer questions about why he continues to keep a player on his roster who raped and beat a female acquaintance last weekend. This continues a long record of questionable practices in recruiting, with Justin Feagin's drug ties to Colombian narcotraficantes being the most recent example of Rodgriguez's inattention to character, which has also been amply detailed by Justin Boren and Kurt Wermers.

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio commented, "I don't have any comment, but we only recruit high-spirited, positive kids who enjoy going into the MSU community incognito and interacting with everyday students."

Mary Sue Coleman was reportedly unhappy after the Ohio State game, and inside sources say her statements of support are only a smoke-screen behind frantic maneuvers to oust Rodriguez in light of evidence that he shredded incriminating practice logs.

When queried by the Free Press, Dantonio refused to comment, but stated, "I can't speak for Michigan, but we don't shred incriminating practice logs."


November 24th, 2009 at 3:37 PM ^

Perhaps he will improve his speaking ability in his senior year:

“I walked up and said, ‘It isn’t worth it.’ A guy with dreadlocks hit me and in the scuffle slapped, hit females to get them out of the way,” Mitchell said.


November 24th, 2009 at 4:19 PM ^

So what that Prof in the Notre Dame article is saying, is that coaches with a proven track record of winning at big schools/in big bowls tend to win at big schools/in big bowls. Wow, how insightful. Of course this is the school that wants to take Charlie Weis, a guy they hired to be an offensive genuis and kick him to the curb. Clausen is passing on average for 8.5 yards with a 67% completition ratio and 23 TDs to 4 INTs. Plus two running backs averaging over 4 yards a carry (Allen and Hughes) and Notre Dame's solution is to fire the guy, as opposed to recongizing the defense is terrible and needs new staff? Go figure.


November 24th, 2009 at 4:42 PM ^

Neg me for visiting the page if you want, but here is a screenshot of the Freep as of about 2 minutes ago. Clearly, the MSU story is getting top-billing, up there with violence in video games and the controversy surrounding Adam Lambert dry-humping and making out with a slew of scantily-clad men at a contrived award show:

I am sure this doesn't need to be repeated, but it is hard to ignore the fact that Detroit media seemingly have set their heart on vilifying RR and deifying Dantonio, for reasons that have never really been explained. At this point, RR just needs to keep his head down, continue to make the program improve, and accept that media coverage for Feagin or Boren >>>> multiple beatdowns of MSU students by MSU players.


November 24th, 2009 at 5:45 PM ^

I used to visit Freep about five times a day, but after week 4 when Tate completed another dramatic, come-from-behind win to start the season 4-0, I stopped visiting that site.

There were two articles about Michigan after that game. One was about the "ongoing NCAA" issues, and the other was headlined, "Forcier has to play smarter if Michigan wants to win".

Again, this negative press was after the 4-0 start.

Meanwhile... the headline after Sparty took their swan dive against the Golden Dozers in the previous week, the headline was, "Spartans show character in tough loss".

Again, this positive press for Sparty came after a 1-2 start, including a loss to the Chips.

So Michigan could go 10-2 next season to Sparty's usual 4-8, and the Freep would still be handing out gold stars to Dantonio for all I'd know.


November 24th, 2009 at 5:59 PM ^

That bridge in the background is the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport, OR. When I was in elementary school I lived in a town about 5 miles from there, and my dad could see the bridge from his office at a nearby research facility. That's a beautiful corner of the world.


November 24th, 2009 at 7:28 PM ^

...pose a potential conflict of interest for Ross (as AD)? (I keed, I keed...but seriously.)

I know he hasn't gotten to where he is without a pretty friggin good eye for talent. I'm also sure he's seen his fair share of royal screw-ups in personnel.

If he's throwing in a vote of confidence, then that should pretty much settle the matter.


"In the official job description prepared by Hughes and consultant Phil Murphy, Spencer Stuart identied three “critical competencies" for a successful hire: Passion for student athlete development, inspirational leadership and superior business acumen."

I mean if the decision were up to me, I'd have to give Ross a good, hard look.