Unverified Voracity Is The One In The GT Jacket

Submitted by Brian on July 9th, 2012 at 12:53 PM

RIP Charles Drake. I was on the road when news of Charles Drake's untimely death hit the internet. Drake was one of a legion of mid-90s players brought in at running back who eventually found their way to the field at another position. If Ian Gold was the most prominent, Drake was second, moving to free safety after finding running back crowded.

Free safeties who aren't once-in-a-generation good are kind of like longsnappers in that you're usually not happy when their name is splashed across your television. In the safety's case it means they're chasing someone else. The lack of a visceral "oh, THAT play" emotion when his name comes up speaks well to his play. He was a low-event guy in an era when safeties often weren't. Condolences to his family and teammates. 

Holdin' The Rope has a perspective piece worth your time.

In other sunny news. ESPN reports that this consulting firm Penn State has hired is "expected to be tough on" one Joe Paterno:

"Much of the focus will be on the culture of the football program, with findings that go back more than a decade," said a Penn State official briefed on the inquiry, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It's going to be very tough on Joe (Paterno)."

The long-awaited report, compiled by Freeh Group International Solutions, the consulting firm led by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh, is the culmination of an eight-month investigation that examined whether university policies and culture were contributing factors to a lack of reports and action about abuse that occurred on campus. Investigators interviewed more than 400 people, including Penn State administrators, faculty members, trustees and former coaches, players and staff from Penn State's football team.

At this point it would be more of a surprise to find out that Paterno would come out of things looking okay. In retrospect that mid-aughts run of arrests that Paterno had little control over and seemed disinclined to care about seems symptomatic of the greater attitude that led to the decade-long Sandusky cover-up. History will not treat the "Grand Experiment" well.

Square hats and blasphemy. Jalen Rose, on the left, in his younger years:


Rose should show up in a Michigan-themed version something similar the next time he's on ESPN. I would pay a dollar for that.

Probably the final number. The number of current or former Michigan athletes who will be competing in the London Olympics: 18. And then there's Michael Phelps, who may not have actually attended Michigan but it something of an Ann Arbor institution if you've ever been in one of the diners he shoveled calories into himself at.

Points for sentiment. Not so much execution. From a reader, here is a tattoo:


This is not quite up to Lamarr Woodley standards.

The new guy. The News interviews Erik Bakich, Michigan's new baseball coach. There's not much that's not boilerplate, but I liked this:

When you're building a program based on pitching you need to have strong frontline pitching.

We'll see how it works out. Bakich has a thin track record but did relatively well at a tough place to win, is young, and has recruited well both as a head coach and an assistant. It's a reality check as to where Michigan's program stands.

Keith Jackson. The 1985 South Carolina game featured Jamie Morris hammering the Gamecocks and SC's "wide open, gambling offense" scoring three points:

Chesson hype: incremented. Sam Webb reports that Jehu Cheson ran a 4.4 40 at Michigan offseason workouts. If fast, will be intimidating.

CEASE PANIC. Our annual Cass Tech Commit Considers Taking Visits But Decides Not To After Panicking The Internet event has transpired:

Michigan football commit David Dawson turned some heads Friday when his plans to camp at Florida were revealed.

A day later, the trip is no more.

After speaking to Michigan coaches, the Detroit Cass Tech offensive lineman -- ranked by ESPN as the country's top guard -- no longer will attend the Gators' Friday Night Lights camp, according to GoBlueWolverine.com's Sam Webb.

Twitter warriors can stand down. Those inspirational quotes about loyalty can be re-directed to your significant others. I've found that condescending public tweets are what make a relationship go in this modern age of ours.

Extremely important abbreviation UPDATE! If you see "FINAO" on a football recruit's twitter, it stands for "failure is not an option." Thus sayeth Heiko in an act of investigative journalism unparalleled in the history of the site. You may all resume your day to day lives.

This is a man to have a drink with. Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson proposed a four-league, 33-team superconference combining CUSA, the Sun Belt, the WAC, and Mountain West. The slide on which this proposal was tendered was labeled "Makes Too Much Sense." Someone should get Karl Benson drunk and have him opine on the other conference commissioners.

Next year's defection worries. A couple of Michigan's 2013 hockey commits made the "A-list" of big time prospects the CSB puts out around this time every year. C JT Compher (expected) and D Michael Downing (maybe a bit of a surprise) are two of the five college-bound guys on that list. That generally means they're expected to go in the first couple rounds.

Big Ten hockey expansion: seeking 100 million or bust. New PSU coach Guy Gadowsky was interviewed by The Pipeline show and PSU hockey blog Thank You Terry transcribed interesting bits. From the non-PSU perspective, this is the most interesting bit:

Speaking of the Big Ten...
"I know for sure there’s been three other Big Ten schools that have contacted our administration and are very curious as to how [the transition to NCAA hockey] happened and what they needed to do. The reality is that the prerequisite to that is that you get a Mr. Pegula or Pegula family that’s going to give 100-odd million dollars. Those guys aren’t hanging off trees. So that’s the prerequisite and that’s hard to find. But I do think there’s a lot of interest – if they can get it done, I know there are Big Ten schools that would love to be a part of it."

Don't expect the Big Ten to get up to eight teams unless magic fairies with money bags descend on the right schools.

Etc.: Ace will no doubt cover LaQuon Treadwell's not-quite-itchy-enough trigger finger extensively in Tuesday Recruitin', but what you need to know now is he didn't commit and now plans to do so on a "random day($)," probably by rolling a d100 until it comes up 1. Yes, highly touted receivers have d100s. Loads of them.

Alex Anzalone has decided to avoid creeper-associated universities and will go to Notre Dame. Beilein is not calling recruits at midnight. Burke and Hardaway are among the 20 players at the Lebron Skills Academy.



July 9th, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

Ooo, let's speculate on the three B1G teams that apparently at least have it on their radar to look into adding a hockey team.  I'd guess Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan State.  Har!  I mean Purdue.


July 9th, 2012 at 2:24 PM ^


Would be very surprised if Purdue's AD would spend money on Varsity hockey. And I don't think Mitch Daniels is a hockey fan (no politics here).  As a side note, looked at Purdue's club team and the due is $2000 per player. Not too bad for almost 30 games.


With about 18 scholarships for a hockey team, what women sports did Penn State add to comply with Title XI?



July 9th, 2012 at 3:48 PM ^

On one hand, Burke is all about building a competitive program in all sports ... with the obvious exception of football (and even that was competitive during most of Tiller's era), he's kind of done a good job. (The problem is that without a competitive football team, it's hard to generate the cash to support the rest of the sports, especially if you want to go out and build new facilities for pretty much every sport all at once.)

On the other hand, if a Boiler alum comes to the school with a nine-figure donation for sports, it's probably going to be for a) basketball, b) basketball, or perhaps c) basketball. (Unless it's Brees, in which case, who knows? It might go toward the general scholarship instead.)

Plus, campus is pretty crowded. I'm not sure there's room for another arena. You could put one on the West Lafayette outskirts and run buses up there, but that seems unwise for a brand-new sport. I'd think you'd want it close to campus to encourage students to go.


July 9th, 2012 at 5:53 PM ^

Then again, I think we'd also have assumed that if a PSU alum had rolled up with a nine-figure donation, it would've also been for football.  As for an arena, there's a lot of open space on the west side of the campus near the dorms and baseball stadium, isn't there?


July 9th, 2012 at 2:37 PM ^

Indiana and Illinois both have club hockey teams in ACHA Division I (conference: CSCHL, which is like the Big Ten of ACHA DI), however they're either pretty bad (Illinois) or plum awful (Indiana) right now. "Pretty bad" for CSCHL means Top 15 in the country, and they also have a DII team; Illinois is by far the best bet to be the 7th Big Ten hockey team. Then there's  a big gap between them and Indiana and then another huge gap between the Hoosiers and the others.

For the record, the power level of their best* team

  1. Minnesota (NCAA premier program)
  2. Michigan (NCAA power)
  3. Wisconsin (sometime NCAA power)
  4. Michigan State (sometime NCAA power)
  5. Ohio State (rising NCAA program)
    ----BIG GAP----
  6. Penn State (brand new NCAA program)
    ----BIG GAP----
  7. Illinois (decent DI program)
    ----BIG GAP----
  8. Indiana (bad DI program)
    ----BIG GAP----
  9. Iowa (good DII program)
    ----BIG GAP----
  10. Purdue (decent DIII program)
  11. Northwestern (bad DIII program)
  12. Nebraska-Lincoln (bad DIII program)

* Note that many schools have multiple teams at different levels, for example all of the varsity Big Ten teams have DII club hockey teams as well. Illinois has a DII team as well as its DI program; Indiana doesn't. Iowa's DIII program is better than any of Purdue/Northwestern/Nebraska-Lincoln.


July 9th, 2012 at 3:12 PM ^

Quality of the club team is largely irrelevant. Only a few upperclassmen from the club team will make varsity, and only as benchwarmers in the first year or two so you don't have unbalanced recruiting classes.

In terms of potential big donors, the only name I've seen thrown around is the founder of Jimmy Johns donating for an Illinois team. Not sure if he's expressed any interest in that, or even hockey at all, or if it's pure speculation. I've talked to somebody on the club team at Indiana who said they're in the process of getting a new rink, and seemed pretty optimistic about them eventually getting a D1 team (personally I think said optimism is misplaced). And I think there might be some kind of tacit agreement between UNO and UNL about UNL not pursuing a hockey team after UNO dropped their football program.


July 9th, 2012 at 3:37 PM ^

You're right, though as we've seen with LAX, a lot of the players who ended up on Team 1 were guys who were basically recruited here to play club with the knowledge that they'd be varsity before their careers were through. In three years I'd expect a new-made varsity team to have replaced all but one or two guys from the club team, but there's a substantial difference between a club team and a club team one or two years away from transitioning to varsity. Until that transition is announced, however, the relative success and interest in the program can be gauged by what level the club team is playing at and how much support they receive. Illinois is further down that path than any other program, to the point that I'm sure their AD has spoken to various alums about donating.

I use the quality of the club team as a gauge of the school's interest in hockey. Illinois has a decent rink, an unusually well supported DI team, and a DII team that's not much worse than the current B1G teams. You put that all together and it demonstrates interest in a varsity program lives. Penn State's program shot up the ranks of D-I club when they started moving toward varsity.

That's why I showed the big gaps there. Indiana and Illinois it's at least feasible. The others I don't see it happening because the interest just isn't there.


July 9th, 2012 at 1:15 PM ^

at 218 lbs. may be the better news in that tweet.  Chesson is a bit thin, or at least he was with the last pictures I saw.  Darboh is nearly as heavy as Hemingway right now.  Regardless, great news on both.


July 9th, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

Chesson is a bit thin, but no thinner than Roundtree is now, or at least has been for a lot of his career here.  And if you watch Chesson's video, he doesn't play like a skinny guy - he really throws his weight around. 

Not that he shouldn't put on some beef, but that's probably not what will keep him off the field.

Future Us

July 9th, 2012 at 7:43 PM ^

These guys are some of the lowest ranked recruits in our last two exceptional classes and I think they are all going to be major contributors.

Michigan has had their share of 2 or 3 star recruits that turn into great players (Harris, Edwards, etc) but they typically are in-state guys.

Hoke went out of region to scoop these guys with poor offer sheets up. I can't recall any of the previous coaching staffs do that.

French West Indian

July 9th, 2012 at 1:23 PM ^

...so all we need is, like, Stephen Ross to donate another 100 million dollars and then we could have a hockey team too?  That shit is crazy.  Maybe if Peenn State has spnet their money on something other than sports then they wouldn't have problems with pedophile running around on campus.


July 9th, 2012 at 1:43 PM ^

...gets around the question of whether or not Phelps was ever a student by listing him as a former volunteer coach. Per MGoBlue.com, there are 19 Michigan Olympian athletes and 6 Michigan coaches. In the case of the coaches, some were letter winners and some were/are coaches. So, using the same logic, the Athletic Department appears to consider the qualifying affiliation for athletes to be a) letter winner/club team member OR b) coach (Phelps). Seems like an ok set of criteria to me.

Also, the Dominican Republic men's basketball team was eliminated from the Olympics field when they lost to Nigeria in the consolation game of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. So that means that Josh Asselin won't become the 20th Michigan Olympian athlete.


July 9th, 2012 at 2:53 PM ^

But I'm not sure it's necessary for a student.  We have ice dancers who competed (and won) in the Olympics, but they were never on our (non-existent) ice dancer team.  But they're still Michigan students competing in the Olympics.  So I can see why the Athletic Department does it that way, but the University wouldn't have to.


July 9th, 2012 at 3:14 PM ^

...some controversey about whether or not Phelps did anything as a student other than enroll his first semester. The fact that he was a volunteer coach makes that point moot. He's a Michigan Olympian athlete because he was once officially part of the Michigan swim team. Therefore, there's no need to split hairs about his academic record. And it's his nebulous academic record that makes him different than the ice dancer Olympians, all of whom were clearly enrolled and making progress toward a degree (even if they had to take a LOA from time to time).


July 9th, 2012 at 4:10 PM ^

But if working for a degree is a requirement now, we've got a whole bunch of people we can't count anymore. I'm sure if Darius Morris made the Olympic team we'd count him.  Or for guys who never played for our team, Derek Jeter. Madonna's out too. And has Charles Woodson graduated yet?  Everyone can share in the love.


July 9th, 2012 at 2:56 PM ^

DaveB basically said that there are 2-3 schools serious about hockey. And he made almost the exact statement that Brian quotes from, only he said something along the lines of a major donor or some other creative fundraising...


July 9th, 2012 at 3:26 PM ^

Ahhh...the infamous d100 roll (two 10-sided dice). Back in my D&D playing days, they were few and far between, but always filled with controversy with the inevitable arguments that would ensue when the DM would swear that the RED die was the 10's die while the GREEN die was the 1's and the die-roller would swear on his +5 Holy Avenger that he proclaimed that the GREEN die was the 10's before he rolled.


July 9th, 2012 at 4:44 PM ^

about Compher.  Everything about him is so overwhelmingly positive.  Which, obviously, is a bad sign regarding him actually getting to campus in a year...

If everybody that doesn't graduate stays and the 2013 class shows up intact, that's going to be a ridiculously stacked roster.  They didn't show up under the A level prospects, but Bryson Cianfrone is supposedly also a HUGE get (he's shortish and so will likely be valued less by the NHL than might deserve) and I think Tyler Motte was 3rd on the USNTDP-U17 in goals this year and he and Evan Allen were tied for 4th in points (4th and 5th in points/game, Compher led in points/game, by a lot, and only didn't lead in ponts because he played 15 fewer games than the guy with 6 points more than him.  Compher did spend 18 games with the U18 team where he was 2nd in points/game among that roster)  It won't happen, but it's nice to dream about what the line-up could look like in 2013, based mostly on hype:





Leaving on the bench: Sinelli (rising sophomore), Copp, Milne, (incoming freshman) Kile, Shuart (incoming class 2013)

Merrill-Trouba (since I never got the Merrill-Burlon combination I wanted...)



Leaving on the bench: Chiasson, Szuma (rising sophomores), S.Hyman (class of 2013)

Rutlege/Racine/Surprise! in goal.

Pretty good class breakdown, too, by class in 2013, in the line-up there are:

5 seniors (3 D), 5 Juniors (1 D), 5 Sophomores (1 D, 2 G) and 5 freshman (1 D)

Assuming there is one servicable goalie in the mix, that's one heck of a roster.  That will likely never exist.  Ahh the life of a Michigan Hockey fan...


July 9th, 2012 at 6:13 PM ^

Strong or free?

Picking out the differences when various defenses of Michigan past have flipped around terms is difficult, but I'm pretty sure he was mostly strong safety, despite EA Sports getting this wrong both years. His emergence had them trying Shazor at linebacker, remember? the nominal free safety those years was Cato June.

I guess this is splitting hairs but here's how I remember the 2001-'02 safety rotation:

  • Base: Drake at SS, June at FS
  • June hurt: Drake at SS, Curry at FS
  • Passing downs: Shaw rotates in for either Drake or Curry
  • Running downs: Shazor at SS, Drake or June at FS
  • Shazor time: Shazor at SS, June at FS


July 9th, 2012 at 9:00 PM ^

My dream is to get recordings of all of his game-broadcast phrases and find a way to sync them up with new games. All we would need is a more powerful processor and lots of funding, but think of the mental health benefits!