Unverified Voracity Plays Navy Comment Count

Brian January 21st, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Old school item. Michigan-Navy, newsreel 1967:

72,000 was announced, which seems high for the end of the Bump era.

Not bad. A Lion Eye is considering the wreckage in Champaign by adding up football and basketball conference records over the past two years. Results:

Michigan 29-10
Michigan State 28-12
Ohio State 27-12
Wisconsin 26-13
Purdue 20-19
Northwestern 18-21
Nebraska 17-23
Indiana 16-22
Iowa 16-23
Penn State 16-24
Minnesota 13-26
Illinois 9-30

He admits it's a dumb way to put together a statistic. I like it anyway.

In which Gene Smith, who bumbled his way to a bowl ban for a 12-0 team, is more sensible than Michigan's athletic director. Kind of, anyway:

"I kind of lean toward having us in the same division," he said. "But I'm open to keeping it as it is, based on what my colleagues might share."


In an email to ESPN.com, Brandon said, "I would certainly not be opposed to being in the same division as OSU if it was in the best interest of our conference. I look forward to the discussion with my colleagues and our conference leadership."

"If it was in the best interest of our conference" should not even come into consideration. The conference doesn't pay the bills. Hopefully this is just PR; I miss the days when someone in charge of something had a greater-than-zero percent chance of saying something that he thought.

We had a shifty season. Probably.

"We had a s****y season, to be honest with you," Hoke said at the MHSFA's Winner’s Circle Clinic. "Bad year, to be honest. Proud of the kids, how they kept moving forward, but it wasn't the year Michigan deserves."

The comparison is left to the reader.

Lol Adidas. I keep comparing the alternate hockey jerseys to replicas you'd get off the rack at Wal-Mart, but apparently the basketball jerseys are literally that:

Four of Michigan’s blue road jerseys ripped in the Wolverines’ 83-75 win over Minnesota Wednesday.

Impossible is nothing, right, Adidas?

Trey Burke’s No. 3 was the first to rip, so he played most of the game wearing No. 12, which was also ripped later in the game. So after Jordan Morgan used Michigan’s second and only other extra jersey — the redshirt junior played the second half wearing No. 30 — Burke and, later, Caris LeVert were forced to play with holes in their uniforms.

I can’t remember the last time the Wolverines beat a top-10 opponent on the road after four of its jerseys were ripped since no official statistics are kept on road games won with ripped jerseys. I can assure you, though, that no Michigan team has won a road game over a top-10 team since the Wolverines beat No. 10 Duke, 62-61, on Dec. 8, 1996 until Wednesday. That was more than 16 years ago.

I did not think it was possible for an apparel company to fail so spectacularly as Adidas has and still exist. The level of incompetence they've shown over the last couple years is incompatible with a still-extant huge company. At some point they should have had a company-wide party during which everyone put on their new GasolineTech line and then lit a bonfire.

I have never taken any economics courses but I'm pretty sure this is ignorant of basic economics. Something called the "Delta Cost Project" at something called "American Institutes for Research" released a study about how much colleges spend on athletes. Surprise: it is a lot relative to students that don't have skills that cause hundreds of thousands of people to want to watch them do things.


I wasn't going to mention this because it is blatantly dishonest to not even casually mention that the big time schools with all of these expenditures are raking in piles of money, but Deadspin flogged it.

The obvious takeaway: the SEC is insane. SEC schools spend more than 12 times as much on each athlete as they do on their regular, non-revenue-generating students. They spend 40 percent more than Big Ten schools, and 60 percent more than Pac-10 (now PAC-12) schools. The SEC's nearly $164,000 median cost per athlete is almost twice as much as the FBS average, and four-and-a-half times as much as the median FCS program. Becoming the country's undisputed college football elite conference doesn't come free, and it doesn't come cheap.

And remember, these figures are per athlete, not just per football player. Considering the costs of running a girls volleyball program, feel free to slide the football expenditures upward.

The imbalance isn't just an SEC problem, though. The average D-1 football school is spending 6.7 times more money on each athlete than on each regular student. The question then becomes: where is that money going? Those athletes sure as hell aren't getting paid.

I hear you about the getting paid thing; when the biggest individual hunk of the athletic spending is on compensation for coaches and ever-growing numbers of athletic department staffers it grates. But the reason there is spending is that there is revenue. Find me a chemical engineer making revenue for the school on the order of the quarterback, and then get him to file patents for you, and then come to me and say "look at this chemical engineer."

It is in fact the lowest schools on the totem pole who are setting money on fire to do this:


The top ~60 schools that approximately comprise BCS conferences are in those first two quartiles, and spend relatively little money from students and the institution. Get below that and it's fees and tuition. We could have a discussion about whether this is a good idea. I don't want to bother talking with these people since they are framing the "problem" of college sports spending without noting that colleges don't have shareholders to provide dividends to and that at the top schools money in is therefore destined to equal money out, and there is a lot of money in.

BONUS: The one interesting thing about this is a glimpse into how the Big Ten's supposed money advantage evaporates in the face of the SEC's laser focus on football. That per-athlete number is 50k more than the Big Ten despite revenues being close to equal because SEC schools carry many fewer sports than the Big Ten does. Call it the Six Million Dollar Rower gap.

I find you guilty of the passing blasphemy. Lloyd Carr is now on the Committee on Infractions. In related news, teams that do anything that seems tricky will be ejected into space.

Random dude says implausible thing about Big Ten expansion. Given what happened last time, the dumber and less credible the rumor, the more we have to pay attention to it. First, this comes from a guy whose bio reads like so:

Chris usually writes using the pseudonym "Honus Sneed" is known as the "Dude of WV". He's sometimes controversial and sometimes funny but his love of the Mountaineers is always apparent. He is married to smartest, most bad-ass, derby girl who is as beautiful as she is tough. They share their life with the iirrepressible Fozzie Bear of Chaos who denies he is related in any way to Bo Obama.

So take it for what it's worth. He says the Big Ten is aiming for Virginia and would like to add UNC or Georgia Tech. I put no credence in it, but it's clear the Big Ten isn't done and has adopted a strategy of stealthily making stupid moves because their previous approach—doing intelligent things publicly—was totally square.

As previously stated, at this point I am in favor of the Big Ten adding six more teams and putting all of them in the other division so we can pretend none of this ever happened. So whatever. Add away, deranged fang-beasts with MBAs. You already blew it all up.

Slice. A fairly large deregulation package just passed one level or another of the NCAA's governance structure. I think this is the stage at which the thing gets passed by a small group and then Indiana State tries to override it because it's not fair they're Indiana State, so some of these proposals could meet the same fate as the cost-of-living increase did down the road.

If these things do get through, they're for the better:

Several of the 25 changes adopted Saturday are small and fairly obvious. Schools, for instance, can now provide "reasonable entertainment in conjunction with competition or practice," which means the old joke that athletes could be provided bagels but not cream cheese – yes, that was an actual NCAA rule – no longer applies. And a new rule that will allow athletes to receive "$300 more than actual and necessary expenses" as long as they don't come from an agent or booster will save a ton of paperwork and compliance headaches for things that used to be considered secondary (or minor) violations.

But there are also some significant ways in which recruiting has now been deregulated, ways that could favor the bigger schools with bigger budgets.

Coaches can now make an unlimited number of contacts with recruits via text messages or social media. Printed recruiting materials sent through the mail are now completely deregulated in terms of frequency or expense. And schools will now have the ability to hire a recruiting coordinator who isn't a head coach or full-time assistant coach, which is a particularly big deal for football.

Think of all the paperwork that will no longer be done. You should be in favor of anything that 1) moves the focus away from nothing secondary violations onto big issues *cough*OLEMISS*cough* and 2) allows Michigan to use its money firehose to either distance themselves from schools with less or close the gap on schools operating outside of the framework, cough OLE MISS cough.

This was the easy bit. Emmert's got a bigger reform package on the table that won't be as easy to shove through since it deals with big, big things like transfer rules and agents and, uh… "meals." What exactly they'd like to do isn't something I could google up. Hopefully it includes some accommodation with the realities of agents these days and maybe some movement towards allowing some money to flow to the players.

BONUS: When you want to name-check a 'have', you go to one place.

"There are universities that made investments 100 years ago that, by historical accident in some instances, have set as their role, scope and mission, things that give them competitive advantages in their ability to fund and support ahtletics," NCAA president Mark Emmert said Saturday. "Michigan has been Michigan for a long time.

Etc.: Sportswriters now pondering whether anything was ever real. That's actually a good column by Tim Layden about the inherent uncheckability of a lot of stuff. Will Campbell is reprising his high school camp performances. I guess Will Hagerup really has a chance to come back; must be Stonum-style double-secret probation. Michigan's defense is short of national-title expectations.

Kate Upton. We win.


M Fanfare

January 21st, 2013 at 3:36 PM ^

The Bentley Historical Library tracks attendence, and they list the 1967 Navy game at 72,36, which was the third-highest attended game that year behind the MSU game (103,210) and the season opener against Duke (79,492). The Ohio game only drew 64,000. Michigan went 4-6 on the season.


January 22nd, 2013 at 7:36 PM ^

I was dressed up as a Cub Scout or Boy Scout those days; we were "ushers".  Went to almost all the home games from 67 through 70.  I do remember the band days but I couldn't associate them with a particular game. 

These things I do seem to recall.  For some reason I 1968 v Navy as a cold wet afternoon. No matter how hot the chocolate, your toes will remain frozen even when encased in rubber boots, a double layer of socks, and bread wrappers.  When it is snowing, make your way under the press box.  Hot dogs don't taste very good when soaked with rain water, but they're better than soggy popcorn.  On a sunnier note, early fall days in the student section were....interesting.


Magnum P.I.

January 21st, 2013 at 3:42 PM ^

Hmm, not really sure what your issue with the AIR report is. They show pretty clearly in the stacked bar graph that you copied above that the big schools do, in fact, generate enough money from sports to defray most any need for financial support from tuition/institutional dollars. I'm not seeing the dishonesty. 

I don't understand this complaint, either:


I don't want to bother talking with these people since they are framing the "problem" of college sports spending without noting that colleges don't have shareholders to provide dividends to and that at the top schools money in is therefore destined to equal money out, and there is a lot of money in.


They state pretty clearly in the report on page 10 that money in doesn't, in fact, equal money out.


Even among the largest FBS programs, student fees and institutional subsidies typically provided between 4 percent and 14 percent of total athletic revenues (see Figure 3 on page 9). And without access to lucrative television contracts and large stadiums with sizable ticket sales revenue, the budgets at smaller FCS and DI-NF programs are heavily subsidized, although FCS programs are more likely to rely on institutional support, while DI-NF schools rely on student fees to fund much of their budget.


If colleges and universities are spending more and more money on sports, and some of that money is coming from student fees, that sounds like an important issue to highlight. Not sure what shareholders and dividends have to do with it.


January 21st, 2013 at 3:45 PM ^

Having read it, good, but, he cites many examples of things that were not checkable as if they correlate to the Teo story.

 The standout Teo facts were:  that a student by that name enrolled at Stanford, her death records.  

Checking requires more work.  It is always easier to take someone's word for it.


January 21st, 2013 at 3:45 PM ^

Adidas v Anyone Else:

As disappointed as I am with the aethetics of our recent Adidas uniforms (bumblebees, invisibles, etc. in football & outlet mall specials in basketball), I think the gripe is not with Adidas, but with the UofM representative who approves the designs.

Adidas has had some terrible designs (and we've worn several).  Nike has also had terrible designs.  Under Armour has had terrible designs.  That's the way it is.  Alabama hasn't worn a monstrosity.  Oklahoma hasn't either.  It's up to the school to say "no thanks".

As for tearing jerseys - is there a problem with the material, which hasn't ripped in any other game this year?  Or was the problem with Minnesota's gropey defense?  I don't know the answer, but let's place the blame where it belongs - on our school.  The "Nike rulz" and/or Adidas suckz" battle ignores the both-sides-are-bad reality.


January 21st, 2013 at 4:04 PM ^

I agree with the both-sides-suck reality, but not with the point about the school being the final word, because it doesn't apply in this case.  That's for design only.  It's not the school's job to wear-test and yank at the sample jerseys to see if they come apart.  It's the company's job to provide gear that works.


January 21st, 2013 at 5:26 PM ^

1. Be structurally sound / keep players covered.

2. Clearly differentiate between sides (for the clueless) and identify players

Really, this is a pretty minimal standard.

The Minnesota ripped jersey problem sounds like a quality control issue. Maybe a cruddy batch came out of the factory and didn't get caught. The fact that it hasn't happened much at all before this game indicates it's probably not a systemic thing. But it reflects poorly on the company's ability to either conduct QA/QC testing or on training 12 year olds to sew a seam effectively (I kid! I hope.). Not sure how the Michigan AD could be blamed for this, but it's something to file away for the contract review.

Michigan's unis have been ok at indicating "yeah, you're watching Michigan", even the "special" one-off ones, though not mucking (much) with the helmet design may be the main reason why. The bowl uniforms failed the player identification standard, though, as the numbers were not distinguishable. This is a basic error. Like you, I blame Michigan's approval procedure for this, but I don't think Adidas should get a pass for shoddy design. It's a basic failure that implies that the design people really don't understand the minimal requirements and have cut right to the marketing.

Section 1

January 21st, 2013 at 6:16 PM ^

One thing about adidas and Michigan, which seems to be true in both basketball and football, is that they are for the most part "template" uniforms.  So what Michigan gets, Wisconsin gets and Notre Dame gets and UCLA gets and Nebraska gets and et cetera.  Usually.  In fact, the uninspired, repetitive annual themes that adidas sells are one of the many annoying things about the company's handling of Michigan's account.

So I was wondering if anybody who has friends close to the other adidas schools has heard of those teams having similar problems?  Has Michigan had problems with any of its other 2012-13 uniforms?  The Maize ones?  The White home uniforms?  Or was it a problem uniquely related to the road-Blue jerseys?


January 22nd, 2013 at 9:59 AM ^

Bingo. It seems to be a popular opinion that David Brandon—or his underlings—have no power whatsoever to make final decisions on what Michigan's teams are going to wear, as though the contract mandates that Adidas tells UM what they're going to wear.

Anybody who's worked with Brandon at UM knows that he's not some shrinking violet who's reluctant to press for what he wants—the truth is the exact opposite. The number of UM employees who have more power and influence than Brandon can be counted on the fingers on one hand of a clumsy power-saw owner.

If he'd wanted to maintain our football uniforms' traditional approach, that's exactly what would have happened. The responsibility—and blame—rests ultimately with David Brandon, since the decisions are being made by people in his employ.


January 21st, 2013 at 3:53 PM ^

The big thing that no one is noting is that the average is computed by taking both the highs and the lows.  The SEC may spend a lot of money on football which helps that number become astronomically high, but in general their are more sport teams per school in atleast the BIG PAC-12 and probably Big 12, with a big numer of teams where you don't have to spend a lot of money per athelete.  All of those teams bring that average down a lot.  If you have 100 football players that you spend $300,000 per player on a year and then have 5 teams with 20 players a piece that you only spend $5,000 per player on per year that brings your average to $152,500.  Just looking at the average like that and then proclaiming the SEC spends so much more money on football is seriously misleading.


January 21st, 2013 at 3:54 PM ^

yes, michigan built a big stadium a long time ago but i think that the long line of successful presidents, coaches and ADs has ensured that the stadium is kept full and i also think that Michigan fan's appetite and appreciation for something special plays a part in that. historical accident makes it sound like i don't actually do any work to support this program.

snarling wolverine

January 21st, 2013 at 4:35 PM ^

Not to mention that Michigan Stadium was no "historical accident."  It took years of lobbying by Yost to convince the Regents to support building a stadium that would hold, at the time, twice the population of Ann Arbor (and had footings that could allow for even more expansion).  Michigan Stadium was a very forward-thinking project for its time.


January 21st, 2013 at 4:01 PM ^

There is a huge, gaping hole in the academics vs. athletics thing.  Namely that the lion's share of that "athletic spending" is on scholarships for the players.  And most if not all universities account for those in such a way that the scholarship money that goes out of the AD is revenue for the university in the form of tuition.  And since athletic departments (at the bigger schools where the problem supposedly lies, according to the people who flog the SEC) are usually separate entities that receive no money from the school itself, that's actual cash coming into the school.  That makes it different from, say, the scholarship I'm using right now to get my MBA, which is essentially the school's own shuffled-around money.

Magnum P.I.

January 21st, 2013 at 5:57 PM ^

On page 8 of the report, it says that only 10.6% of top FBS schools' athletic department budgets go toward "student aid." That hardly constitutes the lion's share.  There's still a lot of AD money being spent on things other than scholarships. 34% goes to AD staff/coaches' compensation and 23% to facilities/equipment. 

To your other point about ADs being separate entities that receive no money from the school itself: the main point of the AIR report directly contradicts that. The whole take-away from the report is that, particularly for smaller schools, student fees and institutional dollars are helping to prop up ADs. 


January 21st, 2013 at 6:24 PM ^

Murray Sperber's Beer and Circus touches on this - even if most athletic departments aren't self-sufficient, universities are okay with spending a shit-ton on athletics, because they use sports as a vehicle to drive strong undergraduate enrollment numbers and interest from prospective students.  

He calls it the "Flutie Factor"; after BC beat Miami on the Hail Mary and garnered national attention, the # of applicants to BC rose dramatically.  Students want to go have fun in college - go to parties, tailgate, pregame, binge drink, etc. Obviously, a lot of that culture revolves around college sports; thus, universities use athletics as a marketing tool aimed at the regular student.  So really, spending on academics vs. athletics "per student" turns into a real blurry line here.




January 21st, 2013 at 7:52 PM ^

Research shows the rise in donations and public perceptions as universities perform better on the field.

Plus, media exposure is huge. A 30-second commercial on Sunday night NFL costs $500k largely given the audience. Assume a UM game has 80% similar demographics, 1/2 the Nielsen rating, 2 hours of football and UM receiving 1/2 the coverage. Net, $24 million in advertising value.

While we joke and mock DB about his brand and wow comments, his approach is the best way to build an AD with incredible resources AND long-term stability.

snarling wolverine

January 21st, 2013 at 4:11 PM ^

Re: the jerseys ripping, are we sure that that was Adidas's fault?  I don't think it's ever happened to us before, and don't know of any other team they outfit having that problem.  When we suddenly have four guys' jerseys rip in one game, that makes me wonder a little what the equipment manager was doing the last time he washed them.


January 21st, 2013 at 4:27 PM ^

The B1G spends the most...  $2,000 per academic student more than anyone else, and $6,000 more per academic student than the SEC.

Well done!


January 21st, 2013 at 5:01 PM ^

Adidas uses the same manufacturers as every other major apparel company, there are reasons to dislike adidas, this isn't one of them


January 21st, 2013 at 5:30 PM ^

I've gotten used to seeing guys take the right angle in recent seasons (thanks Kovacs!), but it's a good reminder that teams have cut M up with long runs after short passes for many, many years.

How about charting it?!


January 21st, 2013 at 5:46 PM ^

Have you forgotten Brian that it's all about the 'wow' factor?

Wow - I can't believe the Michigan football team is wearing a jersey where most of the people in the stands, the announcers and people watching on TV can't make out the numbers on the jersey.

Wow - I don't know if I've ever seen a basketball team have 4 of their jersey's get ripped in the same game.

Maybe the Addidas people had been watching some old Earl Campbell films where he's rumbling through a mess of tacklers and finally stumbles into the endzone with a quarter of his jersey ripped and just hanging on by a couple of threads.


January 21st, 2013 at 6:17 PM ^

Personally, I'll take ugly, tearaway uniforms if it's part of the deal with having a top 5 national team.

We've gone overboard with some of the uniform designs lately, I agree.  But there is way too angst around here about that.  The stat Brian referenced above (combined Big Ten record in football and basketball) matters a lot more.

Here's a cool stat: if you've had season tickets to Michigan football and basketball the past two years, you've seen Michigan go a combined 40-1 at home.  




January 21st, 2013 at 6:29 PM ^

"The level of incompetence they've shown over the last couple years is incompatible with a still-extant huge company."

Brian, meet ESPN, CNN, The Washington Post, the New York Times, and pretty much every traditional media company in the country.  Every traditional media company in the country, meet Brian.


January 21st, 2013 at 7:06 PM ^

"But I'm open to keeping it as it is, based on what my colleagues might share."

And the other guy says

"I would certainly not be opposed to being in the same division as OSU if it was in the best interest of our conference."

But because one guy says "I kind of lean" and the other says "I would not be opposed" he obviously "gets it" more than the other. Right. At this point you're like te guy who sees racism behind every corner. You're just looking for reasons to be offended.


January 21st, 2013 at 9:03 PM ^

I think it more the notion that the proprietor of said words lacked any original thought in his statement; "..in the best interest of the conference.." are the words of interest and is sort of a sucker-ass response to a question about the two schools being in the same division.  This in opposition to the idea one statement was better than the other at agreeing that they wouldn't mind being together.


January 21st, 2013 at 9:28 PM ^

The newsreel was interesting.  For one thing, the newsreel style made this seem like it was out of the 40s, yet there was Mandich playing (and fumbling twice!) just two short years before the upset of Ohio State in 1969.  The difference between this newsreel and 1969 TV is huge.

Second, I didn't realize that the ancient scoreboards with the round clock were still around in 1967.

Third, this realy drives home how big the turnaround was when Bo started coaching.  As a birthday present when I was about 9 or 10, I went to Michigan Navy games (1970 and 1971 or so).  These were predictable blowouts by a very good Michigan team against a completely outmatched Navy team.  I grew up believing that this was just the way it always was.  It is stunning to see Michigan lose to Navy in Michigan Stadium.

And fourth, Ron Johnson really was a great running back.


January 21st, 2013 at 10:23 PM ^

I saw this early in the day and didn't have time to watch the newsreel.  I now have.  I agree about how old it seems, yet at the same time it made me remember that in my youth we played Navy very often (70s, early 80s, not fact checking, relying on memory).  

Also noticed that Warren Cipa (sp?) was a blocking fullback on a touchdown run.  Wonder if he is an older relative of the Larry Cipa who was the QB when Larry Cipa was under center and a balanced line, it's Taylor deep and .... oh you know the rest.