Unverified Voracity Rides The Dolphin

Submitted by Brian on January 28th, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Pretty much. Midnight Maize returns with MS Paint sidearm:


I do not know why Petway is riding a dolphin.

Brackets. Surveying the panoply of brackets at the Bracket Matrix gives the impression that to most Michigan is currently a three seed. Michigan's currently the last one overall, but the Matrix generally lags as brackets are up to a week old. They're on the cusp of a 2, especially with Oklahoma State losing last night.

That's where Jerry Palm has them, in a rather unpleasant region with potential rematches against Stanford (the 11), Iowa State(the 2) and Arizona(the 1) plus winged-helmet-on-winged-helmet crime in the opener against Delaware. There is  exactly no reason to get exercised about team placement in a random January bracket, I know. I just am not feeling positive about that business.

More on Aneurysm Two. Beilein has not and apparently will not disclose what set him off, but when MLive is getting screenshots from youtube of the LeVert layup attempt that was (officially) blocked by Appling, it seems that everyone agrees. Beilein, for his part, on Stauskas getting him away from the spittle exchange:

“Yeah, that was a good assist by him,” Beilein said of Stauskas in the postgame press conference. “He was a little rough with me, too. I was in control, though, believe it or not.”

I do not entirely believe it, and if it was anyone other than John Beilein I would be snorting in derision. Also:

"(Stauskas) made a great move there because I was an innocent bystander at the time," Beilein said. "At any rate, we got through that. That would have been a shame if I would have gotten a technical at that time."

The implication there is that Beilein started barking at this Wymer guy and it was Wymer who got in his face. Imagine that happening to, say, Tom Izzo. It does not compute. No wonder he blew up.

Coach Mitch. Presented without context.

“I’m Coach Mitch,” McGary said to reporters after the game Saturday.

Also, another photo in the Horford/McGary odd couple bin:


Photographers, you have been notified that side by side shots of McGary and Horford are of bottomless joy and utility.

Aw man. I was just getting into the swing of calling the Huskers something like Increasingly Dangerous Nebrasketball™ and they had to go and kick Deverell Biggs off the team.

[checks kenpom]

Nevermind! Biggs was a unique combination of high volume and absolutely miserable efficiency: his usage rate was 35th nationally and his ORTG 92nd. I'm only thinking this is a major loss because Biggs had 14 points against Michigan. Now I am worried abut Michigan's defense. More worried.

Just another Alabama offseason. Alabama fans believe they will take 27 kids in this recruiting class, which means they'll have to eject eight guys from the program. Unless it's actually eleven, ie, the different between Michigan signing the 16 or 17 they expect to this year and a near-NCAA maximum class. At least Bama fans are no longer able to deny what's happening with sleight of hand, and have to admit they don't care:

Don't care.

Scholarship limits are designed to limit student-athlete opportunities in the name of competitive balance. Those who laud scholarship limits while suggesting that oversigning is harmful to student-athletes are hypocrites.

Next question.

I knew I shouldn't have worn my I LAUD SCHOLARSHIP LIMITS t-shirt today. The only thing more endangered by Alabama than backup offensive linemen are strawmen.

Injuries issues for Wisconsin hockey. Badger defenseman Tyler Barnes will be out for this weekend's series at Yost. Nick Kerdiles, a first round pick, is questionable after missing the Michigan series in Madison. Even if they get a weakened version of the Badgers, Michigan is going to have to significantly step up their game to compete with the #5 scoring offense in the country.

Wow, Yost. Remember that? It's January 28th and this is the first game at Yost since December 11th. Scheduling. I am not impressed with it. If they're going to have all these bye weeks because the conference tournament is one weekend instead of three, they should endeavor to fill breaks like last week with nonconference series. I very much want to go to hockey in January, because it's a star attraction. In the heart of football season it's not.

Well now. There's been a kind-of-bonkers rumor floating around the past few years that when Red retires, one of the primary candidates to replace him will be Mike Babcock. Here is the first circumstantial evidence this is not something a twelve year old posted on a message board:

“He always mentions that -- (coaching college hockey) at some point -- when we talk,” Berenson said. “When he's done (in the NHL), he could see himself doing that. He's a student of the game and understands academics and sports and life after hockey."

IIRC, Red's tentative plan is to serve out the next two years of his contract and then hang it up. If Babcock wants the job I think we might let him have it.

Etc.: Obituary of the year. Venric Mark will return for Northwestern. Hockey moves up its recruiting calendar by six months so coaches can talk to guys before the CHL drafts. Nebraska's new ice rink will not support D-I hockey. Oh man I forgot to put the fact that MSU was favored by five by Vegas in the 30 for 30 pitch.




turd ferguson

January 28th, 2014 at 1:07 PM ^

Shit, Brian, we're wearing the same shirt today.  Let's stay out of the same room so that things don't get awkward.

A substantive point:

There's obviously no reason to get riled up about matchups in projected brackets in January, but the fact that we're even thinking about a Final Four path speaks to how drastically this team's outlook has changed.  Two weeks ago we were still finding paths for Michigan to get into the tournament.  In fact, I think that was the basis of the argument that we were playing with house money against MSU.  Now there is no house money because we're playing for a conference title, and questions like "Which one-seed is the best matchup for us?" are kind of reasonable to consider.  It's an amazing turn of events over just two weeks.


January 28th, 2014 at 1:17 PM ^

I said this somewhere earlier but usually stupid rumors like "Jon Gruden to Michigan" get blown up for the smoke and nothingness that they are within a few weeks. This Babcock rumor has come up ever so faintly numerous times over the past year or so and hasn't been obliterated by anyone yet. I have to imagine at this point Babcock is at least entertaining the idea of coaching college one day. The fact that his family is already in the Detroit-area (i.e. no moving) and his daughter goes to UofM makes it ever more intriguing

And that article on Nebraska actually makes me think Nebraska is entertaining the idea of hockey. Despite this new arena not being a fit for D-I hockey, Pinnacle Bank Arena would still be in the same way the Kohl Center or Value City are. The fact that a NU regent would not publically deny any thoughts of hockey for the first time I've seen leads me to believe it's on their radar over there - even if it's on their 10-20 year plan


January 28th, 2014 at 1:47 PM ^

On one hand, Omaha and Lincoln are far enough away (1 hour, if driving conditions are favorable) that they wouldn't be at each other's throats for ice time/space. Also, graduates of the University of Nebraska - Omaha are typically proud of their institution and don't try to just say they when to "University of Nebraska" and pull a fast one. They're seperate entities (except for football, but UNO was never DI anyway) and it wouldn't be like if UM Dearborn decided to start a hockey team. 

On the other hand, I'm not sure Nebraska is that into hockey. I'm not saying they're not into hockey, but most Nebraskans are content just rooting for UNO (from my experience in Nebraska, at least).


January 28th, 2014 at 3:20 PM ^

It's kind of the same thing, just with different names. 

I'm originally from California, and sure, there's the large "University of California" system, but pretty much no one says "I went to the University of California. They say UCLA, Cal/Berkeley, UCDavis, UCIrvine, etc. If Central/Eastern/Western/Northern (poor Southern, no school to its name) Michigan were instead "University of Michigan: Ypsilanti" or something or other, they'd probably just start identifying themselves as "UMY" students, or something like that.

Also, California also has the Cal-State system, and the UC/Cal-State naming is strikingly similar to UofM/Michigan State (UC = flagship academic schools; Cal-State = nothing to shake a stick at, but less prestigious). The Cal-State system is traditionally seen as the "little brother" to the UC system, because it was designed to be undergraduate only, with the UC schools the sole public institution in California to get a doctorate or equivalent, while the state schools have been praised for its integration of "practical applications." These systems are kept distinctly seperate so as not to dilute their respective brands.

I think the U of M is very protective of its own brand and might not want to expand to other sites. It would lead to a distillation of top faculty, rivalries within the system, etc.


January 28th, 2014 at 4:25 PM ^

The UW-Madison is clearly the biggest school in the state, but some of the other schools in the UW system also field Division I teams in at least some sports. The ones I can think of off the bat are UW-Milwaukee and UW-Green Bay. Those would be equivalent to the directional schools.

I believe all of the universities outside the UW system are private (e.g., Marquette).


January 28th, 2014 at 2:58 PM ^

You're more connected than I am so feel free to correct me but I doubt the Stars would compete with Nebraska. They're popular now but aren't they likely just filling a void that would be immediately filled by a theoretical Nebraska team? I think so.

I've never been to the state, but my impression of Nebraska is that NU is the be-all-end-all for sports there. I have to imagine many of the fans of Tri-City, Lincoln, and Omaha are already NU fans on the side and would immediately become Nebraska hockey fans if a team were to form

Wolverine In Exile

January 28th, 2014 at 9:01 PM ^

Couple things to keep in mind:
- redwings core that keeps them a cup contender is breaking down
- papa ilitch may not be alive in two years, and the responsible ilitch kids are more interested in the tigers or the performance venues in the Olympia portfolio
- friends close to me with second hand knowledge say that rift between Babcock and red was real a couple years ago mostly because red wanted Detroit to move for jack Johnson when he was available, but its been patched up since Babcock's daughter started in a2 and both coaches started talking during visits and redwing alumni games
- Babcock used to coach in Canadian university and really liked the academia environment
- Andy Murray is a friend of Babcock and has been telling him how great the time at western Mich is, from my 2nd hand sources.

I get feeling that if wings have to big rebuild in two years, Babcock would be amenable to checking into a2 job, especially if his daughter stays local after college.


January 29th, 2014 at 9:08 AM ^

While a Babcock hire would not enthrall me, hiring an ex-NHL head coach with a Stanley Cup championship under his belt is orders of magnitude better than hiring an ex-Commissioner of a now defunct college hockey conference with zero experience coaching at any competitive level.



January 28th, 2014 at 1:25 PM ^

Coach Beilein was upset because he felt the referee Terry Wymer bumped him with his nose. I watched it several times to read his lips and when the 2nd official came over, that's what he told him, "he bumped me", and kept pointing to his face. Wymer is a NW Ohio guy and an arrogant pile.

Fuzzy Dunlop

January 28th, 2014 at 1:25 PM ^

Anyone have any video of the Appling/Levert noncall that set Beilein off?  Missed it during the game, and I'm having trouble finding video on the world wide interwebs.

Ron Utah

January 28th, 2014 at 1:42 PM ^

Getting a scholarship at the University of Alabama is really only a guaranteed try-out.  If they think they can bring in someone else that's better than you, you're gone.  Cutting eight kids is ridiculous, and if the NCAA was actually interested in anything resembling protecting student-athletes, they'd put a stop to this.  Instead, we have Kain Colter starting a union for college football players.  JEEBUS.

The worst part is, when 'Bama dumps these kids, they still have some control over them.  That's right--you have to be released by your school, and the school therefore has some leverage in deciding where the player can go and the player may have to sit for a year--even he's cut.

Nick Saban is the devil.


January 28th, 2014 at 1:54 PM ^

If Saban & Alabama even remotely followed this rule, Deshawn Hand wouldn't have even been able to commit to Alabama. He is the 4th most recent commit according to rivals. They are 8-11 guys over scholarship depending on if you're already counting guys out...

Yes, sour grapes and whatnot.


January 28th, 2014 at 2:22 PM ^

I know all the arguments against transfer rules, and agree with them 100%. The reason I like the sit-out-a-year rule is to stop rampant transferring. 

I think it could turn dark very quickly. When a player at a MAC school blows up he is just free to go to Alabama, because now Saban thinks the kid is good enough? So does EMU turn into Michigan's minor league school? Players who can't "cut-it" can start being forced to go there, and players who outshine their recruiting ranks can come play here? Basically turning UofM's Scholarship limit into 170 players per year. etc. 

Yeah, it sucks for kids who are a.) forced off a team (i.e. Alabama cuts players) and then b.) forced to sit 1 full year to be able to play football again. But that isn't a transfer issue as much as it is an oversigning issue that has effects beyond just oversigning. 

snarling wolverine

January 28th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

I don't have a problem with players having to sit out a year.  That should encourage players to reflect about whether it's the right decision.  I think that's reasonable.  That's not what my post was about.  

What I think is unfair is that a school has the right to deny a player the opportunity to transfer to another school - it can refuse to release a player from his scholarship if it doesn't like the school he's going to.  That's not reasonable.  If you make the decision to transfer, you know you're giving up a year of eligibility (or your redshirt) - that's enough of a deterrent.  You shouldn't be denied the right to go where you want to attend.





January 28th, 2014 at 2:44 PM ^

Yeah, those are the rules I am 100% against. If I were a student at Harvard and I wanted to transfer to Yale, and I was accepted to transfer to Yale, Harvard wouldn't be able to stop me from going. How the hell is it okay for a school to tell a student he can't go somewhere because that person plays football?

I was not trying to fight you on your post. Just wanted to put my thoughts out there for people who weren't in favor of having to sit a year.


January 28th, 2014 at 2:52 PM ^

My only counter is that the MAC coach who blows up as a result of that kid can leave and start his new job without waiting a year.  My feeling has always been that if your coach leaves or they drop your scholarship, you can leave without reservation and no delay.  That seems fair while also protecting schools from rampant transferring year-in/year-out.

Bando Calrissian

January 28th, 2014 at 1:49 PM ^

Wasn't there some kind of story involving Petway, a campus party, and some kind of plastic dolphin or something? I seem to remember something like that floating around circa 2005-6ish.


January 28th, 2014 at 1:53 PM ^

Just what did the NCAA think was going to happen when they limited the number of 1-year scholarships? That schools would treat them as "de facto" 4-year scholarships? They have absolutely no incentive to do so. 


January 28th, 2014 at 2:11 PM ^

The need to comply with Title IX was the main reason scholarship limits were reduced from 105 in the 1970s to 85 today.  I don't fault the NCAA for that.  Its schools just need to deal with it and stop trying to bend the rules.  85 scholarships is still quite a lot.






January 28th, 2014 at 2:54 PM ^

But human nature is to seek competitive advantage where it can be found. Alabama (and others) are operating within the limits, recognizing that 1-year scholarships create an opportunity for them. They might be violating the "spirit" of the rules, but not the letter, at least not insofar as I have heard anyone seriously accusing them of doing so. 

That was my point: the limited availability of 1-year scholarships creates an incentive to make sure that the 85 student-athletes who are on scholarship are absolutely the best available, culling those whose contributions are not equal to the value received by the program. It's cold-blooded, no question about it.


January 28th, 2014 at 2:12 PM ^

Beyond not being assholes to kids holding up their end of the deal? There's a time to be heartless and teach real world lessons, killing a kids scholarship and football dreams because he's not quite the player you thought he would be is not one of them. The consequences are too severe.


January 28th, 2014 at 2:48 PM ^

I think the LeVert no-call started it, but I think the pre-mature timeout signal is what set him off. GR3 had just been fouled and we were in the bonus. The official motioned for a media timeout, and the benches started rolling out their chairs and whatnot. They were going to either ice GR3 until after the timeout, or just disregard the bonus free throw altogether. I think the ref realized he made a mistake, and that is why Coach B never got T'd up. And then yes, obviously he was even more pissed after the bump he got from the ref. So it was a culmination of LeVert no-call, bogus media timeout, and then a bump from the official.


January 28th, 2014 at 3:47 PM ^

for union recognition by insisting that college football players and other scholarship athletes are not employees and therefore not subject to the protections afforded employee under national labor law. In fact, the NCAA contends that college athletes are, in fact, volunteering their services when they sign letters of intent. 

If they are not employees or military personnel or even indentured servants, why are they required to sign contracts binding their commitment to certain schools for only a year instead of freely signing at multiple  schools or offering their services to the marketplace without conditional requirements? No verbal commitment is ever binding in any contractual arrangement. In fact, recruiting is the most abused aspect of college sports, with more regulation governing it than practically any other part of the student-athlete experience. 

The NCAA specifically adopted the term student athlete to shield itself from the notion that it was dealing with people who could be regarded as workers under court action or labor commission findings and then subject to worker compensation for disability claims stemming from workplace injuries. The idea that schools are recruiting student athletes and not conducting expensive job interviews with athletes they hope to attract and give scholarships to is simply a head hunting process by another name. It doesn't alter the basic understanding between the parties over what's at stake.  

Make no mistake, players receive benefits for signing scholarship offers in lieu of paychecks because that is the compensatory arrangement of the system. It doesn't define their status. 

 Just because they don't get paid as traditional employees, doesn't change the workplace arrangement under which they perform their services on behalf of schools they represent. 

Traditional perception is the vanguard of the system, not the compensatory arrangement. Players get paid for work performed while under contract on campus based on conditional work-release requirements. And the conditions for compensation and the consequences for violating the scholarship agreement are actually far more reaching than any basic employee agreement. 

Student athletes are barred from obtaining outside employment, receiving different forms of gifts, but are eligible for government assistance, including food stamps while in school. 

Labor organizing is ostensibly illegal in many states that operate under right to work laws. But in at least 14 states, unionizing Division 1 athletes as public employees would work as a hedge against NCAA regulations that treat student athletes as volunteers in a highly controlled environment that absolutely underscore every conceivable way you identfy anyone as an employee or working for someone else. 

It's not what they look like, it's how they are treated by the system regardless of whether they receive payment directly for work performed. 



Wolverine In Exile

January 28th, 2014 at 7:18 PM ^

As a card carrying member of the vast right wing conspiracy it might surprise some. But I want the meme to stop of student athletes complaining they're not getting anything in return. I'd much rather have the NCAA cancel all athletic scholarships and instead allow the schools to straight hire the players like research assistants but make the students pay for coaching services, public relations, health care premiums, housing, food, etc. I've got a feeling if that happened the coaches salaries wouldn't be accelerated as much since their salaries would be tied to athlete fees, and this would allow the students to negotiate the best deal for them, educational benefits and athletic services. If that happened, would title 9 be voided? I don't know I'm not a lawyer. But I think a lot of the disingenuous ness of collegiate athletics can be eliminated and the pro leagues in football and basketball couldn't pimp the NCAA for a "free" minor league services like they do now.


January 28th, 2014 at 8:23 PM ^

in my time on this blog, and it concerned babcock taking over at michigan and the red wings having their GR coach take over the wings.  lots of nay-sayers to my lone thread.   maybe they'll listen now....


January 29th, 2014 at 9:02 AM ^

Scheduling. I am not impressed with it. If they're going to have all these bye weeks because the conference tournament is one weekend instead of three, they should endeavor to fill breaks like last week with nonconference series. I very much want to go to hockey in January, because it's a star attraction. In the heart of football season it's not.

Seconded. Can you imagine how hyped Yost would've been if we'd had the BC or BU game the weekend of January 17th rather than have the team kicking back at Scorekeepers? Very frustrated when you shell out big money for season tickets only to have 2/3 of your home dates scheduled before Christmas.