Unverified Voracity Says Bye To Byes Comment Count

Brian May 22nd, 2017 at 12:59 PM


[Eric Upchurch]

Jim Hackett gets a job. He's now the CEO of Ford. It is deeply unfortunate that Toys R Us is private, otherwise my mutual fund that just buys Ford and shorts Toys R Us would be a goldmine.

2018 hoops recruiting will start moving in the near future. Per Sam Webb, Michigan has "begun talking timeline" with OH SF Jerome Hunter, with Xavier the main roadblock. If not for Trevon Bluiett I would feel 100% terrific about that; I still feel 90% terrific about it. Webb also asserted that Canadian SF/PF Ignas Brazdeikis and MI SF Brandon Johns were the next most likely. Johns is a surprising name for me just because of his location. Also now I have learned to spell Brazdeikis so he had better come.

Another name at wing is NC SF Hunter Tyson, who is a very Beilein kind of player.

Possessing NBA-caliber 3-point range, Tyson’s work ethic and shooting stroke was never open to any scrutiny. It was his overall scoring acumen and utilizing his height to his advantage as a go-to option once open to question. Tyson heard his fair share of “soft shooter” taunts from the crowd.

He’s steadily silenced his detractors by becoming more adept around the rim and developing a feel for the above the rim game.

I've seen one or two of those before. Tyson claims an offer from Michigan despite not visiting—I assume this is another "if you visit we offer" kind of thing. That won't be long in coming:

I would say I am talking to Michigan the most currently,” Tyson explained. “Coach (John) Beilein and I have a very good relationship. I will be visiting Ann Arbor next on June 30th.

Meanwhile SG Robby Carmody told Rivals he'll decide this fall; Corey Evans thinks Purdue, Michigan, and ND are the frontrunners.

The end? Howard transfer James Daniels III, who Michigan was briefly involved with, chooses Tennessee. This is not Ohio State, another finalist, thus further consigning the Buckeyes to basketball purgatory. This is astounding:

There’s a chance that the Buckeyes could strike out on all graduate transfer or JUCO options, and head into next season with just two true bigs, and maybe even two guards total, depending on what happens with Kam Williams, who has not yet decided if he will return to the program or not.

Rutgers must be licking its chops at the prospect of finishing ahead of someone in league play.

An improved hockey schedule. The hockey schedule has been somewhere between disappointing and offensive for the past few years, with games jammed into football season willy-nilly in a schedule that alternated between exhausting game floods and month-long droughts. Happily it does appear that someone is listening. This year's conference schedule:


Michigan is getting a return visit from Arizona State the week after the second ND series, so they have successfully put together a second-half schedule with 1) no byes and 2) no month-long gaps between home games. (Playing a nonconference foe in the last week of the regular season is lame but it's a seven-team conference; someone is going to draw the short stick annually.) Adding ND, a second school that can do home-and-homes, helps immensely. Also ND is a good team and traditional rival.

Michigan's also done a much better job of avoiding football conflicts. There are only two weekends when both hockey and football will be at home, and one of them is the approaching-traditional OSU series on the weekend of the Game. Michigan knows football is at noon so a direct conflict won't happen.

Unfortunately, the nonconference schedule is still terrible. Michigan goes to Clarkson and SLU for one-offs and gets home series against Vermont, FSU, and Arizona State. Their first game in the GLI is BGSU. Only Vermont was even on the bubble last year, finishing 17th in RPI. Those four games against ND are a major upgrade at least.

Grub grub grub. Minnesota is apparently considering selling naming rights to Mariucci Arena. This would be roughly equivalent to Michigan turning a hypothetical Berenson Ice Arena into the Yum Dot Com Exclamation Point Center. At least when Illinois sold out its basketball arena it was confusingly named the same thing as Indiana's arena; this would be naming malpractice on a scale rarely seen. Here is a good comment(!) on The Daily Gopher:

We take in over $110 million in revenue in a year. Do you know how much we get per year from TCF Bank for their naming rights? 1.4 million dollars. Literally, like, one percent of our our annual revenue. I’d be shocked if we get even close to that for Mariucci.

If you think the drop in the bucket we get from auctioning off our names and traditions is going to make a noticeable difference in the quality of the product on the field, you’re wrong.

There remains no money with which to play the players.

Speaking of naming malpractice. The new Wings/Pistons arena going up in downtown might bring some events of interest to Detroit, including the Big Ten basketball tournament. It's already landed two sets of first-weekend NCAA tournament games and the 2020 Frozen Four. So we've got that going for us even if the iconic downtown arena is undergoing the worst naming transition  in history.

Etc.: Football ranked 10th by Athlon. Kiper has Mo Hurst the top senior DT for next year's NFL draft; Khalid Hill is the #2 FB. Guy employed by NFL Network compares Saquon Barkley to… Le'Veon Bell? What? Wilson and Wagner decisions by Wednesday night.

Over under win total for M set at 9. NFL running backs don't get paid any more. D Luke Martin should be a second or third round pick in the NHL draft.



May 22nd, 2017 at 1:08 PM ^

I would buy into that mutual fund.

Also, I remain a proponet of "Red Berenson Rink at Yost Ice Arena". It's a mouthful, but it's been done (Coach K Court at Duke whatever).

Also Also - Minnesota gets $1.4M for their football stadium? I'd bet that Michigan gets more than that my having the coaching positions named.

Bando Calrissian

May 23rd, 2017 at 11:05 AM ^

I'm into this option as well--It's Yost. It's been Yost for almost a hundred years. The history of this program and its flourish in the last 25-30 years has been synonymous with Yost as a (sadly diminishing) thing. Berenson Arena just doesn't sound... right. 

In short, love Red. Don't love renaming the barn.


May 22nd, 2017 at 1:09 PM ^

On the Hackett thing, I applaud what he did for Michigan. Absolutely what was needed and he did a great job.

As for his performance at Steelcase, it was not pretty. I hope he can work some magic at Ford. 


May 22nd, 2017 at 2:07 PM ^

To be fair, he did preside over two recessions. With that said, the company has been shrinking a lot in the last couple of decades, down to less than half of its headcount from 20 years ago and closing a number of plants in the U.S. and moving that production to Mexico. They IPOd in 1998 or 1999 and the stock has not touched that level since, still down about 50% from there nearly 20 years later. 

The performances of HNI and Herman Miller have been much better while also facing the same challenges.


May 22nd, 2017 at 3:05 PM ^

many have criticized his performance at Steelcase, but how did that company's competitors do? Sounds like HNI (who I don't know) and Herman Miller did ok? I'm usually slow to criticize in these scenarios. Furniture sounds like an industry easily undercut by cheap foreign competition


May 22nd, 2017 at 3:13 PM ^

Steelcase employee and was laid off during Hackett's tenure there. His UM fandom and Jim's knockout job at UM didn't move his needle back to the good. Grains of salt apply as there are probably zero employees that get laid off from their longtime places of employment that think well or objectively about the places that do that to them, justified or otherwise.


May 22nd, 2017 at 1:25 PM ^

I would say it's not impossible for an EL product to escape Izzo's clutches. When I graduated from ELHS, about 10% of my class went to UofM. We just knew that UofM was a better school for academics. Perhaps Johns wants to get away from East Lansing. A big part of going away to college is the "going away" part. It's hard to grow up and take on responsibility if your parents are at your beck and call.

I will admit it being a very rare occurrence. One name comes to mind, Robert Henderson from the mid-80's, and even then, he was from Lansing, not East Lansing.

P.S. I thought Harbaugh delivering a calf would lead off UV this week. Must've just missed the posting deadline.


May 22nd, 2017 at 1:27 PM ^

Someone needs to educate Brian on the advantages of Exchange Traded Funds (ETF's) over mutual funds with high expense ratios.

Football can't get here soon enough.

Pepto Bismol

May 22nd, 2017 at 1:54 PM ^

No, there is no money for players because they are amateur student-athletes, not employees.  Hope this helped. 

But that's beside the point in the Grub grub grub. section. 

I saw a good point brought up elsewhere on the naming rights.  We're not wild about it, but nobody really gives much or a crap when J. Ira and Nicki Harris pay a load of money to plaster their name on Jim Harbaugh's business card.  Matthew and Nicole Lester Family now sponsor the defensive coordinator.  We LOL'd, but brushed it off.  I'm sure the Ross School of Business was just a respectful hat-tip and had nothing to do with the bajillions that Steve Ross gifted the university.  Hill Auditorium was named after Arthur Hill and his $200k back in the early 1900s.  The list goes on and on. 

Practically every building on campus is sponsored by somebody, and they've been doing it forever.  So why do we collectively pee our pants when it happens to athletic venues?  That's a rhetorical question because I feel just as offended when I think of selling naming rights to Yost, Crisler or Michigan Stadium.  But every building you enter is labeled by the highest bidder.  Realistically, there's no reason arenas and stadiums should be any different.


May 22nd, 2017 at 2:14 PM ^


But the origins of the "student-athlete" lie not in a disinterested ideal but in a sophistic formulation designed, as the sports economist Andrew Zimbalist has written, to help the NCAA in its "fight against workmen’s compensation insurance claims for injured football players." "We crafted the term student-athlete," [NCAA president] Walter Byers himself wrote, "and soon it was embedded in all NCAA rules and interpretations."


May 22nd, 2017 at 2:19 PM ^

every term "made up?" 

Let's go with "hockey stick."  It is used for hockey, but it is also a stick.  Hmm?  What to do about this quagmire?  It looks like people often combine words to make word pairings that convey a more comprehensive meaning than either word would have if used alone. 

A student - and an athlete.  A student athlete.


May 22nd, 2017 at 11:33 PM ^

Paying players as in wages? No.

Paying players as in workers' comp, disability. Insurance, etc? Yes.

Yes, the term was "made up" - like every other term. The real issue is they were trying to define their relationship in a way that was not employee-employer, which in my view was far (especially for the time), even if not for the most noble purpose.

But converting "student athletes" to "employees" would definitely be a big hurdle. From having this conversation multiple times I've come to the conclusion that many employment/labor attorneys (non-academics) scoff at treating them as employees, but plenty of others outside the profession don't think it's a big deal.

I've never quite trie to articulate why, even as someone who supports players getting paid, I don't think they are legally "employees" - but have considered starting a diary on it before.


May 22nd, 2017 at 2:06 PM ^

What rights and benefits?  Last I checked these are voluntary contracts which means there are expectations on both sides, now maybe the contracts are weighted in a way to make them slightly inequitable, but you're going to have a hard time convincing me that people getting free tuition, stipends, athletic training, and a substantial amount of extra tutoring are being meaningfully repressed.  Yes, the 1-2% of the playing population that is truly marketable is not making as much as they could in the system and it deserves some tweaks but I'm not for blowing the whole thing up(which is what will happen when you pay players as long as Title IX maintains it's current interpretation) in the interest of those very few individuals.

Cosmic Blue

May 22nd, 2017 at 3:39 PM ^

It's not that these arent voluntary contracts, it's that NCAA has a monopoly on the industry that these employees (or student-athletes if you prefer) work in. In a normally functioning capitalist market, there is a competing firm which can offer higher compensation if you are underpaid below market value. Since that can't happen (publically) here, you have bag men acting as a black market


May 22nd, 2017 at 4:05 PM ^

Sure, it's a voluntary contract, but the kids have very few options. Really though, the thing that bothers those who are bothered by this is the mounting absurdity of the volume and sources of money flowing into the system pressed against the tiny number of outlets for that money.

The outlets through the players, who are arguably most responsible for the money coming in, are far too small to make sense. You can argue against this, but reality points out that this scenario is essentially indentured servitude.


May 22nd, 2017 at 11:43 PM ^

I support players being paid, but this "there are few options" argument is the weakest thing in support of it and I wish people would stop making it. You do realize that most people didn't have the "option" that you claim these people were forced into as "indentured servitude"?

*Nobody forced them to play this sport in college.
*It may have been an economic reality that it was their best option.
*In my opinion it's not right that they don't receive some payment above current scholarship/benefits since there is a lot of money going around.

All of those things can be correct.


May 22nd, 2017 at 2:20 PM ^

I'll skip the "pay the players" rebuttable because, whatever, I ain't going to convince you about my side and you ain't going to convince me about yours.

As for naming rights, people did freak out about the head coach sponsorship when it happened under Hoke, but it's still people related to the school offering money to support the school.  Yum! isn't an alum of the University of Minnesota, and even if the guy who started it is then just have him name it, not after a brand.  The Ross School of Business is named after a famous alum of that school, not a crappy bargain-basement clothing retailer in the Northeast.  That's the issue people have - schools are letting corporations sponsor arenas (Value City, for example) and yet we keep being told this is all amateur athletics played by students who do it for the love of the game.

I don't care about sponsorships because whatever, the myth of college athletics being about college and not athletics died a long time ago for me.  But that's why people get bothered by a company naming a college arena.

Pepto Bismol

May 22nd, 2017 at 2:57 PM ^

Thanks for skipping the pay-the-players part because I had no intention of actually discussing that.  Brian makes it a point in every UV to promote paying players.  In turn, I made it a part of my post to denounce it.  I didn't think anybody would actually respond to that.


The rest is gray area and semantics.  Value City's naming rights has no more affect on the amateurism of OSU's student athletes than Stephen Ross's $100 million donation had on Michigan's, despite your pre-conceived feelings about "corporations".





May 22nd, 2017 at 3:46 PM ^

One is a commercial entity that is headquartered in Columbus by Ephraim Schottenstein.  I don't know if he has a connection to the university beyond proximity; still, owning naming rights to a college arena seems weird, but whatever.  Ross is a famous alum of the business school; giving back to the school that he attended shows a connection.  It isn't called "The Related Companies School of Business" or "RSE Ventures School of Business".  One is a corporation sponsoring an arena in close proximity and the other is a person who is sponsoring a business school he attended.

You call that semantics and gray area, which is your take, and my counter is that that region absolutely matters, much in the same way "person" vs. "corporation" matters.  Or how "student-athlete" vs "employee" is semantics to some and super relevant to others.  But as you said, you don't want to discuss that matter, and I have a feeling we wouldn't really have much of a discussion as much as an internet yelling fight.



Pepto Bismol

May 22nd, 2017 at 4:43 PM ^

I understand there is a difference between Steve Ross the alumnus and the Schottenstein family business.  But outside of optics and the personal senitment of Steven Ross, there is no tangible difference in how that money is received or dispersed by the institution to which it was gifted (generally speaking - I'm not digging into individual conditions of specific donations).

Steven Ross didn't just donate to his business school that carries his name.  He earmarked half of his $200 million dollar donation to athletics just a few years ago.  I don't see how Ross's money is good for Michigan athletics, but Schottenstein's money is bad for OSU athletics.

The only difference is the "Value City" name, which goes back to your pre-conceived feelings about corporations in general.  The building's official title is Value City Arena at The Jerome Schottenstein Center.  Does that help you?  It is named after the donor after all, just like all of those buildings so morally dedicated for large cash sums on the Ann Arbor campus.


And with that, I'm getting off this merry-go-round.  Last word is yours.








May 22nd, 2017 at 9:23 PM ^

By all means jump off this merry-go-round.  I do like at the end that you basically agreed that there is a difference and that it is all optics, which was the original point all along.  You created a strawman who didn't accept that people with money spend it, argued corporations are just like people, then agreed that, yeah, the problem is the fact that corporations putting their names on college athletics seems a bit weird and we should just recognize the difference.

And for the record, I still think it's dumb that a company would want to sponsor a stadium, but I don't really care.  People freak out around here about the Jordan branding, and I could not care less about it.  But I can buy people getting annoyed with the crass commercialization of college athletics when the student-athletes who generate it aren't allowed to reap most of those benefits.

Swayze Howell Sheen

May 22nd, 2017 at 2:32 PM ^

and love what he did to bring UM football back - hire Harbaugh.

That said, making Ford competitive again is a much taller task - to which I wish him all the luck and success in the world. 


May 22nd, 2017 at 2:36 PM ^

I'm sort of amazed that Hackett is still working considering I thought he was retired 2 jobs ago.

I do hope Wilson comes back, but I'd be surprised if Wagner isn't at least back.  This still feels like a turning point where Beilein gets a third wind for the end of his career.


May 22nd, 2017 at 4:06 PM ^

I would agree with the writers assertion that his skillset is similar to Bell. Interesting that Brian feels so strongly as to go out of his way to put it into this piece. Their stats would tend to agree with the NFL Network. (2016 stats)


It seems as if Bells college running style may have leaned toward power but in the NFL he's actually been a more complete back. Physically they're very similar as well. I say all this not to argue with you Harbaughs Left...just in response to Brians comment.


May 22nd, 2017 at 3:08 PM ^

I dont follow basketball too closely, does SF mean strong forward or shooting forward? And, whats the difference if any? 

Thanks in advance.