Unverified Voracity Slaps Knee Comment Count

Brian June 1st, 2016 at 12:46 PM


Dan Murphy at Bo's grave. A memorial day thing:

The cemetery groundskeepers say that during most weeks there are a few maize and blue trinkets at the foot of Schembechler's grave, but traffic really picks up in football season. On a spring day this year, there were a pile of pennies, a few Canadian dollar coins, a bell, a blue foam football, a couple of rusty "Beat Ohio State" buttons and an egg keeping Bo company. No one is quite sure what the deal is with the egg, but the best guess is that Bo often liked to jab at his guys by calling them "ham-and-eggers" when they weren't being as productive as they should be.

Women's College World Series on deck. A dramatic comeback win in game two of softball's super-regional sends them to Oklahoma City, with #1 seed Florida watching on TV. Michigan gets the late game Thursday (9:30 PM) against LSU; Alabama and Oklahoma are the other half of their bracket. All games are on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Meanwhile Brendan Quinn profiles Carol Hutchins:

Carol came along in 1957 and immediately raised hell. In fifth grade, playing with matches, she set a field behind the family home on fire. Two fire engines arrived to douse the flames. The Lansing fire chief pulled young Hutchins aside to let her know: "You're lucky you didn't burn down the entire southside of Lansing."

When her father arrived home in his blue trooper uniform, Carol ran up and said, "I have to tell you something: I burnt down the field."

She was grounded.

Even more satellite kerfuffle. SEC meetings are happening so there are more opportunities to ask southern college coaches about the scourge of satellite camps. They still don't like them.  The reasons they offer are still a blend of hilarious and infuriating. Nick Saban is the latest, and he followed the script:

"I don't know how much it benefits anybody because all the people that say this is creating opportunities for kids, this is all about recruiting," Saban said. "That's what it's about. Anybody that tells you that. What's amazing to me is somebody didn't stand up and say here's going to be the unintended consequences of what you all are doing."

Again with the SEC's insistence that going around and scouting football players is—gasp—part of a recruiting strategy, again with the yammering about unintended consequences. This is a conference that managed to set off a firestorm of recriminations because their two-sentence rule change unintentionally screwed over small schools nationwide. Now they are complaining because something that was legal remaining legal will have unintended consequences.

A second talking point the SEC keeps hammering is about the influence of "third parties":

"All you're doing is allowing all these other people that we spend all of our time at the NCAA saying, you can't recruit through a third party. You can't be involved with third-party people and that's exactly what you're doing ...

Then hand met podium.

" ... creating all these third parties that are going to get involved with the prospects and all that. And who gets exposed on that? I go to a camp and I'm talking to some guy I don't know from Adam's house cat and he's representing some kid because he put the camp on, and then I'm in trouble for talking to this guy? And who even knows if the guy paid to go to the camp."

Not only is this amazing chutzpah from the League of Extraordinary Bagmen, this argument wants us to believe that allowing college coaches to go to camps and directly interact with players is going to increase the influence of middlemen. Because someone has to give those kids a ride…? I guess?

Harbaugh, as is his wont, ended the internet again with a tweet.

That is the other thing: Alabama is the worst possible cow to have moo about compliance issues. Saban has pushed the envelope for years himself. There's a bump rule named after him. When he was recruiting a couple of five-stars from Dr. Phillips in Orlando he coincidentally had Alabama's bowl practices at that high school, mirroring Michigan's trip to IMG this spring. His huge pile of medical hardships forced the conference to start reviewing all hardship requests. The program itself has been the target of investigation after investigation dating back to the Stone Age. Nobody in the state of Alabama has ever—everrrrrrrr—shown any indication that they give one tenth of a crap about compliance except insofar as sanctions are a drag on wins.

On the one hand, this is knee-slapping stuff. On the other, the construction of vapid arguments that a segment of partisans will lap up veers way too close to politics for comfort. Nonsense delivered in the cynical pursuit of power is best left to trivial things like the nuclear codes.

And all this over what? Over nothing.

“I think that’s probably the unique thing and I can say after observing Harbaugh last year, the vast majority of kids at this camp are probably not Division 1 football players or aren’t likely to make it there. But I thought every one of those kids got the same attention and the same direction from the Michigan coaching staff whether they really showed that potential or not.

"They all walked out of here thinking that was a pretty worthwhile camp and left an awfully nice taste in their mouth about the University of Michigan."

One of these things is not like the other. PFF has a reason for hope for each Big Ten team, many of which are items like "Cornerback Jalen Myrick may be a better player than 2015’s NFL departees" for Minnesota or "The aerial attack is intact" for… uh… Nebraska. Rutgers's reason for hope is a return specialist.

Michigan, on the other hand:

Michigan: The Wolverines could be fielding a historically great defense in 2016

That would be okay. In our ongoing quest to get a read on every player in the PFF database I believe this is the first time they've mentioned where Ryan Glasgow ended up in their system a year ago:

Returning on the defensive line are three of the top 16-graded interior players (Chris Wormley, Maurice Hurst and Glasgow), and DE Taco Charlton, who in 2015 had the highest pass rush productivity of all defensive ends coming back this year.

They've talked a ton about Wormley and Hurst already so I'm guessing Glasgow is their #16 interior DL from last year. At this point I think we've seen or deduced their opinion on every starter from last year save Jeremy Clark.

This is a bad idea. Signing Day is at the right time. It is after the yearly coaching carousel has concluded, giving players and coaches a month or two to find appropriate landing spots after the chaos of December. Allowing players to sign before that will inevitably lead to many more instances where player and school are a poor fit. And yet there seems to be a push to do that very thing:

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has long been an advocate for a rather radical change to the process of signing recruits to letters of intent –eliminating signing periods and instead allowing prospects to sign at any point when they’ve decided they’re ready to end the recruiting process.

Johnson said at the ACC meetings in early May that he thought that the option was gaining in popularity. He may have known what Division I football oversight committee chairman Bob Bowlsby acknowledged in an interview with the AJC last week – that the committee is looking into it.

“I think a case can be made for that,” Bowlsby said. He called it a “large departure from where we’ve been in the past. Maybe it’s time for consideration of that."

The reasons offered up here are somewhat compelling—being able to sign right away resolves questions about how "committable" an offer is and how solid a commitment is—but the downside outweighs them considerably. Whenever this comes up I suggest a more flexible model:

  • Commits can sign a non-binding LOI at any time before Signing Day
  • The school has to offer a full LOI when the time comes.
  • School and prospect have unlimited contact and can arrange an additional official visit.
  • Prospect cannot take an official to another school.
  • Other coaches cannot contact prospect.
  • Prospect can withdraw LOI at any time.

That goes a good distance towards resolving the issues Johnson's proposal resolves without locking players into situations that can change radically by the time they're on campus.

Etc.: Baseball was left out of the tournament after a late slide. MGoFish looks at what's next. Saban also proposed a commissioner, which is never happening. Verne Lundquist to step down as SEC game of the week guy after this year. CFB is losing their best announcers at a disappointing rate. Popular opinion is that Baylor won't get the Penn State treatment from the NCAA.


Amaizing Blue

June 1st, 2016 at 12:53 PM ^

Coach Jim is compiling quite an "Enemies list".  And that's just the S's!  As many have said in other threads, I LOVE that our coach is afraid of nobody and nothing.  I see great things ahead for the program, possibly as soon as this season.


June 1st, 2016 at 12:54 PM ^

I once was visiting my brother's plot and swung by Bo and there were a couple bags of Skittles. If it were M&Ms I would get it, because M. But Skittles?


June 1st, 2016 at 1:03 PM ^


I think that’s probably the unique thing and I can say after observing Harbaugh last year, the vast majority of kids at this camp are probably not Division 1 football players or aren’t likely to make it there.


That right there is why the SEC coaches are bitching. It requires them to show an ounce of interest in players that might not actually help them in any meaningful way, and so they see no reason to put any effort in them. Saban is a lot of things, and one is ruthlessly efficient; talking to guys he doesn't have any interest in signing (except to maybe cut later on if they get "hurt") is something he's programmed to minimize.

Harbaugh will keep holding these camps and the kids who attend will have memories of getting top-notch instruction from a great coach, and all this noise from grown-ass men who hate not being the smartest guy in the room will just fade into the background, as it should.


June 1st, 2016 at 2:07 PM ^

interaction with the less talented kids. That's a joke if they pay any attention. They obviously didn't see the tweets of him teaching the kids in Peru last year.  I don't doubt he tries to have contact with the most talented attendees but I don't see Harbaugh turning his back on the others. He's all about football and teaching anyone at any level.


June 1st, 2016 at 1:06 PM ^

Anyone who's raised a teenager knows they have at least one trait almost universally in common: the amazing ability to change their minds 180 degrees—and not infrequently back again—so quickly that you'd think whiplash was inevitable.

What a kid thinks is his heart's desire at 17 can easily turn into an object of scorn and hate before he's turned 18, and allowing kids to make binding commitments any earlier than the spring of their senior year is a recipe for ongoing trouble for all concerned.


June 1st, 2016 at 4:42 PM ^

In the first place, the scheme that is laid out here is not a binding commitment on the prospect. It states quite clearly that it is not. Under that system, the prospect can withdraw his commitment at any time, for no reason. The commitment IS binding on the school, as long as the prospect does not officially visit another school. The only thing I would add is that the prospect should not be allowed to have any contact with a representative of another school after he signs the non-binding LOI, whether the school OR the prospect initiates it.

This undoubtedly would not be a 100% perfect system in practice (nothing is), but it would have the advantage that schools would not be so quick to offer players that they only want as placeholders until someone better comes along (since they would no longer be able to yank offers for no reason), and schools in exchange would not have to put up with players taking up a safe space on their commitment lists while other programs continue to aggressively recruit them. They would be much more assured that, if a player did decide to pull his commitment, it would be because he and his family decided on their own that that school was not the right place, not because some other coach was whispering lies in his ear.


June 1st, 2016 at 1:17 PM ^

I miss hearing from my favorite non-Michigan coach; Mike Leach. When the SEC starts b*tching about the integrity of the game being destroyed because of satellite camps, Leach will give full interviews just to blast them for their hypocrisy. And he's done it every single time.

Nobody from SEC nation has ever responded to him (because he's not Jim Harbaugh) but those quotes are still incredibly entertaining to me.

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June 1st, 2016 at 2:16 PM ^

You're giving them way too much credit. Mike Leach coaches at Washington State and is much less of a threat than Harbaugh. Plus Harbaugh has blown three of them out on twitter and one out on the field already. They are addressing the only guy they feel is a problem for them. Otherwise they would have fought tooth and nail against satellite camps earlier when James Franklin was the one doing them. 


June 1st, 2016 at 4:56 PM ^

One of their chief strategies is to get hit by pitches by crowding the plate. It pisses me off as much as when I see European soccer players generate cheap free kicks by diving like they've been shot everytime they're bumped

Instead of being better at your sport, you rely on manipulating penalties to win. You suck.

kevin holt

June 2nd, 2016 at 2:51 AM ^

It'd be more like if they changed the false start rules to say linemen can false start as long as they don't do it on purpose, so one team trains its players to flinch to draw offsides calls. Not a perfect analogy but similarly stupid rule and manipulation. Or maybe it's like intentionally drawing targeting penalties (which is a stupid rule with potential unintended consequences...)


June 1st, 2016 at 1:19 PM ^

Yes, it's truly "amazing" that nobody has spoken out on the unintended consequences of satellite camps -- um, maybe because there aren't any?  Certainly Saban doesn't identify any in his incoherent rant.  Spluttering generally is a sign of a weak argument.


June 1st, 2016 at 1:22 PM ^

has me questioning my fandom. 

Oh wait, no it doesn't.

In the immortal words of George S. Patton IV: "Find the bastards and pile on"


June 1st, 2016 at 1:34 PM ^

Baylor is probably going to get out of this relatively un-scathed. That's pretty awful.

So far, there's been 1 firing,1 resignation,1 "demotion"...is that it? Are there charges pending for anyone?

Wolverine In Iowa 68

June 1st, 2016 at 1:58 PM ^

"Nobody in the state of Alabama has ever—everrrrrrrr—shown any indication that they give one tenth of a crap about compliance except insofar as sanctions are a drag on wins."

Not exactly a "compliance" comparison, but shows the ethics of Bama fans.

I lived in Alabama for about 14 or so years, during the coaching carousel they got on after Gene Stallings retired.  When Mike Price was named head coach, and then the whole story came out about him and the strippers, he was fired (this is when everyone thought it was all true, regardless of what has come out since).

I heard MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY Bama fans say the same thing...


"Man, we didn't even get to see what he could do on the field"


I fully believe if he had won games, the whole thing would have been shoveled under the rug.  Thankfully, they got their comeuppance when they hired Mike Shula, who ground the program into the dirt for a few years.

Julius 1977

June 1st, 2016 at 2:07 PM ^

This would certainly go a long way toward solving the whole "non-commitable offer" offers, which I think is pure bullshit. If they don't offer him the non-binding LOI then he is not offered. Hard to see anything wrong with that.

Pepto Bismol

June 1st, 2016 at 2:28 PM ^

You have a player signing a LOI that doesn't mean squat. If the LOI isn't binding until the school offers him the real-deal LOI on signing day, and the player can back out any time, then you basically have the equivalent of a verbal. Only difference is restricting the players ability to visit and speak with other schools. Does nothing to protect the player if coach decides on signing day that player isn't getting the official LOI offer.

Pepto Bismol

June 1st, 2016 at 5:02 PM ^

If he means the school is REQUIRED to offer full LOI at signing day, that changes things. I probably misread.


Edit:  I definitely did.  This makes perfect sense with that change.  Good plan.  I'm dumb.

Bando Calrissian

June 1st, 2016 at 2:23 PM ^

Every time I see a picture of Bo's grave, I can't help but think how sort of odd it is that he's buried with Cathy and not Millie. Heck, not that anyone ever talks about Millie, to begin with... It's almost like she never existed, even though she was pretty much Michigan's First Lady for almost 25 years and pretty universally beloved.


June 1st, 2016 at 2:54 PM ^

Bo used to host the Millie Schembechler Memorial Golf Classic to raise money for adrenal cancer... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FnZp7i-zuQ

I have to agree about the grave stone. It's odd that he would share it with Cathy and not someone he was married to for a longer time. Perhaps, Millie is burried in her home town and not Ann Arbor.


June 1st, 2016 at 3:06 PM ^

I assume Millie is buried next to her first husband? I know she had a couple sons with him then when she married Bo, they had Schemy.

That's how it was for my great uncle at the time of his death. He was buried next to his first wife, not his second wife of which he was married to for 19 years when he passed away.


June 1st, 2016 at 3:18 PM ^

Is buried in Forest Hills next to her son Chip, who died in a car accident in 2003. I'm assuming the reasons why it is Chip's grave next to hers and not Bo's has to do with Bo having been remarried at the time of Chip's passing. Which is not to say that it was solely Cathy's decision where Bo was buried. I don't know the family.



June 1st, 2016 at 3:13 PM ^

I remember that golf event. The sad thing about Millie having passed is that she is a big reason Bo retired when he did - to spend more time with her. She died not long after he retired. Damn shame... But he was married to Cathy for ~15 years (or so), too. Not sure I'd want to handle that headstone decision...


June 1st, 2016 at 3:26 PM ^

It puts something behind their "commitment." Right now, any commit can field calls from other coaches and take all his officials. With this new plan, signing the non-binding LOI requires that you shut down your recruitment until you rescind your LOI. It's a higher level of commitment than what we have now.

Mr Miggle

June 1st, 2016 at 4:43 PM ^

He suggest official visits be prohibited, not unofficial visits. Coaches can't call recruits, but recruits can call coaches. If a recruit wants to look around, he will. It's essentially Hoke's policy written into the rulebook.

There's still absolutely nothing to prevent coaches from nudging recruits out of the class. How many recruits are going to come when the coach tells them he doesn't think they'll ever see the field or he wants to switch them to a position he knows the kid doesn't want to play?




June 1st, 2016 at 5:53 PM ^

If your problems with Brian's plan is "it doesn't fix every single problem" then fine. You're right, there are still ways around it. The intent of the rule isn't to prohibit kids from decommitting. Hoke's rule wasn't a bad one, and it will have some teeth when it's the NCAA rule and not the coach's rule and every school has the same rule. It also helps let the coaches know who is totally on board and who is just saying so. It helps the kid because a coach needs to be more committed to a kid before giving him an early LOI and it keeps him from being bothered by other coaches once he signs one.

This doesn't not solve every problem but is a better world than we're currently living.

Mr Miggle

June 1st, 2016 at 10:16 PM ^

it would end up putting more restrictions on the kids than it does on the coaches. I think the proposal is intended mainly for the benefit of fans who follow recruiting, not the players.

Coaches will still drop commits the same way most of them do now. It's still up to them whether to keep a commit if they take visits. They're just being given a tool to discourage them and another reason to pressure kids into committing early.

My disagreement isn't that it doesn't solve every thing. I think it makes things worse. Yes, coaches will probably throw out fewer offers. Who does that really benefit? Kids will be coerced not to decommit and can't easily take official visits. Again, who does that benefit other than the coaches? I don't get it. Do we really think coaches can't still drop commits they sour on?

If you want to make a meaningful change, the commitments have to binding on both parties, like LOIs are now. You can allow for some escape process under specific circumstances, like Baylor's 2016 signees are asking for now. I don't think there's any good reason to just make some extra rules with no teeth.




Michigan Arrogance

June 1st, 2016 at 3:34 PM ^

On the one hand, this is knee-slapping stuff. On the other, the construction of vapid arguments that a segment of partisans will lap up veers way too close to politics for comfort. Nonsense delivered in the cynical pursuit of power is best left to trivial things like the nuclear codes.

ooohhhhh you up and done gone it now, Brian. There gon' be trouble...
Also, Penn St didn't even get the full Penn St treatment from the NCAA, so IDK why Baylor would.