Unverified Voracity Tries To Prevent An Infinite Loop In You, The Reader

Submitted by Brian on April 12th, 2016 at 1:00 PM

A note if you think you may have already read this post. You did. Your brain shut down because of the following section and won't let you remember it out of self defense. You should probably go read the Economist or something and come back later this afternoon.


what does any of this even mean [Bryan Fuller]

The nonsense doesn't stop. Ace covered much of this yesterday but since it just keeps coming, let's talk about satellite camps some more. Dennis Dodd wrote an article that was so nonsensical he took his twitter account private. In it he decries the hypocrisy of… I have no idea?

It's the reaction to closing that little loophole that smacks of hypocrisy. With satellite camps shutting down, the conversation suddenly became about depriving poor kids of opportunities.

This is in contrast to the conversation being about Harbaugh, I guess. This is because before Harbaugh was doing things, and now the NCAA is doing things. Thus the conversation shifts.

Proponents argued satellite camps provided “exposure.” I'm sorry, did that Internet that Harbaugh so expertly hijacked suddenly go down? Phone service, too?

This segues into a discussion of this new "Hudl" thing Dennis Dodd just discovered, which is so detailed that it even has… phone numbers. Therefore because Hudl there is no reason to have a camp. I'm not fisking this. This is not a fisk. I'm not

Here's the further hypocrisy: If satellite camps are truly about opportunities for recruits, it's about time to double down on that assertion.

Um, okay, and how would you do th

How about providing those same opportunities on the back end? Let college players participate in the NFL Combine without penalty. If they don't like their performance or draft projection, allow them to return to college and retain their eligibility.



That jarring nonsequitur probably shut down many readers' brains and… just a second. Okay, I've prevented an infinite loop with the section at the top of this post. Anyway, in response to a satellite camp ban affecting high schoolers, Dennis Dodd suggests that the NCAA should loosen its rules for an entirely different cohort of people. He talks about the "hypocrisy" of people who don't like the ban without even gesturing towards a way in which their words and actions might conflict, and finally:

The whole satellite camp episode was a lot more about closing off Harbaugh than opening opportunities for all those deprived prospects.

This is 100% wrong. The clumsy total ban of satellite camps does significantly impact staffs and players around the country, leading to more unfortunate situations where a kid gets midway through his career only to discover that he's in the wrong place.

Gah. I'm going to do something more productive and argue with my plants.

Harbaugh don't stop can't stop. Dude is giving the commencement speech at Paramus. All I got for Michigan's commencement was some poet laureate.

There is a petition. While online petitions are of questionable efficacy, a big number on this one in what is essentially a PR battle might help something. Also it was started by Donovan Peoples-Jones's mother, which is interesting. We've heard a lot from current college athletes upset about the ban, but not so much from recruits. Even if this is indirect evidence it is evidence.

Mike Leach has no time for lyin'. Mike Leach is a gentleman and a pirate.

“The voting process, that’s a rabbled-up mystery too,” Leach said. “From what I understand, this is befuddling, and I do plan to find out because our conference voted to eliminate satellite camps, and yet the vast majority of schools in our conference were in favor of satellite camps.

“I can’t fathom how it’s possible we voted to eliminate it. I don’t know the details. Whether it’s smart, dumb or in the middle, it’s wrong. It’s wrong. If you’re some kid in south central LA who’s really worked hard at football and worked really hard for your grades, now all of a sudden you don’t have the opportunity to see as many schools as you would otherwise. That’s crazy.”

Leach said the vote will “further oppress low-income families.”

To be fair, the rule change was two sentences long. Hugh Freeze, he of the "you can't work because I don't want to work" quote, is also surprised about how words work in an Andy Staples article:

Monday morning, Freeze’s phone rang. On the other end was a coach wondering if he was no longer allowed to work the Ole Miss camp. The coach worked at an FBS school, and Freeze realized that coach would be banned by a rule passed Friday. … Freeze realized quickly that the ban had a serious consequence he hadn’t considered. In keeping Michigan coaches from working camps at high schools in Alabama, Florida and Georgia and Oklahoma State coaches from working camps at a Division III school in Texas, the schools also had banned Bowling Green coaches from working Ohio State’s camp and Arkansas State coaches from working the Ole Miss camp.

Freeze is clarifying his position into something even more selfish: you can work as long as you aren't competing with me.

“I would love to continue that,” Freeze said Monday. “I just don’t want satellite camps for the Power Five. I am for non-Power Five schools being able to attend and evaluate.”

This is so dumb it reminds me of the way college hockey works. We have a rule that 1) all athletes hate, 2) most of the Pac-12 hates despite the fact that they voted for this, 3) even people in support of it don't understand, and 4) turned the Sun Belt Commissioner into Perd Hapley. Staples again:

I’ve told you for a year that the satellite camp argument was one of the stupidest in the long and storied history of stupid NCAA rule arguments. It came to the stupidest logical conclusion Friday when a vote that should have been 11–4—because each Power Five conference vote counts double—against the ban came out 10–5 in favor of the ban.

Hugh Freeze's only asset as a coach is that he turns a blind eye to the most obvious bagmen in the country, and he will eventually be found out.

Yet another dumb thing. All other levels of football think satellite camps are fine. From an article on the impact to SMSB:

Despite the camp being held in Detroit, schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Western Michigan, Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan programs will not have the opportunity to scout and interact with potential recruits in what could be considered each program's own backyard. However, Football Champions Subdivision, Division II and other coaches will still be able to be in attendance.

This really is a rule that some selfish coaches voted into existence because they didn't want to be jackhammers.

The great Hackenberg debate of 2016 is not much of a debate. PFF posted a draft evaluation of Christian Hackenberg, presumably because they don't have a draftable grade for him and people keep asking them about it. They explained themselves. Witheringly so:

This season his completion percentage when adjusted for drops, spikes, etc. was 64.0 percent, which was 120th in the nation. In 2014, he was 105th. Every accuracy number you look at sees Hackenberg struggle, and the tape shows the same thing.

Even when under no pressure at all this past season, he completed just 61.9 percent of his passes. That’s the same completion percentage Cardale Jones managed on all plays, not just pressure plays, and Jones is a player whose accuracy is seen as a negative.

Hackenberg’s completion percentage under no pressure at all of 61.9 percent would only have ranked 44th in the nation, if it was his real completion percentage.

This goes on and on for paragraphs, each piling more problems on Hackenberg as an NFL quarterback. While it is by no means a nice evaluation it is backed by a ton of numbers and game charting and more or less confirms what any neutral observer saw out of Hackenberg over the course of his career: brief moments of being John Elway amongst a sea of turfed screens and airmailed out routes. Michigan got a taste of that last year when Hackenberg put together a couple of pinpoint, NFL throws on a day where his other accomplishments were seeing Jabrill Peppers misplay a jump ball and piloting an offense that barely cracked 200 yards.

The PFF evaluation seemed pretty definitive to me, but Penn State folk kind of lost their minds about it. Black Shoe Diaries in particular:

At what point do I, as a Penn State alumnus and fan, step back and try to be even more subjective about the NFL draft stock of Christian Hackenberg?

Did you mean "objective"? Because it feels like you meant "objective," but then the rest of your piece makes me think that you actually meant "subjective" since it's all hand-waving at some pretty eye-popping stats. PSU fans seize on one error—the Allen Robinson catch at the end of regulation against M a couple years back is held up as a example of a bad decision without taking the game context into account—to dismiss the whole thing when it contains startling facts like "16% of Hackenberg screens are off target."

While I don't know exactly how PFF goes about their business, my grades and theirs for Michigan players generally line up*, and charting pass accuracy is probably the easiest thing I do. An outfit like PFF isn't going to be so far off with the above numbers that Hackenberg actually looks good. By a few hundred words into the piece it's clear that the dude is just swinging in the dark, and this…

Lack of Upside

lol, okay

…is waving a tiny punt flag in the face of a guy who actually put in the work. At least it led to one of the most entertainingly one-sided twitter fights in recent memory:

This was said in response to a piece that dealt with every Christian Hackenberg throw over the past two years. He might get drafted but only because there are mugwumps running NFL teams. Hi, Jed York!

*[To the point that when they were pumping up the Michigan D and noted that only one major contributor wasn't grading out very positive I knew exactly who that was because I also had one major contributor not grading out very positive.]

Etc.: Basketball ticket sales not going well. Man hired to do job. Man has job, doesn't do it, and everyone thinks that's fine. Jimmy Vesey won the Hobey because the saps who vote for the thing bought his PR story about why he returned to college. Why does that even matter? I don't know, but it does.



April 12th, 2016 at 1:44 PM ^

The line about Hugh Freeze being surprised by how words work is gold and mirrors my exact thoughts on the issue.  I am still in awe that they rushed through a piece of legislation dealing with summer camps, right before the summer camps were suppossed to happen and didn't think anything would go awry from that.  Just unreal.

Also the "HUDL will ensure exposure" argument is missing a few points:

1.  There are a lot of HUDL videos out there and at some point the noise to signal ratio trends toward uselessness.  

2.  HUDL videos still are not in-person evaluations where you can see how the player responds to coaching and handles things live.  

3.  HUDL videos also don't give recruits chances to interact in real time with people they may be deciding to spend the next four to five years of their life with.  

4.  More information is always better than less information, the camps were a great way to ensure a lot of information is imparted, by both sides relatively quickly.  The videos don't do that.

Space Coyote

April 12th, 2016 at 2:07 PM ^

In-person evaluations, for the vast majority of players, are fundamental to scouting. They give you an understanding of how kids take coaching, how they react, how they function mentally, their actual size and build, minor technical issues that can be fixed over the course of college coaching.

Essentially, almost any player that isn't physically prepared from high school and isn't technically prepared in high school needs these in-person evaluations to properly be evaluated. This is how teams choose which two and three star players they actually offer. This is how the MSU's of the world have become so success. Granted, you can go to their high school and do that evaluation there, but that's going to result in much fewer kids getting that opportunity, because HUDL doesn't provide that opportunity to walk a kid through some drills, sit down and talk with him, and actually figure out what kind of upside a kid truly has.


April 12th, 2016 at 1:16 PM ^

Money runs everything. The NCAA isn't a monolith. In this case, the NCAA didn't do anything - conferences voted. The SEC and ACC decided to do something one way - that's where staples "4 against" votes come from, but the rest of the conferences didn't have to go along with it and shouldn't have.

The PAC12 and Big12 - no idea why they voted how they did. The small conferences? Listened to the SEC and ACC.It's all about the Benjamins. Many of the small conference schools pay for their athletic programs (all, not just football) with the game check from an SEC or ACC school. The SEC and ACC make lots of money and therefore have the influence.

Could the B1G have done the same? Probably, but Delany's an ass.

Rufus X

April 12th, 2016 at 1:15 PM ^

Somehow I love this man and hate him at the same time.

Secondarily - You got a poet laureate for UM Commencement?  I got a cartoonist, and not even a good one...Cathy Guisewite.


April 12th, 2016 at 2:31 PM ^

We got Bob Woodruff, not a huge name but a good speaker. Also notable for being on the Diag (which was actually a lot more "scenic" although the logistics sucked) and having an honorary degree for Ernie Harwell.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


April 12th, 2016 at 1:16 PM ^

Dennis Dodd set his Twitter account to private because someone discovered he followed a bunch of porn accounts. So it's private while he scrubs his follow list. What kind of numbnuts doesn't know that your follow list is public? 


April 12th, 2016 at 1:17 PM ^

Unintended consequences. It continues to amaze me how often people get attached to an idea for change or legislation or something and never consider that unexpected things might go wrong.

Everyone was so excited about the O'Bannon decision without realizing that it killed a much-loved video game franchise (I hope it comes back). Some coaches think they're just cutting Harbaugh off at the knees and then they get phone calls from old friends explaining that they just hamstrung hundreds of coaches and thousands of players.



April 12th, 2016 at 2:16 PM ^

Some may have, and one may even argue that it's a necessary step regardless of whether there are some broken eggs along the way.

But a lot of people thought that since the NCAA was/is stupid there would be no downside at all.

The difference here is that this is a not a judge determining an issue of law, but rather representatives voting on legislation. Someone adjudicating the O'Bannon case is under no obligation to consider wider impacts. NCAA football decision-makers are, and shirked their responsibility. It's much worse.


April 12th, 2016 at 1:18 PM ^

I think he should do workshops for high school coaches in all of the satellite camp sites. If you can't coach the kids directly; coach them indirectly. This would also extend the Michigan network into these areas more permanently than satellite camps would. He could build some long term relationships with these coaches. 

Another apporach is to set up middle school camps in these areas using players similar to the camp last week in Detroit. Get to the kids early!

kevin holt

April 12th, 2016 at 1:21 PM ^

I'm sure the article involved much more analysis, and clearly the comparison overall favors Cook by a lot, but if completion percentage is important, how does PFF feel about Connor Cook? His percentage was significantly below Hack's.


April 12th, 2016 at 1:29 PM ^

PFF "adjusts" percentage, so they're using a different number than what you pull off of the Internet.

And while I haven't seen their evaluation, I have seen other sources discuss how Cook was much better throwing to covered receivers than other guys with higher overall percentages; Vernon Adams was mentioned specifically. We saw this clearly ourselves.


April 12th, 2016 at 1:26 PM ^

At first I was highly skeptical that the ban would result in some mild recruiting advantages for Michigan, but for how strongly DPJ's family seems to feel about this I can't help but wonder if this episode has seriously raised our chances at landing him.

Mr Miggle

April 12th, 2016 at 3:34 PM ^

Southern schools. That's why he skipped our spring game. DPJ is definitely a national recruit. I think saying our main competition is OSU and MSU is premature, those are just the most obvious contenders. I'll also guess that his opinion will carry some weight with his teammates and some other local players.


April 12th, 2016 at 1:32 PM ^

they were pumping up the Michigan D and noted that only one major contributor wasn't grading out very positive I knew exactly who that was because I also had one major contributor not grading out very positive.

I'm not mentioning his name, because that's mean and unnecessary, but it rhymes with Bo Jolden.


April 12th, 2016 at 1:44 PM ^

Didn't they decide after students had paid for basketball tickets that they had to then reserve specific tickets in order to get them or something?

Color me suprised that kids don't want to buy more tickets after that mess.


April 12th, 2016 at 1:51 PM ^

My favorite thing about the Dodd item is how he says there are plenty of other options for poor kids, like personal trainers and 7 on 7's.  Cause those are free AMIRITE?


April 12th, 2016 at 3:33 PM ^

When I first read his article, I thought for a long time that it was brilliant sarcasm designed to make people think about the disadvantages of not being a 3+ Star recruit, and ultimately end up supporting satellite camps.

When I realized he was serious, well, let's just say it was a dark day for logic and reasoning. To borrow a line from The Big Short, it was like in Dodd's mind, 2 +2 = fish.


April 12th, 2016 at 1:52 PM ^

The question with Hackenberg is how much of his issue stems from Franklin's lousy coaching.  This morning on ESPN radio they had Jaws on and he talked about the QBs he would take in the first round....which did not include Hackenberg.  He said that once a QBs eyes start dropping to the pass rush and he isn't comfortable in the pocket, it is hard to recover.  The immediate response from the hosts was "what would have happened if Bill O'Brien stayed?"


The other side of that debate is that Hackenberg's promising freshman season was boosted by having the best WR in the conference on his team and having him bail his QB out time after time.  Losing Robinson, seeing the OL turn to dust, and changing to a worse coach all aligned with Hackenberg's slide toward mediocrity.  Maybe a good NFL coach could turn him into something.  Henne was never as great as he was with Braylon but still decent and has hung around the NFL forever.  Gardner was never the same after bad coaching and a bad OL ruined him.  


Let's all shed another tear for poor damn Gardner - who could have been a star under RichRod's scheme and probably reached his maximum potential under Harbaugh....but was stuck with Hoke's staff.  

Space Coyote

April 12th, 2016 at 2:26 PM ^

Hackenberg still would have had a lot of the same issues if BOB had stayed. BOB knew that OL was going to dust. And as I've said in defense of Borges, there is nothing you can do to mitigate OL play that is that bad. Now, he probably wouldn't have fallen as far under BOB, because BOB is a good QB coach, and could have worked with him in different settings to try to mitigate some of the issues. But it comes back to what Jaws said, he was going to start dropping his eyes and seeing the rush, regardless, because that OL was terrible.

Henne improved a lot even after Braylon left. Henne's JR year was phenomenal. His accuracy on deep balls was at its best (much better than his jump ball tendency with Braylon), and his understanding of the offense was on point, meaning his timing was solid. SR Henne, when healthy, was essentially the bowl game against the Gators. Henne improved a lot during his time at Michigan, not at all like Hackenberg. By the way, had Henne left after 2006, his QB competition in the draft would have been JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, and Kevin Kolb, and John Beck. He wouldn't have gone before Russell, because the Raiders loved him, but I'd argue he could and probably should have gone before any of the other QBs on that list.

I'd argue DG would have been in the same boat come draft time had he played for Rich Rod. DG was so raw technically, and Rich Rod really wasn't a fan of working out those issues. He just wanted guys to play more than learn the game, particularly at the QB position. I'd argue DG learned more as a QB under Hoke's staff than he would have under Rich Rod's, including reading defenses, proper technique, etc. Maybe that just brought out a part of the game that he struggled with, but he did learn more under Hoke's staff regarding those technical things. Maybe "just playing" would have been better for DG though, it is for some guys, including Denard. Searching for technical improvement in order to maximize consistency leads some to not perform as well as they otherwisse would, but it also limits their ceiling going forward. Gardner was also not really a pure runner in the way Slaton and Denard were, he was more in lines with Tate (a bit better runner when up to speed, I'd argue not quite as quick in small areas). I actually don't think DG was a great fit in Rich Rod's offense compared to some other offenses, including Meyer's. Athletically, I think he was actually a pretty good fit for Borges's system, because he could make all the throws but could also threaten with the QB run enough to keep defenses honest. But I think the issues around him (namely OL) and not completely seeing the game as quickly as the offense necessitated (something that would have been mitigated partialy in a RIch Rod offense) likely hurt him. However, similar to the first paragraph, Gardner's eyes didn't start dropping in 2013, they always dropped. It's just that they essentially started dropping after his first read once he got part way through 2013, instead of dropping when there was pressure.


April 12th, 2016 at 4:57 PM ^

On your comments regarding Hackenberg, I think that's what I was trying to say.  BOB saw the train of sanctions and missed scholarships coming and bolted.  I do think he would have been more progressive and creative with how to protect Hack and find ways to use his talents, but I don't think it would have made a ton of difference with that OL and Hack's inaccuracy.  


As for Gardner, maybe the OL did him in also and we never saw what he could have been.  I do think that there were clearly things that Gardner was good at and I don't think Borges/Hoke ever knew how to take advantage of those.  I will disagree with your RichRod comment slightly.  I wasn't arguing that RichRod would have made Gardner a better NFL prospect, but I do think Gardner would have lit up scoreboards under his system.  He would have used his legs far more and I think RichRod's system would create more simple reads for him in the passing game.  Borges had a complex passing system that favored under-center and deeper routes.  Your Tate example sort of shows my point - he was a solid QB under RichRod despite having far less raw talent than Gardner with both his legs and arm.  


April 12th, 2016 at 1:57 PM ^

What pisses me off the most about the NCAA vote on the camps is the haste with which they did it.  This is the same outfit that has yet to figure out what to do with UNC and took eons to rule on the Fab Five, yet they can ban camps in a matter of weeks?  

The problem was that it was an all-or-nothing vote and I'm not even sure the conferences truly talked it through with all of their coaches.  There are literally countless ways they could have regulated camps to limit any perceived carpet bombing from Harbaugh without ruining it completely.  

  1. Limit the total number of off-campus camps coaches can attend per year
  2. Require that any off-campus camp meet certain requirements for attendance by players, other coaches, locations, duration, scope, etc.
  3. Require schools to get permission for the camps
  4. Limit the distance away from campus to a certain amount - 500 miles?  
  5. Limit the number of staff members from any one school that can be present

I could go on forever.  

Likewise, it feels like this was conference commissioners making the decision and not the actual member schools.  Nor were they given any counter proposals to consider.  It was "all or nothing, decide right now."


April 12th, 2016 at 5:45 PM ^

And I am not going to come right out with the C word, but these things you point out; the speed with which it was done and the obvious  importance of getting it done being of paramount concern leads me to believe it was presented in a manner that, if they thought it benneffited  any conference in any manner, these benefits were left out, and the fact that they obviously do carry benefit, causes me to believe that there was an actual decision, decided upon by a number of which I am not aware, that the presentation of the proposal had to be  presented in a duplictous manner.

Freeze's reaction, after having actually had time to think about it speaks volumes, especailly as to the "all or nothing" nature of the voting.

I am aware since Emmert has taken office, his claims made via public pronouncement, a willingness to cast doubt as to "a coach not keeping with intent of rule," another way of avoiding the truth, " Damn, being paid 1.6 million a year, i have been rather lax in getting my point across." Yes sir, you have been fucking up big time, but also not unwise on your part not to leave some room - probably intentional - in order to allow you  to  react in the manner you desire when it comes time. You have done so and now we wait.

AC, if you are tying to say this man is not doing a real good job, I'll agree with you. If that is not your point, a not too sneaky but effective way of making mine.