Unverified Voracity Was 20k Off

Submitted by Brian on May 11th, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Mott stuff. Get thee to WTKA Friday for an opportunity to participate in their "radio-a-thon" in support of Mott Children's Hospital, where you can Donate For Stuff. This stuff:

Donations are accepted at any level but fans will receive giveaways for donating at the following levels:

$20 donation: a Fathead Teammate Block M (roughly 12”x7”)

$50 donation: a limited-edition Charles Woodson t-shirt made exclusively for this event

$120 donation: a Fathead Junior Big House Mural (17”x30”) autographed by Charles Woodson

$250 donation: four passes to a pre-season scrimmage

$500 donation: two pre-game sideline passes (does not include game tickets) to ONE of the following four games: Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State or Minnesota.

If you are a strange, obsessive person—and you are reading this site so you probably are—you might actually find the $250 donation to be value for money on top of the heart-warming altruism. I went to the pre-season scrimmage last year; it was at least as interesting as an actual game against EMU and depending on where you sit it's actually cheaper. Last year featured the quarterback battle; this year will feature an early opportunity to reassure yourself the spring game didn't mean anything about Denard's role in the new offense. You can donate online at WTKA.com.

Over the weekend a bunch of players will return for a swank gala dinner and a golf outing, too, but the press release doesn't have any information about how to crash that. Best bet: show up at the golf course and say you're Alijah Bradley by way of explaining why you're not huge. AnnArbor.com does have details on the big baller packages they're putting up at the gala dinner, but they'll just make you sad you're not rich, unless you are.

That car totally wasn't zero dollars. Thaddeus Gibson did not get a year-old 300M for zero dollars:

BMV records show that former linebacker Thaddeus Gibson paid $13,700 for a 2007 Chrysler 300C that he bought from former Jack Maxton salesman Aaron Kniffin in June 2007.

Why the Dispatch couldn't figure this out before they ran their story is unknown but definitely the internet's fault.

Unfortunately for Ohio State, if you've been on a Michigan internet this morning you've run across three different people running Kelly Blue Book values for a 300M and coming out with a number about ten grand more than the 14k Gibson paid four years after the fact. At the time of purchase the discount relative to KBB value was probably closer to 20k. Again, this Kniffin dude has a choice between declaring the number correct—hello extra benefit—and declaring it incorrect—hello tax evasion. Hopefully we'll get to see whether the inevitable claim about a trade-in is on the up-and-up. If they were 1) giving players sweetheart deals and 2) not idiots, taking rusted out junkers as trade-ins worth 20k would provide some additional level of deniability.

Meanwhile, Chris Spielman is bracing for more:

“I’d be surprised if he’s coaching next year (2011). Why I say that is I think there is more stuff coming out,” the Ohio State legend said.

Spielman also said a bunch of other things, some very touching about his deceased wife, but everyone's focusing on that bit. I wonder if Charles Robinson's "ten of ten" Yahoo is supposedly launching in August is a pile-on? Probably not. Keep it reasonable. This section brought to you by my internal monologue FERRETS



Even if he's a Buckeye, not loving Spielman is a sin. (Via Doctor Saturday.)

Camp: back? When Rodriguez arrived he substantially revamped Michigan's camp, focusing more on individual high-level prospects in a one-day setting instead of just rounding up every football player in Michigan with a few bucks to spare. More than one emailer with connections to the local coaching community has cited that as one of the ways in which Rodriguez shoveled his own grave: while increased focus on college-level recruits may have helped land them individually the coaches who lost camp opportunities were pissed off, downward spiral, etc.

Hoke appears to be bringing back the whole shebang:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke and his coaching staff will host Wolverine Technique Schools this June for high school students (entering grades 9-12) and youth (grades 6-8).

The Wolverine Technique School for high school students will be held from June 19-23, while the youth camp will be held June 24-26 at the University of Michigan. It will mark the 37th year of the high school football camp and third youth camp.

Brady Hoke Gets It. Of course, now when you say Brady Hoke Gets It your withering sarcasm percentage is under 100% and dropping with every instate MAC recruit suddenly hearing from Michigan State.

From a fan's perspective this is probably good. While Rodriguez generally opened up the program the shift in camp philosophy meant there were a lot fewer high school coaches wandering around watching various Michigan recruits and relating impressions back to the peanut gallery. Useful information from camp dropped off considerably the last three years.

I'm not sure how much it will matter this year since it looks like Michigan is going to be well on its way to filling its class a month from now. Normally a few sleepers emerge and get offered, but if Michigan is sitting on 15 commits in June they might start swinging for the fences instead. It'll probably be more meaningful for the class of 2013—presumably Shane Morris will be on hand to make an impression on every junior in the state.

Luke Hancock and other guys. UMHoops pinged a George Mason blogger for information on potential transfer Luke Hancock and got some clarification on his weird statistical profile:

He matured into more of a guard role during his sophomore season and was labeled a “point-forward” because he brought the ball up the floor on most possessions. Definitely an unorthodox type of player with his long loopy dribbles and slow pump fakes but he gets the job the done and finds different ways to score. He has good range but is a better asset when he’s driving to the basket.

More at the link. Dylan also points out that adding Hancock would put him in the Morgan/McLimans/Horford/everybody class, swelling it to seven players. Without attrition that would see more than half the team graduate in 2014. It would also leave just one scholarship in the class of 2013 for Michigan to play with. So it's a bit more complicated than "here's this guy."

Random AD items. MGoShoe rounds up things Dave Brandon said at some sort of appearance associated with the AP. There's not a whole lot of actual new things but this is something to note:

Brandon believes it will be "several years" before the Big Ten goes to a nine-game conference schedule. He said several teams are booked through 2015-2016 and it would be "expensive and problematic" to unwind those schedules.

Also, more unfortunate first-person:

“I will sell more seats at Yost Arena knowing that we are going to tee it up against our big competitors in the Big Ten,” Brandon said. “We’ll still have a robust nonconference schedule … but at the end of the day, student-athletes that come to Michigan come to win Big Ten championships.”

He might sell a few more seats but it won't be many—Yost already drew capacity last year, and while anyone who's been to Michigan Stadium is familiar with the various tricks used to up attendance figures the additional sales might add up to a couple hundred seats. Also also, don't blame Rodriguez etc etc let's talk about something else.

Officially unofficial. Michigan moving its dominant club lacrosse program to varsity has been the worst kept secret on South Campus for going on a year now, but now the secret is even a little more poorly concealed. A portion of Tim's CCLA recap/MCLA preview:

First, when presenting Michigan Coach John Paul with the conference championship trophy, the announcer said something along the lines of: "probably for the last time ever, Michigan wins the CCLA Trophy." JP played it cool when accepting the trophy, but certainly wasn't in a hurry to deny anything. Following the game, the official @UMichLacrosse twitter account dropped the following:

"Michigan finishes FINAL MCLA regular season with a 103-2 all-time record in CCLA competition."

While it may seem (or ultimately be) inconsequential, it is the first public statement from any official, on-record source that something is definitely going to happen for next season.

Tim's side joint has more.

Etc: UMHoops hit up Spiece and profiled Trey Burke. Holdin' the Rope on Denard and Borges and Hoke.



May 11th, 2011 at 1:01 PM ^

Spielman, who added that he's been on the receiving end of threatening e-mails* for criticizing Tressel in the past.

What jackass with a death wish would send treating e-mails to this.


 This, yes.

Freaking Crazies down there.

Indiana Blue

May 11th, 2011 at 1:27 PM ^

the most honest and forthright athletic graduate from tsio ever !  Played with passion and a hard-nosed toughness throughout his college and pro careers and has really developed his skills in the broadcast media.

I respect the Man ... but never his university's athletic program.

Go Blue !


May 11th, 2011 at 2:33 PM ^

Sure, it was a strong statement, but frankly, I don't think that he was far off.  Sure, Denard.  But other than Denard, I can't think of any starters on our team last year who would have started for OSU.

I didn't take the comment as badly as many others did.  The point that he was making, I thought, was that the two teams aren't even close in talent level, which explains OSU's dominance - a true fact, by the way.

Desmonlon Edwoodson

May 11th, 2011 at 9:44 PM ^

You all dont want to hear my opinion on the relative validity of Speilman's statements.  In truth. having that discussion would be neither remotely productive nor particularly life affirming.  I think we as a fanbase have gotten so sick of tearing open these old wounds that something totally unforseen has happened.  We have started to heal.  The program has started to heal.  Hell, this board has started to heal. 

You dont have to search very far to see that I dont agree with a lot of Brian's opinions.  Despite this fact, I still love the hell out of the dude's blog.  Cant help it.  Maybe its just me, but I think maybe Brian is starting to get it.  And this is making me happy. 


May 11th, 2011 at 1:14 PM ^

...we're steadily moving from "Brady Hoke Gets It" [dripping sarcasm] to "Brady Hoke Gets It" [Brady Hoke Gets It].

Six Zero: Please create a t-shirt design to that effect (the latter, that is).


May 11th, 2011 at 1:16 PM ^

Best bet: show up at the golf course and say you're Alijah Bradley by way of explaining why you're not huge.

In my time at Michigan, I would get some mileage at parties out of claiming to be Jeff DelVerne.


May 11th, 2011 at 1:18 PM ^

When it comes to Michigan's view of Buckeyes, there is Spielman and there is everybody else.

He definitely had a bond with Lions fans and it still seems to be there between both parties.

Real Tackles Wear 77

May 11th, 2011 at 1:47 PM ^

If the program is making the quick transition from club to varsity status in less than a year, I feel like that is not enough time to get the roster at a competitive varsity level. Presumably the staff will be starting from next-to-nothing with no facilities or even a home stadium. Is the time frame for the building/field we saw in a youtube video a few weeks ago that quick?


May 11th, 2011 at 3:06 PM ^

The lacrosse program won't be that competitive for a few years regardless of when it starts.  With the top high school lacrosse players committing as juniors and even sophomores now, their first shot at a big time class is 2013, and those guys will need a couple of years to mature.  Getting started next year makes sense on a few levels, including having absolutely nothing left to accomplish at the club level.  Just don't expect them to tear it up for awhile.

The facility in the video that made the rounds last year was going to be built next to Elbel Field for the club team.  It's my understanding that Dave Brandon told them to stop those plans, and that the athletic department would build new facilities as the program grows.  Hopefully that will happen soon, as it will definitely have a big impact both on recruiting and attendance. 

I'm a lacrosse guy, so I'm biased of course.  But adding lacrosse is a bigger deal than I think a lot of Michigan people understand.  One, adding any sport, especially a men's sport, at this time shows that Brandon has a very aggressive growth strategy.  Two, lacrosse is a major sport at many of the schools that now sponsor it, and it continues to be the fastest growing sport in the country.  It will take some time, but I can see lacrosse developing a hockey-like niche here at Michigan.


May 11th, 2011 at 1:47 PM ^

The 1-year-old thing caught my attention: If Ohio State players are getting a sweetheart deal, it's probably a dealership-drive program of some sort.

If I understand it correctly, auto dealers will drive a new car themselves for a one-year lease at zero profit, getting it over a certain mileage so that they trigger something that makes the price drop precipitously. They then sell the car for that substantially lower value, usually to family members. I don't know if it's legal, just that it's done sometimes, especially with family-owned dealerships. The dealership owner gets to drive new cars for pretty cheap, and his family/friends can get a sweet hookup on a 1-year-old car.

Obviously if the "friends" are players, that's a pretty clear violation, since those deals are certainly not offered to the public.


May 11th, 2011 at 2:38 PM ^

Happen all the time. 1 year leases are very common not just for dealership personnel, but big-wigs in general. I work with a guy who was at GM for 30 years, and all the GM execs had to be in brand new GM cars all the time (pimp the brand!), so they had 1 year leases on company cars. After the 1 year lease, the cars went up for sale. New cars lose value as soon as they're driven off the lot, this is why 1-year leases are really expensive - the resale after the lease goes way down. 

GM took a hit on all the 1-year leases they gave execs, and as you mentioned if they're undercharging the lease the dealership would take a hit on those 1 year leases. I think buying cars after a 1 year lease is more legit than if the players were offered cheap 1 year leases.


-- your point still stands though, if the players got those 1 year old cars at way cheaper than market for a 1 year old car... that's a big problem


May 12th, 2011 at 8:12 AM ^

I believe you are referring to the P.E.P. cars (Produce Evaluation Program, IIRC).  The new cars were driven by certain level executives for 2,000-10,000 miles of evaluation, then turned in.  Those cars then became available to GM Employees or their immediate family members at significantly less-than-new-car prices.  The sales were arranged between the purchasing employee/family member and the PEP office.  There was a paper trail a mile long.  Once the employee/family member "tagged" the vehicle they wanted, the car was sent directly to a designated dealer who would handle the purchase paperwork.

Those cars are NOT, I repeat NOT, available to the general public.  IF Kniffin sold a PEP car to an ineligible purchaser he would have had to fabricate an awful lot of documentation PLUS had someone on the "inside" assisting him.  I do not suspect that was the case.  No...I believe the cars Kniffin sold used cars off the lot that he cooked up 2 sets of documents: 1 to the purchaser and 1 to the secretary of state at a lower disclosed sale price in an effort to save a few hundred bucks on taxes that ultimately went into his pocket.  Further, I do not believe the dealer principal was in on this because the fines/penalites are so severe that he could  lose his franchise or serve prison time for a felony. 

That's my educated guess, anyway.

oriental andrew

May 11th, 2011 at 1:53 PM ^

For the record, Thad Gibson had (has?) a Chryselr 300C, which is the squarish model with a V8 under the hood.  The 300 is the same body with a V6.  This might actually be his car!

The 300M, on the other hand, was an unfortunate experiment to revive a successful nameplate from the past which resulted in this atrocity:



May 11th, 2011 at 1:57 PM ^

I rooted for RR, and as an offensive tactition he was obviously ahead of his time....but apparently the whole Michigan man brotherhood community etc thing was something he just never understood.  Suck for him...Hopefully Hoke staff doesnt turn into Run left Lloyd strategy redux and get complacent with mediocrity so long as the community is happy with a Michigan man.


May 11th, 2011 at 2:08 PM ^

As per the linked Dispatch article, there are two titles for the Gibson car--an older one listing $13K as the sale price and a newer one listing a sale price of $0.

Presumably, the Dispatch only found the newest title. I do not know the SOP for keeping and releasing car titles in Ohio, so it is possible that the Dispatch's mistake was innocent and not rife with incompetence. Who thinks to look for a second title involved in one car sale?

Which begs the question, why was a second title issued? I presume that is the type of thing the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles is wondering and why they have opened an investigation into the potential incorrect reporting of car sale prices.

Not only is there another dog in the hunt but there may be much more to learn regarding the actual prices paid for these cars.

There is just too much smoke and too many people looking for me to believe that we won't find a fire somewhere in all this.


May 11th, 2011 at 2:33 PM ^

is a co-signer. If there were 2 people on the original title for the sale, they could have had the car re-titled to reflect only 1 owner. 

An example is my dad and I bought the Jeep in my avatar together (he paid for it, I paid him back). Once I had it paid off we re-titled it in my name only. I don't think there was a "Sale Price" on the new title, but it had 2 titles, both with my name on them


May 11th, 2011 at 2:48 PM ^

about a month ago. (For the record, I was going to sign him up for the camp before the coaching staff change.)

So now we get to go up to Ann Arbor under the new format. While my son wishes it was in pads, we like the position group specific instruction. (I know. 7th grade is early to specialize. My son looks at it as a chance to learn something different.)

Interestingly, our path to Ann Arbor takes us through the nadir of the Big Ten. Besides gawking at the 'Shoe, is there anything else worth stopping to see for an hour or so in Columbus? A tattoo parlor? Some used car dealerships? Maybe Tressel will be on display in a public pillory by then?

Anyway, I know it is only middle school camp. I figure we'll get to see some of the practice facilities, meet some of the coaches, and hopefully some of the players. It'll probably be worth some type of MGoPost when we get back.


May 11th, 2011 at 10:17 PM ^

They can all work, and we didn't get a sample size big enough to compare; but just generally speaking, one advantage to a camp open to everyone is you get younger guys in who are probably really hard to assess, but if they turn out good you've already introduced and cultivated a love for Michigan football. Likewise if some sibling of a blue chip talent becomes a big fan because of it, he certainly can let it be known how thrilled he would be to have Bro playing for the Wolverines.


May 11th, 2011 at 10:30 PM ^

He had 29 tackles against Michigan in the '86 game. I can't imagine ever giving a buckeye a standing ovation like they did for Tom Harmon, but you've got to respect a guy who steps up like that in his team's biggest game of the season. 29 tackles. That's got MANBALL written all over it.