Your Stupid, Stupid Minds

Submitted by Brian on May 20th, 2009 at 11:02 AM

stupid_cat stupid-2

So the Capstone Report, an Alabama blog run by people who have carved stomas into their necks because mouthbreathing is beyond them, thinks that this Rodriguez quote from the weekend…

"Stay tuned. There's a couple guys I'm gonna sit with here. Just guys that maybe if they're not doing all their responsibilities and doing what they need to do to be part of our football program may not be back. I hope that's not too many."

…is the same as Nick Saban's flood of suspicious medical redshirts and unexplained transfers. There's no amount of careful monosyllabic explanation that will get the point across to them so I'll dispense with the humorous talking-to-cavemen schtick and just talk:

Michigan signed a recruiting class of 22 despite having 25 openings. When Rodriguez talks about people on the team who are not meeting expectations he's referencing Kevin Grady, for whom "not meeting expectations" is a kind descriptor, and maybe a couple other people who 1) remain on the team and 2) are, according to the insider rumblings, skating the edge of grade issues. No one has left the team except Wermers, who did so of his own volition.

Michigan benefits in no way from Wermers' post-signing-day departure. In the unlikely event there are a ton of injuries on the line, Michigan will be forced to reach down to a walk-on instead of Wermers. And over the course of the next year there's some chance Wermers would have played his way up the depth chart. No one else has left the program. Any speculation as to why these people who haven't left the program would leave the program and whether it's voluntary or not is… wait, why are we talking about this again?

What we've got here is a quote. Not, you know, actions. And this quote can reasonably be interpreted to mean "there are people on the team who need to get their act together in court/academically" instead of "I am kicking losers out." This criticism is based on a willfully unflattering reading of a statement.

Meanwhile, Alabama signed a recruiting class of thousands (32, if we're being specific, with 25 being the maximum that could enroll) despite having far fewer than 25 openings and then rammed down its roster by chucking every disappointing reserve with a stubbed toe on medical scholarship, getting lucky with some armed robbery, and probably just plain cutting one kid. When Saban signed that huge class he knew with certainty that he would have to remove 10-15 players from scholarship. This was unprecedented and sketchy, and I wasn't the only person to think so. Dr. Saturday, then in his SMQB days, on the subject*:

So, with this year's incoming class, up to eleven players who have signed letters of intent to play football for Alabama will have that commitment at least temporarily deep-sixed, even if all 96-98 candidates meet their obligations. The incoming oversign is seven; if half of that number flunks out, or pulls a gun on somebody, or gets caught with a 15-year-old or something - say, four guys out of 32 - the Tide is still seven scholarships over the 85-man limit. Either existing commitments to returning players are cut, or the eligibility of a full third of the `08 class meets some untimely demise before August. The first option - breaking a commitment to an athlete who has met his requirements - is sketchy. The second option - collecting commitments from as many players as possible with the knowledge that a significant number of them have to fail before they even get to campus - is sketchy. Oversigning to this extent is not okay.

DocSat notes in an addendum that no coach in the country other than Tommy Bowden put himself in a position where his class necessitated cuts after the NCAA-mandated drop to 25; Bowden heartlessly cut cause célèbre Ray Ray McElrathbey and is now unemployed. (These are unrelated; it's just that it's pointless to criticize an unemployed coach.)

'Bama's cram-down was so efficient that it saw the Tide get down to like 83 scholarships, which has been taken by Tide coachbots to mean that there was never a problem in the first place. What it actually means is that Saban's cuts were gone through with even after the bonus armed robbery and cocaine so fast you'll freak scholarships opened up.

So these situations are analogous only if your typical dinner is lead paint chips. I think my favorite part of the complaint is this quote lifted from here and intended to be incriminating…

Alabama has every incentive to dump guys. They flat out have to. If a kid is struggling with his academic eligibility how motivated will Alabama be to help him? If a player commits a petty offense how eager will Alabama be to boot him? If Nick Saban knows that by August he has to say goodbye to six kids and it’s July and he’s only got four down, then what?

I’ll tell you what: someone gets it right in the ass.

…that explains the difference. Way to make your point there, guys. Rodriguez is sitting down with these kids in an attempt to get them on the right track towards staying in the program. He does not want them to leave; he would derive no benefit from it. Saban put himself in a situation where he was not motivated but compelled to weed out a half-dozen or more.

Though I'll admit the rhetoric here got overheated last summer, the point remains valid. Their point… is… uh… eh… Rodriguez said something their tiny lizard brains interpreted as Sabanesque.

I hereby resolve to converse solely with multicellular organisms. Play these gentlemen off, keyboard cat.

*(I certainly hope this is a temporary thing, but this post appears to be down. Here's a google cache link. SBNation wouldn't blast the SMQB archives out of existence in a fit of pique, would they?)


Michigan Arrogance

May 20th, 2009 at 11:13 AM ^

here we go again. Bama fans don't care if kids get cut from (what should be) a two-way, 4 year commitment.

does Alabama have a public school system? I'm genuinely asking b/c i'm not sure.


May 20th, 2009 at 11:40 AM ^

of any big-time coach in the country. Contrast that with the near-tongue-bathing Fiutak gave Bobby Petrino on yesterday.


May 20th, 2009 at 1:30 PM ^

Remember that Rodriguez turned down the Alabama job a year before ascending to Michigan.

Alabama aside though, I do wonder where all of the ubiquitous hate for him comes from. He's always run a clean program and seems to be one of the least arrogant and honest coaches I can think of.

Another Point: If this "capstonereport" site thinks Grady's imminent departure is bad, do they think that Jimmy Johns should have been aloud to stay on the team... from prison? I mean, he thought he would be getting a Bama education!!!


May 20th, 2009 at 3:33 PM ^

is the only player who you CAN justify being booted from the team. the rest, it looks to simply be richrod wants to free up scholarships for next year.

the grady kid is the one example you guys have that helps support the flimsy argument you're making. let us know about the other half dozen or so and maybe i'll stop calling you guys on your hypocritical bullshit.

and yes, thank god richrod turned us down during the same coaching search that landed us Saban. i'll take saban over richrod anyday of the week. so in that respect, we generally have warm feelings for him. glad he did us the favor of saying no, it really did work out for the best.


May 20th, 2009 at 3:48 PM ^

1) I dont know how you can say the situation is worse when player A practices with the team and doesn't think he fits into the scheme any more and leaves compared to player B who thinks he fits into the program and is trying to remain on the team and is booted off.

2) We don't need to free up scholarships, we already have enough available (in fact Rich Rod just discussed giving scholarships to walk-ons in the same interview that started this discussion)

3) You say that only Grady "CAN justify being booted from the team" I'm assuming you mean cause he's in legal trouble. So holding that constant, how many of the 15 spots that Alabama freed up last year can be "justified" by that same standard?

Big Boutros

May 20th, 2009 at 4:31 PM ^

For fuck's sake!

Michigan does not need to "free up scholarships." We signed a class of 22. As a matter of fact, when a college football program is operating properly, the concept of "freeing up scholarships" should not enter the head coach's mind. If he has done his job to the letter and spirit of the law, he will have assigned a number of scholarships equal to the maximum amount allowed by the NCAA.

What I find mind-blowingly disgusting about your post and the general consensus of the Alabama blog that started this stupid slapfight is the weight--or lack thereof--you assign to the scholarships. They are not fucking poker chips. They are not commodities to be "freed up." There are no salary caps or signing bonuses. We are talking about "can this 18-year-old from Pahokee attend our school at no charge to his family?" You, sir, are gross. That's all there is to it. You have grown so accustomed to Saban's Magic-the-Gathering version of recruiting and cutting players that you believe this is SOP for all programs; therefore, when someone on the internet calls out your scumbag coach, you reply, "B-b-but you're 'freeing up' scholarships too!" It does not work that way. The day Rich Rodriguez tells an academically-qualified player to take a hike because there's no room for him, we will welcome you back here with open arms. Until then, you're an asshole.


May 20th, 2009 at 6:05 PM ^

Tempe must smell shit constantly because he has his head so far up his ass on this one.

I'm not sure what part of this he doesn't get:
Michigan is under the scholarship limit and needs players who have D1 worthy talent and have the brains to stay in school.


May 21st, 2009 at 11:10 AM ^

is booting players off the team because they dont fit into his system. can any of you guys offer a rationale for why these players were kicked out? you have one guy who was in legal trouble, so that excuses him, but what about the rest? the answer is they're not playing up to dickrods standards so he's giving it to them in the ass.

and no, this sort of thing is NOT standard operating procedure at Bama. our coach has class, and treats his players with dignity and respect, which is far more than can be said about dickrod and the UM fanbase does to it's players...(a much maligned former OL for you guys comes to mind... ya'll dragged that kid through the mud for months just because he had a desire to win football games instead of hanging around ann arbor smoking weed and losing every saturday.)


May 20th, 2009 at 11:42 AM ^

Brian, it is time to keep your eyes on Kentucky basketball. They have signed 5 guys for 2 spots. Should be interesting to see how Calipari works his magic.


May 20th, 2009 at 11:45 AM ^

Just read the 'Bama post and most of the comments (my computer started to threaten me about secession after comment 20 and I felt it was time to move on). The main difference between Saban and RR's actions, and this was pounded home numerous times in the comments, is that Saban over-recruited and pushed kids out of the door/medical redshirt, while RR is basically telling Grady that he is on the way out after violating his probation, and some other student-athletes might be gone if they do not improve their grades. One side is a pretty skeevy way to keep within recruiting boundaries; the other is maintaining a positive team environment as well as the academic standards of the team.

I think this quote from Capstone sums up the discrepancy nicely:

My point is players are being hurt because they wanted to attend U of M and get an education—hence, it is equally bad to run off players who aren’t pulling their weight because in the end, players don’t get to finish their education where they started on scholarship.

Kids at Alabama are not-so-subtly being told to leave the team to open up scholarships; kids are UM MAY be removed from the team because they (a) were busted for drugs while on probation or (b) having significant grade issues. I would hope that any scholarship provided by UM, whether athletic or academic, would be contingent on the recipient maintaining a suitable GPA and staying out of legal trouble. If a person cannot meet these standards, they should lose their financial packages, even if that terminates their studies at UM. That is the quid pro quo one makes with the University. A college education is not some God-given right, even if you are big, fast, and strong.


May 20th, 2009 at 12:19 PM ^

Although I think 95% of your argument would still hold even if you were wrong on this point, I don't know that you can say with certainty Rich Rod was referring strictly to Kevin Grady and kids struggling with grades. Supposedly there were a few kids who didn't show up to the start of (in)voluntary workouts. FWIW it's possible these are actually the same kids.


May 20th, 2009 at 2:14 PM ^

his point in this regard is that we do not know exactly who these other kids are and what they did wrong. So until that information comes out, there is only that quote to go on, which is ambiguous in its meaning.

If the time comes when Rodriguez does anything sketchy - which Brian already stated that there is no incentive to do right now - , im sure that Brian would attack the situation on principle in the same manner as he did the Alabama oversigning.

Brian's argument holds 100% atleast for now, because part of his argument is that it is too early to know and he is withholding judgement until that time.


May 20th, 2009 at 1:36 PM ^

Completely OT, but did anyone watch some of the other "Keyboard Cat" clips. One of them was of some police officer butchering the Star Spangled Banner in an obvious homage to Rosanne Barr that was inspiring some pretty incredulous looks and had another officer "corpsing" like the soldier in the "Bigguth Dickuth" bit in Life of Brian.



May 20th, 2009 at 3:21 PM ^

but the post at capstone report doesn't equate the two practices at all. it does a pretty good job of pointing out the obvious distinctions between the two scenarios.

in Bama's case, there were players who would need to leave the team due to medical, legal, or school related issues.

in richrod's case it's simply that they dont fit into his plans for the future.

so one is a case where players left with a reason, and the one at michigan is a situation where if you dont fit into richrods scheme, you "get it in the ass" to paraphrase your own words mr. cook.

that you cannot see that this is the same situation, only worse, than the one you decried last year, speaks to the cognitive dissonance you must be engaged in. that or you were never really serious to begin with and all your outrage was really just a cynical distraction from the mis-doings going on in your own backyard at meechigan... by the way hows that streak of consecutive losses to ohio state coming? richrod wouldn't be trying to clean hosue so he can get better players in to end that streak could he? no, not a meechigan man like richtrod. they have integrity. like ted kacynski another honorable, classy, meechigan man of note.


May 20th, 2009 at 4:53 PM ^

Thanks for stopping by! You nearly had a salient point in the first two paragraphs, then clearly let your train of thought leave the station before you finished posting. Without jumping into some long diatribe about why you are completely missing the boat on Brian's post, I'll simply take to task your signature, which purports that cutting a player WITH cause (in this case, because you over-recruited and need to find space for newer players) is NOT bad (per the ? at the end), while potentially cutting a kid because he failed a drug test while on probation, or having to let kids go because they are failing academically, is WITHOUT cause and IS bad and unscrupulous. If that is truly how you see these two scenarios (and not just some attempt to start a flame war), then I'd suggest you just stay at the 'Bama boards and focus on being a player in the SEC with all of your brand-new recruits filling in the gaps.


May 21st, 2009 at 11:24 AM ^

is the only one so far, where a reason for dismissal has been offered. all the other kids have been kicked off the team for unknown reasons. i'm suggesting that the answer to the question "why were so many kids booted?" is the simplest answer, that richrod wants to clear those kids out to make room for his style of guys. he didn't think the kids would be of use to him this season or further down the road, so he booted them from the team.

simply put, richrod had no use for these kids, even though they had done nothing wrong, so he booted them from the team, yanked their scholarships and has placed his own ambition and goals ahead of the needs of those poor helpless student athletes. richrod doesn't care one iota about their well being and his having arbitrarily smashed their hopes and dreams speaks to his character, or lack thereof...

Big Boutros

May 20th, 2009 at 4:13 PM ^

I'd like to point out that your comment is rife with grammatical and spelling errors.

1. You failed to capitalize the first word of each sentence, as well as proper nouns. Examples include "mr. cook," which should be "Mr. Cook," and "ted kacynski [sic]," which should be "Ted Kaczynski." In fact, the only word you capitalized was "Bama," which is not actually a word but a colloquial nickname for the state of Alabama. In the future, please ensure all comments utilize the proper name for the state.

2. "richtrod" is not a recognized nickname for Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez. Acceptable answers include "Rod," "Coach Rod," "Rich Rod," or even "Dick Rod."

3. "Misdoings" is one word. Your hyphen is unnecessary.

El Jeffe

May 20th, 2009 at 5:20 PM ^

This is probably pointless, given the inveterate stubbornness displayed by CR on that Bama blog and Mr. Tempe here, but I will do my part to try to explain the difference.

The only issue at stake here is one of incentives. Because of oversigning, Saban must, to obey scholarship limits, get rid of some scholarship players. That he has (perhaps) been able to do this partially or entirely by waiting for kids to fuck up in the classroom or at a bar or in a drug deal does not change the fact that he must get rid of them. So, even if 100% of the attrition thus far was legit, it is nevertheless true that at some point, variances being what they are, not enough kids will legitimately fuck up to warrant getting booted off the team, and Saban will have to figure out a way to yank the scholly of a student in good academic standing with no otherwise legit reasons to can him. That, some of us think, is fucked up and wrong.

RR, on the other hand, has no incentive to boot kids because he actually has a surfeit of scholarships. What earthly reason would he have for getting rid of Grady, who would have been (assuming he will get booted here) UM's best short yardage back and potentially a runaway beer truck sort of FB? RR has no incentive to can players without really good cause because he is operating within the 85 scholarship limit.

The most ludicrous part of CR's argument was his insistence that Brian or other MGoBloggers were arguing that players getting canned is always morally wrong. No one on this blog, including Brian, has ever made that argument. Sometimes kids fuck up and need to be shitcanned. Grady is probably one of them. There have been and will continue to be others. Brian's (and others') original and enduring point is that while shitcanning kids is part of every coach's responsibilities, Saban has made it necessary for him to shitcan some healthy and honest kids.

I honestly would be interested in knowing if you (Tempe, any other Bama lurkers) get this basic point and simply disagree that the practice is a problem, or whether you do not understand the distinction.


May 21st, 2009 at 11:36 AM ^

that richrod has LESS incentive to boot kids from the team because he's under the 85 scholarship limit, but please dont try and pretend that he doesn't have any incentive. (i would suggest that you look at ohio st owning michigan's ass for the last decade as an example of incentive)

and no one, not me, not the author at Capstone Report, said booting players from the team is always wrong. it's wrong to do it without cause.

which brings us to grady, he's the only kid you guys DO have cause to dismiss. myself, and the folks at Capstone Report, are curious as to why the dismissal of the half dozen or so other kids did not cause you guys to bat an eyelash. there has been no motive or reasoning offered for why the other players got the boot. i'm suggesting it's because richrod doesn't think they'll contribute to the football team in a meaningful way, so he kicked them off.

that is precisely the sort of behavior folks on this blog got their panties all twisted over last year, with one major glaring exception. in the case of Bama and Nick Saban, it was the perception that this COULD happen, though it did not. now, what we have here at michigan with dickrod, is an ACTUAL OCCURANCE OF SAID BEHAVIOR. you guys are such fucking hypocrites, it's beyond me how you cannot see this.


May 21st, 2009 at 12:20 PM ^

they weren't even on our radar as recruits (obviously, or we'd of signed them. See: Mark Ingram) so how the hell would i know these losers? they "play" for fucking michigan for christ's sake. ask me about purdue or northwestern players and i might know. those teams DONT suck ass...


May 22nd, 2009 at 5:29 PM ^

No one has been booted from the team, that's just the insanity of their argument.

No one needed to be booted because Michigan doesn't oversign. Anyone that has left the team so far has done so for their own reasons.

If anyone does get booted from the team it will be Grady for 2 big screw ups and that wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary at Michigan, think back to Johnny Sears or Kelly Baraka. They were both tossed from the team for getting in trouble too often. There are numerous other examples too.


May 21st, 2009 at 11:54 AM ^

which brings us to grady, he's the only kid you guys DO have cause to dismiss. myself, and the folks at Capstone Report, are curious as to why the dismissal of the half dozen or so other kids did not cause you guys to bat an eyelash. there has been no motive or reasoning offered for why the other players got the boot. i'm suggesting it's because richrod doesn't think they'll contribute to the football team in a meaningful way, so he kicked them off.

You do realize that no one, not even Grady, has been kicked off the team yet? *If* other players are kicked off the team, and *if* no motive or reasoning is offered, then you might be on to something here. But even then, it's unlikely Rich Rod thinks air will contribute more than the players that would be off the team. The difference is that Saban had freshmen needing scholarships ready to jump on board the minute he got rid of someone.

If you have bothered to follow this blog other than when Bama blogs tell you to be outraged, you should have noticed that Brian commented on the sketchiness of some of the things Rich Rod does, a current one being his shotgun-style of giving out offers to recruits. *If* anyone is kicked off the team, and *if* the most likely reason is that they won't contribute, I have no doubt Brian will have a post about it. But until that day, you guys are jumping the gun trying to get even with Brian for his posts last year.

El Jeffe

May 22nd, 2009 at 9:34 AM ^

Your argument is that the difference between RR's behavior and NS's behavior is one of degree, not of kind. Taking your point of view for a second, you are wondering why Brian (originally) got upset about oversigning because you were interpreting his complaint narrowly as "that means some players get kicked off the team for not being competitive enough." Now, in light of the possibility that RR will do the same (though it hasn't happened yet), you believe that our lack of similar outrage is hypocritical.

And, supposing for a moment that the main argument was about the kids, the kids! You would be right. That is, I personally have no evidence that NS kicked a kid off the team for no reason whatsoever, just as you have no evidence that RR did. So in terms of what we actually know, the point is moot. And again, if the major argument were one of "kicking kids off the team for sketchy reasons is sketchy," you would be right that I/we are being hypocritical.

However, I return to the first point, which is that the differences are not of degree, but of kind. You say that RR has less of an incentive, but still an incentive to kick kids off the team, largely because 3-9 and OSU. Hence, a difference in degree (RR has LESS incentive). But imagine for a moment the glorious day in the hopefully not-too-distant future when RR is coming off of a 13-0 season and is being bathed daily in the grateful tears of the righteous. By your reasoning, he will not have any incentive to kick kids off the team summarily. By my reasoning, NS still will. Why? Because of oversigning.


May 20th, 2009 at 5:40 PM ^

1. Who has Rodriguez cut without cause so far?
2. Do you really think that none of the players who left Alabama last offseason were nudged out?
3. Capitalize proper nouns words at the beginning of sentences.


May 21st, 2009 at 11:43 AM ^

1. everyone but Grady has been cut without cause, or at least i have yet to hear of any from you dickbags. i am waiting on you fucks to tell me why. afterall since you all claim it's so important to look out for the student athlete, and your team just cut a shitload of them, the burden of proof that you demand from others will also be applied to you. you explain to me what reasoning you DID have to do it.

2. i think people like zeke knight (who took a medical redshirt) would have loved to keep playing, however since the team doctors wouldn't clear him to practice due to his heart condition, so he had to be convinced it was for the best.

3. no. who are you the fucking grammar police? eat a dick.


May 20th, 2009 at 5:44 PM ^

and the one at michigan is a situation where if you dont fit into richrods scheme, you "get it in the ass" to paraphrase your own words mr. cook.

Please name one player that Rodriguez cut because they didn't fit his scheme.