I reviewed the Purdue blogs and their links to the Purdue student newspaper, etc., to see if there had been something that I might have missed, something that had indicated that indeed Rich Rodriguez had been directly involved, in any discernable way, in the suspension of Zach Reckman for his incident in the Purdue-NIU game.
I couldn't imagine that there was anything; Reckman's incident happened just a week after the Mouton suspension. The Big Ten was still on red alert, and reeling from the blowback the conference had earned for its silly handling of Mouton. Reckman's story was all over the worldwide interwebs that week before he was suspended. For anyone to think that the Big Ten had been "alerted" to the Reckman case by Rodriguez is beyond stupid.
So the next question is whether there was any formal mechanism by which Rich Rodriguez asked for, or influenced, any official disciplinary proceeding with the Conference. I know of no such action. So, the obvious question to Rich Rodriguez is, "Did you contact the Conference to in any way seek an investigation, or a suspension, of Reckman? Rodriguez has answered that question. "No," is that answer.
So the next question obviously goes to Danny Hope; "Are you aware of any direct contact between Rich Rodriguez and the Conference with respect to the Reckman suspension?" As of today, Hope's answer is, "No comment." I hope that Hope is pressed again and again on this issue by a press that should be asking that question, since it bears on the basic credibility of both Hope and Rodriguez. I would not want to have to defend Danny Hope on that one.
This was an issue that Danny Hope created, and in the process, he is accusing Rich Rodriguez of somehow meddling with the discipline of Purdue players, or else of being a liar. My bet is on Danny Hope as being the purveyor of a lie, to get his team fired up to play Michigan. ("Rodriguez got Reckman suspended!") When in fact Rich Rodriguez did nothing more than to righteously state that Michigan would expect the Big Ten to show consistency with the crapola ad hoc suspension of Mouton, and otherwise had nothing whatsoever to do with Reckman's suspension.
So, back to the blogs. In the first place, MGoBlog's readers were not surprisingly pretty focused on the Reckman incident as soon as it happened. A read of the long message thread shows that nobody particularly wanted Reckman suspended at all; we (I participated in the thread) were only stinging from the Mouton suspension. We knew that the Big Ten would have to do more suspensions if they had any semblance of consistency, and that every such suspension would be the cause for more controversy. What happened to Reckman was beside the point. What Reckman did, and what happened to Reckman, was barely mentioned:
Now for the Purdue blogs. And in particular "Boiled Sports." Both "Boiled Sports" and "Hammer and Rails" are not much thrilled with Danny Hope's postgame stunt in Ann Arbor. They understand that the actual evidence of Rodriguez ever having done anything with respect to Reckman's case is nonexistent. And they should know; they were the ones who first associated Rodriguez's public comments about Mouton with Reckman's case:
That blog entry has no real links; nothing to back up the charge that Rich Rodriguez "got his way" in a suspension of Reckman, other than the online independent student newspaper The Exponent:
In which the bottom line seems to be that Rich Ridriguez was guilty of "bringing up the issue" with the media. Whatever.
I have searched for any clue as to whether, in any of his pressers for the week of 9/21, Rich Rodriguez said anything about Reckman. I see no record of it. The Exponent's correspondent appears to be no more specific than suggesting that it might have been RR's general comment right after the Mouton suspension, to the effect that from that point on, Michigan's staff would be looking at other cases to see if the Conference was consistent.
In the course of my perusing old blog entries, I came across one of my own MGoBlog comments, from September 26, to the effect that whatever, there would be more suspensions, and some were bound to be marginal calls, and the crummy, thoughtless policy initiated by Delany would come back to haunt the league before year's end.
So chalk this one up as about #127 in the list of crummy, badly-reported, badly-written, poorly-sourced media dustups in which Rich Rodriguez has been unfairly dogged by unflattering stories in the past two years.