Original allegations of the Free Press, examined for truthfulness

Submitted by MaizeAndBlueWahoo on February 25th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Alright, so.  We know that the Free Press uses dirty tricks, epically low standards, and yellow journalism of the worst kind when covering Michigan football.  Their evil tactics, like ambushing a pair of freshman football players and printing their names as sources despite the earlier promise of anonymity, are not in question.  But what about the meat and potatoes?

Nobody, to my knowledge, and least of all the Freep, has yet gone back to the original articles to, in MGoBlog parlance, verify their voracity.  In plain English, is what they said true?  We should have these answers, as educated Michigan fans.

I have parsed the three original bombshell accusatory articles for direct statements regarding where they claim Michigan football broke the rules.  I have also included the relevant passages from the NCAA's Notice of Allegations that correspond to the Freep accusations, and for the purposes of the exercise, we will assume the NCAA document is pure, unadulterated gospel truth.  In some cases, multiple articles made the same accusations, so I only included each one once.  I've also left out statements that used debatable weasel words like "far exceeded" or "many," so as not to get into arguments over how many is "many," or such other ambiguities.

Article #1: "Michigan football program broke rules, players say"


The Free Press says:

"The University of Michigan consistently has violated NCAA rules governing offseason workouts, in-season demands on players, and mandatory summer activities under coach Rich Rodriguez."

The NCAA says:

It is alleged that from January 2008 to at least September 2009, the scope and nature of the violations detailed in Allegation Nos. 1 and 2 demonstrate that Rich Rodriguez, head football coach, failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program and failed to adequately monitor the duties and activities of the quality control staff members, a graduate assistant coach and a student assistant coach, and the time limits for athletically related activities.

Verdict: TRUE.  A generic statement, vindicated by the equally generic tack-on that the NCAA would have added no matter what the scope of what they found.  Blame always falls on the head coach.

Article #2: "What the Free Press found"


- The Free Press says:

"Required offseason football activities are limited to 8 hours a week, including film review.  (Players) are routinely expected to spend two to three times that amount in workout sessions.  Offseason work is mandatory."

- The NCAA says:

(2) Between June 2 and July 25, 2008, football student-athletes sometimes participated in as many as 10 hours of voluntary weight-training and conditioning activities per week, which exceeded the maximum of eight hours a week.

Verdict: FALSE.  We begin the filthy lies from the Freep, and this is one of the most insidious.  The NCAA itself characterized the work as voluntary rather than mandatory, and the violation, though present, falls far short of the Freep's characterization.  Remember, the NCAA accusation tops off at 10 hours, meaning that it may be less - perhaps even as little as 20 minutes over.  Certainly not 16 to 24 hours as the Freep accuses.

- The Free Press says:

"If athletes don't do all the required strength and conditioning, they must come back to finish or are punished with more work."

- The NCAA says:

Nothing.  This is not alleged.

Verdict: Probably TRUE, by the letter, but not a violation as claimed by the Freep; or if so, lumped into the extra hours already mentioned in the NCAA allegations.

- The Free Press says:

"Rodriguez's quality-control staffers (who work for the coaches) frequently watch scrimmages.  Players say they believe attendance is noted and performances are evaluated."

- The NCAA says:

It is alleged that from January 2008 through September 2009, the institution's football program exceeded the permissible limit on the number of coaches by five when quality control staff members (noncoaching sport-specific staff members who were not counted as countable coaches) engaged in on-field and off-field coaching activities.

Verdict: TRUE, and far more so than even the Freep said.  In their zeal to overstate the amount of practice and workout time the team put in, they actually managed to gloss over this part.  The NCAA's allegations run much deeper than the Freep's here.  The Freep's coverage in the following days would focus solely on the exceeded practice limits and ignored this issue entirely.

- The Free Press says:

"There is a 4-hour daily limit and a 20-hour weekly limit during the season for all football-related activities, including practices, weight-lifting, conditioning, film-watching, and meetings.  (Players) typically spent at least nine hours on football activities on Sundays after games last fall and often exceeded the 20-hour weekly limit."

- The NCAA says:

Between August 31 and October 26, 2008, football student-athletes were required to participate in as many as five hours of countable athletically-related activities per day, on several occasions, including, but not limited to, August 31; September 7, 14, and 28; and October 5, 12, 19, and 26.  Additionally, during the week beginning October 19, 2008, the student-athletes were required to participate in approximately 20 hours and 20 minutes of countable athletically-related activities, which exceeds the maximum of 20 hours per week.

Verdict: A filthy, disgusting FALSEhood.  "Often exceeded the 20-hour weekly limit" has become "once, for 20 minutes."  "At least nine hours on Sundays" has become "as many as five."  (Those dates were in fact Sundays.)  This was one of the accusations at the core of the Freep report and it has been watered down to the point where the university might well be able to argue it completely away.  The Freep could have maintained credibility by simply claiming the program had exceeded limits and left it at that, but they made the mistake of hearing what they wanted to hear and then writing it.

Article #3: "A look inside Rodriguez's rigorous program"


- The Free Press says:

"'It (offseason workouts) was mandatory,' one player said.  'They'd tell you it wasn't, but it really was.  If you didn't show up, there was punishment.'"

- The NCAA says:

Nothing.  This is not addressed.

Verdict: Indeterminate.  There may, in fact, have been "punishment", but what the players see as punishment and what the NCAA sees are likely different.  However, shame on the Freep for purposely not making the distinction, nor attempting to dig further into the meaning of "punishment." 

- The Free Press says:

"Several players said that on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the past two offseasons, they were expected to be in the weight room for three to four hours, followed by a run of 45 minutes to an hour.  Players said that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they were expected to spend two to three hours working on speed and agility. That brings the total time commitment to 15-21 hours a week - more than the NCAA's weekly 8-hour limit, which includes time spent watching film."

- The NCAA says:

(2) Between June 2 and July 25, 2008, football student-athletes sometimes participated in as many as 10 hours of voluntary weight-training and conditioning activities per week, which exceeded the maximum of eight hours a week.

Verdict: Again, FALSE.  Again, if the Free Press had been content with simply claiming that limits were exceeded, they could retain credibility, but they swung for the fences and ended up liars.  Remember, the magnitude of violations rather than their mere existence was a central theme of these articles.

- The Free Press says:

"On top of the regular workout schedule, every Tuesday during winter term, a few players on the team are required to spend additional hours at Schembechler Hall for what they call 'Torture Tuesdays.'"

- The NCAA says:

Between January 27 and March 15, 2008 (and January 12 and March 14, 2009), football student-athletes were sometimes required to participate in as many as 10 hours of countable athletically related activities per week, which exceeded the maximum of eight hours a week.

Verdict: I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say TRUE.  It's at least plausible that Torture Tuesdays caused the number to rise past eight.  This is what I mean by being less specific and accusatory so as to remain truthful.

- The Free Press says:

"Several players said Rodriguez's coaches were more likely to insist they participate in seven-on-seven scrimmages, which have become more frequent.  They also said that members of the quality control staff frequently watched seven-on-sevens.  'They usually just watched and would write down who wasn't there,' one player on the 2008 team said."

- The NCAA says:

During 2008 and 2009 voluntary summer workouts, five quality control staff members, one graduate assistant football coach and one student assistant football coach (2009 only) regularly monitored and conducted skill-development activities that occurred two days a week, even though they were not strength and conditioning coaches who were not countable coaches and who performed such duties on a department-wide basis.  Additionally, some of the quality control staff members and the graduate assistant coach sometimes observed seven-on-seven passing activities and provided advice and/or corrections to football student-athletes pertaining to technique.

Verdict: Well, the first sentence isn't a violation, though the Freep would have you believe it is.  But again, the allegation is substantially TRUE, and unfortunately for U-M, again it goes much deeper than even the Freep claimed.

- The Free Press says:

"Players also said members of the coaching staff lingered nearby to watch seven-on-seven scrimmages.  Players said the coaches were not physically coaching them, but their presence made it apparent that attendance was being noted and their performances were being evaluated.  NCAA rules require such scrimmages to be voluntary."

- The NCAA says:

Nothing.  There is no mention of the actual coaching staff being present.

Verdict: Probably TRUE, but apparently not a violation.  However, notice the weaselly phrasing.  Even if every word is perfectly true, the "noting of attendance" would not constitute mandatory participation, as no mention is made of punishment.  The truthfulness of the passage does not excuse the yellow journalism present.

- The Free Press says:

"And when the season started, every week began with a violation."

- The NCAA says:

Between August 31 and October 26, 2008, football student-athletes were required to participate in as many as five hours of countable athletically-related activities per day, on several occasions, including, but not limited to, August 31; September 7, 14, and 28; and October 5, 12, 19, and 26. 

Verdict: Technically TRUE, but we've gone over this....

- The Free Press says:

"Rodriguez required his players to arrive at Schembechler Hall by noon the day after games.  They would then go through a full weight-lifting session, followed by individual position meetings and a full-team meeting.  Then, at night, they would hold a full practice.  Often, they would not leave the practice facility until after 10 PM.  The NCAA limit is 4 hours a day for required activities."

- The NCAA says:

See above.

Verdict: FALSE.  Five hours is not the same thing as ten-plus.  It appears the Free Press needs to brush up on the definition of "countable" before accusing anyone of a violation of this.

- The Free Press says:

"With three hours on Saturday and a full day on Sunday, players tallied about 12 hours on those two days.  They were off Monday.  Players said they would spend an additional three to four hours with the team on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons, bringing the weekly total to 21-24 hours."

The NCAA says:

Additionally, during the week beginning October 19, 2008, the student-athletes were required to participate in approximately 20 hours and 20 minutes of countable athletically-related activities, which exceeds the maximum of 20 hours per week.

Verdict: FALSE.  The Freep did a little math here, and it blows up in their face, or would if anyone were to hold them accountable for it.  That the program is accused of a one-time excess of 20 minutes, and that that is the full extent of any mention of any violations of the 20-hour limit, should be evidence enough that not only is the Freep lying, the program ought to be considered very much in compliance with this rule.

Conclusion


Unsurprisingly, the answer is that the Free Press's original allegations largely hold no water.  The central theme was that Rich Rodriguez pushed his players far beyond the bounds allowed by the NCAA; that he would hold them unrealistically accountable for missing activities that were supposed to be voluntary; that he cavalierly and repeatedly exceeded limitations on football activities.  This was the party line in the days following the expose.  Columnists and editorialists wrung their hands over a culture out of control; one that chewed up and spit out 18-to-22-year-old kids with no regard for their welfare, in the overzealous pursuit of success.  It was an easy connection to make.  Rodriguez comes from football-mad, "uncultured" West Virginia with a reputation for profanity and screaming, so painting the picture of him as a control freak with no concern for his charges beyond what they could do for him between the sidelines required no imagination at all.

The Free Press correctly pointed out that QC staffers overstepped their bounds as well, and the irony here is that despite getting it right, the Freep allowed their shoddy journalism to overshadow it.  This was virtually ignored.  It is, at the foundation of it, a broken rule as plain as a broken window, and U-M appears to be as guilty as the kid standing outside holding a baseball bat.  Of all "unfair advantages" U-M may have gained, this is the biggest, the most glaring, and the most black-and-white.  It is Allegation Number One.  And the promotion of Adam Brathwaite to an actual coaching position shows that a clear benefit was gained.  Yet in their crusade to make Rich Rodriguez into a monster, they glossed over it and treated it as secondary.

Yet the primary accusations turned out to be watered-down at best, and at worst, completely false.  The best the Free Press can claim is that their activity-time overage accusations coincide roughly with what the NCAA found; in the worst-case scenario for the Freep, certain of their claims turned out to be total inventions, completely unsubstantiated by the NCAA investigation.  In certain other cases, they presented ambiguous situations and implied that they, too, were violations of NCAA rules.  Many of these statements were even factually true and used to paint the harsh picture of the program.  Though not tied to a cited NCAA rule, the clear implication was that they were still against the rules.

All this doesn't play into their current viewpoint, of course.  As they and their slappies see it, the Free Press uncovered violations and the NCAA has confirmed them.  Details be damned.  That the violations alleged by the NCAA and those alleged by the Free Press are often substantially different does not concern them.

P.S. As a final note, Michigan fans may be interested in being reminded that the week of October 19, 2008 was in between a 46-17 drubbing at the hands of Penn State and the following week's MSU game.  Raise your hand if you didn't expect a little extra work to be put in that week and if you wouldn't demand the same again.

Comments

VictorsValiant09

February 25th, 2010 at 2:31 AM ^

Exceptionally well-done.

It's amazing what we, as an MGoCommunity, can accomplish purely through our love of Michigan: the truth.

The aforementioned 'journalists' are getting paid, yet they're not even getting it right.

I've seen better content produced here than at the most professional of news sites. And what is the primary motivation: spirit and support.

Bravo.

Don

February 25th, 2010 at 6:27 AM ^

Unfortunately, though, it won't change things for RR. Once the reality of probation hits, I think RR becomes a dead man walking after the 2010 season, even if the violations are talked down to being secondary. It won't matter to the vast majority of UM fans, and more importantly, the vast majority of inner UM power brokers and big-time athletic donors that the vast majority of the Freep's allegations will have been proven to be overblown at best; all they will focus on is that UM is on probation. I think the only way RR can keep his job beyond 2010 would be getting at least 9 wins, beating OSU, and winning a bowl game. Getting all three of those strikes me as very unlikely.

It's going to make recruiting for the 2011 class all that much harder, because every coach in the country will be telling recruits that RR will be fired. That won't bother some kids, but others are going to understandably get a little nervous.

The fact that Michael Rosenberg and Mark Snyder will be regarded as mini-Woodward and Bernstein-esque heroes in their own tiny circle-jerk of Freep managers and fellow "journalists" across the country, that they will get nice pay raises and appearances on ESPN as the guys who "brought down one of the most highly regarded coaches in college football" just makes all this that much harder to swallow.

bronxblue

February 25th, 2010 at 10:43 AM ^

I understand your frustration, but I'm not sure that the doom-and-gloom scenario will leave RR on the chopping block if he wins. Get this team to 7-8 wins and, hopefully, one or two marquee wins against rivals like PSU/Wiscy/OSU/MSU, and I think RR gets another year. Sure, the Freep will continue to bitch and moan, but to be fair, who really reads the Freep anymore for sports? Some alumni will complain, but I doubt any louder than they did during the Carr, Moehler, or Bo eras.

RR's future will rely on his ability to finally produce a winner on the field. Go three straight seasons with a losing record and he should be canned - it might not be fair, but that is the reality of college sports, especially at a perennial power like UM. But maybe I give the people in power too much credit, but they "get" that RR inherited a less-than-ideal situation and is turning it around.

goody

February 25th, 2010 at 6:37 AM ^

A well thought out dairy that shows both sides of the story. The fact that most of the claims the Free Press made where in some way true gives them a little credibility but they lose that by over exaggerating the offenses and possibly jumping the gun before they could thoroughly investigate their facts.

bacon

February 25th, 2010 at 7:28 AM ^

Ironic, but before this all started I had no idea that there was this much bureaucracy surrounding football. QC officers, countable hours? Sounds pretty ridiculous to me. In the end, Michigan was adhering to the rules far better than I would have expected given the amount of regulation and the number of people involved. There's never going to be 100% compliance and there's no way that any institution on this planet is in 100% compliance with the rules they follow.

The worst part is that all of this extra scrutiny will put Michigan at a disadvantage in the future because I'm sure that other schools are violating these rules to an equal or greater extent as Michigan. We're just the only ones to get caught. Bravo Free Press. Now go Fcuk yourselves.

maizenbluenc

February 25th, 2010 at 8:54 AM ^

I hate to say this, but I am sure they're feeling pretty smug over there at the Freep. How did this happen:

a) someone in Compliance was asleep at the switch or worse, and allowed the Football Program to go a whole season without submitting CARA forms

b) someone in Compliance or in the Athletic Department leaked the CARA form findings to someone who is in the anti Rich Rod camp, who in turn leaked where to look to the Freep

c) the Freep took that and Carson Butler's statement about how much training and practice there is now-a-days, and contacted every disgruntled former player they could find, AND then prayed on naive freshmen to get some out of context quotes

d) then the Freep ignored any distinction between voluntary and mandatory workouts, and posted a sensationalized version of what actually happened (OMG RICH ROD WAS DRIVING 100 MPH, instead of Rich Rod was driving 70 in a 65)

e) they announce this the week before the season starts for maximum effect, extended news cycle uptake

and f) this brings down an NCAA investigation on a 70 in a 65 infraction (i.e., not reckless, just 5 over)

All along I knew the NCAA would find something. It's like asking the IRS to take a deep look at your tax forms. [Edit: you may not have intentionally made a false claim, but those IRS rules can be easy to misinterpret, and that auditor likely will err on the side of the government getting your money, while you're most likely to interpret it the other way.]

Yes, they would find similar infractions if they looked deeply at most programs out there.

BUT the Freep's sensationalized claims brought the NCAAs microscope to Ann Arbor.

I would bet if the Daily or aa.com posted Wahoo's analysis, the guys at the Freep would point to it and claim vindication. "Yes, we over estimated the practice time violation. That was because we misinterpreted the rules. In the end though we've done a good thing for society, because the NCAA found even more than we suspected."

The only win we can really claim, is the Freep, their informant's, and possibly a compliance insider's objective was to get Rich Rod fired. That hasn't happened.

It kills me. I wanted vindication. We don't have it.

Sorry. It sucks. It's how I feel though.

jfs52

February 25th, 2010 at 9:25 AM ^

I like this post, because it gives you a feel for the allegations. Sadly, there is actually some lapse in all of this on UM's part, and it's a shame, no matter how small the lapses may be.

I also like the reasoned approach and can now feel more comfortable than ever in my previously held opinion that the Free Press is a bunch of slobs, and malicious slobs at that. To me, a huge mischaracetization is a huge lie, and I blame a lot of the outcry from the rest of the country on the Free Press.

A lot of what this shows, actually, is how useless the NCAA can be. Lots of rules that don't make things any better.

danross

February 25th, 2010 at 9:42 AM ^

Excellent post. Unfortunately for us, enough of what the Freep wrote is true (enough) to result in probation, etc. Freep tactics suck, unfortunately they uncovered actual problems. Conventional wisdom says this stuff probably happens many places I guess, but it is still disappointing.

My question is how did we get ourselves into a situation where we were violating NCAA rules? The weirdest thing to me in reading the notice was that we were found to have violated countable hour rules on every Monday in September 2009 (see Notice section 2, d, 6), AFTER the Freep article came out. The only way that makes any sense is that either the coaches, compliance officers, AD management or all 3 really didn't understand the rules correctly. I can't imagine we would knowingly commit violations right after this mess came forth. Somebody clearly doesn't know the rules to the extent that we kept breaking them (in a somewhat trivial way, agreed) even after this went public.

It would seem that the role of "compliance staff" would be to ensure you were following rules around practice limits and coach activities, etc. Wouldn't they have been required to approve (or disapprove) of what we were doing? If they approved, they were clearly in error. If they disapproved, wouldn't this have been esclated to Bill Martin far in advance of a Freep article?

Given the fact that we don't appear to be canning RR, you would think that DB and MSC don't believe he is culpable for creating the situation. That reinforces my sense (based on no facts of course) that the real problem here (or at least one of them) is compliance.

In short, you have to kind of think that either WVU was making some of these mistakes because we have the majority of their former staff, or Michigan was making these mistakes before RR arrived. Neither is particularly appealing.

umhero

February 25th, 2010 at 10:35 AM ^

Evidently the staff assumed stretching was counted as a workout activity not a practice activity. David Brandon pointed this out during his press conference. That's why the team continued to exceed the allowable time even after the investigation started.

In my estimation, staying current with the NCAA rules can be compared to keeping up with the IRS rules. Every year honest people find that they misunderstood a component of the tax code, even when working with tax professionals.

If exceeding practice time were the only issue then this would probably not be much of an issue. The real problem seems to be the QC staff; that seems hard to defend.

Brhino

February 25th, 2010 at 9:47 AM ^

Between this journal and the front-page article from Brian and "Compliance Guy", we are getting better, more factual information here than from any national or local published news source. Great for you guys, but as a whole, pretty sad.

victors2000

February 25th, 2010 at 10:08 AM ^

As was written, all of this amounted to a great effort to get Coach Rod fired- of course with the Free Press receiving some sort of acclaim for their 'work'- which has failed. Director Brandon has stated that Coach Rodriguez will remain as head coach for the year. This type of attack will not occur again; Coach Rodriguez and Director Brandon will ensure it doesn't happen again.
We have withstood the broadside, damage control is in progress, so now what, do we counterattack? Clearly, the Free Press wrote things that were not true, starting with their headline of "Major rules violations", should we sue them or take the high road? Do we strike back or move on?

Artermis

February 25th, 2010 at 10:11 AM ^

Why do you give the FREEP the benefit of the doubt and claim things to be probably true with regards to some of the allegations?

I enjoyed the post for the most part other than the me nitpicking a couple of things you wrote.

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

February 25th, 2010 at 10:59 AM ^

If the NCAA's allegation didn't directly contradict the Freep - and in nearly all cases this was in the realm of number of hours spent - then I didn't call it false. There are more than enough falsehoods in the Freep's story that we don't need to delve into the realm of "might be false." Torture Tuesdays, for example, it seems perfectly plausible that the staff would punish players for missing class or something. And the NCAA doesn't specify whether it was the whole team doing extra work or just a few players, because to them it doesn't matter.

Just because something's true on its face doesn't make it not sleazy, though. There's almost certainly a few lies by omission in there - it's just, I don't have the proof of that. The Free Press says a few players had to do the extra Tuesday work without telling you why, and it's almost certainly punishment for misbehavior of some kind but we don't know this for sure.

Evil Empire

February 25th, 2010 at 10:25 AM ^

Bummer that there was actually some truth in the Freep's shotgun blasts, but shame on them for their approach and attitude throughout the whole thing.

The quality control guys acting as coaches is a major screwup. Someone at UM should have been smarter than that.

I still say the Freep's access to the program should be limited. There has to be a response their hatchet job tactics, and I suggest this: all other media outlets keep the access they've had for the past 24 months, and the Freep staffers get the Lloyd Carr rules.

Hemlock Philosopher

February 25th, 2010 at 10:42 AM ^

That's the key, Evil Empire. Remember back to the early days of written test answers -- 6th or 7th grade -- when teachers would take points off for giving "shotgun" answers? This seems to be exactly what the Freep did with respect to the allegations: They caught wind of violations at Michigan and took out the sawed-off .12 Gauge. They hit the target with some buck, but they also blew multiple holes in their own property.

Great work, Wahoo.

PhillipFulmersPants

February 25th, 2010 at 11:16 AM ^

Michigan is handling this the right way—taking the high road, admitting the errors, taking full responsibility, and implementing a course of to make sure it doesn't happen again. The Free Press, in their minor vindication ("… okay, so we got the specifics wrong and kind of missed the most concerning violations, and didn't really talk to anyone to verify or clarify what we were hearing from players who left the program unhappy with a coaching and system change, and we didn't bother to attribute their statements and allegations for their protection, but WE WERE RIGHT, there were violations!") … they won't do the same, unfortunately. Won't take the high road. Won't concede the imbalance and partiality of the pieces. Won't implement any kind of processes to ensure it won't happen again. So be it, because at the end of the day, the University and the football program have vastly more staying power and an eminently better brand. Darwinism will work its magic, I suspect. One organization will come out better for this in the end—if not, shame on the program and the university. Another's future is not so clear.

bronxblue

February 25th, 2010 at 11:20 AM ^

Great post. I figured that there was some smoke behind the Freep's claims, but the fire they thought they would uncover turned out to be a small camp fire, not the blazing inferno they were hoping.

Blue In NC

February 25th, 2010 at 11:30 AM ^

Great job on the analysis. I like that in some cases you gave the Freep the benefit of doubt so that your piece is more objective. Nice job. Summary: there was an issue and yes some violations but the Freep sensationalized it and in some cases it appears they were completely ignorant or intentionally misleading their readers (Hello Mitch!).

Hannibal.

February 25th, 2010 at 12:58 PM ^

Excellent summary of the whole situation. Blows any false sense of vindication for Michael Rosenberg and the Freep out of the water. The original Freep article was 5% accurate and 95% ridiculous.

Yostal

February 25th, 2010 at 1:05 PM ^

From what I can gather, the Free Press does not employ an ombudsman, which would be the perfect place to send this, because, even if everything did not get printed, I think the ombudsman would be compelled to respond to the presentation of fact.

Wahoo, great work, and I hope others continue to take the realistic approach to all things investigatory.

dahblue

February 25th, 2010 at 4:37 PM ^

A very nice analysis.
It reveals multiple truths:
1. Some of the wrong alleged by the Freep was correct.
2. Much of the wrong alleged by the Freep was incorrect.

Both UofM and the Freep did wrong. UofM seems to acknowledge their improper actions (although many fans would prefer to ignore that and just blame it all on the Freep). Freep? Your turn...

909Dewey

February 25th, 2010 at 5:13 PM ^

seven "TRUE" and five "FALSE" - Freep wins.

Sorry my friends, but it is what it is and some of these will be major violations. Next year, RichRod needs to prove either the doubters or the supporters fools; and we can all get on with how things are supposed to be.

wildbackdunesman

February 25th, 2010 at 5:37 PM ^

The Freep will win the public opinion battle and UofM deserves some sort of punishment for breaking some rules.

However, I forgot that newspapers are suppose to:

-Have an opinion writer do an investigative piece on a man he had previously and publicly said that he wanted removed from his job.

-Have that opinion writer "forget" how many players that he interviewed were currently on the team.

-Have those articles full of distortions and unfair journalism. No attempt to even explain what a countable hour is in the article?

-Sensationalize to the point where reality is left in the dust.

-Take out of context and deceive 2 true freshman who had only been on campus a few months so that you can ramp up your allegations and give them a bad name with their teammates in the process.

-Refuse to answer the criticism levied at them.

steelymax

February 25th, 2010 at 8:32 PM ^

Great work on this.

For the Freep to claim "vindication" on this story is so absurdly self-righteous.

Similarly, couldn't I just blindly charge the Freep for being "full of lies" and scour the articles for at least 1 incorrect fact and claim vindication?