A2.com: Results of CARA FOIA

Submitted by MGoShoe on August 8th, 2010 at 7:56 AM

"Michigan compliance staff frequently pushed football program - but not Rich Rodriguez - for practice-hours forms"

This A2.com story details the results of its investigation of the communications between the U-M Athletic Department Compliance Office and the football staff.  Its FOIA turned up emails and meeting agendas that back up the contention that RichRod was never informed of Compliance's attempts (from Sep 2008 until the Aug 2009 audit report) to get then-Director of Football Operations Brad Labadie to turn in the missing CARA forms.

When Michigan football players didn’t turn in forms about what cars they drove and who owned them in 2008, administrators from the university’s compliance office let head coach Rich Rodriguez know.

That wasn’t the case when football administrators didn’t turn in required forms tracking the number of hours the team practiced.

Instead, compliance office administrators spent more than a year-and-a-half cajoling football administrators to turn in the Countable Athletically Related Activities forms, but never copied Rodriguez on the e-mails.

With the university and Rodriguez headed to Seattle for meetings Friday and Saturday to defend themselves against allegations they broke five NCAA major rules, there are still no answers about exactly why the compliance office never told Rodriguez about the missing forms.

For me, the story highlights the administrative dysfunction that existed during this period within the football program.  The inattention to this aspect of compliance can be chalked up to RichRod's lack of managerial oversight of Labadie.  My speculation is that Labadie got behind on the task and when he realized it was becoming an issue, he realized that addressing it would result in unwanted negative attention to his job performance, so he continued to ignore it hoping it would just go away, but knowing it never would. 

And that's how maddingly avoidable the violations were.



August 8th, 2010 at 8:23 AM ^

Or are these new emails that the A2.com dug up? I'm curious because the paper is making it out like they just unearthed new information.

The article does raise the point I've always wondered about—where the hell was Bill Martin during all this? If there was an institutional failure to control, it was in his office, not RR's.


August 8th, 2010 at 8:32 AM ^

...was based on the documents released in the University's response to the NCAA investigation.  There's nothing in the article that indicates that the documents they received from their FOIA request matched or exceeded those that are contained in the aforementioned response, and perhaps the key point.  Not suprisingly, the University's response was comprehensive and accurate.

While I agree with you that Martin should shoulder a significant portion of the blame, the football program is RichRod's to run and he apparently failed to supervise Labadie.  That seems to me to be the most important factor, i.e., RichRod's inattention allowed Labadie's procrastination to go unchecked.


August 8th, 2010 at 8:36 AM ^

Control of Labadie and informing Rich of the CARA falls under the lap of Bill Martin not Rich. CARA is a Michigan system. To me this points directly towards the factions that existed in the AD that were trying to sabotage Rich ever since he got here. It also shows that Martin's control of the AD, outside of the financials, was poor at best. 


August 8th, 2010 at 8:54 AM ^

...the Director of Football Operations works for the Head Football Coach.  The Assistant Athletic Director for Football, Scott Draper works for the AD.

Each Head Coach is responsible for compliance within his or her program and coordinates with the AD's Compliance Office to ensure they are meeting requirements.  The article (and the University's response to the NCAA) indicates that Labadie (who worked for RichRod) was inattentive to these requirements and that during the Sep 2008 to Aug 2009 period, he ignored Compliance's repeated requests for the forms.  What we don't know is why Compliance never contacted RichRod directly about this issue either directly or via Martin.

There was a systematic failure at many levels withing the Athletic Department and within the football program.  To pretend that RichRod was an innocent victim in this is just silly.

Even if there were (are) factions that were (are) "trying to sabotage Rich ever since he got here", in this issue, he had the authority and the responsibility to monitor his program's practice compliance and he didn't. 

In the Navy we say that you can delegate authority, but you can't delegate resonsibility.  In this case, RichRod delegated authority to Labadie to administer the CARA program, but ultimately he retained the responsibility for its proper administration. 

University of Michigan head football coach Rich Rodriguez announced Tuesday (Aug. 3) during the media session of the 2010 Big Ten Kickoff Event that Mike Parrish has been promoted to Director of Football Operations. 


August 8th, 2010 at 9:17 AM ^

Hard to maintain compliance and follow university internal protocols when your director of football operations (hired under Lloyd Carr) refused to or conveniently failed to educate the head coach on CARA protocols (a Michigan policy, not NCAA, you seem to ignore this point). I am sorry but Bill Martin should have recognized the issues with Labadie. It was Labadie's responsibility to properly educate Rich on Michigan protocols to account for practice time. Rich had no knowledge of CARA (as proven by published emails and reports through FOIA by A2.com). If he had no knowledge of CARA then how the hell could he properly fill out the paperwork and insure Labadie was doing his job. Hmmmm.......

He has the authority, but he lack the proper education on oversight from day one. This completely on Bill Martin and typical of his Mickey mouse operation. 

I bet in the Navy they also properly educate your officers in proper Navy protocols during OTS.


August 8th, 2010 at 9:22 AM ^

It would seem to me that if RichRod were in fact responsible for supervising Labadie that it would have been prudent for compliance to let him know that Labadie wasn't being responsive, no?  I don't understand how you can read this article and come away with the impression that RichRod shoulders the responsibility here.

"The only compliance issue where it appears the compliance department didn’t copy Rodriguez through Maszatics was the missing CARA forms."

So he's being contacted by compliance on every issue but the CARA forms, yet somehow you have come to the conclusion that this CARA forms issue is his fault?  You can't expect RichRod to fix a problem he doesn't know exists.


August 8th, 2010 at 9:31 AM ^

...for hiring/firing and supervising the Director of Football Operations.  That's what's called an incontrovertible fact.

  • Should Compliance have notified RichRod there was a problem?  Of course they should have. 
  • Should Compliance have notified the AD?  Of course they should have. 
  • Should the AD called RichRod up for coffee and asked him what the hell was going on that he was the only coach in the entire department who couldn't get the forms in?  Of course he should have. 
  • Should RichRod have been managing his employee, Labadie?  Of course he should have.

Read what I've written again.  I'm not absolving anyone in this matter.  Everyone screwed up.  I say again, even if there was (is) a vast anti-RR conspiracy inside the Athletic Department, RichRod had the authority to prevent it from having any effect simply by providing appropriate management of his employee (whose retention was his decision, BTW), Brad Labadie.  For whatever reason, he didn't do that.  Maddeningly so.


August 8th, 2010 at 9:46 AM ^

Look.  This article made it clear that anytime there was/is an issue that compliance felt Rodriguez should be made aware of, he was contacted via email through his assistant.  That being the case, you can't expect RichRod to run around 24 hours a day micromanaging every single person in the program and making certain they are doing their job.  RichRod and staff stay within what they believe are the parameters for practice time, players fill out CARA forms and then Labadie supposedly does his job.  

The way you are describing the head coaching postition, not only is RichRod responsible for supervising his staff, he's responsible for basically doing their jobs as well.  If it's RichRod's job is to hold Labadie's hand "just in case" he doesn't turn in CARA forms, then what the hell is Labadie getting paid for?

This article made it clear that any time there is a compliance issue, RichRod is contacted by compliance.  That's how the system is supposed to work.  RichRod operates under the assumption that everyone is doing their jobs because there is an entire department dedicated to making sure that happens.   If it's not happening they let him know.  That department exists in part so that the head coach can go about the business of running a football program without the added stress of babysitting the likes of Brad Labadie.

It seems as though your expectation is for RichRod to be omniscient.  What do any of these other people, including compliance, get paid to do if it is RichRod's job to track every single step of the compliance process himself? 


August 8th, 2010 at 10:21 AM ^

...he gets paid the big bucks for.  Management is not micromanagement.  Of course he shouldn't have held Labadie's hand, but he should have held him accountable for doing his job.  That requires that he actually inquire as to how things are going. 

This notion that RichRod didn't know about the CARA requirement is fiction.  He was briefed on the program just as all other Michigan coaches are briefed.  From the article:

On Jan. 11, 2008, less than a month after he took full control of the Michigan football team, Rodriguez and members of the university’s compliance office sat down for their initial meeting.

The meeting covered more than 20 topics ranging from the role of outside boosters in the program to a review of the 2002 basketball infractions, according to an agenda of the meeting. Also on the agenda was a conversation about the monthly submission of CARA logs.

At the meeting, the compliance office pointed out the university had an “unequivocal commitment to rules compliance.”

That meeting was hardly the last time the compliance office and Rodriguez would get together or communicate.

On Feb. 19, 2008, the compliance office met again with Rodriguez. On the agenda line for CARA forms is a statement that said “NCAA survey on football s-a timepractice a major issue at NCAA Convention. Also, late forms and possible blank forms signed by players.”

The CARA forms were required to be signed by the head coach and apparently early in his tenure, these forms were submitted and presumably RichRod signed them. 

I've said repeatedly that practicegate was the result of poor management, not nefarious doings to extract the maximum amount from the student-athletes as was alleged in the initial, disproven Freep article.  But the idea that RichRod wasn't part of the mismanagement is willfully naive and laughable. 

His contract is to run a program.  A program has many facets including on an off field preparation, on field execution, dealing with the media, managing a staff of coaches and administrators.  A head coach's job is immensely complex and difficult and it requires a competent, loyal and hard working staff.  It's unfortunate that there was a weak link in the organization and it's unfortunate that RichRod (perhaps understandably) failed to recognize that weak link, but ultimately, it's RichRod's program and he bears the responsibility for its shortcomings. 


August 8th, 2010 at 10:36 AM ^

telling the NCAA that he never told RR about being behind on the forms because he was embarrassed.  So you ultimately have a guy, Labadie, who failed to do his job and then actively kept his boss, RR, in the dark about his failure.



August 8th, 2010 at 11:24 AM ^

But when Labadie doesn't inform RR, isn't it RR's responsibility to be all "hey, where the hell is the monthly CARA update?"

I don't get why people are jumping down MGoShoe's back on this one - he's totally correct.  Should RR be expected to micromanage every employee?  No.

But it's his program.  It's his responsibility to stay informed on all matters and make sure that the ship is sailing smoothly.  Would it really have been that hard for him to institute a policy where a copy of the monthly CARA forms are turned in to his secretary and he immediately gets pinged if they're a day late?  No. 

The good thing: since he wasn't aware of it, he shouldn't be accused of trying to skirt the system for extra practice hours.  But the fact that he wasn't aware of it doesn't exactly shine brightly on his managerial processes.


August 8th, 2010 at 11:39 AM ^

Would it really have been that hard for him to institute a policy where a copy of the monthly CARA forms are turned in to his secretary and he immediately gets pinged if they're a day late?  No. 


This is completely unreasonable to expect him to do this.  What would be the reasoning behind him instituting such a policy?  The forms go to compliance and it's their job to make sure that they are being turned in?  Now it's the head coaches job to make sure that compliance is doing theirs?

When Rich arrived on campus, there was no known issue with the CARA forms and the entire administration was following the same procedure it always had, yet you want to somehow point fingers at the new guy for not having the foresight to put policies in place to double check everyone's work?  WTF  


August 8th, 2010 at 11:56 AM ^

No, I don't expect him to double check everyone's work.  But he is the guy at the top.  When there's a form that requires his signature that is months late, shouldn't his secretary be letting him know that?

Yes, people were trying to hide their laziness from him and that makes it difficult for him to do his job.  But to think that Rich Rod has no control or no reason to be on top of compliance is a little naive.  Don't you think every college football coach deals with compliance issues?  It's not like its a foreign subject that he is only tangentially related (like, say, who's in charge of repairing the team bus).  It's a major subject that should inform many of the decisions he makes.  As such, its a little disappointing that there wasn't some kind of policy to prevent this.  And in the end, it becomes RR's responsiblity to oversee issues that directly relate to the football program.  Am I saying he deserves much blame?  No.  But some. 

Similar to how Brandon took blame for the whole incident.  We all know that was bogus, but in the end, the boss is responsible.


August 8th, 2010 at 12:10 PM ^

So why didn't Lloyd have this policy in place?  Should we blame Lloyd?  Do you believe there is a single head coach in any sport at Michigan who requires copies of CARA forms to be turned in directly to them each month?  How long do you think it takes the compliance to department to verify the CARA forms for the entire football team each month?  How long do you think it would take one person (RichRod) to do this?  It's completely unreasonable to expect a head coach to take on this additional responsibility when they are already paying people to do this.  

I would guess that asking the head coach to do this is so "out there" that it hasn't even been considered as part of the procedural changes that have been made since this whole mess began.  My guess is that any changes that have been made to procedure don't involve the head coach at all outside of telling other people to do their jobs by informing the head coach when something is awry.  My guess is that even now nobody is asking RichRod to collect copies of CARA forms  and make certain that they are complete and correct each month because that's not his job.  That's what other people get paid to do. 


August 8th, 2010 at 12:20 PM ^

How long does it take to email a form to RR's secretary?  How much of RR's time does it take for the secretary to say "I got this month's CARA form" ?  You're twisting my words into something I'm not saying.

I don't know why you are assuming that I'm saying RR should be doing the forms himself or double checking them.  I'm not.  All I'm saying is that as the Manager of the Football Program, he should probably be aware.  I'm asking the questions the compliance office is going to ask.  There is a reason they are calling him in.  If RR (or anyone in a managerial position) just assumes that everyone is doing their job, he's probably not doing his own job.  This is all about accountability.

Someone didn't hold Labadie accountable.  That would appear to have been Draper?  Who's holding Draper accountable?  At what point does it get to RR?  What simple steps could have prevented this?  All I'm suggesting is that if someone up top - RR or BM - was more aware and demanded accountability, this probably would have been solved.


August 8th, 2010 at 12:33 PM ^

Sorry, I misunderstood what you were saying.


Still, the following point stands:

Compliance contacted RichRod through his secretary for all issues relating to compliance except for the CARA forms.  Obviously, it would be reasonable for him to expect compliance contact him regarding any issues with those forms as well.  There would never be any reason for him to believe it necessary to contact compliance and ask them to let him know that the forms have been turned in when he is operating under the assumption (rightfully so, imo) that they will contact him when they aren't turned in, anyway.


August 8th, 2010 at 11:39 AM ^

or jumping on MGoShoe.  I just think he is assigning way too much blame to RR in this situation.  Does RR bear responsibility in this mess?  absolutely and I don't intend to absolve him of this.


My issue is that if he is unaware that the forms are late and the individual he assigns to the forms keeps him in the dark, there is little he can do.  And the processes you're asking him to setup would be a first for a UM coach.  According to UM's response, the CARA form issue extending back into Carr's tenure.  When RR took over, forms from the previous fall still had not been turned in.  Carr was not copied on these requests either.  (And please do not read this as a Carr v. RR comment).


So again all I'm really saying is that RR does bear responsibilit but he can accomplish so much when you have employees hiding their failures from you.


August 8th, 2010 at 10:48 AM ^

 I can't even bother to read all that.  You're just flat out wrong.  When it comes time for Labadie to go through his annual review every year, do you think it's Rich Rodriguez who sits down with him and performs the review?  Do you really believe that the head football coach is his direct supervisor when it comes to judging Labadie's job performance regarding CARA forms and whatever other duties compliance requires of him?  The answer is an emphatic NO.  

As someone else mentioned above.  Draper was his direct supervisor and Draper answered to Martin.   

I don't know how to get you to understand this concept.  Maybe an analogy will help:

Let's say the team travels to Notre Dame and finds that they are missing twenty or so jerseys.  Who's fault is that?  Where does the responsibility ultimately lie?  Does "the buck stops here" apply to EVERYTHING in the program?  I mean, technically Falk works for Rich Rodriguez and the people under Falk do as well, correct?  So do you believe in that instance that RichRod "partially" shoulders the blame as well?  After all, he is HEAD of the football program. 


August 8th, 2010 at 10:59 AM ^

...RichRod was briefed on the requirement for CARA forms.  He's supposed to sign every single CARA form.  He didn't sign any CARA forms for almost a year.  He, like every Head Coach in the Department is responsbile for the administration of a program, not just for coaching a team on Saturdays.

Again, I draw you back to my main point.  The article highlights the seemingly inexplicable lack of management oversight of Labadie.  You say it was Martin and Draper who should have been on top of this and RichRod was just an overburdened coach who was the victim of evil forces in the Athletic Department who seemingly wanted him to fail (including, apparently, the guy who hired him).  I say they all are to blame including RichRod.  Regardless of who's right, the fact still remains that the whole stinking mess was agonizingly avoidable but for a few folks who were too lazy to do their jobs.


August 8th, 2010 at 11:09 AM ^

where do you have this irrefutable evidence that the Director of Football answers to the coach and not the AD? you've ranted on and on while condescendingly decrying anyone else's stance because this point is "irrefutable" and yet I see no evidence that is the case. in fact, it makes more sense that the Director of Football operates as an extension of the Athletic Director. the announcement of the hiring doesn't mean RR was the one who did it, it's the passing on of information relevant to the program within a football environment. if RR announced at a banquet that Ron English's wife was pregnant, this doesn't Rodriguez was the dad, it means that someone attached to the program had news and used that as a forum.

oh and for the sake of "proof"


"I've been looking for a move out of athletics since our third child was born a couple years ago," [Labadie] said Wednesday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. He said he has accepted a job as an account representative for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
"It was a hard decision, but I'm excited about it and I'm very thankful for my time at Michigan," he said.
Athletic director Dave Brandon confirmed the move Wednesday and stressed it was made for family reasons.

why is Brandon confirming something that he's not the supervisor of? very ODD


August 8th, 2010 at 1:00 PM ^

...since you're putting quotes around things you purport I wrote, I actually said incontrovertible, not irrefutable.  Also, I thought I was having a perfectly normal back and forth with cbus and others who disagreed with me.  None of them indicated I was being condescending and there was no vitriol contained in any of my posts (and I didn't read any in their posts).

Feel free to disagree with me, but leave the attacks out, k?

Whether or not the Director of Football Ops' chain-of-command includes (my contention) or doesn't include (many others here) the head coach, the bottom line is still that the coach is responsible for compliance in his program, not the Director of Football Operations. And none of this is at odds with my overall point that some basic oversight and management on everyone's part would have nipped this whole thing in the bud.  


August 8th, 2010 at 1:11 PM ^

Whether or not the Director of Football Ops' chain-of-command includes (my contention) or doesn't include (many others here) the head coach, the bottom line is still that the coach is responsible for compliance in his program, not the Director of Football Operations. And none of this is at odds with my overall point that some basic oversight and management on everyone's part would have nipped this whole thing in the bud. 

I am of the opinion the Director of Football Operations is under the guidance of the athletic director and deputy director. A2.com has previously published emails from Rich and his admin asst. asking for the proper forms for compliance. These emails were ignored by Labadie and Draper. In fact many of these forms were already unfiled for 12 months (as reported in the NCAA report) at the time Rich took office as the head coach. This points to mismanagement even during Lloyd's tenure. Shouldn't Lloyd have recognized this issue as well?

Your point that more stringent management would have nipped this in the bud is correct. However, stringent management was not a trait of Bill Martin's tenure. I am will ing to contend that nefarious forces may not been at work in the AD against Rich. It is more likely just two lazy and incompetent individuals (Labadie and Draper).


August 8th, 2010 at 11:30 AM ^

"and RichRod was just an overburdened coach who was the victim of evil forces in the Athletic Department who seemingly wanted him to fail (including, apparently, the guy who hired him). "

Please don't put words in my mouth.  I never said any of this, nor do I believe it.

" You say it was Martin and Draper who should have been on top of this "

Somebody needed to be.  Everybody involved in this investigation was here when RichRod arrived on campus AND they were using procedures that were in place before he arrived AND the problem with the CARA forms was going on for a year prior to his taking the job.  Yet somehow, you still manage to place the blame for this on RichRod.


August 8th, 2010 at 1:09 PM ^

...a lot of folks, RichRod included. I'm responding to the general idea that he was somehow not responsible for any of this which I think is patently ridiculous.

You certainly didn't say anything about a cabal, I responded to your post instead of the duck dude who did say that.  My comment was not directed at you, but that sentiment, which is certainly out there.

Before RichRod arrived, the forms and process were in place and they were submitted.  I haven't implied nor do I believe that he actively prevented them from following the normal process.  I said that one guy (Labadie) didn't do his job.  Compliance didn't up the ante when they couldn't get him to do his job.  The AD was seemingly informed of the issue and seemingly never raised it with the coach.  The coach, who's ultimately responsible for his program didn't properly oversee Labadie (whether or not that position reports to the coach, program compliance is still the coach's responsibility). 


August 8th, 2010 at 2:37 PM ^

...findings only address the period between Jan 2008 and Sep 2009.  There's nothing in the documents that I can see that indicates that this was an issue during Carr's tenure. If someone can find a citation to that effect, I'm certainly open to changing my stance on that point.

As to RichRod's culpability in this matter, here's what the University said in it's response to the NCAA (pdf) on page 10 of the Intro:

Despite its persistent requests, the CSO received no CARA forms, and thus, for 18 months [Jan 2008 - Sep 2009], did not know whether the football program had complied with Bylaw 17. The CSO neither notified Rodriguez that football had submitted no CARA forms, nor did it seek his assistance to obtain the CARA forms until late July 2009. Rodriguez first learned of the absene of CARA forms in July 2009 when he received a memorandum from the University auditors. The University again believes both share some responsibility: the CSO should have notified Rodriguez long before it did, and Rodriguez should have paid closer attention to his subordinates to ensure they performed their duties in an appropriate and timely manner.

I think the bolded section is exactly what I've been saying and since the University refers to "subordinates", I'd say this is my proof that the Director of Football Operations works for the Head Coach and isn't on some sort of dotted line. Exhibit 2 of the response is the listing of football staff, bios and description of duties. Brad Labadie's duties including serving as a resource to athletes for issues outside of football and academics and assisting in recruiting activities.  These duties are a clear indication that he works for the Head Coach as no one with recruiting duties would not.  In one email, Scott Draper and Judy Van Horn discuss the problems CSO is having with Labadie and Draper refers to himself as Labadie's supervisor.  So, it appears to me that in spite of his title, Draper is also one of Rodriguez's "subordinates" who were responsible for submission of CARA forms to CSO. 

There's also a footnote on that page that says:

The CSO sent monthly e-mail reminders to all head coaches to submit their CARA forms for the preceding month, but these forms [probably should have said reminders] did not alert Rodriguez to the fact that Labadie had not submitted CARA forms for previous months.

So the University says that RichRod was getting monthly reminders about the forms and did nothing to ensure that his subordinate (Labadie) was actually doing them. That is a perfect example of the poor management that I've alleged and it belies the contention from many on this post that this issue was beneath RichRod's attention because CSO was expressly putting it into his job jar -- montly.  Interestingly, exhibit 18 is an example of one of these emails and in the To: line, it's addressed to the distro list "Coaches".  Since the A2.com article indicates that RichRod doesn't have an email address, I have to assume since they say he was notified that the "Coaches" distro includes his secretary, but there's no way of knowing that from the document dump. 

/Yes, I know this is tl and some wr.


August 8th, 2010 at 3:11 PM ^

you keep rattling off that as your major excuse instead of accepting the fact you have no direct, clear evidence that proves it, conceding such, and moving on with other arguments or none at all. if i believed something to be true but had no compelling evidence, i would say as much and move on instead of grasping at fragments i think are indicative and continuing with the assertion as if it's proven. all you've shown is various other people saying they are this man's subordinate and show the NCAA pluralized subordinates, indicating more than one person. the latter, i believe, is more about secretaries and grad assistants tasked with such and not one individual person.

so, in tl;dr shorthand, until you can construct a hierarchy that is compelling and incontrovertible, stop asserting that this is the case. just as many people have shown, imo, more compelling arguments and still did not exert their proofs as authoritatively as you seem to be. it makes you look like you're unwilling to concede anything and comes off aggressive... like a know it all imo.


August 8th, 2010 at 10:16 PM ^

in which he connects X to Z without Y. he finds RR announcing the new hire without proving it was RR who would be in charge of the new guy/hired him/whatever. if he doesn't have a link that says the Director works under RR, he shouldn't assert that he's ultimately right and everyone else's wrong.

i also noticed "me" has shot down several of his assertions to no response or rescinding the assertions.


August 8th, 2010 at 3:09 PM ^

There's nothing in the documents that I can see that indicates that this was an issue during Carr's tenure. If someone can find a citation to that effect, I'm certainly open to changing my stance on that point.


Page 71 of RR's response states:

"Even before Rodriguez arrived at Michigan, the football program had historically been late in submitting CARA forms to the compliance staff. For example, when Rodriguez arrived in January 2008, the compliance staff had not received CARA forms from football dating to August 2007."


His response goes on to state:


Brad Labadie was responsible for completing and submitting CARA forms before Rodriguez arrived and he kept that responsibility after Rodriguez became head coach. Rodriguez changed nothing about the CARA form process that was already in place when he arrived.


Under the procedure in existence when Rodriguez arrived, the head coach had no involvement for completing or submitting the CARA forms. Labadie was responsible for completing the forms, obtaining student-athlete signatures and submitting them to the compliance staff.



Tony Soprano

August 8th, 2010 at 11:01 AM ^

the CEO of a company is responsible for that guy that stole an extra pack of pens out of the office supply cabinet, the guy who's browsing the internet instead of working, and the lady who's always 5 minutes late to work each day..


August 8th, 2010 at 10:17 AM ^

I can't be 100% sure, but I'm fairly confident assuming that the retention of Labadie after all this was released was simply so a man with years of service wasn't dragged through the mud with a public firing.

Once the dust settled, he quietly snuck out the back door and on to his next job.

I'd be shocked if he never got a "WTF are you doing" loud voiced talking to during the whole process.


August 8th, 2010 at 10:38 AM ^

The history here seems to indicate that Draper and Labadie were a team.  I wouldn't be surprised if Labadie reported directly to Draper, not Rodriguez.  As I recall, Compliance DID inform Draper and he didn't follow up.  We shouldn't ignore or minimize Draper's role in all of this.  At the very least, he should have been responsible for keeping the ship running steady during the transition. 

RR arrived amid a boatload (if you'll excuse another pun) of problems - some self-inflicted PR issues and a roster deleted from years of neglect.  Keeping Draper and Labadie in place seems like a good decision under those circumstances in the sense that there was no apparent reason to believe there were any administrative issues with the program.

In the end, I'm not sure your incontrovertible fact is so incontrovertible.  I'm not ready to concede that RR had carte blanche to terminate Draper and Labadie on Day 1 - or any other day.  The incontrovertible fact here is the Martin was responsible - in every sense and at every time.  It seems quite clear that Brandon's rapid appearance is due primarily to the need for NCAA damage control - and Martin obviously wasn't the guy for that.

Another reasonably-inferred fact is that Rodriquez trusted Martin to be sure that administration would be properly taken care of - as it had seemingly been done in the past - while RR focused his attention on the real problems.  And finally, yet another reasonably-inferred fact is that RR has had it with the Carr-era holdovers and, now that he has Brandon's full support, he demanded that Labadie be terminated and an RR guy be put in that position.

The bottom line here is that Martin, Draper, and Labadie have full responsibility here.  To the extent that Rodriguez has responsibility - organizational or actual - it is far overshadowed by the fact that he was victimized by this edition of the Three Stooges.


August 8th, 2010 at 10:49 AM ^

Is there evidence that RR's failure to manage Labadie extended into other issues and areas? If there is, I think the case for RR's management failure is more clear cut and comprehensive. If the failure to manage is limited to this issue of Labadie's failure to provide CARA forms, which we all agree is due to the fact that RR was kept out of the loop, I guess I don't agree that it demonstrates a pattern of mis-management on RR's part.


August 8th, 2010 at 1:27 PM ^

boatload of posts in reply to this, I think MGoShoe's best response is this:

RichRod was briefed on the requirement for CARA forms.  He's supposed to sign every single CARA form.  He didn't sign any CARA forms for almost a year.  He, like every Head Coach in the Department is responsbile for the administration of a program, not just for coaching a team on Saturdays.



Assuming that he was briefed on the CARA forms and his responsibility to sign them (instead of assuming that Lloyd Carr came into his office and told him to wipe his ass with them), I don't see how RR can be blameless for this failure.  Sure, he wasn't getting the e-mails from compliance like he should have been and LaDipshit wasn't doing his job at all.  However, RR knows that he hasn't signed a single CARA form in months.  He also knows that the forms required his signature.  I think should have concluded from that information that there was a problem with the CARA forms.  It probably just slipped his mind with all of his other responsibilities, which makes his mistake understandable but not excusable.    We can argue about who LaDipshit answers to all we want, but I don't see that as very relevant to RR's biggest mistake. 


August 8th, 2010 at 9:43 AM ^

However, if RR has no idea that these CARA forms even exist until he has been on the job for 18 months, how in the hell is he supposed to track them down? Those forms are a UM thing, not an NCAA thing. I do find it odd that some light bulb didn't click on with the veteran players on the roster when these forms that they have been filling out every week just stop showing up for 18 months, without mixing in a question or two about why they don't have to account for their time anymore.


August 8th, 2010 at 11:32 AM ^

Rodriguez would have (read: was) been briefed on the CARA forms.

For the sake of argument lets assume he wasn't.  Does anyone here disagree with the notion that when RR took over those are the types of questions he should have asked?  "What type of compliance program do you guys run?  What's my role in it?  What's the hierarchy?  Who reports to who?  How am I informed when we may have scheduling issues?  Who needs to approve my practice schedule?"  And so on.

If the AD didn't inform RR of this stuff - which seems as likely as me dating Gisele Bundchen - then it's RR's responsibility to ask.


August 8th, 2010 at 11:49 AM ^

What if he did ask all of those questions?  What if he was told that Brad Labadie was responsible for collecting the CARA forms and turning them over to compliance and that Brad Labadie had been doing just that for years?  What if he was told that if the forms weren't turned in to compliance, he would be notified?


August 8th, 2010 at 12:03 PM ^

Then he deserves very little blame for all this.  Which I think is exactly what happened.  But in the end, he should know the forms are out there.  He should probably want a copy or at least want his secretary to file a copy.  Why?  For reasons just like this.

I'm not saying RR is responsible for the forms not getting done, but he probably could have done a little more to keep himself aware.  Unless everyone in the world - including his secretary - was conspiring against him.  Personally, I left my tin foil hat in the office today so I don't see it like that.

And honostly, most of us - me included - probably would have done the same thing as RR.  We would have trusted people below us to do their job.  It's not a huge mistake and I'm not trying to make it out to be.  In my experience, that's the difference between very good managers and great managers.  Great managers go far beyond what is expected to hold everyone accountable.  It's probably something RR will learn from, which in the end is a good thing.  Hell, I've learned from it and I'm just sitting in front of my computer.


August 8th, 2010 at 11:31 AM ^

If anyone ever tried to figure out the real reasons people in the offices I've worked in do the things they do, or don't do, you're not going to find them all in official emails sent up the chain or down.

I'd suggest this. Find out who Labadie was close with in the department outside of those official chains, and search THOSE emails. eg, if he was tight with someone on, say, the equipment staff, or whatever.

We're all more likely to 'spill it all' -- whining, spilling, etc -- to those outside those official chains of command.

And if any of his or anyone else's intention was to set anybody up, well, they'd just be plain stupid to have written anything like that in an office email. They are all reminded regularly, I'm sure, that their emails are all FOIA subjectable, so I doubt any of that would ever turn up in a search.

At least not between the principals.

Re Rich Rod and signing the UM CARA forms -- why would UM make him or any other head coach responsible for signing off-season forms when they're not supposed to be observing any of their hours, countable or otherwise? Doesn't make sense.




August 8th, 2010 at 2:04 PM ^

for one of the site's most trusted and thoughtful contributers, tend to fall under the heading of killing the messenger or--more simply--not liking the message.

I have never understood this aspect of site behavior. If you don't like the message or don't agree, cool--use your words, as I always say to my six-year-old. Save the negs (and our esteem for you) by nailing offensive posts, not ones that are carefully thought out but make you vaguely uncomfortable. (If you're just saluting everytime the RichRod flag is run up the poll, you're not going to be too pleased with Brian long-term, either.) Let's have a reality-based community here. Shoe is not saying RichRod is an idiot, he is saying he had ultimate oversight as effective boss.