Blog post about Mack Brown by one of his former players

Submitted by FrankMurphy on December 16th, 2013 at 2:46 PM

One of Mack Brown's former players, O-lineman Chris Hall who played for the Longhorns 2005-2009, wrote a heartfelt tribute to Brown on his personal blog. It's a worthwhile read, particularly the part in which he talks about his recruiting visit:

http://chrishall.org/post/70188867939/mack-brown-my-coach-a-players-perspective

Mack Brown seems like a decent guy. There were never any scandals or rampant mischief under his watch at Texas, which is pretty remarkable since he was there for 16 years. Puts things in perspective a bit. I would rather have a coach who is a good man, wins consistently, and runs a clean program than one whose program contends for the national championship every single season but also consistently generates the wrong kind of headlines.

EDIT: It's also worth noting that under Brown, Texas had one of the most proactive and well-staffed compliance departments in the country. This article details some of the procedures they put their players through. Back when USC was hammered by the NCAA, I remember reading an article contrasting USC's "we had no way of knowing" excuse with one former Texas player's account of everything he had to go through with UT's compliance office just to get his car's brakes fixed.

Comments

FrankMurphy

December 16th, 2013 at 3:44 PM ^

Maybe, but that doesn't mean Lloyd didn't leave on his own terms. He actually tried to retire after the '07 Rose Bowl, but Bill Martin and MSC talked him into staying one more year (which makes the epic clusterf*ck that Martin's search had become before Rich Rod landed in his lap all the more inexcusable).  

Dr. Merp McMerpleton

December 16th, 2013 at 4:57 PM ^

If that really did happen, then it speaks to just how intelligent Martin ("I'M ON A BOAT") and Mary Sue ("I LLLLLOVVVVEEEE WHISKEY BEFORE FOOOTBALLLLLLLLL GAMESSSSSSS") are with regard to football programs.

Maybe it was a mutual agreement after a few games into the 2007 season, I don't know.  But it seems rather illogical to offer the coach one more year, instead of just paying him off to quit.  I'm guessing the 11-0 run in 2006 could partially explain it, but it still seems very, very odd.  

Blue Durham

December 16th, 2013 at 5:20 PM ^

Just because things "seem very odd" doesn't make unfounded conclusions any more true. Carr's imminent retirement was widely speculated before the season began, but really heated up after the Appalachian State debacle. That game and Oregon probably did have an effect, though, and that was to all but guarantee an external hire. Debord and English were not going to be considered.

And to the allusion to Mary Sue Coleman's drinking before speaking at half time - you do realize that this has been attributed to her not being aware of the few second time delay between her words and when they are broadcast over the stadium. This apparently can have a great affect someone's speaking pattern.

The Baughz

December 16th, 2013 at 2:57 PM ^

I totally agree with good guy who runs a clean program. This brings me to my next point. My OSU buddy and I were watching the Youngstown Boys 30 for 30 the other night and we got to talking about the sanctions they received. He said he was fine with the departure of Clarett and the firing of Tressel since they won a national championship together and led them to getting Meyer in the long run. Also, he said he did not care about any sanctions, bowl bans or black eyes for the program, as long as they win and beat Michigan. The fact that their worst season came with an interim head coach and led to hiring Meyer, I guess I can see his point. Typical Buckeye, I know.

Just curious how many of you Michigan fans would trade the past several mediocre seasons for sanctions, bowl bans, firings if it meant a national champinship, multiple BCS appearances, and beating OSU 9 outta 10 times? 

AriGold

December 16th, 2013 at 3:01 PM ^

I would gladly sacrifice the 2 losing seasons under RR for beating OSU 9 out of 10 times and winning NC's....the suspensions were mostly about players getting paid and Tressel playing stupid....I would gladly take that bad single year (with the future of a functional offense) then the shit Michigan has endured the past 5 years (minus the Sugar Bowl season)

StephenRKass

December 16th, 2013 at 3:20 PM ^

Nope, I don't want any sanctions at Michigan, ever. Either win the right way or don't win at all. This is one of the reasons I am very thankful that Hoke, Mattison, and Borges are at Michigan. I don't feel the need to throw mud and cast aspersions on other coaches or teams, but there are coaches who have been run up the flagpole who I wouldn't want in a million years at Michigan.

I'm not so naive as to think that many winning teams haven't cut corners. But the less you cut corners, the better. And when you know something is wrong, you need to not do it.

The NCAA has created problems by ridiculous, picayune, idiotic rules and regulations. It is difficult to ever be in complete compliance. Worse, they sometimes focus on all the minutiae of the rule book, and miss the big picture.

But whether big or small, I would much prefer that Michigan programs do things the right way. There are some inherent advantages Michigan has (facilities, history of success, great University, family atmosphere.) There are some inherent disadvantages (not in the south, hard school to get into, not a ton of 4 & 5 star talent in the State of Michigan.) Regardless of these advantages and disadvantages, we need to do things the right way, all the time, and settle things on the playing field.

This is why, despite the good things that happened in basketball 20 some years ago, there can't be a full embrace of the Fab-5 and of Steve Fisher. I loved watching those teams, and I'm not as vindictive as some Michigan fans. but there's been a lack of ownership for the wrong things that happened, and winning that way just is wrong.

The question you pose is like the Churchill quote:

“Churchill: "Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?" Socialite: "My goodness, Mr. Churchill... Well, I suppose... we would have to discuss terms, of course... "
Churchill: "Would you sleep with me for five pounds?"
Socialite: "Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!" Churchill: "Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price”

I don't care if Michigan was guaranteed success over Ohio, and National Championships galore, we'd just be whoring after success at any cost, and selling out our character. Once your character and your integrity are gone, they don't come back quickly.

AriGold

December 16th, 2013 at 3:32 PM ^

to take the high road and say you don't want any sanctions/blemishes on the program's history...but when the only violations are paying kids a fraction of what they make for their school I find it hard to take such a high road (granted a whole other topic, but the main reasons for suspensions remain so)....and answer me this, say we go 7-5 next year (which is highly likely with Borges sticking around and 3 hard road games @ ND, MSU and OSU), are you going to continue being fine with that level of production???

highestman

December 16th, 2013 at 4:17 PM ^

I don't think anyone said they were satisfied with a 7-5 season. We just recognize that we are more likely to suffer through a 7-5 season because we are not willing to sell out our morals and run a shady program (i.e. pays kids, takes kids with character issues, ignores/cheats academics, etc). Doing it with class and sticking to your convictions is the harder way, but it is the core of what unites us as Michigan fans, and gives us a sense of self idendity with the team.

So if all you care about are NC's, then go root somewhere else. We expect to be a team that competes every year for a title,  but when we don't, we still take pride in knowing we run a clean program that develops our players both on and off the field.  

AriGold

December 16th, 2013 at 4:29 PM ^

about letting kid's grades slip by/cheating or kids with character issues...but these kids should be getting stipends at the bare minimum for the amount of money they bring in to the school...I care about winning B1G championships and having coaches who understand the need to adjust their play-calling to the talent they have...a NC is just a myth at this point to the program until our Offense can move the ball against teams like Akron and UConn

highestman

December 16th, 2013 at 5:20 PM ^

Ok, changing rules to provide student athletes more money is a totally different argument. Nor is anyone arguing that we won't win a NC without adjusting our offense to move the ball better. Everyone wants to win B10 championships and have coaches that know how to call plays; we're saying we would not sacrifice the integridy of the program or the school to accomplish those things.

StephenRKass

December 16th, 2013 at 8:08 PM ^

Ari Gold, it is better to do what you know is the right thing, whether anybody will ever know or not. It is better to remember and remind yourself of what you're committed to do, because otherwise, your heart and your eyes will instead lead you down the wrong path. Who doesn't want to win? Who doesn't want success and glory? But at what price? It is better to play by the rules, with less frequent success, than to cheat in order to succeed more often.

I actually believe that Michigan will be at least 8 - 4 next year, and I'm predicting 9 - 3 or 10 - 2 (and I'd be willing to make a friendly wager based on your prediction that Michigan' goes 7 - 5.) But you know, here's the thing about 7 - 5. It is when things are hard, it is when you're hurting, that you're probably most tempted to cut corners. If I personally had to choose between 7 - 5 doing things the right way, or 10 - 2 by cheating, I'd still choose to do the right thing.

As regards your comments on paying college players, I don't have a problem with that, provided that it is regulated in some reasonable fashion. I think it is ridiculous that athletes who come from extremely challenging circumstances don't have some allowance made for their family poverty. So many Michigan students come from what I would call wealth, and can afford to do things that athletes on scholarships can only dream of. There's something wrong with that.

FrankMurphy

December 16th, 2013 at 3:23 PM ^

Lately I've been thinking about Hoke's introductory press conference, in which he said that his goal was to win the B1G championship every season, but that it wasn't necessarily his goal to win a national championship. Could it be that he was implying that he wasn't willing to make the ethical sacrifices necessary to contend for the national championship every season? Looking back at the teams who played for the last five national championships, the majority of them had huge ethical question marks: Alabama (oversigning, DJ Fluker), Notre Dame (alleged rape victim suicide), LSU (D.J. McCarthy, Will Lyles), Auburn (Cam Newton), and Oregon (Will Lyles).

College football has become increasingly cuttthroat over the past ten years, and it seems like some amount of shadiness is necessary to compete at the highest level these days. I know it's frustrating to all of us that Michigan hasn't even come close to playing in the NCG since '06, but I don't think it would be worth it to have Michigan on that list if we have to take the parentheses that come with it.  

GoBLUinTX

December 16th, 2013 at 4:54 PM ^

he said it, he then explained it.  The goal is to win the B1G championship every year.  That is an accomplishment which is self-deteriminate.  A team either gets to and wins the B1G championship game or they don't.  They control their own destiny.  On the other hand the NC depends on "style" points and who you impress and to some degree is based on what you did the previous year so that your pre-season stock is up.  Even with a playoff next year, there will be a committee to determine which four teams will participate.

Long story short, Hoke was saying his biggest concern is with that which he can control, and not that of which he has no control.

Hannibal.

December 16th, 2013 at 4:20 PM ^

I would take it in a heartbeat.  Absolutely no questions asked.  OSU fans are enjoying their football program a lot more than we have enjoyed ours.  The rules about amateurism are questionable, so I have absolutely no moral qualms about violating them, and this is definitely one situation where the saying "everybody does it" applies. 

Even the premise of having to accept bowl bans and sanctions isn't a sure thing.  Auburn bought Cam Newton and didn't get a slap on the wrist.  Oregon bribed a scout with university funds to steer a 5* RB there, and they got barely a slap on the wrist.  OSU got a one year bowl ban after ten years of massive cheating.

I have had more than enough "losing with honor" to last a lifetime.  If the rules themselves had a moral basis, I would feel differently about this, but they don't.  The rules of amateurism are arbitrary and based on an ideal that doesn't exist.

FrankMurphy

December 16th, 2013 at 4:41 PM ^

The problem with that logic is that that schools who break the (admittedly arbitrary) rules put those who don't at an unfair disadvantage.It's kind of analogous to taxes: a lot of the IRS' rules are arbitrary, excessively complex, and unfair, but that doesn't mean that I have any sympathy for tax cheats. If I should have to play by the rules, then so should everyone else.  

The FannMan

December 16th, 2013 at 5:27 PM ^

Here's the thing - that this is even a choice shows how broken the NCAA is.

There is no way that a school - any school - should be able to do what OSU did and be anywhere near a NCG two years later.  It should have been hammered into peices.  That is, if the rules are actually rules.  

The fact is that the NCAA is just stacks of "rules" with the enforcement power of a wet paper towel. There is an argument that OSU did it right - provided minimal cooperation, trusted its players going to the NFL to keep silent, got through the Fickle year, and moved on.   This isn't "the right way" to do things, but I'll be damned if it ain't effective and doesn't pay those bills.  If you are an Al Davis-kinda fan, this works.  Increasingly, those who do it "the right way" are coming up three yards short and playing on December 28.  This should not be.

There needs to be a replacement to the NCAA because it just doesn't work anymore.  There needs to be an understanding of the rules (all out pay for play or cost-plus or whatever) and the ability to actually punish violators.  

 

Reader71

December 17th, 2013 at 1:58 AM ^

He was 6-7 against Ohio. That is a losing record. But a bounce of the ball one way or another and we might win the 2002, 2004, 2006 games. Maybe hold a 7-6 record.

Tressel owned him, but he owned Cooper. M and Ohio are evenly matched squads. I'd be very happy with 7-6 from Coach Hoke. I'd be fine with a close-but-in-our-favor record against Ohio for all eternity.

Coach Carr was a great coach. We wish we were winning at Carr levels right now.

oriental andrew

December 16th, 2013 at 3:01 PM ^

In the context of that blog post, it seems baffling to me that so many are viewing the post as a defense of why Mack Brown should not have resigned.  Then again, I look back at Lloyd Carr's legacy and similar things could have been said about him as a leader of men and not just of football players, while others couldn't see the distinction between his character and most recent coaching performance.  

Granted, the legacy may have been tainted somewhat by the RR experience, but that shouldn't change what we know about Carr and his love for the University and his players.  

I truly hope and believe that the same will be said for Hoke, once all is said and done.  

ijohnb

December 16th, 2013 at 3:15 PM ^

to me too.  I have been really confused as to why majority sentiment has turned against him in the last few years.  If it is was confined to just a perceived underperformance of his teams on the field it would be one thing, but some of the stuff against him lately has seemed personal.  I always really liked Mack Brown and liked watching his teams play.

AriGold

December 16th, 2013 at 3:27 PM ^

but I was simply referencing Texas' last 3 or 4 seasons...and I believe they also went 5-7 in 2009 (i think)...my point is that they have had these bad.mediocre seasons with absolutely loaded recruiting classes....you can only be mediocre for so long at a program like Texas, and I have a feeling that Coach Hoke is going to learn that if we have another 7-5 or 8-4 season next year with the same terrible offense

meechiganman14

December 16th, 2013 at 3:51 PM ^

Yeah, this is the angle I was getting at. It's easy to assume that Mack had lost his touch and that fresh blood will take all his 5 stars and immediately dominate. "Grass is always greener" mentality. Who could they get that is a slam dunk hire? Sumlin and Saban just signed extensions. Nothing is guaranteed.

When Lloyd retired, we just assumed that someone great would jump at the job cause "this is Michigan." Obviously, it didn't happen exactly like that. People are saying the same thing about Texas, that it is such a great gig that people will trip over themselves to get it. It may happen that way, but I'm not so sure it will.

UMxWolverines

December 16th, 2013 at 3:18 PM ^

Why? I doubt most of them have had much fun rooting for their team to go 5-7, 8-5, 9-4, 8-4. And only winning the big xii twice since 1998 while stoops won it 8 times in that timespan. 

Just like Michigan fans don't miss going 9-3, 7-5, 11-2, 9-4 while Tressel was winning big ten title after big ten title. Just because we went 7-5 this year doesn't mean I long for the days of Lloyd. Not at all. 

SFBlue

December 16th, 2013 at 3:39 PM ^

I miss the Hell out of the years Lloyd Carr coached Michigan.  I especially miss the years Michigan went 11-2, including 2006.  I was in Pasadena on January 1, 2007 when Michigan played USC in the Rose Bowl, at a party on the golf course with dozens of friends and classmates, and I did not for one second think about where Ohio State was going for the Holidays.  I would a billion times rather lose the Rose Bowl than win the Good Ol' Wild Wings Strip Mall Classic.

93Grad

December 16th, 2013 at 5:01 PM ^

I think its funny how many people talk about 2006 like it was some magical year.  Sure it was a good year, but we lost the 2 biggest games we played, failed to beat Ohio again, failed to win the Rose Bowl again, etc. 

I much preferred 2011 even though we had the same record because we finally beat Ohio and finally won a BCS game.