Carr allegedly advised 2008 commit to flip to Iowa

Submitted by Leaders And Best on August 22nd, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Lloyd Carr allegedly advised 2008 Michigan QB commit John Wienke to flip to Iowa during the Rich Rodriguez transition because it would better fit his style of play as a pro-style QB. And it clearly worked out as Wienke is now a punter at Iowa. I wonder if Carr will finally address the story from Three and Out about his willingness to sign off on any transfers.  Doubt it.

Scott Dochterman @ScottDochterman

Former Michigan coach guided QB to Iowa | TheGazette 


ND Sux

August 22nd, 2012 at 2:13 PM ^

some idiots on this board want to hate on Carr because he put the kid's future ahead of the school landing a commit or two?  Good coaches commit to kids just as the kids commit to coaches.  The Michigan program didn't hinge on a commit or two, especially if they didn't fit the incoming system all that well.

The Carr hatred on this board is illogical and immature.  The U of M AND the community are both better off because of him. 


EDIT: Not sure Justin's post was the one I wanted to respond to, since I think we mostly agree w/respect to this thread. 


August 22nd, 2012 at 3:44 PM ^

I don't hate Carr. In fact, I was sad to see him retire, and there are a lot of things I loved about him. He didn't seem to care that much whether people praised him or not. He cared for his players. He won the MNC. He pwnd Ohio for many years. He quoted from literature, read history, and had his players read a word from the dictionary any time they came to his office. He put up with the media, but they didn't control him.

Having said that, I know virtually nothing about what happened between Carr & RR. While it is water past the dam, I don't think that means it shouldn't be out there. Wanting to know more about what Carr did or didn't do does not equal hating Carr. I don't want haiography, I want history. If Carr wasn't in control of his team, if his players didn't work out adequately off season, if there was rampant drug use under his watch, if he sabatoged RR, yes, I want to know about it.


August 22nd, 2012 at 4:27 PM ^

I'm equivocal towards the Carr era.  He did, and I believe still does, a lot of great things for the university.  He also had his fair share of shortcomings.  

I haven't seen it brought up from this perspective, though.  Which is, what if he was doing Rich Rod a favor?  

What if he was trying to not saddle RR with a 6'-5" pocket passer in his first incoming class.  Instead, persuade the kid to go to Iowa, then let RR use the scholarship on a spread option QB of his liking in his first class.  

He was probably trying to do right by both the new coach and the recruit.  I think he did it well.  


August 22nd, 2012 at 1:12 PM ^

Assuming what Wienker says is true...

On the one hand there is "The Team" and doing things for the program.  On the other hand there is not screwing kids over and lying to them about their future in the system.  Was Carr supposed to tell the kid "Oh no, don't worry you'll do just fine."?  Had he done that, the kid would have likely ended up as the third head on the Threet/Sheridan monster.  An unhappy head that gets the hell beat of out it and transfers a year later.

A player Carr had been recruiting came to Carr because he trusted Carr and asked for his advice.  Carr gave his honest view and that was 'look elsewhere'.  I'd have been angrier to find out Carr was lying and abusing the trust the recruits were putting in him.  


August 22nd, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

I still think the better response would be, "talk to Rich Rod and see what you think". I know they had a relationship and all, but the ideal response, IMO, would be to direct questions to RR directly and see how good his answers were.

It's also possible he told Carr that he wouldn't be signing with Michigan under any circumstances, and asked where he thought he might fit in elsewhere.


August 22nd, 2012 at 1:31 PM ^

It all depends on what the kid asked really.  He could have talked to RR and been asking Carr for a second opinion as a trusted figure.  

Personally, given Wienke managed to removed himself entirely from the QB depth chart and is a three way battle for punter, I  have to wonder if Carr was already regretting accepting Wienke's verbal based on Wienke's senior year.  So the moment Wienke had a concern, Carr's response was "Yes, yes, decommit, the spread is bad!".  Figuring it was better for Wienke to go to a lesser program and it freed up a spot for a RR guy.  

For all we know, Carr called RR and said "Hey we have this pro style QB who is getting cold feet.  Do you want me to nudge him out the door and free up a spot for you?".  RR of course would have been confident in his ability to recruit so he likely would have said yes.  

Basically its all about the lens you view Carr through.  Unless you had a whole series of wireless mics in Schembechler Hall everything is lacking in context.  No one knows what Carr and RR said about Wienke and the like, if there mutual agreements on how to encourage round pegs to go find round holes and the like.  


August 22nd, 2012 at 2:42 PM ^

if RR had a problem with Carr's actions. If he did, we're talking about something vastly different than giving Wienke a best opinion on a second option or helping RR with scholarship numbers by steering a recruit he didn't really want elsewhere. The theories in your post (and mine above) don't really get into that situation, so I don't see an issue with any of those scenarios, since RR would have been anywhere from actively involved or passivley okay with Carr's advice. So, in short, fine by me as long as RR was okay with it all.


August 22nd, 2012 at 3:04 PM ^

... we don't know the whole story.  However, Carr advising players/recruits that they might be better off somewhere else doesn't sit well with me, regardless of any reason any of you can conjure up.

Carr called RR during the coaching search and suggested to him that he consider the Michigan opening.....

Exerpt from Three and Out:

On Friday, December 7, and again on Monday, December 10, Bill Martin, Mary Sue Coleman and Les Miles talked on a conference call. Both conversations were simple and pleasant. During the second call, Coleman said she could not hire Miles without meeting him first, and asked Miles to meet her and Martin in Miami, where Miles had already scheduled a recruiting trip. Miles replied that he could not do any face-to-face meeting until after the national title game. Miles let them know both times, however, that, "If you want me, then after the bowl game, I will be your coach. I just can't do anything before that. [But] I would never say no to Michigan."

But, incredibly, just a few hours after both calls, word had leaked to the media, then started popping up on the blogs, and quickly traveled down to Baton Rouge. Miles was, understandably, upset -- and effectively boxed in.

That night, in what will likely come as a surprise to most fans, West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez -- whose Mountaineers had blown their own chance at the national title game when a 4-7 Pittsburgh team upset them 13-9 -- received a call from Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr. Rodriguez recalled they talked for ten or fifteen minutes.

"It was a very positive call," Rodriguez remembered. "He was definitely encouraging me to think about it."

That next day, the first person to encourage Bill Martin to think about Rich Rodriguez was none other than Lloyd Carr. (Carr did not respond to requests for an interview.)

That night, Bill Martin -- tipped off by Lloyd Carr -- called Rodriguez at his home to inquire about his interest in the Michigan job. Both sides were noncommittal but intrigued. Almost exactly a year after Rodriguez had turned down Alabama, he found himself flirting with the Michigan job. Six days later, on Monday, December 17, 2007, Bill Martin introduced Rich Rodriguez as Michigan's next coach.

Why endorse RR taking over a group of guys who's skillset wasn't necessarily condusive to his success, and then advise players that they might want to head elsewhere after he takes the job?

I don't buy into the "He's thinking about what's best for the player" mentality.  Coaches may take this into account, but don't kid yourselves.  Head coaches make decisions based on what's best for their progam (and their job security), and that's getting star recruits You don't turn away a 4 star QB beacuse you already have a 4 star committed and 3 more previously highly rated guys on your depth chart.  You bring him in because depth is good for your team.  Is it good for the guys who don't end up seeing the field but could start elsewhere?  As a head coach, do you convince those guys to seek greener pastures (if you aren't worried about scholarship numbers)?

Carr's loyality should have been to Michigan and to the guy he reached out to consider taking over for him.  The Carr influenced decommits and transfers might not have fit RR's system but they were skilled athletes who would have provided much needed depth.

And there is absolutely no way that RR says that he doesn't want one of Michigan's then current commitments with two months left before NSD and before he's even announced as the head coach.  That notion is silly.


August 22nd, 2012 at 4:42 PM ^

Just haven't read completely through it.  Will look into it later.  Certainly curious as to the context on the rebuttal?  Did it come from Carr or Martin or is it denial based on perceived plausibility?  Bacon was masterful at persuading readers through inferrences and insinuations.  However, this particular part was a detailed timeline based on RR's account of events.  Unless the other parties involved say otherwise, I'm inclined to think that Bacon's account is closer to the truth.  A phone call from Carr to RR is too important of a detail to remember incorrectly or to have misquoted.

Section 1

August 22nd, 2012 at 4:32 PM ^

But have you read HTTV? Not because that's "right"....just because it thinks that a lot of what Bacon says is "wrong." 

And I don't think that's right, at all.  There were a few differences, one thing where the two authors were told differently.

But you keep holding out the HTTV article as some authoritative rebuttal to Bacon, and I asked the powers that be about having an open forum/debate on that and they declined, thinking that it was not what was intended by anyone, and is not something that anyone was comfortable with. 

Personally, I didn't see any big deal and no significant contradictions.  The only reason that I wanted a fight, was because you seemed to be picking one.  I wanted to give you the fight you were looking for.  I was always confident that Bacon et al could back up what he wrote.

Section 1

August 22nd, 2012 at 5:54 PM ^

Whenever Carr, Brandon, or anybody else wants to do their own book, I'll be in line to buy it.  And I'll be there for the author Q-and-A's.

You boys can write your own books too.

I'll never forget how Deadspin ridiculed this blog for going after Michael Rosenberg; calling us "fanboys."  Who are the fanboys now?


August 22nd, 2012 at 9:53 PM ^

You only see what you want to. Thus the quotation marks saying we don't really know who was right or who was wrong. I suspect a bit of both. If you don't see some flat out differences of opinions in the two works about what can and could have happened, I can't help you. You see what you want to see.

Bacon has had a lot of chance to let us know how he sourced conversations had by people who weren't talking to him, and people who were talking to him weren't a part of; or more importantly how he was embedded with the coaching staff but has no idea what was going on with the defensive staff. He's deftly dodged answering any of that stuff in a direct way. And it doesn't matter. You think this was uncovering Watergate, but it's just another sports book that will be in the bargin bin in another year. It made good press releasing it in the middle of the season, but no one who matters even cares about it anymore. I know you sleep with it under your pillow....good for you.

As for the why...I mainly ask it to tweak you because you thought that getting an advanced copy from a book signing made you some sort of insider with secret knowledge and you asked that to everyone before the book was even released knowing they couldn't have, and that somehow made you right. When most things have been shown to just be the opinions he was fed by Rich, and you've really based everything you believe off a certain point of view. Which is fine, as long as you're not fanatical about it.


August 23rd, 2012 at 11:06 AM ^

It still doesn't make you right. And just like HTTV casts doubt on your bible, that you continue to ignore the fact that when he didn't want to leave WV for less money he didn't (Michigan) and that when he did want to leave WV for less money (Arizona) he did shows it wasn't as much about the money as you and Bacon's WV source claim as it was about not moving his family from a place he thought he was head coach in waiting and then moving when it became obvious he would NEVER be head coach. Not the money. But I know thinking otherwise would shatter the imaginary world you've created. So I'll await you spending all night looking for links in the investigative files you've created that no one will ever read but you. Have fun!

Edited: for Late night typing.


August 22nd, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

This is coming straight from Wienke, so I think this is pretty reliable.  But honestly, I don't have a problem with this particular situation, as opposed to, say, Mallet .  Unlike Mallet, Wienke wasn't going to help the '08 situation any, and he wasn't ever going to play in the spread-option. 


August 22nd, 2012 at 1:15 PM ^

If anything this provides some backstory that sheds better light on Carr. Yeah, signing blank-check transfer orders probably wasn't a cool thing to do, but this is a situation where it seems Carr could have been doing it out of genuine concern for the guys he recruited and cared about rather than a malicious intent to hamstring his successor. 

Things aren't always as black-and-white as they seem. I think Carr's behavior through the transition was bad, but perhaps his motives weren't awful. Wienke certainly wouldn't have had it any better here than in Iowa City.


August 22nd, 2012 at 3:19 PM ^

.... taking into account what's best for the player is not the top priority for head coaches at top football programs.  Every coach for every relevant program would have the best 85 players in the country on scholarship if they could.  Not all of those players are going to contribute, but it's not likely that a coach would be telling them to head elsewhere because it's in their best interest.

I don't doubt that Carr had some genuine concerns about the players now that he wasn't head coach.  I certainly don't think he was intentionally trying to sabotage Michigan or RR.  His mentality and priorities had changed.... but that doesn't make what he did right.


August 22nd, 2012 at 5:15 PM ^

why?   he got mallett in the first place by being honest... you want him to begin to lie?  it was not a good fit, and thats what his dad asked lloyd.  lloyd was being honest, as he should be.


August 22nd, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

I started to write a post about how it probably was the right move, and then I realized I just really don't give a shit. 




August 22nd, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

But if Carr honestly though that as the case, doesn't that make him a good person? Lloyd likely had a relationship with Weinke, and cared about his well-being. So isn't Lloyd putting the person first a good thing here?

I know it's not the best for the program and whatever, but we bitch when coaches put the best interests of the program ahead the recruits, so how can we complain when one of our coaches does the opposite?


August 22nd, 2012 at 3:44 PM ^

Ask Ryan Tannehill if he would have been better off transferring from T A&M as he sat behind 2 upperclassmen and played some WR his first couple years just to get on the field.  He started one year... his 5th year.   #8 pick in the draft.

I see your point... but telling a kid like Tannehill, or Gardner, to stick it out and learn the system because it will pay off in the end is much preferred.

I also bet you big money that Elliott Mealer is pretty damn happy that he didn't transfer to start somewhere else the last couple years.  He's going to be a UM staring offensive lineman... 4 years after first putting on the winged helmet. 

Would they all have been better off somewhere else?  We'll never know... but we know they wouldn't be Wolverines.  So, to me, (and obviously to Gardner and Mealer) that is more important than starting somewhere else your sophomore and/or junior years.


August 22nd, 2012 at 4:45 PM ^

.... is not the same as playing behind someone with the same eligibility or more.   Think Keith Nichol at Oklahoma.....

Regardless, I'm sure there are also examples of players finding success after deciding to stay with programs after a coaching change and a new offensive philosophy that didn't necessarily coincide with their perceived skillset.


August 22nd, 2012 at 4:02 PM ^

Who said Hoke didn't tell Devin to transfer last year when Devin started having attitude problems in practice because Bellomy was getting reps with the 1st and 2nd units late in the year?

Carr was known to call players in his office and have the transfer papers sitting on his desk and tell the kid to sign them if he didn't want to play for Michigan. 

He did this to some of the best players ever to play at Michigan.  It's not even a secret, it's actually well documented. 

With that being said, Lloyd Carr is the greatest phalantropist in this University's history (If you disagree, name me another person.)  I doubt he was trying to sabatoge anyone by suggesting a kid may be better off playing for another school.


**No idea how this reply ended up here.  Oh well.

Section 1

August 22nd, 2012 at 6:44 PM ^

"Back where I come from there are men who do nothing all day but good deeds. They are called phila…er, phila…er, yes, er, Good Deed Doers. "


With that being said, Lloyd Carr is the greatest phalantropist in this University's history (If you disagree, name me another person.)  

You aren't even close.  Now I must say that I don't know how much money Lloyd has donated to the University and the Medical Center/Mott Childrens' Hospital.  But these donations dwarf Lloyd Carr's entire personal fortune whatever it may be:

  • Stephen M. Ross ($100 million to the Business School)
  • William Cook ($12 million to the Law School in 1930; $155 million in inflation-adjusted dollars)
  • C.S. Mott -- yeah, that C.S. Mott ($6.5 to the Children's Hospital in 1965; $44 million in inflation-adjusted dollars)

So there are three.  My guess is that Bill Martin has personally donated much greater amounts to the Unversity and to the Athletic Department, than Carr.  Carr can't be within the top 100 living donors to the University.

What he has been, is a tremendous fundraiser for Mott.  But Lloyd Carr is not exactly a philan- uh, phila-  uh, Good Deed Doer.



August 22nd, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

Maybe Carr felt obligated to tell Weinke (who would have been a 3rd string depth-guy, at best, for his program) to look elsewhere because he knew the kid would never play (in hindsight, he should have suggested MIami Ohio or Akron).

Stories of Carr telling potential starters to leave have proven essentially untrue.  But if he was telling a kid who hadn't even put on a winged helmet that he'd be a better 3rd stringer somewhere else other than UM... I can't get upset over that.


August 22nd, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

The damage to the program from this transfer is incalculable. Wienke could have filled that huge need we have at Quarterback.

I mean, c'mon, he hasn't thrown nearly as many picks in the last three years. It's not even close.