Freep interviews our incoming freshmen players.

Submitted by wolverine1987 on June 30th, 2011 at 8:55 AM

No controversy, no sneaky "how much practice time are they forcing on you--it's ok, it's just between us" questions. Just routine questioning of some of the guys, about the only thing that jumped out to me was Justice Hayes saying: "in the whole program, they say the lifting is the hardest part. They lift more now than with the previous staff." Can that be true? Anyway, it was interesting to hear what some of the guys are thinking going into school. What a great time that they'll always remember.…




June 30th, 2011 at 9:02 AM ^

It could be true.  More lifting may or may not equal better.  The same goes for "different" or "harder" lifting.  Whatever works is fine by me.  


June 30th, 2011 at 9:06 AM ^


I think Barwis (YTB) tailored the previous S&C program to better suit the spread.  But at any rate, what would the incoming freshmen know about the previous S&C program?

Naked Bootlegger

June 30th, 2011 at 9:07 AM ^

The following word combo should make a large majority of the MGoBlog community develop whole-body convulsions:  "Freep"+"freshman"+"interview"

Barwis will take exception to the whole "we lift more than the previous staff" theme and demand a UFA-style cage match with Aaron Wellman to settle the score.  Make this happen, Dave Brandon.

Section 1

June 30th, 2011 at 1:54 PM ^

Very high on the List Of Things I Wish I Had Written:

The following word combo should make a large majority of the MGoBlog community develop whole-body convulsions:  "Freep"+"freshman"+"interview"


                            Brandin Hawthorne


btw:  I am not much on predictions, but it seems to me, from my merely casual knowledge of John U. Bacon, that he is likely to have something significant to say in the upcoming "Three and Out" about the gross misquoting of Stokes and Hawthorne.  Angelique Chengelis witnessed the interviews, and it was bad enough to have raised some serious tension between Angelique and Michael Rosenberg.  Because, to her huge credit, Angelique made her criticism clear and public in a radio interview that I missed but which she later described to me in an email.  Angelique witnessed the interviews on that Media Day.  And, to his disgrace, Rosenberg has never once explained himself, as to how and why he did what he did.  It was from Angelique, actually, that I learned that Rosenberg was the guy who had done the Stokes and Hawthorne "interviews" such as that term might be used.  ("Sandbagging" would be another appropriate term.)  I had presumed, wrongly, that Snyder had done the interviews.  It is part of the smoke and mirrors of that entire story that no one could tell who did what, and who talked to whom, with all of the secrecy and anonymity. 

And it was such a case of insulting unfairness to two young freshmen barely a few weeks into the program, that this is the kind of story that I think Bacon will not let pass.  It led directly to the meeting in Rodriguez's office with the two feshmen, petrified that they had hurt their coach and the program.  And that led directly to Rodriguez's emotional appearance at the Monday press conference, such that for most of the time that Rich Rodriguez was at Michigan, typing the words "Rich Rodriguez" into Google would manufacture an auto-search of "Rich Rodriguez crying" as one of the first options.

Rosenberg should never, ever be forgiven or forgotten for this maliciousness.


June 30th, 2011 at 2:57 PM ^

That is the kind of dirt I would want in the book. What kind of community was Rosenberg a part of? What influential figures were close to him? In essence, "who was he working for?"

If the book answers questions like THAT, I will be very interested. But I'm not holding my breath.



June 30th, 2011 at 9:26 AM ^

Entering the building for the first time as an incoming freshman is perhaps the most overwhelming sensation you can possibly imagine.  You are entering a world of giants: Ford, Wistert, Harmon, Yost, Shcembechler, Howard, Woodson, and all the rest of the All-American's whose black and white picture is on the wall, staring down on you as if to say "We built this and now it's your turn".  The reminders of the 132 years of tradition are on every wall:  trophies, team photos, championship rings, the records, and the slogan "Those who stay will be champions"....all there to remind you about the torch you're picking up.

It's an incredible milestone for these incoming freshman and probably the most life-altering moment in their young lives.   Sadly, some won't make it.  But most will let it seep into every fiber of their body and immerse themselves in the task of becoming a leader and best.  And for a small few, THEIR picture will adorn the wall and inspire future incoming freshman.

Go Blue!


June 30th, 2011 at 9:36 AM ^

Heard a couple of times and the new coach makes a comment about this in one of his video interviews on the Mgblue site from Feb.  Strength and conditioning was not the reason for the troubles - it was a bright spot.  The team was not weak nor out of shape.  The new SC coach doesn't need to push this theme -

Word is that the AD wanted to keep Barwis and Co but Hoke and company all agreed that it could present some loyalty artifacts.  Also, could not see why Hoke wouldn't be loyal to his man who has done a good job with him over the years.

Barwis left on a high note and very positive standing.  Hopefully these references to the team not being at tip-top-shape before end. 


June 30th, 2011 at 9:44 AM ^

I think you are reaching a little here to find knocks on the old staff.  How do you get "the team wasn't in tip-top shape last year"  from a comment from an incoming player that they are lifting more often this year?  I don't think that any shots have been made at the previous S&C staff, just Hoke and his staff emphasizing that they have a different philosophy as far as weight training than the previous.  


June 30th, 2011 at 9:48 AM ^

The jibes don't come because of S&C.  They come over weight.  We were undersized at a lot of defensive posistions.  Lots of people blame Barwis for it.  I'm not saying it is right, but people do it.  

After all you need to consider the other factors (recruiting smaller people to begin with, playing them early before they have a chance to finish filling out, etc) but Barwis ends up with the blame.  


June 30th, 2011 at 11:31 AM ^

Most people don't blame Barwis for anything.  He was specifically trying to make the players strong and lean so they could play in space.  He did his job and did it well.  The new staff wants more of a power game, so they are going to bulk the players up some more. 

Sounds like both S&C coaches are top notch, they just had different goals as requested by the head coach.


June 30th, 2011 at 9:42 AM ^

(Might be a little OT)

What pissed me off, was the Freep or Det News did something similar to this with the incoming MSU freshmen a couple of years ago.  And they asked, why did you choose MSU over UM, and most of them stated that UM treated them bad, wasn't any good, or some other cheap shot/bad mouthing.

When in reality, only a couple of them were actually offered by UM.

I just thought it was in poor taste, for a newspaper to print such nonsense.  And any incoming freshmen is going to say his school was the better choice.  None of them are going to say, well, I really wanted to go to UM, but they did not offer me a scholarship.

Maize.Blue Wagner

June 30th, 2011 at 10:41 AM ^

Ah, I'm pretty sure the News has done that every single year for a long time.  It's pretty standard for their sports section on NSD.  If the kid chose one, they ask why not the other, and if he chose neither, they ask why not either U-M or MSU.  

Maybe their answer were terse and in poor taste, but this isn't something that was done once, just to spite U-M. 


June 30th, 2011 at 9:47 AM ^

Good to hear Devin Gardner's name come up so often! Sounds like he's building connections that will serve him well when he becomes the team's offensive leader.


June 30th, 2011 at 9:57 AM ^

I thought this quote was interesting given the uncertainty at RB this year:

On your chances to play: "Coach (Fred) Jackson and a lot of the coaching staff said they're bringing me in as a true freshman and I won't be redshirting.


Promote RichRod

June 30th, 2011 at 10:20 AM ^

appears to promise playing time to recruits.  I've seen similar interview language with other recruits/commits a number of times.  Unless they are being misquoted or just misspeaking every time, I see a lot of "coach said I wouldn't be redshirting" comments. 

Sort of flies in the face of the "playing time is EARNED" line every coach uses with a stern look.  I don't like it because either (i) the coaches are lying to get kids to sign with Michigan (and the players will be pissed/transfer when they don't earn the PT), or (ii) the coaches will actually honor the promises and possibly play guys that aren't ready to feed the egos.


June 30th, 2011 at 12:22 PM ^

I haven't seen that from the recruits at all.  Most of the recruits have said that there is an opportuninty for playing time.  Recruits are smart enough to figure out that we are very thin at certain positions.  

You honestly sound like a Sparty thinking that our coaches are actually promising early playing time.  I believe that they are letting the prospects know that there is an OPPORTUNITY to play early not a promis of it.  


June 30th, 2011 at 10:06 AM ^

Brandon, Hoke, et al. should place a formal "gag order" on everyone related to the program with respect to talking to the Free Press.  For the life of me, I cannot understand why the athletic department allows any Michigan student/athletes to speak to the Free Press, given all that happened the past few years.  F- the Free Press.



June 30th, 2011 at 11:09 AM ^

Shall we point out:

1.  It's a new regime that has no hate for FP.

2.  The scourge who wrote that drivel at FP is gone.

3.  College football programs are, ultimately, just entertainment -- and, thus, ultimately depend on marketing.  Never bite off your nose, you might spite your face.  The FP is one of the two major papers in the region, you have to be nice to all the media to get the word out.  It's an over-simplification, of course, but a far better approach than carrying a grudge.


June 30th, 2011 at 11:15 AM ^

Each of your points are obvious.  However, the Free Press should continue to be held responsible for the irresponsible reporting that it puts out.  I seriously doubt that Michigan is going to feel any kind of impact if it directs its student/athletes to avoid contact with any Free Press reporters.  The Free Press is not nearly as "important" as you seem to imply in your point #3, especially for us out-of-staters.

Plus, I like holding this particular grudge and I welcome all those that do so as well.



June 30th, 2011 at 1:04 PM ^

It might make people feel good and all "screw the Freep-- BOOM no access," but there is nothing to be gained from it. That's why you never see a politician or Business leader banning NY Times or other papers reporters after an article that was unfair to them. Whether it's fair or not, it makes the banning party look petty, especially after a period of time. Brandon already countered their articles, and pointed out their flaws. IMO he is right to drop it and work as he has since then.


June 30th, 2011 at 3:19 PM ^

Of course no one in the AD is actually going to issue a ban on the Free Press.  But that does not mean it should not happen.  As pointed out below, the Free Press needs Michigan sports much, much more than Michigan sports needs the Free Press.  A national institution is much more significant than a small, regional newspaper.  Bans should be used to teach lessons and the Free Press is in need of a lesson teaching.  Its just sad that it will never happen because of the things you mention in your post.



June 30th, 2011 at 5:35 PM ^

but I’m kind of in agreement. I don’t mind being petty and giving them the cold blue shoulder.  

Still, I think it's wise to recognize that despite the decline of traditional journalism, a parochial newspaper with very little readership outside the state can still frame a national conversation about national, very public organization.  They reported a bunch of allegations (most of which were wildly innacurate) from several anonymous sources -- weak sauce all around -- but it didn't matter. Viola. Shit storm. 




Section 1

June 30th, 2011 at 11:57 AM ^


Shall we point out:

1.  It's a new regime that has no hate for FP.

2.  The scourge who wrote that drivel at FP is gone.

3.  College football programs are, ultimately, just entertainment -- and, thus, ultimately depend on marketing.  Never bite off your nose, you might spite your face.  The FP is one of the two major papers in the region, you have to be nice to all the media to get the word out.  It's an over-simplification, of course, but a far better approach than carrying a grudge.



I shall point out:

1.  "It's a new regime that has no hate for FP."  What?  The Rodriguez regime had no hate for the Free Press.  At least none to begin with.  The Rodriguez regime basically ushered in an era, perhaps short-lived, that was more open to the press than any time in the past 40 years.  The Free Press earned its hatred from Michigan.  And I do mean basically all of the Free Press.  The lead writer, Michael Rosenberg, has been heralded and defended by everyone associated with the paper, including publisher Paul Anger and star-columnist Mitch Albom.  The Michigan beat-writer Mark Snyder was a co-conspirator in the original offense.  The Sports editor Gene Myers has supported the original reporting.  The Free Press war on Michigan football was institutionally supported from top to bottom.  It was inexcusable.

2. "The scourge who wrote that drivel at FP is gone."  What?  Who is gone?  As far as I know, none of the scourges who were responsible for writing the drivel at the Free Press are gone.  Not Rosenberg, not Snyder, not their editor, not their publisher, and not any of the other columnists who sang the same tune.

3. " have to be nice to all the media..."  No, you don't.  And, to my satisfaction so far, David Brandon is not being nice to the Free Press.  He has publicly criticized the paper every time someone has asked him about it.  He has not given the Free Press a private interview of any kind, as far as I am aware, in more than a year.  The Free Press could make a big deal about that, and go after Brandon in retaliation, I suppose.  Or willfully ignore Michigan athletics.  But the paper has done neither of those things.  The paper needs Michgian sports, like it needs ink, newsprint and electricity.  And the Brandon snub, and the paper's back-to-business-as-usual attitude shows what personal vendetta it was, against Rich Rodriguez.

Michigan fans or not, I would think that any fair-minded sports fans, from Detroit or Ann Arbor, from Chicago or Columbus, from Grand Rapids or New York, would be offended at what the Free Press did with regard to Michigan and its Head Football Coach in August of 2009. 



June 30th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

I don't do this often, but I completely agree. The Freep needs UM way more than UM needs the freep. If we banned the freep, the News,, mgoblog, etc would adequately cover UM football in their absence. Comparing the DFP to the NYT is beyond silly. People who are UM fans find the UM news, and with the internet these papers are less and less important.


June 30th, 2011 at 6:12 PM ^

I did not compare the NYT to the Freep as a news organization, Replace the NYT with any paper you care to name, and the point remains. It is self-defeating and looks petty. The Freep would still cover every Michigan game and still write about each one, and all the M issues of the day. They just wouldn't have quotes from players and coaches. It would not hurt them, not one single bit, precisely because of your point--M fans will seek out news and articles wherever they find them, internet, AND every newspaper that covers them, particularly if you live around Detroit.


June 30th, 2011 at 7:47 PM ^

You did compare them, you compared M football shutting off the DFP to a politician shutting off the NYT. 

And it would hurt them if they were shut out of the program.  Of course they could still post a game review or a box score, but if people knew that the freep wouldn't have coach or player quotes or info that happened at a presser, they would be more interested in articles coming from other news sources. 

And to be honest, many many M fans don't live in or around Detroit.  Many do, but many don't.  And many of the ones who do don't subscribe to the Free Press anyway. 

The point of yours that I disagreed with, though, was your assertion that it would be against the AD's best interest to shut out the Freep, which isn't true.  The Free Press Sports section needs M football much more than M football needs the Free Press.


July 1st, 2011 at 8:50 AM ^

Many might agree that giving an example, as well as specifically saying "other papers" in the same sentence, are two different things. But that's ok. Regarding the point you disagreed with,  I won't argue that the Freep needs and would like access to Michigan. The reason I agree with Brandon's decision to allow them access is likely the same reason Brandon allows them in: because he's already gone on record criticizing them, events have exonerated us from the worst allegations of that article, and it looks IMO, petty to do so, without any real gain in return.


June 30th, 2011 at 2:56 PM ^

And when? I don't read the FP so I was unaware of any change. Also, did the editors leave? That's probably more important than the actual writers since editors assign projects and are supposed to edit the work to make sure it is fair and accurate.


June 30th, 2011 at 10:17 AM ^

The importance placed on the who/what/how of S&C is vastly overstated. The reality is that most of the D1 S&C coaches out there are in that position because they played football and developed relationships with the right people. Not to say a lot of them don't have some expertise, but you could essentially hand the reigns over to a chimp and get decent results. These athletes are at the very top of the physical specimen scale and are going to get bigger/faster/stronger on the crappiest of programs. Penn State's S&C (and ours before RR) is caught in the dark ages, but it doesn't seem to affect their results on the field too much. That said, I'd love to see someone like John Broz be given a D1 team for an entire offseason, just to see what could be, as the S&C prowess of someone like that is so far above anything you'll see in any level of football, it's not even funny.

Blue in Yarmouth

June 30th, 2011 at 10:30 AM ^

but you sound like someone who has never played sports at a very high level nor taken part in a stregnth and conditioning program. As someone who has done these things I can tell you that it absolutely makes a difference. When I played in the Q I was traded after my second season. The trainers on the second team were far superios to those on my first and you could see it in the conditioning of the players. Your statement is clearly uneducated.