August 29th, 2009 at 11:31 PM ^

Yes, but way too long. Usually, Billy, a better summary helps.

Of interest to us, the article discusses the reporting of violations regarding academic papers on the Wednesday of a women's basketball game. Below is an interesting quote (the discussion regarding when to report can be found toward the end of the article):

"The simple truth is we ran the story when it was ready to run. Should we have taken the advice of Ventura, who declared us "despicable" for publishing the story Wednesday?

We had three other options:

1. Run the story a few weeks earlier before Dohrmann had done the lengthy, meticulous reporting job. Any votes for that one?
2. Simply kill the story outright, as at least two readers I talked to suggested. If you like this option, you'd probably be happier reading a different kind of newspaper than the Pioneer Press.
3. Hold the story until the Gophers lost, thus not hurting their chances to bring honor and glory to the state's most prestigious university with a big-time college basketball victory.

Of the three options, this was the most popular among those readers, like the governor, who questioned our motives. The problem with this solution is that it would be unethical. You may argue that the story may affect the outcome of today's game. But holding the story to help the home team also may affect the outcome of the game. That's unfair to the other team, which would be playing a team that may have ineligible players. We would also hear from another segment of readers who would say we sat on the story because we were homers. And they would be right.

I know my argument won't fly with some Gophers fans who have blinders on. They just want the home team to win no matter what. They may have forgotten the real purpose of a university.

The simple truth is we ran the story when it was ready to run."

From: Retrieved 8/29/09. First published by St. Paul Pioneer Press, March 10, 1999.


August 30th, 2009 at 3:10 AM ^

That link is all good and well...until you actually read the story. In the case of Minihaha, you had a situation where one of the contacts was out of the country and the other contact could not provide verifiable evidence until about a week before the story ran (which, in and of itself is an odd thing, since, didn't she have those disks all along? Why didn't she present them originally?).

This really has nothing to do with this story. The ten Michigan players that were interviewed involved at least two U of M freshman and very likely at least two transfers. This means that, unless the reporter was lazy, any of the players could have been contacted at any point in the last two years.

So then we are to believe one of two things. Either this was a two year project plan or that this story was formulated and brought together over this summer for a specific release time. The Fourth Estate did itself no good here.


August 29th, 2009 at 11:18 PM ^

Go Blue Michigan Wolverine blogspot state there would be some negative PR coming out about the program soon, some to worry about and some not? I thought there was something like that, but could be wrong.


August 29th, 2009 at 11:22 PM ^

This article makes me wonder if this is what RR and others were talking about when they kept saying "Guys are buying into the program now" etc etc. As in, the pansies are gone, the guys who are left are the ones who wanna bust ass, work hard, spend a lot of time on drills, 7 on 7s, all that stuff. I honestly am not surprised if they hours they put in are well above and beyond what's "legal." That said, everybody's doing it, and this kinda shit happens in all different parts of this country. In the medical field, they limited work to 80 hours a week max, no more than 30 hours at a time. Well, I know a ton of people who work more than 30 hours straight, and more than 80 hours a week. But will they say anything? No, b/c that would mean the program gets fucked and they get fucked b/c they have no program to attend.

I'm pissed now. This is such bullshit and really makes me mad to have this crap turn up at this time.


August 29th, 2009 at 11:30 PM ^

So you can only spend 20 hours per week on football. Is that mandatory time or can you do even more if it's volunteered time. I wouldn't be surprised if the Freep is misinterpreting the rules.


August 29th, 2009 at 11:33 PM ^

While I do think it's possible that there's substance to this, I don't think any of us can really be sure that something/nothing will come of it. Most likely, nothing will (MOST LIKELY). This is because RRod and maybe Martin will speak against the allegations (if they even balloon that far) and at some point evidence against this allegation will be brought to light.

To the people who point at the timing of this article: no time is a good time for major violation accusations, no matter what the "violations" are. I do agree that this is a worse than usual time, but until we have more information I think it would be wise to hold back on judging the situation and judging the players (calling them "pussies" and things like that). There is a small chance their words could have been taken out of context, intentionally or not.


August 29th, 2009 at 11:39 PM ^

The thing that makes me automatically disregard this article is that if you look on the sports page about three articles down there is another article with the headline: "MSU plays by the rules, say ex-players".

How the hell is talking to anyone from MSU relevant to this story. This has nothing to do with MSU or any other school for that matter. The only conclusion I can come to is this is another OMFG DICK ROD IS RUINING MICHIGAN LOOK AT DANTONIO SO MUCH BETTERZZZ story.

Just another way for the Freep to incite Michigan fans and fan the flames of the MSU "INSTATE DOMINANCE!" meme. They are only out for hits, and writing such a story guarantees they get what they want.


August 29th, 2009 at 11:36 PM ^

After seeing the ticker on ESPN News, it came accross to me that many people will see through this and realize that it is indeed a witch hunt. People who know, will laugh at the allegations. The NCAA will slap them on the wrist if they do anything at all. Our clean history and RR clean history will help. It burns me though that they have to make this such a big frickin deal.


August 29th, 2009 at 11:37 PM ^

Reporter: "So....The workouts were much tougher this year, huh?"

Unnamed Player: "Oh Yeah. We did a lot of extra work to get ready for this season"

Reporter: "Extra work, you say?"

Unnamed Player: "Sure. The coaches really pushed us hard this summer so we don't have a season like we did last year. It was hard but we got through it. Some guys had a tough time but I knew it was gonna make me a better player."

Reporter: "'re saying that you had to work above and beyond what other teams do so you can be better?"

Unnamed Player: "Welllll, I guess. Yeah!"

Insert Steamroll Here

Reporters and Lawyers........Eh, not so different sometimes


August 29th, 2009 at 11:45 PM ^

Wow, those are some rose-colored glasses. I hope you are right, but my guess is that guys were 'guilted' into working more, and some interpreted it as required. What is interpreted as 'required' or 'highly suggested' might depend on the person.


August 30th, 2009 at 12:02 AM ^

I think, however, that in your joke you might have nailed what could be at the heart of this - what was interpreted as too much practice by some players may only be what the coaches thought was necessary to not have another terrible season:

"Unnamed Player: "Sure. The coaches really pushed us hard this summer so we don't have a season like we did last year."


August 29th, 2009 at 11:39 PM ^

They emphasized that the players were UNIDENTIFIED and that the workouts were VOLUNTARY and that none of them reported these allegations to the COMPLIANCE OFFICE AT MICHIGAN.

Then they had Rodriguez's response, with Rodriguez's picture, wearing a Nike hat.

It was about 30 seconds on SportsCenter. You could tell by the way it was reported that ESPN thought it was crap.


August 29th, 2009 at 11:46 PM ^

Thats probably what a lot of most fans will think when they hear this. How players whined, filed union violations. Yet Caughlin stuck to the program and they won a Super Bowl. He's still going strong.

A lot of fans will also make 'LOL Michigan, lots of practice to go 3-9' jokes.

And there will be some crossover among crowds. Neither reaction there bugs me.

The Big Terrance comment and the QC guys at the 7/7s are the only thing that concerns me about the allegations. Everything else is a semantics game that I'm sure the program has covered, much in the way the its done everywhere else (including at UM in the past). As with my two worrries, I'm sure the compliance department has that covered with the proper language as well.

Unless its the same compliance folks that bungled the Chambers academic issue. Shit, now I'm worried.


August 29th, 2009 at 11:49 PM ^

I have no doubt that most of this is true. And I also believe that the same sort of extra practices, although not to the same extent, happened when Carr, Moeller, and Bo were here.
And I also believe that the same sort of thing happens at all other football programs, although again, perhaps not to the same extent. To spend the better part of the summer (or however long it took to compile the data) putting the report together and then to spend 15 minutes getting a throw away quote off a leading question ("Does Dantonio cheat?) for MSU is ridiculous. The practice schedule for the Spartans is no different than it is for Michigan.
Does the pretty obvious violation of the spirit of the NCAA law bother me? No not really, so long as it doesn't result in sanctions of any sort. In the big scope of things, the fact that we make our players practice more and work harder is a good thing, in my mind.
What I would worry about would be if this demand on players' time prevented them from being good students, or prevented them from taking classes they wanted to take. I remember a number of years back when Robert Smith supposedly quit the OSU football team because he was told by the coaching staff that he couldn't take certain classes because it would take too much time away from football. If that sort of thing was happening, I would be worried.
The thing that worries me the most about this is the same thing that I worried about after the Feagin thing: that there are writers , or, more likely, editors at the Free Press who either have an agenda against RR, or feel that writing articles about how wrong he is for Michigan is the best way to sell papers. If, as some have suggested, there are still some in the administration that don't like RR and would have prefered someone that represented less of a change, these continual negative stories, however true or untrue they might be, will be used to run RR out of town if he is not wildly successful this year or next.


August 29th, 2009 at 11:54 PM ^

I will say that there is such a thing as over practicing. I have seen it. You over practice your players during the week and run them down so much that by game day they are only functioning at 80% of the level that they should be at.


August 29th, 2009 at 11:56 PM ^

I'm sure nothing will come of this but good grief . . . talk about the offseason from hell. At least our long, long wait is almost over.


August 30th, 2009 at 12:09 AM ^

This offseason is like a family vacation we once took. We rented an RV for 7 of us to go from MI to FL. Different traffic jams, the thing breaking down, family fighting, etc. we are one day from home and pulling into Dayton OH to spend the night. My Dad pulls the thing under the overhang of the Holiday Inn and forgets the clearance is 13' for the vehicle while the overhang is 12'. LOLZ now, but Dad was not a happy camper when the air conditioning unit was ripped off. We were one day from home! That is exactly how I feel about this offseason.


August 30th, 2009 at 12:07 AM ^


Honestly, why care. None of us can do anything about this but watch the show, and watch it unfold into nothing just like when this happens to a USC, or a Texas, or an Alabama.

If this was happening to Ball State, everyone would say "lol witch hunt w/e who cares waste of my time lol," but since this is MICHIGAN, heads are already flying amongst college football's uneducated and fickle masses (see the replies in the ESPN article about all of this, I in no way mean that MGoBlog's posters are uneducated or fickle obviously, but the ESPN comments are hilarious).


August 30th, 2009 at 12:00 AM ^

I have to question this. For the staff to have extra practices that are beyond what is allowed under the NCAA would be shocking. There are a hundred guys that could talk to the press, NCAA or anyone else about the issue. The coaches are professionals, know what the limits and consequences are for breaking them.


August 30th, 2009 at 12:03 AM ^

When is the athletic department going to ban Rosenberg and Sharp from U of M events. I mean its one thing to report on negative things when they happen, but the constant venom directed toward the school that is spewed from these two "journalists" is absurd.

I think someone needs to do an investigative piece because the freep has gone well over its 8 hour limit on U of M hating per week.


August 30th, 2009 at 12:07 AM ^

Does anybody out there think that these 6 guys got together and planned this to some extent. It seems to me that these guys (I will not call them pussies because I do not know them) were probably all kind of alike (at least in their work ethic anyway). I definitely can see where these guys were sitting around drinking a brewskie or 2 and said let's burn RR. I'll teach him to not play me. I would say that I agree that all colleges do the extra practice but the problem is that all of the other colleges don't get caught. I remember watching a presser with RR during the summer where he made a comment something like he likes to know that the guys are doing the voluntary work-outs but he reminds them that play-time is voluntary too. I hate that something like this will tarnish the record though.


August 30th, 2009 at 8:57 AM ^

While the article claims that current players were among those interviewed, there's no mention that any starters were among those that talked. The sour grapes factor can't be limited to just those who left the team. If another player puts in more "voluntary" time than you are willing to, isn't it an easy excuse to claim that there's too much pressure on your time? If anything, this is a sign that there's a very strong competitive environment on the team among the players, and perhaps those who aren't winning these competitive battles for playing time are lashing out at the coaching staff as the cause of their failure.


August 30th, 2009 at 12:10 AM ^

Back in school, I was a full time student and carried a 3.5+ GPA.

I also worked 2 jobs for a total of 50 hours a week. I would work at the bar until 2AM and then go do a radio show, which I got paid for..until 6AM...sleep 2 hours, get up and go to class...all week long.

Im not alone in this as Im sure many of you guys and women did this to... to get through college and get that degree.

The demands of the college athlete are tough, but are no tougher than the common working person who has to take 1 or 2 jobs to pay for it along with the class load.

The best of these kids do not want to be babied, they want to work and challenge themselves.

The University came out and stated that they have been in full compliance with NCAA rules and do not feel the need to self-report. I have to take their word on that, as they have a good track record.

It would be great to have Bill Martin come out with facts to refute Rosenberg and put him in his place too....

However the bottom line is that successful people and programs work hard and put in long hours.


August 30th, 2009 at 12:14 AM ^

"Players have been known to get physically ill on Torture Tuesdays because of the workouts. But they are still expected to complete their two to three hours of speed and agility work later that day."

Yeah, and swimmers on my high school swim team were known to get physically ill during practice and were expected to get right back in the water.* I mean damn. Dudes get sick every damn day at football practice. Why sensationalize if the allegations are as bad as they say?

*This is intended to joke on the notion that it's somehow shocking that players throw up during workouts, not to hype up my own ones. There would be no sports teams anywhere if conditioning stopped as soon as a player got sick.


August 30th, 2009 at 12:16 AM ^

I asked one of the freshman that I know about this, and he hadn't even heard the report yet, hadn't heard anyone on the team say that, and definitely didn't think any rules were being broken.

So yea, that's nice to hear.