Latest Henning Article

Submitted by fatbastard on November 26th, 2010 at 3:51 PM

is here:

And to avoid the necessity to click this, here's what he said (sorry I didn't put this up the first time):

A couple of radio interviews early this week in which I said something that had been written a few times before — a personal opinion that Rich Rodriguez will be fired as Michigan's head coach and replaced by Jim Harbaugh — led to alarmed Tweets and a late-night phone call from the Michigan Daily.

Supposedly, I was "reporting" that Rodriguez would be gone by Monday. That's eminently different from thoughts and expectations that Dave Brandon, Michigan's new athletic director, will have seen enough to justify making a change in Michigan's football program — which, in fact, is what I believe will happen after three seasons of substandard football in Ann Arbor.

There was never any "reporting" that this would be done. It was made clear on those radio interviews — in response to direct questions — that this was an opinion and that I could be dead wrong.

I guess his article is supposed to be an apology for reporting an announcement on Monday when it was, ohsoobvioustonanyone, that it was simply his opinion that RR would be fired Monday. . . . .  Lynn Henning, You Sir, are a jackass. 

I don't even disagree with your statements about Harbaugh.  I think Harbaugh would be good coach here.  He could have been considered 3 years ago but wasn't.  But, that 's not the point.  Lynn Henning, You Sir, are a horses' ass.

The point here is that Rodriguez did look like a good hire.  He has transformed the offense.  If Michigan could play defense and get more consistency from the offense, they look very very good in the next couple of years.  Those are big "ifs".  But the one year that it will take to complete the evaluation, could reap huge dividends.  Our offense is looking more and more like Oregon's.  How are they doing this year, Lynn?  You'll complain about the defense, correclty so, and I will be  the first to say we need a change in strategy, older and more quality players.  If those changes are made, what is the reason to fire RR?

Oh that's right, you're merely trying to cover your ass after Brandon called you out for  your ridiculous statements made as though you had inside information from Dave Brandon.  Lynn Henning, You Sir, are simply an Ass.



November 26th, 2010 at 3:59 PM ^

I read this article this morning and as I read it I was thinking to myself "this guy has NOTHING original!".

OK so this team isnt improving as fast as most of us would like but he seems to think he knows for a fact Harbaugh would come over and if he didnt then what?? Its pretty annoying and if there were a coaching change chances are we'd have 3 more years of what we just had. Get over it LH.

Section 1

November 26th, 2010 at 4:51 PM ^

I want you and all of our friends at MGoBlog to know, that I have emailed Lynn Henning about the general coverage of Michigan football, including quite specifically the Free Press allegations.

Rather than disclaiming the Free Press allegations, as he could have and as I sort of invited him to do, Lynn Henning bolstered the Free Press, Rosenberg, and Snyder.

Here is what I sent to him on October 18, 2010:

It's really too bad that nobody at the News ever had the guts, or the energy, or the interest to do the counter-reporting that Michael Rosenberg's phony, ill-informed, badly-crafted and wholly dishonest 2009 story on Michigan "NCAA violations" deserved.

It was one of the worst newspaper stories in a generation.  Why did Rosenberg never once interview anybody at Michigan with knowledge of the Compliance Services Office?  Why did Rosenberg and Snyder not interview any of the coaches, or Athletic Depatment Directors?  Why did Rosenberg and Snyder offer source-anonymity to a bunch of "former" players, for "fear of retribution," but not grant anonymity to two current freshman players?  What was the point of Rosenberg and Snyder going to Bruce Madej on the Friday before their planned Saturday publication to announce the story and ask for comment?

The Free Press story was malicious, malignant bullshit.  What the NCAA
investigation proved was that the Free Press had been "wildly exaggerated if not flatly incorrect."

The cadre of Detroit newspaper sports columnists are an essentially lazy and dishonest group; you are fine example of that group.

Thank goodness for the internet and the college football blogs, where you are essentially a joke.

I copied Rosenberg and Snyder on the email.

Henning wrote back the next day:

It was written because truth and integrity -- check the definitions in the
dictionary, which is apparently as close to either as you'll ever get --
mandated that it be reported, same as we report dormitory incidents at MSU, or drunk driving arrests, or kids thieving computers from public schools.

In your obfuscated, distorted world, the above doesn't count.  Fortunately, journalists have other responsibilities.  Thanks.  Lynn Henning

For those who have any remaing doubt:  Lynn Henning = Michael Rosenberg.


Section 1

November 26th, 2010 at 11:38 PM ^

as good as I gave it to him.  That's okay.  I probably deserved a shot for coming off so angry at him.

But I wouldn't ever have written to him in the first place, and I wouldn't be complaining now, if he had merely distanced himself from Rosenberg and Snyder.  But that's not what these guys do, and it is tremendously revealing.

Nobody in our print or broadcast media calls out Rosenberg.  Actually, they don't even have to do that.  Nobody even questions Rosenberg.  And if Lynn Henning had written back, "Hey, I don't like your attitude, but don't blame me; the News didn't do that story and we too have some questions about it..."

No; the attitude is that Rosenberg and the Free Press continue to stand for truth, justice and the American way.

It's creepy; disgusting.

And there's clearly a petulant streak with Henning that turns bright green when it is rubbed the wrong way.  Having been humiliated by the Michigan Daily report ("a late-night phone call") and the 'net response, Henning has gone from sage old bystander, to wielder of torch-and-pitchfork.  He was previously just observing, he says, what might happen based on his years of experience and wealth of knowledge.  But now, having been personally embarassed, his new opinion is that the evidence demands that the coach should be fired.

Waters Demos

November 26th, 2010 at 4:19 PM ^

Henning and others just seem to have it out for RR. 

I can't wrap my head around why a "journalist" would take an ad hominem attitude - albeit cloaked in some thinly veiled, but ultimately prejudiced, attempt at "journalism" - towards a coach at an an academic institution.  I say "ad hominem" because, while they talk on the surface about the defense or some other observable measure of the team, the implicit (and sometimes explicit) tones of the attacks on RR from day one by certain members of the press have seemed to be personal. 

For a coach at an academic institution?  Who is paid to, among other things, put college kids in a position to succeed both on and off the field?  How do the RR attacks advance this aim?



November 26th, 2010 at 4:22 PM ^

At least that idiot came out and apologized for shitty reporting.


I wouldn't agree with michigan getting rid of RR, still think he deserves one more year to see what he can do, before we would clean house.


At least give him the Zook treatment after this year and give him a chance to get a solid D staff in there in the off season and see what comes of it.  Everyone knows if we have a sub par D we should only have 1 or 2 losses and not 4

Section 1

November 26th, 2010 at 6:40 PM ^

How does Lynn Henning know that Harbaugh wanted the MSU job, and so badly wanted into the Big Ten as a head coach?

It's not a rhetorical question.  And it's not a shot at Lynn Henning, per se.  Henning might actually have some deep inside knowledge of what is going on in E. Lansing.  I wouldn't doubt it.  And it would be becuase he has strong bonds there, having begun his career there and having spent years in Lansing as a student and journalist.  The school, the city, all things Sparty.  That's who Lynn Henning is.  He is the consummate MSU-insider sportswriter.  (Except, I suppose, when he is wrongly predicting Tom Izzo's departure.)


November 26th, 2010 at 4:38 PM ^

I don't care for Henning. Bit I heard his original commentary. He noted, at the time, that he was merely offering his opinion. He's entitled to have one. Tweeters and bloggers, in their rush to circulate "news," turned his opinion into his reporting. 


November 26th, 2010 at 5:00 PM ^

posts something sticking up for these clowns, why do you always acknowledge their right to an opinion while you ignore the fact that we are just as entitled to our own opinion? Regardless of his stature as a reporter, journalist, blogger, or chief opinionator, he is a public figure, who must know his "opinion" will be dissected. When he proceeds to make it a matter of public record, he does so with full knowledge of the implications, specifications and ramifications of that act. If you choose to think he woke up yesterday a virgin and posted, so be it. Please don't ask the rest of us to slow the earth's rotation so you can hop off.

Section 1

November 26th, 2010 at 5:40 PM ^

that Henning was offering up, we already know that it was wrong.  And that's presuambly why Henning was so embarassed that he felt the need to pen his latest column.

You see, Henning's "opinion" was that Rodriguez would be fired on Monday.  And perhaps, if Henning hadn't made that idiotic assertion, that "wasn't based on any information" as Henning himself admitted, this larger controversy might not have arisen.  But Henning predicted a Monday press conference to fire Rodriguez.

And because "Monday" sounds like "reporting" and not "opining," David Brandon quite rightly felt the need to Tweet a statement that the rumor that Henning had ignited with rocket fuel, was "rubbish."  Naturally, Mike Valenti, whose personaly vocabulary is about 150 words, ridiculed Brandon for using the word "rubbish."

So at that point, with Henning having started a rumor that Dave Brandon summarliy crushed, it was time for Henning to take to the presses for some improved evasive action.  


November 26th, 2010 at 4:43 PM ^

The 2012 schedule. The first signature game in college football will be Alabama vs Michigan. After that, Michigan has a difficult schedule. If Brandon waits to make a change after next year, the new coach will not have time to work in his system nor his recruits.  The result could be catastrophic for the program.

He either must pull the trigger now or wait at least two years which I am not sure he wants to do.


November 26th, 2010 at 4:44 PM ^

It is so wonderful to read your latest article about how Michigan should fire Rich Rodriguez, the timing is especially appropriate to take away some attention from The Game. Of course you have no basis for making such claims as you generally don't cover the University of Michigan, you have bashed Rich Rodriguez relentlessly in his time at the University, and you have a clear bias when covering sporting teams in Ann Arbor.

I also recall you writing an article stating how Izzo could never return to Michigan State and coach since he interviewed with Cleveland, please feel free to let me know how that went, and who could forget the knocking of Michigan for "barely" beating Purdue but praising Michigan State for "barely" beating Purdue at home. I suggest you either continue your multiple articles on a variety of teams in the state of Michigan (which are generally done poorly as you overindulge on teams and never fully reach that all important substance) or go all out with your love for Michigan State and just focus on pro-State articles. I can't imagine all the negative articles that could be written about the football team in East Lansing but you fail to acknowledge any problems with their coaching staff, probably because unlike Brandon you look at W and L's and not the whole state of the program, like discipline and academics.

I also suggest you do some research as most inside the actual program have no desire to bring Jim Harbaugh back to Michigan, and while you are at that you might want to look at his four year record at Stanford and you will notice that both him and Rich have almost identical records, despite a tough transition at Michigan and a much tougher conference.

Mitch Cumstein

November 26th, 2010 at 5:05 PM ^

I don't think comparing Harbaugh and RR's record is fair no matter how you do it.  Two much different schools in two different conferences.  I also don't know that I'd claim the b10 is "much tougher".  The b10 hasn't fared well against the pac10 in the last several years.  I would say they are at least on par with each other in terms of competitiveness.


November 26th, 2010 at 6:34 PM ^

It is a bit unfair. 

No doubt Harbaugh is the better coach. It is the way of the world that certain people are better in their profession than others.   To me Harbaugh being better isn't necessarily relevant either. 

Since people insist on quantifiable measures, comparing records is one way. Another is to look at Stanford's steady improvement each year nationally in total offense, total defense, turnover margin and wins against top 25 teams. Or you could ask NFL GMs who are lining up their offers for the guy.  Or AD's looking for a new head guy. 

We all want the same thing.  We just want our program back. If Brandon believes Rich will achieve that, I trust him.  The fact remains he's had all season to say it, and hasn't.

A lot of folks feel that Harbaugh is the perfect choice to get it done. I am one of them.  That doesn't mean we wouldn't love to see a reversal of the three-year trend against good Big Ten teams and us win the biggest game of the year on Saturday.


November 26th, 2010 at 6:38 PM ^

til we proclaim that Harbaugh is the better coach.  RR at least has more of a track record than Harbaugh before RR came to Michigan.  If Harbaugh can manage to get two more seasons of 10 plus wins at Stanford then it's up for a debate.  Regardless, one great season doesn't make a coach great.  Everything about Harbaugh sounds exactly like RR when RR was first hired.


November 26th, 2010 at 10:37 PM ^

No doubt Harbaugh is the better coach.


While an argument could be made that Harbaugh is a better coach, it is a stretch to say that without any doubt. Coach Rodriguez has a longer track record of success at the FBS level than Harbaugh. I think it is unfair to compare Harbaugh's results after 4 years at Stanford with RR's after only 3 at Michigan. A lot can happen in one year to change perceptions. This is the first year Harbaugh has fielded a solid defense at Stanford. In fact, during RR's tenure at WVU, he had defenses ranked much higher than JH ever did at Stanford.

Since people insist on quantifiable measures, comparing records is one way. Another is to look at Stanford's steady improvement each year nationally in total offense, total defense, turnover margin and wins against top 25 teams. Or you could ask NFL GMs who are lining up their offers for the guy.  Or AD's looking for a new head guy.

In 2006, they year before Harbaugh took over the position at Stanford, the Cardinal gave up 387.5 ypg in total defense. In 2007, Harbaugh's first year, the Cardinal gave up 435.5 ypg in total defense. In 2008, his 2nd year, 379.6 ypg was what Stanford gave up on average. In 2009, the defense at Stanford gave up 396.5 ypg. This year the Cardinal give up on average 330.4 ypg. These numbers don't reflect steady improvement on the defensive side of the ball under Harbaugh's watch. Stanford has had 3 different DCs under Harbaugh's watch. The first three years the defense was terrible. The dramatic improvement in the 4th year can be attributed to the hiring of Vic Fangio as DC. To say Stanford steadily improved under Harbaugh on the defensive side of the ball is wrong. It would be more accurate to say Harbaugh's first three years were marked by little to no improvement on defense, but with the hiring of Vic Fangio Stanford's defense made a dramatic improvement. 

The numbers can be found at yahoo.

Offensively Harbaugh's teams at Stanford have consistently improved each year.

Since when does being mentioned for NFL jobs and other college job openings make one undoubtedly a better coach than another?


November 26th, 2010 at 4:54 PM ^

is [email protected].

I wrote him the following today:


I called the offices listed on the site, and the representative I spoke with told me to write you the comment I left with him.

I grew up in MI and read the Free Press and the Detroit News Sports section every day since I was 16.  I'm now 32 going on 33.  I no longer read the Free Press after its obvious bias against the Michigan football program -- and in particular against Rich Rodriguez -- manifested itself years ago by the manner in which it alleged violations by the program far worse than actually occurred.  I won't support the by visiting its site.

Since that occurrence, I continue to read every morning before work.  In all this time reading about Michigan sports through your paper, I've picked up on the obvious bias of Lynn Henning against Michigan and for Michigan State.  It comes through in almost every one of his writings on either topic.  I therefore wholly disagree with your selection of him to continue writing about Rich Rodriguez.  I know I don't know whether Lynn Henning actually has bias, but I assure you that I and many others (based on the commentary from other sites and blogs) truthfully perceive such bias.  I believe he has no credibility on such topics--in particular on speculation about Rich Rodriguez's status with the program--and that your paper loses much credibility when it publishes his opinion or "journalism" on such things.  I avoid his articles alltogether and fear I may start to avoid your site/paper if it continues on this way.  Though I would appreciate a response from you, I don't necessarily expect one. 

Thanks for your time.  Happy Thanksgiving also.


[insert name]

I really really dislike Lynn Henning.  I'm annoyed I seemingly supported  his opinion today by clicking on the link w/o realizing it. I recommend sending the editor an email if you find the time.  Happy holidays and go blue!


November 26th, 2010 at 4:58 PM ^

"You have no basis for making such claims as you generally don't cover the University of Michigan."

By this logic, your claims have no basis, either.

Also: written tirades about writing are more persuasive when written grammatically.


Edward Khil

November 26th, 2010 at 7:06 PM ^

It's the Detroit News' sports pages' editorial staff.  The latest online headline to that article  reads, "U-M has enough evidence to fire Rich Rodriguez."

Does the Snooze actually think the Freep made a wise business move in alienating 25% of their readership base?  (I say 25% because half their base is pro-Michigan, and half of that is (or was) pro-RR.

Henning quotes DB:

"If there is progress, we continue to invest in the program. If you wake up and see that we're moving sideways, and you don't see a clear path to success, that's when you think about making changes."


I don't know what size blinders one would need to not be able to see progress in Michigan's offense.  2009 > 2008.  2010 >> 2009.  It's not even incremental progress: it's accelerating.

And it's plain that the defense is "moving sideways...that's when you think about making changes."

It's funny, talking to my brother who still lives in Michigan and is therefore inundated with the Freep and the Snooze and the local sports talk crap.  He was surprised that I wasn't calling for RR's head, although I think GERG is (and should be) gone, with his stuffed animals.   It just seems like it's a foregone conclusion among many that DB is going to fire him.  What part of "progress" don't these people understand?



November 26th, 2010 at 10:34 PM ^

Good, and fair, question. Generally I don't. I have stopped reading the free press altogether. Used to read it all the time. I used to read a d appreciate Henning's writing, he was a decent reporter for the tigers.

What he did the other day is and should be Intolerable to the University. His comments were hardly offered as opinion. He clearly boasted a out coming off an interview with Dave Brandon. Then he says rr will be fired on Monday. There is no basis for his reporting, there is no basis for his opinion; or whatever he now calls it.

It is kinda sad actually. I was reAding the comments below. I emailed henning one three or four years ago and he replied then with a reasonable comment. But what strikes me in the email below are his comments about integrity and the job of the reporter. Well Lynn, seems like whatever you might have once possessed is gone. And I praise Brandon for calling you out on your comments.

Save for Angelique and Wojo, It seems like that "middle of the night" phone call came from the only reputable newspaper sports section Coverin g Michigan football left in southeast michigan. Were talking a out 18 to 23 year old kids who don't get paid, Lynn. That's really very very sad.

Section 1

November 26th, 2010 at 11:33 PM ^

1.  It really, truly does not matter what practically any sportstalk radio yapper says.  Mike Valenti, Pat Caputo, Matt Shepard -- all worthless.  And harmless.  They don't do anything, except yap.  They don't even do any original reporting.  None.  Not good, bad or indifferent.

2.  It really does matter when a newspaper and one of its reporter/columnists can instigate an NCAA investigation.  That is why Rosenberg is a whole different ballgame.

My original gripe with Henning arose out of his citing the NCAA investigation in one of his October columns, and my calling him on it.  Henning doesn't merely take a pass on Rosenberg; Henning believes, apparently, that Rosenberg's reporting was good, true, worthy journalism.  He backs Rosenberg.

I am really, really sick of having to explain to otherwise good and otherwise knowledgable fellow Michigan alums, just why it is that everyone associated with the University ought to be deeply offended by what Rosenberg has done.  It is sickening to hear members of our own Michigan community say, "You know, it's not just the losses to some of our big rivals; what really bothers me is that Rodriguez has damaged our brand and our tradition of a clean football program with his violation of NCAA rules." 

Which is a comprehensive crock of shit, and deserves to get slapped down, immediately.


November 26th, 2010 at 10:09 PM ^

What apology? Lynn Henning was simply clarifying what was inaccurately reported on mgoblog and on other sites -- that he said during a radio interview that RR would be fired Monday. That is not what he said.

Section 1

November 26th, 2010 at 11:21 PM ^

Or the Huge Show podcast from Grand Rapids?  Because I heard one of them, and Lynn Henning was talking a huge amount of shit.  He's the one who is now parsing bits about his "opinion."  I'd like to have a transcript of what was actually said.  Those cheapo sportscasts don't do transcripts of course.  But I can't even get the podcasts to work anymore.  If anybody is able to do it, perhaps you could post a link. 


November 26th, 2010 at 10:21 PM ^

Lynn Henning is a fucking idiot. You get the aggravation you deserve when you read him.

So this is what he does in between his articles pining for the fences to be moved in at Comerica Park another 90 feet.


November 27th, 2010 at 10:56 AM ^

For what it's worth, I emailed Henning after reading that turd this morning.  I asked if he, in fact, spoke to Harbaugh regarding his desire to coach Michigan.  His response was, "as a matter of fact, he (Harbaugh) did tell me.  I have covered Jim at Michigan, have known him for 26 years, and, yes, we talked."

I don't doubt that Henning and Harbs have "talked" at some point over the last 26 years but there's no f'n way they've spoken about the Michigan job since Harbs took over Stanford.  So where it's not technically a lie when Henning says they spoke, it's deception by omission, imo.

Henning goes on to contradict himself when he writes "Those who say Harbaugh is more likely to opt for an NFL job are forgetting his Michigan ties" while previously stating that Harbaugh deeply wanted the Michigan State job.    So let me get this right.....Harbs wouldn't take an NFL job because his ties to Michigan are so strong yet he deeply wanted the Michigan State job?  WTF to the Nth degree\?


November 27th, 2010 at 11:05 AM ^

With the same irresponsible 'reporting'? I got 2/3 through the article before my phone died, but read enough to chuckle at Henning's lame attempt to defend himself...'I wasn't reporting anything it was just my opinion?" He's a reporter!! He is paid to offer his's disengenuous anyway.  How can anyone say 'RR will be fired on Monday and replaced by Jim Harbaugh", then try to put it off as an opinion...

The more of this crap I read or hear, the more I am convinced that the enemies of M football desperately want RR gone...they see the same thing I do: the potential for a dominant dynasty in college football...a program in the NC conversation every year, after a short 3 year re-building sacrifice;  their nightmare is just beginning as ours ends...