Section 1's recent Diary Post, "Factions," David Brandon and the Free Press (1-10-10) elicits, at one point, the response that comes up whenever the Freep or other program haters are mentioned, to the tune of "When we start winning, the haters will go away." Usually, that ends the discussion, but this time, Section1 comments as follows, here:
And yet, what is that message, for the coaches, players and administrators in college sports? The response is, just win. Just win, baby, and everything will be okay. "Just win" was formerly the philosophy I associated with those paragons of college football; Al Davis, Barry Switzer, Jimmy Johnson, Mike White...
You get the idea.
The same diary also elicits this comment from jlvanals:
I would rather lose every football game from now until infinity than lower our standards just because USC, Ohio State and the vast majority of the SEC view many of the NCAA rules as recommendations (as opposed to, you know, rules?). A huge part of my love for Michigan is that we, as a fan base, are not willing to compromise academic and social success for cheap wins. This is why I loved Lloyd Carr. This is also why I think it is crazy to throw out Rich Rodriguez.
jlvanals' comment turned my mind to a recurring thought, that UM's football-team GPA is one of the under-reported stories of the RR era. When I saw Section 1's comment above, I decided to elevate one of my own comments to a Forum Topic:
During the [Carr-RR] transition, one of my fears was that RR, as being portrayed in the boulevard press, would be soft on the dimension of being a Michigan Man that has to do with high ethics and impeccable standards associated with M. Finding out to the contrary has been a pleasant surprise to me. My problem is that these positive stories don't really seem to get the attention I think they deserve.
For instance, a blog search turns up this post by msoccer10 on 7-16-09, with excerpts from a story behind a Rivals paywall:
I know that Rich's football team made really significant strides in their team GPA," noted U-M Athletic Director Bill Martin. "It either is, or is very close to, the highest GPA in the recorded history of the football team. I'm very proud of that."
. . . The article states that the new staff are putting more emphasis on grades than the previous one.
In other words, RR is putting more emphasis on GPA than Lloyd did.
Other than this, I haven't found very much about this. To me, this is a huge story that blows a very large hole in one of the most pernicious anti-RR myths, and yet, the details (such as what that [2008-9] GPA actually was) are not to be found and the story gets buried under another Freep-faux-scandal about misplaced records concerning GPA, and so on.
Does anyone know a free source to acquire more information about UM football's team GPA, follow-ups for the current year, and so on? And can someone tell me why this isn't treated as a much, much bigger story, at least not here at Mgoblog? After all, one of CF's most ethical and respected programs is becoming even more so, and no-one is hearing about it.
In closing, I'd like to share an idea: When the NCAA exonerates UM of any suspicion caused by the Freep practice-hours story, wouldn't that be a good time for the Freep to atone for itself by running a detailed series on how RR's elves are maintaining and improving the high scholastic standards of one of the most ethically immaculate programs in college football? RR and M are setting an example; the rest of the world needs to see it.