What could RichRod do to lose support?

Submitted by dahblue on February 24th, 2010 at 1:44 PM

In reading many of the comments on the recent fun times with the NCAA, it's clear that most here remain strongly in support of RichRod. I think it can fairly be debated whether or not the alleged major violations are indeed "major", whether the media is out to get the coach/program and whether or not the losses are his fault.

For some, RR has done enough to lose his job (from the win-loss record to the current allegations). For others, he has done nothing to put that job in jeopardy. For those in the latter category, I wonder what (if anything) RichRod could do for which his termination (whether now or at a later date) would be justified?

I'm not asking this sarcastically, but I genuinely wonder where the bar is set in terms of tolerating concerns with his handling of the program.



February 24th, 2010 at 3:04 PM ^

I have already posted this in a previous thread but it has not received any traffic so I thought I would post it here so it could receive more views.

I have been reading and following this site for over a year and figured that this would be the best time to chime in with an opinion that I haven't read. I know of the treacherous negbang and don't mind it as long as my point is made.

In his last few years as coach Lloyd Carr received a tremendous amount of criticism from the fan base for running a program that was, for the most part, underachieving. There were people who defended him but it seemed like most were hoping for a new man to run the show and bring the program into the 21st century.

Cue the hire of Rich Rodriguez and the hope that the spread and shred would take the Big Ten by storm and lead to vast amounts of success and wins. Then came all the baggage with the WVU buyout and paper shredding but he was our guy and we wanted to give the new kid in school a chance to prove himself.

Once he came in there was a ton of attrition and we lost most of our Offensive Line and a extremely talented quarterback. People still thought that we would take the World by storm but it was not to be.

We did not make a bowl in either of his first two years but it was cited that with the high levels of attrition that that task was nearly impossible to complete, so he received another free pass. The Feagan controversy reared its ugly head but lets face it, most schools have things like this happen and Michigan has had plenty of that happen in the past. That was blown out of proportion.

We move along to practice gate. It is still theory that there is a contingent working against our coach but as more time goes on it seems that that theory may turn to fact. The papers obviously took advantage of his willingness to open up the program and have it gain more exposure than previous regimes had done. I thought this was great and provided more coverage which was excellent, especially when the season had passed. He learned his lesson.

Now with the NCAA seeming like they are going to sentence us with some major violations the time has come to ask, when is enough enough? I have never met coach nor do I think I will be able to in the future. If our paths do cross I will treat him with great respect because he is the coach of my favorite football team, he has endured so much since he has come here and with all the things he had to deal with when leaving, and when I do get to see him speak he seems like a guy I could sit down, have a cold one with and be captivated by.

With all that in mind I have come to the realization that he is not the man for the job at this school. He has come in and lost to teams that there was no business in losing to (please don't bring up Appy State, it is irrelevant to this), he's brought an exorbitant amount of controversy with him, he's created a bad image for the University in the media, and now it looks as though the team may have to face penalties which will work against our recruiting efforts which are one of the most important things in college football now.

I will continue to rout for Michigan because I have done so since I was in grade school but I will not rout for this man because he took a great program and brought it to it's knees. To still be in his corner 100% seems completely irrational to me but when you're feed the same praise pieces over and over again it's clear to see why.

In closing, I would like to say that I don't believe coach is a Michigan Man. The people who coined this phrase have led everyone to believe that if you are one that you have great integrity and a moral compass that will not stray. With everything that has happened since it was announced that Rich Rodriguez would be our coach I haven't seen him do much to validate his thought that he is a Michigan Man.

Go Blue


February 24th, 2010 at 3:28 PM ^

He would have 100% of my support if he would stop killing all of those puppies and kittens.

I find it irrational that anyone could put the buyout "controversy" on RR's head. Really? You really don't think that RR had the support of UM in trying to get the amount reduced, given the results of the negotiations of Beilein's buyout clause?

Attrition - discussed over and over again. Please review the threads.

These allegations of major violations are of concern. I am, however, of the opinion that nothing major will result and the appropriate controls will be in put in place.

Can someone,anyone please put the final stake in the heart of this "Michigan Man" BS?


February 24th, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

It's not one small problem, it's all of them together. I don't think the buyout was a huge deal but to the average Joe that is what it was. I don't dislike him but I would rather have a different guy in there now seeing what has happened to the image and the on the field product as of late. I am still a fan but not of the man in charge. Seems like a great guy but maybe not the one for Michigan.

To add to your point about someone being a, Michigan Man, I don't know what to tell you. I am as sick of hearing it as anyone else but it's all the old guard talks about and one of the main reasons people don't like our coach. They don't believe he is one. I could really care less.

The reason why I am so disappointed with it all is because, for the most part, Michigan used to be viewed as one of the cleanest programs in the country. Sure we had some instances were there were trouble makers and we even recruited and we NEVER had any sort of violations put upon us by the NCAA.

From a general perspective of a Michigan football fan this is what they have seen ( I will try to give an accurate portrayal of how it looks from the not as informed view point). Rich Rodriguez came in with some pretty big baggage, recruited a drug dealer (we've had problems with players in the past but they were never publicized, FreeP bias???), recruits another high risk guy a year after dismissing the last, and now there may be some serious violations that he has committed. You add in the two losing seasons, which most haven't experienced in their lives, and I would not and could not defend him to people who think like this. Most can be swayed by facts but what I have just stated are the facts.

To add on to my last paragraph, he has, in essence, come in and ruined one of the most storied amateur athletic programs in the World. Unless you have a kool aid IV that is attached to you at all times then you can't disagree with the majority of what I have said. We are the minority of the Michigan fan base. We don't matter when compared to the donors, fans who never attended, and former players. They are who matters when it comes to this because they are the majority and some provide vast sums of money to support the football program. If he were fired today I could care less because of the shit storm he has brought down on the institution as a whole.

Btw, a lot of kids attend the University of Michigan because they grew up loving the football team and can't wait to get to school so they can see them live. This is pure conjecture, but what if the team is hit with these sanctions and Sparty truly does become the prominent team in this state? Hell freezing over seems more likely but a few years ago it seemed just as unlikely that Michigan would ever go through something like this.


February 24th, 2010 at 6:48 PM ^

You've shown an innate ability to be a complete waste of time when debate is at hand. E-thugging is not becoming. I guess the intellect of a feeble mind resorts to such measures when they can not articulate or when they resort to the emotion of the weak, anger.

Furthermore, I won't waste anymore time in response to your posts. You've shown your true colors and they are scrofulous. If you wish to garner a response in the future from me your efforts will be for not. There is no need to interact with someone such as yourself.


February 24th, 2010 at 7:35 PM ^

How do you expect someone to answer this question?

"This is pure conjecture, but what if the team is hit with these sanctions and Sparty truly does become the prominent team in this state? Hell freezing over seems more likely but a few years ago it seemed just as unlikely that Michigan would ever go through something like this."

Once again, stop being such a pussy.


February 24th, 2010 at 7:20 PM ^

Actually I will disagree with much of what you said. You seem to be regurgitating the MSM take on everything.

1) Recruited a drug dealer - Technically, the Feagin deal never went through, so I wouldn't call him a dealer. Seriously, as you say, there have been kids that have caused problems in the past. Feagin falls into that category because his "dealing" came after he was enrolled.

2) Dorsey - This has been discussed ad nauseum. Everyone has an opinion. I am sure he will be on a short leash.

3) RR came in with "some pretty big baggage" - wtf?

4) "ruined one of the most storied programs" - Ruined? This is just pure, unadulterated whining and hopefully hyperbole.

5) I believe a lot of kids attend the University to, well, attend a prestigious academic university. Football is not life, it is but a distraction, a form of entertainment.

As I stated earlier, the allegations of major violations are a concern. However, I personally believe there are major violations, such as putting kids on payroll and passing out cars, and there are major violations like stretching 20 minutes too long.

Finally, why are you so concerned with the "not as informed" viewpoint? Stop catering to the lowest common denominator. People go to college to develop analytical thinking skills. It shouldn't stop after one graduates.

I know I wrote "finally" above but...It seems to me it is the losing that really bothers you, and you are using that to jump on your high horse. UM has enjoyed a long history of consistent success but as the say on Wall St, past results is not a guarantee of future performance. If RR continues to lose, this "problem" will take care of itself.

Edit - I didn't notice "Ares" join date. Sorry for feeding what I am pretty sure is a troll.


February 24th, 2010 at 7:28 PM ^

Basically I was restating what had already been said in an effort to get my point across that he has done a lot of things wrong. If you'd read my post below I stated that today was the first time where I thought I should begin to post because I wanted to express my viewpoint. Pretty much everything he has done before the NCAA decided to investigate was nothing all that important but when added to the chance that major violations could come down then they add up quickly. They had already begun to add up and, in my opinion, were getting old fast. I'm sure a lot of the same stuff happened under the coaches prior to Rich Rod but things were kept under wraps. I wish he would've done things the same way. If you feel my view point is not valid because of the date I joined and decided to discuss then I guess in a month or two when I am still posting you may see my posts differently.


February 24th, 2010 at 4:24 PM ^

You're entitled to your opinion, but you lost me when you argue that RR is solely responsible for all of the surrounding controversy, when it is really just sensationalist "journalism" and infighting in the athletic department.

Sam Webb had a great analogy on the radio this morning: it's as if Michigan got pulled over going 5mph over the speed limit, while the people passing the cop writing the ticket are going AT LEAST that much over. The difference is that we just got caught.

Indeed, it is revealing that we've had the NCAA investigating our football program and all they could come up with are these things. What do you suppose would happen in the SEC? That's really a moot point because nobody down there will assault a football program like the Free Press did.


February 24th, 2010 at 4:49 PM ^

Rich Rodriguez is solely responsible. He has stated as much. He was in charge of these people, he is in charge of the program. If he is not solely responsible then I would like to know who is.

I vehemently disagree with you using Sam Webb as a point of reference on the matter. He is a talking head on the radio just as Valenti or even Sharpe is. He has his agenda and he knows who listens and pays his bills. Breaking down your point you have revealed that as long as others are doing the wrong thing then it is ok if I do it as well. That is your point in its simplest form. I don't know what morals were bestowed upon you while you developed into a grown up but that seems like one of the first things grown ups teach children, "If Sally jumps off a bridge would you do that too"?


February 24th, 2010 at 6:12 PM ^

Considering the massive difference in format between "Michigan Insider" and "Valenti and Foster", it's obvious you have a trivial understanding of the point you are trying to make.

Also, your attempt at placing 100% of the blame on RichRod seems to come more from emotion than rationality.


February 24th, 2010 at 6:37 PM ^

I think you're having some cognitive problems attributed to massive amounts of Samuel Jackson beer. Sam Webb may be more of a level headed person but I've heard him when he is not at his finest. He's not one I look at and think of as a distinguished member of the media. I never said anything about Foster, btw. Valenti knows some things and he speaks his mind. I give him respect for that because not many people are like that. However, he is someone who likes to pile on when things are down. I don't really think that either of them are all that great. They're just someone to listen to to pass the time, nothing more.

You're last statement is sophistic. I am emotional about Michigan football. So are you or you would not spend your entire day on here (yes I see that you are on more than not while reading). Rich Rodriguez oversees things as the man in charge. These people are under him. Ergo, he is responsible.

It's quite simple. You're boss is responsible for you and what you do. If you don't do the right things or disobey then you will more likely than not be fired. If you need any more guidance in reading through the board and explaining I would be more than happy to do so.

Louie C

February 24th, 2010 at 3:18 PM ^

As much as I like him and his body of work, I think that if he fails to get us bowl, then maybe it's for the best that we part ways with him. He's coming into year three, and the reasons for not producing aren't there anymore. I could give a flying fuck about what Lynch is doing over there at Indiana; they're still Indiana and we should not be jockeying for position with the likes of them this year. Besides that, I don't see anyone (Suckeyes included) as a lock to win the conference outright, having a winning record is not unattainable. I do have an issue with some people saying that now he has to win 8 or 9 games to stick around when most of us saw this day coming.


February 24th, 2010 at 3:24 PM ^

1) Eat small puppies and submit the video evidence to the freep
2) Finish less than 7-5 next year (and I'm really tempted to say 8-4, but 7-5 if he beats 2 of MSU, OSU, ND)
3) Get busted for a legitimate major violation. e.g. USC type Reggie Bush shenanigans


February 24th, 2010 at 3:43 PM ^

Michigan has to win at least seven games next year IMO. I would like to see them have a winning record in the conference too. This will be year three of his system and I don't see how 7 wins isn't attainable.


February 24th, 2010 at 3:49 PM ^

While the past two seasons have benn very dissapointing, I think he can still be a great coach here. If it appears after he gets all his players they still can't get it done I would probably lose faith in him though.


February 24th, 2010 at 4:25 PM ^

I'd say RR has already done a lot to lose support, through sins of commission and omission.

Nonetheless, I get the feeling the dust will be settling and Michigan football under RR will be a well-oiled machine come Fall time.


February 24th, 2010 at 5:21 PM ^

I am not trying to mock what you have said but I read this a lot on here and I wonder why people think this. Besides faith what do you think will be different? Will it be because the players have received another years of coaching and acclimation to the system or because we'll have a more seasoned quarterback coming back next year (kind of goes with the first part of the sentence)? I agree that things should be better but none of us know for certain how the product will look come September.


February 24th, 2010 at 6:00 PM ^

It wasn't directly pointed at him but as a general question to all. I get the feeling and I know don't really sound all that similar but they both are going toward the same point. Knowing about something that you really have no idea of knowing and getting the feeling have pretty accurate similarities. Either way, you understood my question but refused to answer. Nitpick if you must but the general idea was put forth.


February 24th, 2010 at 6:59 PM ^

Maturation, more experience at QB, depth, an actual "RichRod Running Back", more speed/competence in the secondary, continuity in defensive scheme, actually having the players to run more than 40% of RichRod's offense.

Seriously, there are a myriad of reasons to believe next year will be better. Watch this video and tell me if we are maxed out in terms of RichRod's scheme abilities.


February 24th, 2010 at 5:29 PM ^

I think a question that pairs with this nicely is, what will you say to the patron sitting next to you at the Big House when they boo Rich Rodriguez? Not the players mind you. That would be distasteful to say the least. What can you say to them, in a civilized manner, to help them better understand things from your point of view? This will undoubtedly happen and for those who are civilized and believe in words, not throwing objects and being all around assholes (yes I am speaking of Brian), what will you say?


February 24th, 2010 at 5:36 PM ^

I'd say, "Fuck you, snob! If you don't like finishing last in the Big Ten and listening to Neil Diamond in Michigan Stadium then you're a Commie!"

Kidding...I'm not a RR backer, so I'm likely not best to answer this question...but I did have fun taking a stab at it.


February 25th, 2010 at 6:08 PM ^

I have read all of your post on this thread and you are the smartest person i've seen on this blog. You haven't said anything bad. You have just looked at our current situation and given it a fair judgment. RR has done a poor job. He has ruined the program and should be fired. If RR resigned i would have no hard feelings toward him. I would actually respect him if he did that. He has not done his job.

Thank you for your posts!


February 24th, 2010 at 5:49 PM ^

I think my support lies more with UM football than Rich Rod. Since I do support the football program it is only logical that I also support it's coach. As far as wins and losses go over the past few seasons I would attribute that more to implementing a new system in which not many of the current players fit. We just reached 85 scholarship players after this recruiting class. I desperately would like to see him succeed because the alternative is blowing it up and starting over again. The team is on the cusp of being great again and would hate to see impatience be the down fall of being able to witness it.


February 24th, 2010 at 6:47 PM ^

What could Rich do to lose support? Apparently trying to stay positive while changing the culture of the football team is enough for factions to organize against him. He could probably win 10 games next year and the Freep would still call for his head.


February 24th, 2010 at 7:40 PM ^

He would actually have to do something bad. So much of his bad press has been due to an agenda in my opinion. If we have another losing season the heat will be on, but he is still the coach of MICHIGAN, so he is my coach. Honestly, all this press is making me support him more, because I just want him to succeed after putting up with this public assassination the media is giving him.


February 24th, 2010 at 8:31 PM ^

Well what HAS he done that is bad? Please tell me:

He swears at players? 90% of coaches swear. Back when I played sports in high school, my best coaches were mean as hell. As a result we had a lot of fun winning games rather than smiling and holding hands in practice.

He shredded documents at WVU: Do you honestly believe this happened? The thought of anyone being that malicious is hilarious to me.

Justin Feagin dealt drugs: He was promptly kicked off the team.

Boubacar Cissoko violated team rules: He was promptly kicked off the team.

We practice a lot: So does everybody else.

The whole "We're Michigan so we're above what everyone else does" meme is just arrogant and needs to stop. We are a top-notch school with a great football history, but it is not because we are perfect, which is what everyone expects of Rodriguez. When we were 4-0 nobody gave a shit about the imaginary disciplinary issues.


February 24th, 2010 at 9:30 PM ^

You negged me for politely asking you the same question that you posted an evasive response to? Huh?

I asked what would make you consider dropping support for RR. You answered, "Something bad." Good for you.

I would consider two of the worst seasons in team history to be "something bag". I would consider bringing us the first NCAA violations in team history to be "something bad". Clearly, you don't. If you don't want to answer...no biggie...but don't be a dick and neg me for asking a polite question.


February 25th, 2010 at 12:07 PM ^

Did you actually want people to answer the question you posed in your original post? Or were you just looking for an opportunity to pronounce the answers you disagree with as "failing to consider reality"? Maybe it's time to be quiet and actually listen to the responses you seemingly invited?


February 25th, 2010 at 4:06 PM ^

The guy said he'd stop supporting RR if he did "something bad". I asked him to define "something bad" and he refused. I even answered, DIRECTLY, the question of what would be required for RR to re-earn MY trust (the fair opposite of my original question).

Yes, I was looking for an answer to my question...100%. I did not expect a bunch of crap about "The Free Press is to blame", "I'm all in for Michigan" or "We don't need fans that don't support the coach".

Some people gave answers that I found wild (like one poster saying he's fine with a one win season) but at least that's someone giving a specific and not chest thumping with how big a fan they are. There were, frankly, not many RR supporters who offered a frank assessment of where RR could cross the line in their eyes. Some did. Most did not - they just blamed the Freep or challenged the loyalty of other fans.


February 25th, 2010 at 4:13 PM ^

Is this what you are looking for?

In order for me to not support Rodriguez, he has to fall below my PERSONAL expectations in several areas:

1: Wins- The first year I expected us to be very bad based on who we had returning and his first year track record. The second year was a bit harsh, but again we were playing starting two walk ons at critical positions at one point. With that said, however, I expect us to go to a bowl, and hopefully win it. At 6 wins, my support may start waining a bit.

2: Coaching Ethics- If we start Sabaning our scholarship players out of their four years due to outrageous over-signing, or paying recruits I'll be mad. If I see players stop emphatically hugging coach Rodriguez, and hear parents like Mr. Roh putting him down rather than elevating him, I might be a bit weary. Most of the commotion about Rodriguez being a bad person has come from the Freep and people citing the Freep.

A 3 win season is bad, but ignoring a coach's previous history is also bad. If you were expecting a good season that year then maybe you should consider reality.

The NCAA violations were something that I think every other school does, so no, I don't think they are bad.


February 24th, 2010 at 8:45 PM ^

My 2 cents:

I'm in the middle. I think Rodriguez is a good coach. I'm not sure how much of this lays at his feet as opposed to an apparently shitty compliance department not doing it's job.

That said, the man is 8-16, and runs a fairly high risk, as of now, of landing Michigan with it's first major violations in football ever. I understand the "but the FREEP are assholes" argument, but it doesn't really matter to me - if everything was on the up and up, we wouldn't be looking at major violations. If we had filled our the CARA forms, turned in practice logs, etc., this would have never gotten this far. We didn't, and it did.

So am I going to call for his firing? No, because I think he's a good guy, and a good coach. But am I going to tell someone who thinks that "8-16 with major NCAA violations" is worth getting rid of him over that they're an idiot? No, because it's a perfectly reasonable opinion given the current place of the program.


February 25th, 2010 at 4:09 AM ^

1. If I at any point got the impression that he didn't care for the athletes as young men and were running the team purely as a business where Wins matter more than all else and the option for an education was compromised in any way. Just to be clear, I don't see that in anything he has done so far, quite the opposite.

2. If he had the chance to fully implement his system with players he selected that hjave some experience and the losses kept coming. I am no expert, but I know enough to see that there is a starting roster full of freshamn and walk-ons for 2 years in a row, that doesn't tell me he is working with a full deck as far as the talent and skills he needs to win with his philosophy. I wouldn't put a specific time limit on it, like it has to happen in 2010 or else. It is quite possible we have a pretty bad season in 2010 as well, looking at the defensive side of the ball and the people that will be in the secondary. It is likelt that it will have some exploitable holes. Things need to start to look up pretty seriously by the end of 2011. After that it would start to seem like a bad match we would need to look at who might be on the market and when to make a move and we shake hands on the Grand Spread Experiment and part ways. This would be VERy unfortunate, becuase at that point we will have a roster full of 'spread' type athletes and hiring a coach to go back to pro style would entail a few more lean years before they had what they needed.

3. If he committed an actual infraction that brought real shame to the university, i.e. academic fraud, paying players, deliberate flouting of rules, etc. Something that provided direct evidence of a flawed character that I have yet to see, again I see quite the opposite.


February 25th, 2010 at 6:12 PM ^

I have read all of your post on this thread and you are the smartest person i've seen on this blog. You haven't said anything bad. You have just looked at our current situation and given it a fair judgment. RR has done a poor job. He has ruined the program and should be fired. If RR resigned i would have no hard feelings toward him. I would actually respect him if he did that. He has not done his job.

Thank you for your posts!