Winning Quote on this mess

Submitted by bcsblue on August 30th, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Winning quote:

‘It was mandatory,’ one player said. ‘They’d tell you it wasn’t, but it really was.’"

So if they blatantly told the team it wasn't mandatory, I would say this whole thing is firmly in the gray area.

Comments

jtmc33

August 30th, 2009 at 11:14 AM ^

Depends who "they" are. If it's RR or one of the coaches we are screwed. If it was someone outside the coaching group... then we are not.

It's obvious what is going on (at UM with RR and at EVERY OTHER PROGRAM in the country), these voluntary programs are mandatory... if you are not there everyone knows it and it reflects poorly on the player in the eyes of the coaches and teammates.

However, it's like the Mafia.... the Don never gives the order directly....

jtmc33

August 30th, 2009 at 11:31 AM ^

More to the point that someone is giving the impression that it is actually mandatory... that belief comes from somewhere. If it comes from everyone but the words of the coaches, then this is a non-story (except for Free Press, of course... and for the two fools from "that school" that sent me text messages at 7:30am about it)

dundee

August 30th, 2009 at 11:15 AM ^

if you want good grades you must do the "mandatory" homework, but you really don't have to. just up to you what kinda player, oops sorry, grades you want.

BlockM

August 30th, 2009 at 11:15 AM ^

Exactly. And it is followed with: "If you didn't show up, there was punishment. I just felt for the guys that did miss a workout and hat to go through the personal hell they would go through."

Punishment? Really? What were they going to do, give you 40 lashes? Blast you in the kneecaps? Waterboard you? Is it considered personal hell if a coach tells you to man up, wipe the sand out of your vagina, and keep practicing, because your team sucked last year and no one wants that to happen again?

mgofootball4

August 30th, 2009 at 11:20 AM ^

I read that comment and you are exactly right. They, being the coaches, said it wasn't mandatory. Hell, in high school football programs the players know damn well that they aren't going to see much of the field if they don't attend the voluntary summer lift and workout sessions. What a joke.

chitownblue2

August 30th, 2009 at 11:21 AM ^

If you read the NCAA rules, programs aren't allowed to keep attendance records for "voluntary" workouts. The fact that people were there physically keeping records is a violation.

Irish

August 30th, 2009 at 2:27 PM ^

Keeping attendance would be second to anyone from the coaching staff being there at all. Them being there for the 7 on 7 is a violation, keeping attendance is another violation whether it is done by a player or an assistant, or even trainer for that matter.

me

August 30th, 2009 at 12:04 PM ^

Several players said Rodriguez’s coaches were more likely to insist they participate in seven-on-seven scrimmages, which have become more frequent. They also said that members of the program’s quality-control staff frequently watched seven-on-sevens.

“They usually just watched and would write down who wasn’t there,” one player on the 2008 team said.

bcsblue

August 30th, 2009 at 11:30 AM ^

I think that might not be true, I know when I played soccer, they got around this by having a sign in sheet. It looked like it was sign in to know who was there. But they got around that because it was just a sheet for "insurance/safety" reasons. Everyone had to sign in, for the weight room rules. Im sure there is grey area here too that a player might not know about.

Thats really the problem with this whole article, is the jump from i got a quote from a player saying they took attendance, to OMG violation, bec maybe this attendance wasn't actually attendance in the eyes of the NCAA. LIKE OMG we practiced for 8 hours on sundays, OMG VIOLATION, well you practiced 4 hours, got tapped for 1 hour, ate for 1 hour, watched film for 2 hours. Yes you were at the building for 8-9 hours, but only 4 hours of that counts. So no violation.

marc_from_novi

August 30th, 2009 at 11:32 AM ^

Just because there is a tremendous amount of peer pressure to work out longer, watch more film, etc... doesn't mean anything extra was required. Sure, playing time may be dependent on putting in the extra work. But that only makes sense. Those who put in the extra work will be better prepared to play.

Kinda Blue

August 30th, 2009 at 11:47 AM ^

I think a lot of the allegations will prove to be BS, but if the coaches set up system where they can say "it's voluntary" but really mean that it is mandatory--I don't think that will be good enough. Establishing deniability is not the same as complying with the rules.

There are grey areas in all of this but saying it's voluntary does not, by itself, clear the team of that particular allegation.

Sparky79

August 30th, 2009 at 1:12 PM ^

STAN
I need to talk about your flair.

JOANNA
Really? I have 15 buttons on. I, uh, (shows him

STAN
Well, ok, 15 is minimum, ok?

JOANNA
Ok.

STAN
Now, it's up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum. Well, like Brian, for example, has 37 pieces of flair. And a terrific smile.

JOANNA
Ok. Ok, you want me to wear more?

STAN
Look. Joanna.

JOANNA
Yeah.

STAN
People can get a cheeseburger anywhere, ok? They come to Chotchkie's for the atmosphere and the attitude. That's what the flair's about. It's about fun.

JOANNA
Ok. So, more then?

STAN
Look, we want you to express yourself, ok? If you think the bare minimum is enough, then ok. But some people choose to wear more and we encourage that, ok? You do want to express yourself, don't you?

JOANNA
Yeah. Yeah.

STAN
Great. Great. That's all I ask.

JOANNA
Ok.

-----------------

When I ran cross country at one of the A2 high schools, we always had "voluntary" Saturday morning runs. Of course you weren't forced to go, however since most of the other runners did (including the top runners on the team, who were All-State caliber and one was state champion), the feeling was always that you should show up unless you had a good excuse and they (including the coach) would probably give you some crap over missing it. Did I feel some pressure to show up? Probably, since everyone else was, but it's not like it was the end of the world if I didn't. I've always felt that was just a part of sports, myself, doing the extra stuff to show how committed you are to yourself and your team.

GreyJello

August 30th, 2009 at 1:50 PM ^

"I've always felt that was just a part of sports, myself, doing the extra stuff to show how committed you are to yourself and your team."

This is exactly what sports are about. I never played in the NCAA, but I damned sure showed up to every "voluntary" practice during the summer to be prepared for water polo in the fall along with every player who started or saw meaningful playing time.

And FWIW, we were state champions every year I was there. Dedication is not a violation.

BlueVoix

August 30th, 2009 at 2:08 PM ^

Ding ding, MFing Ding. Part of being on a team is showing that you support everyone. I was never the best player on any of the top teams and mostly rode the bench, but I never hated on the guys that were out there doing the work, even if it was this optional, gray-area stuff. You do the work because the work will make you better.

This isn't unique to sports either.

Magnus

August 30th, 2009 at 1:47 PM ^

I think it's funny that so many Michigan fans are talking about the sand in these anonymous players' vaginas and how they're complaining about being punished, etc.

These are elite athletes. You, most likely, are not. They probably put themselves through more anguish in one "voluntary" workout than you do in a month of IM volleyball and Ultimate Frisbee.

Whoever these guys are, "punishment" is a relative term. I'm sure they're not complaining about 10 extra pushups or that Barwis withheld their chocolate shake.

MaizeNBlue

August 30th, 2009 at 2:09 PM ^

Yeah, but from a fairly thought out standpoint, we don't have any evidence of the punishments being rough or being minor. I don't think any of us can judge what we don't yet know, we need to wait for more actual FACTS to come out before we decide who here is to blame.

I'm not saying you're wrong. Most of us don't know what they go through.

OysterMonkey

August 30th, 2009 at 2:40 PM ^

I think this is right. Unless there is some evidence that there were actual punishments meted out to players who skipped voluntary workouts, then I don't know that the part of the allegations about workouts being not mandatory, but, you know, mandatory carries much weight. From everything I've read it sounds like the coaches make everyone run until they puke, so I don't know that running extra windsprints sounds like punishment to me.

MichiganExile

August 30th, 2009 at 2:11 PM ^

You have no freaking idea what I put myself through to be competitive in ultimate frisbee. I eat only boiled chicken breast and wash it down with the blood of unicorns (still a legal supplement in IM)

I do really wonder about what this "punishment" was. I think that may be fairly key to an investigation into these matters.