WTKA Roundtable: Sam, Mark Snyder, Callers Dave & Mark

Submitted by M-Wolverine on August 31st, 2010 at 8:12 AM

On now. Podcast links to come later.

Edit: Podcast links-

7a-Roundtable part 1


7b-Roundtable part 1


(You don't miss anything with Pt 8, which was the Tuesday Tailgate Treat segment....other than learning how to make tasty Go Bleu Quesadilla...)

9a-Roundtable Part 2


9b-Roundtable Part 2


10a-Roundtable Part 3


10b-Roundtable Part 3


11a-Roundtable Part 4


11b-Roundtable Part 4




August 31st, 2010 at 8:36 AM ^

Good thing this is on the radio, because Mark Snyder would need the best poker face in the world to seriously say that Rich Rod has been treated fairly the last 3 years.

4 days...4days...4 days


August 31st, 2010 at 10:46 AM ^

How it revealed Snyder's character.  The constant "you don't understand how the media works" and the "why do you believe what the University says...and not what OUR sources say?!?!" showed a guy who was as much in lock-step with a point of view as any Kool-Aid drinking Rich Rod supporter.

Yes, we know you don't write the articles about MSU, and don't do their investigating. But you're not all freelance guys on an island. The paper has editors, who decide what is getting published, and when it's getting published and WHERE it's getting published (page, etc).  And the Rosenberg/Feagin article they were contrasting with MSU coverage was happening at the same time, and JUST when Drew Sharp was writing how tight a ship Dantonio was running.  Someone decided two columns comparing and contrasting (in a false way) should basically hit the pages at the same time. The Freep Sports section isn't run by Chaos Theory.

And the fact that he has no problem insinuating that Michigan coached, schooled, and hand-picked the players the NCAA interviewed (yes, I'm sure the NCAA is down with that), so they were bias, but the people who came to them (and I'm still disappointed no one asked Snyder how all these players all came to the Freep of their own free will, ALL at the same time!) had no ulterior motives at all, when the disgruntled nature of the latter can be easily shown, and his accusation of the former has no basis or proof. Other than "they won't tell us who was interviewed or what they said"....which man, considering he refused to give his sources multiple times, before and today, seems to be the height of hypocrisy. 

And does anyone have a link with the radio interview where Rosenberg said he wanted Rich Rod fired, or is that just an internet rumor? Because if it really did happen, I'd like to have it sent to the station, because Snyder took them to task for saying it with no one having actually heard it.

Tha Quiet Storm

August 31st, 2010 at 11:33 AM ^

with that first part.  I couldn't believe that Snyder was basically saying: "You should put more stock into the 6 players who were our anonymous sources instead of the 25 players the NCAA interviewed because the university probably told them what to say in order to cover up the egregious practice overages."  Seriously?!?!  Does he realize how that sounds like just as big of a conspiracy theory as the notion (which he vehemently denied) that he and Rosenberg had a hidden agenda to drive out RR?


August 31st, 2010 at 7:55 PM ^

that only 25 student athletes were interviewed by the NCAA, he omits the fact in that same response it also says some of those 25 student athletes that were interviewed transfered to other universities after RR started coaching at Michigan.

Tha Quiet Storm

August 31st, 2010 at 9:12 AM ^

Mark from Lansing is killing it.  I love how he basically called out Snyder to his face about the Practicegate article.  And apparently Dave thinks that because Rosenberg wrote a positive article on RR the day he was hired, this somehow proves that RR has been treated fairly by the media for the past 2+ years.  Sure bro.


August 31st, 2010 at 10:37 AM ^

Is the Worst Caller in the History of Sports Talk Radio.  (Actually, maybe not...there was that one guy who got banded who thought everything was "Unacceptable!!").  But you have him pegged. He was just as negative when Lloyd was in charge, and complained then too. Problem is no one takes him to task usually for his wild statements, other than when Brian did that one time, but Mark wouldn't let get away with making accusations with no bearing in reality. I swear I've thought about asking to be on the "Beatniks", but only when Dave is with them.


August 31st, 2010 at 9:27 AM ^

This is great... I'm a huge fan of Sam.  He gets his points across very well and Mark is getting grilled pretty good about why the article was even written in the first place..


August 31st, 2010 at 9:30 AM ^

Sam Webb always kills it in debates with people who do not have as much information as him.  He destroyed Jeff DeFran and is now destroying these hacks.


August 31st, 2010 at 9:57 AM ^

Listening to the way Mark Snyder answers questions about how this story came about makes me think this story came by someone with power in the Michigan program.  No way a group of kids came to him to talk about practice.  It sure sounds like he got a tip off from someone with authority and an axe to grind.

He must of had a solid source of assurance to go with a story like this...no way he does this on the word of a few players without someone (an adult in the program) backing him up with solid information.  And if he didn't, then he's an idiot. 

Section 1

August 31st, 2010 at 11:41 AM ^

btw:  I presume that this is an "approved" thread of Freep-related content, right?  Seems like a timely, important, on-topic discussion.  Yes?

Anyway, this is the document that got Rosenberg going; an internal audit memo that said that the football team's CARA forms had not been filed:


(That's a Freep link to a .pdf of the document.)  As we all know, CARA form failures do not constitute an NCAA violation.  They are not required.  They exist for the University's own record keeping and compliance assurance.  The memo did not suggest that there were any violations.

But the memo found its way into Rosenberg's or Snyder's (I suspect Rosenberg, but they aren't talking) hands.   Then, instead of talking to Judy Van Horn or anybody in the Compliance Services Office, or Rodriguez, or Barwis, or Bill Martin, or Joe Parker, or Brad Labadie, or anybody else in a position to really know about and understand the details of the underlying story, Rosenbeg and Snyder went to players and their parents.  Anonymous players and their parents; to get stories about how much of their time had been spent on football.

To sum up a whole lot in a few short words -- Rosenberg and Snyder have never explained why they did this story without any of the backup documents (they apparently made a deliberate choice to wait until the story broke before their regular-investigative reporter Jim Schaefer issued a FOIA) and without any interviews from any of the main actors.  Rosenberg and Snyder went inot Bruce Madej's office on the Friday before the weekend story (Saturday online; Sunday print) to lay out the story and ask for a comment.

Rosenberg and Snyder have never given a satisfactory answer as to why their sources (and the story was based entirely on player/parent sources) were given anonymity.  Rosenberg hasn't even been able to tell a consistent story about who "demanded" anonymity or why.

Here's what's really shocking -- has there ever been another radio station, newspaper, magazine, televsion reporter -- a-n-y-b-o-d-y, apart from the proprietors and contributors at MGoBlog, who have seriously challenged Rosenbeg and Snyder, on the record, on the air?

This was a great discussion, thanks to WTKA.  What is astonishing, and sickening, is that it comes one year and one day after the fact.


August 31st, 2010 at 12:00 PM ^

But I should have know you'd have found this as an opportunity...

But as it relates to the actual discussion, Snyder claims that the players came to him, (all at the same time, coincidentally, if anyone could believe that), not that they sought them out. So if you have any evidence to the contrary, and can present it, it would be a great way to show Snyder's discussion this morning as dishonest, at best.

Section 1

August 31st, 2010 at 3:58 PM ^

I have been in the room when Rosenberg was (politely) asked that same question:  "Did these subject approach you, or did you call them?"  Rosenberg's answer, which I have no reason to not disbelieve, was, "We called them.  The interview subjects did not approach us."

I haven't been able to listen to the whole series of podcasts from today yet.  But if Snyder said that all the interview subjects approached him and Rosenberg, that's a lie.  I am certainly willing to note that Snyder and Rosenberg would likely have divided up the effort; Snyder might have called a few guys that he knew, and Rosenberg might call a different group.  I have all along presumed that Snyder was the one who interviewed Stokes and Hawthorne, under the cover and presumption that it had been a 2009 Media Day interview about "how hard all the guys been workin'..."  In which the two freshmen were inexplicably not offered anonymity (nor did they ask for anonymity, with no clue as to how thier quotes would be distorted and misused) like the other anonymous, uh "former" players, and they were not, contrary to Free Press policy and general journalism ethics, informed of the nature of the story that was being developed.

Section 1

August 31st, 2010 at 7:14 PM ^

In the WTKA interview, Mark Snyder said that his interviews with the anonymous sources for the August 30, 2009 story were "unsolicited."  That is untrue.  It is a lie. 

10a Roundtable Part 3, at about the 5:00 to about the 6:30 time-mark. 

I sort of think that Snyder was actually trying to say that the interviews that he and Rosenberg did were "uncoordinated."  But he said "unsolicited."   In fact, with the eight or so players (and parents) that he and Rosenberg interviewed, their interviews were (we are told) not shared or otherwise coordinated, and so to the extent that the players told similar stories of their football-activity time, Snyder and Rosenberg obviously believe those stories to be credible, and the Freep expects its readership to regard them as credible.

Here's the thing -- the obvious thing, really, that Brian Cook was confronting Mark Snyder with, in about the first 48 hours that the Freep ran its story -- while we are told by Snyder that the players all told similar stories, the identities of the players, the specific questions put to them, and the nature of their answers has never been revealed by the Free Press and will probably never be revealed. 

Brian Cook had of course immediately suggested that there had been a huge misunderstanding, by the Free Press reporters, or their interview subjects, or both, about the precise nature of "countable time."  Brian confronted Snyder in the first Rodrgiuez presser following the Sunday 8/30/09 Free Press publication.  Snyder walked away.

And it was particularly rich, to hear Mark Snyder complain that he could not accept that the Free Press story had now been essentially refuted by Michigan/NCAA investigation, because he didn't know which players were interviewed, and he did not know how they were interviewed and what exactly was said.  Jesus Fracking Christmas; that was the complaint that people had with the Free Press story!

In listening to this, I confess that I was a bit frustrated, since Sam Webb wasn't as prepared to cross-examine a hostile expert like Mark Snyder as I might be if I were in court with him.  That's certainly not Sam Webb's job, "cross-examination."  But it's a pity, because that is what Snyder deserves.

In 10b-Roundtable Part 3, at about the 4:00 mark, Snyder freezes when he is confronted with the notion that he interviewed some players who were never told about the nature of the story that Snyder was working on.  When Snyder catches himself, he proclaims that he "did not mislead anyone" in the course of any of his interviews. 

I have no doubt, that Snyder thinks that he is getting away with technical truths on that subject, without saying what really happened.  And somebody should have asked Snyder what really happened in the interviews with Je'Ron Stokes and Brandin Hawthorne.  Because I think it is a simple story.  Snyder, on media day, approached the two freshmen, and asked them about practice time.  Without saying what the purpose or thesis of his story was.  By that time, he and Rosenberg were weeks into working up their story.  A story that was "a month in the making" by the admission of Freep Editor Paul Anger.  What Snyder got from the two freshman were quotes that were completely out of context from the issue of CARA reporting and countable time.

As we all know, the Columbus Dispatch did a similar story, nine months later, asking similar questions and getting similar answers (with respect to "coaching" by non-coaches or "watching" by persons other than non-coaching QC people) and the story was laughed off (probably rightly) as evidence of the general widespread confusion on the subject, until you talk to a real Compliance Officer.

But of course Snyder and Rosenberg never did that in the Michigan story.  And that, my friends, is probably the grandest question of all, that Snyder wasn't forced to answer today:  Why not, before you go to print, ask questions of the Athletic Director's office, the Compliance Services Office, or the Football Coaching Staff?  After all, to fail to do that would be a gross violation of this portion of the Freep's Ethics Policy:

We are committed to fairness and balance in all aspects of our coverage and presentation. These principles are foremost in building trust with readers. To that end, we strive for journalism free of favoritism or prejudice. We recognize that pure objectivity is impossible, but we demand fair coverage. We vigorously pursue comment from all subjects in our coverage. We attempt to examine the many sides of issues and strive for balance among competing interests.

 Free Press ethics policy | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/99999999/MISC/50926003/Free-Press-ethics-policy#ixzz0yE5TLeoM

So there you have it, Mark Snyder.  I say to you, Snyder, and to every other reader of this blog, and every writer who prowls this site for information, and every sportstalk radio program host or producer in Detroit who comes to MGoBlog for source material:  You, Mark Snyder, are lying when you say that the Freep interviews for the August '09 story were "unsolicited." 

And you are a hateful hypocrite when you complain about not having the names and details of the interview subjects in the Michigan/NCAA investigation.  You have done the same with the original story. 

And Snyder you are being wilfully deceptive when you suggest that you had been fair to Stokes and Hawthorne in their interviews. 

And finally, Snyder, you and Rosenberg have committed one of the grossest imaginable violations of the Free Press Ethics Policy with your August '09, in which you no only never sought out both sides of the story, but you deliberately avoided one side of that story, such that you wouldn't even request FOIA documents until you made sure that the publication had been a fait accompli before your cover was blown.


August 31st, 2010 at 8:29 PM ^

You could have left it at the subject line. Thought you might find that interesting. One could say he misspoke with "unsolicited", but he reiterated it a few times, if not using those exact words. And it's just laughable on face value of coincidence, no more reality.


August 31st, 2010 at 12:55 PM ^

my biggest problem with that original article was that there was no discussion of "volunteer" workouts, iirc.  at the time at didn't have a thorough knowledge of those rules, but thought it completely disingenuous and downright fraudulent to not even mention that volunteer practice time exists, when discussing the total amount of hours put in by players.

i only wish that snyder was called-out on this fact during this interview.


August 31st, 2010 at 9:39 PM ^

come up with a conspiracy that UM hand picked the student athletes and then were prepped by lawyers for the NCAA investigation, then it is to admit he, Rosenberg and their sources didn't know the difference between countable and a non-countable football activities.


August 31st, 2010 at 9:42 AM ^

Sam is killing it.  Snyder's points are incoherent at best.  How can he question the Michigan/NCAA investigation on the grounds that he doesn't know what players they interviewed and how the interviews were conducted when he himself won't reveal his sources and how the Free Press' interviews were conducted?


August 31st, 2010 at 11:04 AM ^

My personal Fav is when Snyder tries to argue that the findings in the internal and NCAA investigation do not prove that the original allegations were extremely inflated.

Claims how can we trust the investigations because they didn't interview every player, likely ones who were prepped well to give the kinds of answers to the NCAA that Michigan wanted.

Yeah, and his interviewing anonymous former players with axes to grind really stands up well to investigations lead by lawyers and such.

What a turd.  I don't wish harm on anybody, but if a flock of birds pooped on his head every day for the rest of his life... I'd be okay with that.

Artists rendering:


August 31st, 2010 at 5:36 PM ^

and felt really validated by the fact that Sam and the good guy were saying things like, Rich Rod wasn't treated fairly because X headline and Y example and Belein does the same thing and it's classy.  Snyder acted like nothing he thought needed a justification. 

I loved the part where they called out the guy for saying Rich Rod didn't work hard at keeping Mallett or restructuring the offense.  Threet/Sheridan threw more than Lloyd threw with Henne.