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01/11/2019 - 1:16pm Meanwhile, in East Lansing,…

Meanwhile, in East Lansing, Coach Mark Dantonio is having another news conference this afternoon to announce that he is adding "Senior" to each of his coaches' titles and getting them each different-colored hats, so that MSU can maintain its competitive coaching edge.

12/28/2018 - 4:46pm "The moderator then asked…

"The moderator then asked Harbaugh for a final comment on the Jordan brand."

"'Nope.'"

Well, given that he's wearing an Adidas sweatshirt in the picture, I can see that being a awkward moment.*

 

*Yes, I realize that the article is using a stock photo from a few years ago.

12/21/2018 - 1:26pm Good for the investigator,…

Good for the investigator, and the local press for covering this.  HOWEVAH, I noted that the Detroit News was running a chyron at the top of its website saying "Report Shows Perles Had No Knowledge Of Alleged Rape By Nassar" (or something awfully close to that).  FFS, DetNews - that's what you got out of the report?!?.

As to the bigger picture, MSU had a choice.  They could come clean, clean house, and move forward a better place.  Or they could go through the motions publicly, undercut the investigation, and signal to their school that the institution's PR matters more than its rep.  They chose the latter, and it is now blowing up in MSU's face.

While that's gratifying w/r/t Engler, Perles, and the trustees, it's wretched w/r/t the students and faculty who are appalled by the Nassar scandal and the role MSU administration played in enabling the rape of over a hundred children.  This is becoming MSU's brand, and most affiliated with the university deserve better.

12/18/2018 - 11:07am Allison reminds me of the…

Allison reminds me of the old saying about Ireland - "it's so nice and green, it's a shame it rains all the time".  His occasional mind farts are part of his overall game, which is superb.

United looked terrible, just the way I like it.  Now that Mourinho's gone (#FreePogba), they will almost assuredly return to form with an identity other than "we're the team that sucks all the joy out of football".

12/18/2018 - 10:04am As a long-time LFC supporter…

As a long-time LFC supporter, this is a negative.  Mourinho as United's manager was absolutely perfect.  He took a talented group of players, sucked the joy out of them, and made them hard to watch all while stoking his ego.  Ultimately destroying the fabric of the club in service of his outsized ego.

Plus, as long as Mourinho was United's manager, Pogba's transfer price went lower and lower.  Klopp is the ultimate player's coach, and I have little doubt he'd have integrated Pogba into LFC had the opportunity come along.  That becomes less likely now that United has sacked its abomination of a manager.

11/19/2018 - 1:46pm Which, IIRC, is exactly what…

Which, IIRC, is exactly what Bo told Harbaugh 30 some years ago.

Well put, UMProud!

11/19/2018 - 11:29am Great column as always, and…

Great column as always, and sorry to read about your injury.  I'll pile on with this:

Worst:  Simon Stepaniak - This is the OL who decided to dive on Winovich when he was down on his side (easiest way to separate someone's shoulder - ask Real Madrid!).  This was after he unnecessarily sat down on Gary, and just before he pushed Paye from behind finally drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct. 

The hit on Edwards was terrifying, but also the sort of thing kids do in the heat of the moment.  There's no place for that hit in 2018 football, and was a b.s. move.  But it was one hit on special teams, and I'm not willing to assume that the player's character is suspect based on that one hit. 

Stepaniak, on the other hand?  He was out of control on the reg, purposely injuring people, and IU's suddenly be-haloed coach was doing nothing about it.  I know we are desperately looking for another relatively noble team in the B1G East, but that was some Perles-level "play to injure" b.s. from Indiana.  

Best:  Michigan's response to Stepaniak - It was obvious on TV that the hit on Winovich and the subsequent nonsense with Paye put additional fire in Michigan's belly, particularly on defense.  I sensed the game was pretty much over after the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Stepaniak, and it was great to see that response.  Disciplined, ruthless, and consistent.  Just what we'll need next Saturday.

11/13/2018 - 1:05pm This puts some of us in the…

This puts some of us in the awkward position of defending MSU, Hollis and Dantonio.  IIRC, Blackwell was wise to the Corley, King and Vance allegations and did not report upstream as required.  If that's true, it seems like MSU (for once) did the right thing.

I feel dirty defending Dantonio and Hollis.  Off for a bath in some Purell!

11/08/2018 - 12:52pm Which is in turn a Tarantino…

Which is in turn a Tarantino shout-out/paean to a 1970s karate movie Karate Kiba.  Both KK and Pulp Fiction take some liberties with the verse, which is really (NIV version) ""I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I take vengeance on them."

 

10/24/2018 - 7:35pm I don't know how this is a…

I don't know how this is a diary, but it's freaking great so rock on. 

People can bitch all day about Harbaugh and Bush getting a "reprimand" from the B1G.  I get it.  But Harbaugh is on record as saying almost exactly what the B1G said - MSU instigated this and it's lucky it didn't get much, much worse. 

And most important, the B1G basically said Mark Dantonio is a punk (for allowing the situation to develop) and a goddamned liar.  Harbaugh?  He was impolitic and too impassioned protecting his players.

I'll take that all day long.

10/22/2018 - 1:27pm That was fantastic.  Coach…

That was fantastic.  Coach Harbaugh broke it down step-by-step, so that nobody could misunderstand what happened and why it was wrong.  And correctly identified Bush's logo scrape as a very even-tempered reaction to what could fairly be described as coordinated assault of our players.  (I don't think it was a good look by Bush to scrape the logo, but much more importantly (A) Harbaugh has his back and (B) Harbaugh underscored the proportionality of MSU's coordinated walkover vs. Bush's heel scrapes.)  And pointed out that it is a program-wide problem at MSU.

Also, coming out and calling Coach Dantonio a liar is something we don't see enough of these days.  FWIW, the rumor in the stadium, at least among the Spartan faithful who surrounded me, was that Bush had been suspended for the game due to "unsportsmanlike conduct" for defacing their logo.  I did not know any details until after the game, but each time I said it was weird that you'd get an unsportsmanlike conduct call when there's not a game going on, I was assured Bush was thrown out. 

Did I point out when the defense took the field that Bush was in fact playing?  I did.

10/22/2018 - 9:22am Fantastic write-up as usual…

Fantastic write-up as usual.  I was able to go to the game, and observed a few other things:

  • Best - Fans Writ Large - Fans on both sides were relatively civil, with only a limited amount of bushwa given how hard a loss this was for a side that held us even for a quarter, and believed that a win was in their destiny after beating Penn State.  I was in a heavily-MSU area, and apart from one or two douches (including a guy next door to me who went from "confront the Michigan fan" douche to "now I'm the Michigan guy's best bud, and will explain the rivalry to him repeatedly while the game transpires" douche), the crowd was just fine.  And if I'm celebrating a touchdown and an MSU fan says "8-2" to me, that's fair game.  I expect to hear "7-3" next year, "6-4" the following year, and then "Michigan sucks" moving forward.  MSU earned those bragging rights, and should enjoy them while they last.  (Spoiler alert - they won't last long.)
     
  • Worst - Fans Writ Small - When one of our linemen went down late in the fourth quarter, I heard State fans cheering the injury and questioning the player's motives.  That was next-level stupid in addition to being classless (Michigan had no advantage to derive from stopping the clock for an injury).  Like BB, I felt bad for Davis and for their center when they got injured - it's a shame not all adults get this.
     
  • Best - Weather - The weather was not balmy, but nowhere near as bad as it looked on TV (other than during the mandatory pause).  The early part of the game was a tease of near-perfect autumn weather, and then we ran through rain, sleet, etc.  But Michigan came out of the pause with fire in their eyes, and took charge of a game where MSU seemed to be getting increasingly confident.  And Harbaugh/Pep did not turtle into Lloyd Carr off-tackle [left][right] plays - at least not often - against a good run defense.  They honed their game plan to the weather almost perfectly, making their appointed rounds notwithstanding rain, sleet, snow, etc.
     
  • Best - OSU and MSU Prospects - I was able to get to a TV to catch most of OSU v Purdue, and that was fun for obvious reasons.  It will be interesting next week, because I think that MSU stacks up well against the Boilermakers, who struck me as a slashing run team without a lot more.  So I would not be surprised to see MSU win next week, which would be funny because MSU still is not very good at the footballs.  And OSU looked really vulnerable to a lot of things that Michigan's offense does well.    
02/19/2018 - 6:37pm Just saw this.

I prattled on with a similar point above, nearly an hour later.  To answer your question, my perception of Notre Dame has been that it's acceptance rates are extremely low, so it draws a really good academic student body.  But it's a stifling academic environment (in part because of its C.S.C. background, in part because of it not being a research institution, and for other reasons), and does not always draw the best and brightest in diverse fields.

It is a really good school, and a degree from Notre Dame opens many doors - especially in business and related fields.  But yeah - it's not an academic peer to Michigan.

02/19/2018 - 6:26pm Yes and no.

Notre Dame's admission standards are really very high, and it's certainly a fine school.  But Notre Dame can't touch our engineering, medical (because ... ), hard sciences, mathematics, and many of the LS&A majors.

Notre Dame is difficult to get in to, and has a tremendous alumni network.  And it's a really good school.  For business networking purposes, a Notre Dame degree is probably more valuable than a Michigan degree. 

But it's not at all "every bit the school" that Michigan is. 

02/18/2018 - 9:08pm Holy Shit!

Just an amazing weekend for the Wolverines.  If we can somehow see MSU served the shit sandwich they so richly deserve (on the sports side - I'm increasingly thinking a big portion of the student body and the vast majority of the faculty get it), we'll have reached non-football season Nirvana.

Hail, hail.

02/18/2018 - 1:44pm Injury a blessing.

His 2016 injury and time away from the game appears to be a total blessing in disguise.  Allowed him some time off, away from competition, and to rebuild his body and his game.  I love Federer's game, and hope he's able to add a couple more majors before setting down his racket.

For those who've not seen this David Foster Wallace article in the NYTimes, it still holds true nearly 12 years later:   

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/sports/playmagazine/20federer.html

02/17/2018 - 2:01pm Typical.

Hard-hitting journalism is the norm for WideRightNattyLight - America's trusted sports news source.  The article has bold revelations about a supposedly clean program, with the parts about the passive-aggressive sticky notes being - frankly - pretty hard to read.

We thought we knew you Hawkeyes.  We didn't at all.

 

02/17/2018 - 1:15pm Not Once.

Never ever go "Full Sparty"!

02/16/2018 - 5:44pm Don't Sell Izzo and Dantonio Short

First, these allegations against Davie are disgusting, and new news.

Second, the heap of allegations regarding Izzo and Dantonio are not as new, but on balance at least as disgusting. 

02/16/2018 - 4:03pm Whelp.

I'm gonna just have to say it.  No - that's wrong.

02/16/2018 - 3:09pm As if ...

As if those two occupations are mutually exclusive.  I mean, they're combined more often than not.  As Pierre P-Biddy Bourdieu once free-styled:

The function of sociology,

as with all sciences,

is to reveal that which is hidden,

like my lady's biology,

she don't need no sexual appliances,

the way she rides and likes to be ridden.

02/16/2018 - 2:10pm Oh, they noticed.

They noticed.  They were told point blank.

They just could bring themselves to care.

02/16/2018 - 2:08pm Well Put

Sayeth the Sociology Professor:

He then stood in the middle of the boardroom and referenced a vote of no confidence in the trustees cast earlier in the week by the Faculty Senate and said: “No confidence. No confidence. Step down! Step down! Step down! We need a psychological reset. We need a reset. We need a new MSU. A new MSU!”

02/16/2018 - 9:56am Same Page, Different Book

I've noted several times that we both hope you're wrong.  To paraphrase The Dismemberment Plan, "MGrowOld would rather be happy than right this time."

But the "nobody cares about MSU" cuts both ways.  Like Baylor, they are not a blueblood program, and outside of the state don't have much of a following despite their successes on the basketball court and football field.  That's what makes them a good target for ESPN - you've got a successful program nobody cares about now tainted with the Nassar scandal and under the microscope.  From the press, from the (show pony) Michigan AG, from the (oft-toothless) NCAA, from the donors, from a significant portion of alums, from the faculty, and from much of the student body.  That's a lot of attention, and if you sniff around enough you're gonna find dirt.  Especially in a dirt casserolle like MSU.

Agreed 100% that MSU is not a national brand.  But I think that very lack of panache - along with the arrogance of Engler, Dantonio and Izzo - makes MSU an inviting target for a sustained campaign.

02/16/2018 - 9:40am Certain Amnesia?

You keep on insisting that this will all be forgotten, but the stories keep cropping up - and some of them, like today's, are new issues.  I know you and I have gone back and forth on this, but ESPN seems to be smelling blood in E. Lansing.  Plus I think they're put off by MSU Heisman-ing their FOIA request and then smearing their reporting in public statements.

I'm nowhere near as confident as I'd like to be that this is going to come to a head, but I don't know why you appear to think that it's certain that nothing will happen.  We're getting a new story on this from the WWL at least once a week.  Plus front page stories in the Detroit News and Freep.  And ESPN hasn't even really begun mining in the Keith Appling and Adreian Payne filth.  Donations - the life blood of a university - are down 25% for the 4Q of 2017, and that was before the Nassar verdicts and victim impact statements.

I've said it before, but the Larry Nassar scandal is MSU's Jerry Sandusky brand.  There's a good chance, with tone-deaf Engler, Dantonio and Izzo, that MSU football and basketball will be exposed as MSU's Baylor brand.

02/16/2018 - 8:07am Only Concern

My only concern is if one of his current or former assistant coaches might be involved in some way, either at Michigan or elsewhere.  That also seems unlikely (we know Beilein values character), but possible.  John Beilein himself?  Nawh - I don't worry much about him!

02/16/2018 - 8:03am Getting it.

I think user I Wrote a 4 Word Letter 100% gets it.  Their point is that in a truly disciplined program, your scrubs* are generally your best citizens. 

In Tom Izzo's Michigan State University Basketball Program, even the scrubs are apparently entitled and sheltered pricks.

(You're correct, of course, that the player's abilities should be immaterial when it comes to discipline.  But the point I Wrote was making is that it's really indicative of how entitled a program Izzo runs when the practice players are not good citizens.  Put on that uniform in E. Lansing, and you can pretty much do what you want it would seem.)

*Scrub being a relative term.  Being on a practice squad of a top ten program likely indicates that you're good at basketball, even if you are apparently bad at life.

02/16/2018 - 7:51am Unaccepted.

 

I'm assuming Izzo's open hated for Michigan makes everybody on this blog hate him but get real. Take off our homer glasses and just accept that he is one of the greats.

Izzo is the opposite of one of the "greats".  Great coaches don't run shady programs, including sheltering the likes of Keith Appling and Adreian Payne.  Winning is both important and necessary to being a great coach.  So is character and integrity.

Tom Izzo has the winning part down remarkably well, but is sorely lacking in the character and integrity parts. 

 

02/16/2018 - 7:31am Izzo's Priorities

This is "unbelieveable" by which I mean, considering the source and Izzo's program, is totally believeable.

Washington has suited up for coach Tom Izzo's team every game this season, but as a younger member of an elite team has not received any playing time. In October, Izzo said Washington and another walk-on "are capable of playing someplace" but were, at the time, shining as scout team players, according to a tweet from a Detroit Free Press reporter.

I wonder if Brock Washington, as a fringe player, will be a sacrificial lamb for Izzo.  A chance for him to show that he's "serious" about this stuff, unless it involves a player who actually gets minutes. 

In any event, it's great to see ESPN on a mission to uproot these issues.  If they're on this, I suspect that they'll have something to say about the Appling and Payne rape cover-up as they dig deeper into Tom Izzo's Michigan State Basketball Program.  That story is a victim's nightmare, but an investigative reporter's dream.

Drip, drip, drip.

02/16/2018 - 7:21am As always

Bang with character.  Bang with cruelty.

(Had to get my son off to the airport at 5:30 a.m. ET for an early cross-country flight.  I'm leaning towards cruelty, at least until I get the rest of the coffee down ye olde gullet.)

02/15/2018 - 2:09pm My Hope

I hope that Kroll just as successful rehabilitating MSU's public image vis-a-vis the Nassar PSU-like atrocities and the Dantonio/Izzo Baylor-like atrocities as Kroll has been at rehabilitating Harvey Weinstein's public image.

02/15/2018 - 7:30am A Weis Man

Charlie Weis powered through with multiple chins.  So can you.

02/14/2018 - 6:37pm Remora

And, on Valentine's Day, I will note that REMORA is an anagram of RE: AMOR.

Coincidence?  Nawh.  It's all about love with McElwain.

02/13/2018 - 6:38pm A Tad Rash, Perhaps?

Maybe just a fan of their Outside the Lines investigations?

02/13/2018 - 6:17pm More Repartee

 

Story is already dead nationally. Only place it gets any noise is here.

Well, only here and the two largest newspapers in Michigan.  And the Lansing State Journal.  And the State News.  And ESPN.

I think this sends a message to Engler that the faculty is watching for shenanigans, and undaunted by the apparent attempts to cover up.  I know it's not coming to a head as quickly as we'd like, but drip ... drip ... drip.

02/13/2018 - 1:38pm Manti Te'o

Manti Te'o's calls for consolation to his love, Lennay Kekua, have thus far gone unanswered. 

02/13/2018 - 7:39am Don't know about that.

I do think he should be punished to the full extent of the law though.  Child pornography is anything but a victimless crime.

But this board should not devolve into an Ann Arbor police blotter.

02/13/2018 - 7:34am Kiper's Hair

Little-known fact:  Mel Kiper's hair is the same hair as Mitch Albom's.  I don't mean the same style, color, and viscosity.  I mean the exact same hair.

That's why you never see them together.

02/13/2018 - 7:32am Large Organizations Will Have Pervs

Large organizations will have perverts, domestic abusers, rapists, murderers, etc.  That's what happens when you employ thousands and thousands of people.  Michigan, rightly, fired the guy as soon as it learned what was going on.

This thread should die a quick death.

02/12/2018 - 1:25pm Condensation

I suspect it was a problem with the quick turnover of the Kohl Center from ice rink to basketball court.  You've got a refrigerated sheet of ice under that basketball court, and depending on temp and humidity, it can lead to sweat not evaporating as quickly as it otherwise would or just straight-up spots of condensation.

02/12/2018 - 10:08am Ferguson Quote, Extrapolated

"There's so much more going on at MSU now than just the Nassar thing.  There's also the Izzo thing, the Dantonio thing, and a plummet in donations."

02/12/2018 - 10:06am I Recall

Debate might be an overstatement, but yes, I do recall you firmly taking the position that nothing will come of the Izzo and Dantonio missteps.  I also recall noting that we both hope that you're wrong.  And I still think that there is reason to have that hope.

This is going to play out like a slow boil, which may fizzle or may (to use jmblue's imagery) erupt unexpectedly.  I think the 24 hour news cycle and ESPN's thirst for content, plus the NCAA investigation and perhaps the Michigan AG investigation (although the special prosecutor choice looks like a shill) could well add up to some "BREAKING NEWS" in the coming months.  Especially during the collegiate sports slow season that follows the NCAA MBB tournament.

02/12/2018 - 9:53am Rosetta Stone

Well, I know you're not Canadian ...

 

02/12/2018 - 9:51am Two Minds

I'm of two minds on that.  On one hand, the students have tickets to the game, their team is doing very well, and it was a huge game.  They're not going ot hang their heads and mope about at a game when the students are pretty much* innocent of the massive wrongdoings.  It's a lot to ask for them to give up their fandom, when that may have been a major reason for them picking MSU in the first place.

On the other hand, I think a better student body would be drilling into Izzo's and Dantonio's misdeeds.  The State News provides a bully pulpit for expressing disgust not only with LAS, but with Izzo and Dantonio.  Because:

  • Nassar is responsible for giving MSU an enduring "Penn State but bigger" brand.
  • Izzo and Dantonio are responsible for giving MSU a potential Baylor brand (there's a lot of cult of personality to overcome for that brand to stick.

In any event, all of that is bad for MSU in the long run.  I think the Nassar/Klages piece is obvious to most of the MSU alums and fanbase.  The Izzo/Dantonio piece will take longer to get into their collective consciousness - if it does at all.

02/12/2018 - 9:09am Look Up.

I agree, but I think jmblue is onto something.  As big a story as this was last fall, it really blew up on a national scale in 2018.  It's possible that the dropoff is just getting started.

I'm married to a (wonderful) MSU alum x2.  She's disgusted by the scandal and the school's reaction, and we sure AF are not doing anything to support MSU until they get their shit together.  Having Engler head up your university, and having other shills heading up the "blue ribbon panel" investigating leaves us ... underwhelmed*.

*If that's a word.  I know it's not, 'cause I looked it up.

02/11/2018 - 11:23am Follow Up

And the horse says "my wife was slaughtered and turned into dog food, and my son Colt and daughter Philly are going to the glue factory tomorrow, plus I just found out I have ass herpes."

02/11/2018 - 11:14am Thanks and get well!

Thanks for your write-ups on the non-rev sports.  It is gratifying to any fan or alum to see Michigan beat MSU in anything, and sustained success in a sport is even better.

It will be interesting to see if MSU can rebuild their gymnastics program after losing Klages.  (Klages was, in addition to being a bad person and Nassar-enabler, also a mediocre coach - based on what I've read.  But she was there forever, so this is a seismic shift from a coaching perspective.)  You have to wonder whether a talented gymnast (or a parent of one) would be comfortable either (i) trusting MSU to watch out for your interests or (ii) furthering MSU's brand.  

Also, get well WD.  Sorry to read about the pneumonia - and needless, to say, be doubly careful with the vicious flu that's going around!

02/11/2018 - 11:05am Great win, great article

On behalf of those of us who are Ann Arbor ex-pats, thanks to NastyIsland for putting these summaries together.  They are consistently well-written, thoughtful, and have the right level of detail - at least from my perspective.

Oh, and great wins this w/e.  It kind of sucks that MSU's goalie was a brick wall for the first game, but a SOW will do nicely when paired with Saturday's win.  Pearson's gonna build a monster, and it will be great to get back to the top tiers of college hockey in the next few years.

02/08/2018 - 10:10am Ranked 20th

They also have us ranked 20th 2018 class overall, which I think is fair (especially since that does not include Shea Patterson).  It's a smaller class, and a good one.

Like others, I'd have liked to have seen more OL presence in the class, but it's still a good one.

02/08/2018 - 9:51am Bingo.

A savvier coach than Dantonio would recognize this as an opportunity to talk about the class as a whole, any new coaches, and the upcoming season.  But when you're as negative a person as Dantonio, you probably only focus on the one signee.

Dantonio doesn't do well in stressful environments (outside of the football field, where he's a good in-game coach).  But as you say, if you're a head coach you have to put on your big-boy pants and do a press conference.  Let the MSU lawyers coach him on how to answer investigation questions (it's not hard - just say that the school is cooperating fully with the investigation, and you have no further comment at this time).

It's just that Mark is not very savvy when he's not on a sideline.