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Tag:Michigan
Posted on: June 7, 2009 9:14 am
Edited on: June 16, 2009 8:33 am
 

The Rodriguez Chronology

PREFACE:

This piece was originally posted on the MSU Spartan message board as "Lest We Forget (part 2)."


For the past several weeks, I have been engaged in a large research project (NCAA football). As often happens during research, interesting things are uncovered that are not directly related to the thesis being investigated. Such curiosities are often worth a digression, so I spent a little time looking at what follows.

First, a little background.

In the Forcier vs. Paulus, who cares ? Gotta Love It!!! on May 1, 2009 at 9:49 pm, Michwolverines1 posted:

All three of you are idiot that dont do their research firstIn the Forcier vs. Paulus, who cares ? Gotta Love It!!! May 8, 2009 4:03 pm, I posted:
And, get this, it was the Big East! Now, he sidled into the Big Ten, gutted the UM coaching staff, turned the program on its ear, and you think with a bunch of freshmen he is going to have a winning season?

A short while later (Forcier vs. Paulus, who cares ? Gotta Love It!!! May 8, 2009 8:47 pm, Michwolverines1 retorted with:
Did Dantonioioioio keep all the staff from your previous failure of a coach?  My guess in no.

It would seem he does not do his research either.

A short while after that (11:51 pm) I answered with:

Yes, Dik-Rod got rid of every single member (100%) of the coaching staff and replaced them top-to-bottom. Dantonio did not keep all the prior coaches, true, but he kept many of them.What really happened?

On December 20, 2007, Rodriguez announced the firing of all the Lloyd Carr assistant coaches. It is a shame CBS does not retain message board posts that far back. The UM fans were outraged about it and noted especially their angst at what they thought at the time was the concurrent firing of the entire staff, not just the assistant coaches, and especially noting Singletary, the recruiting coordinator. I based my statement on the knowledge (or lack thereof) of the UM fans. That was a mistake.

As it turns out, on December 21, 2007, Rodriguez rehired Fred Jackson, long-time (then 16 years) Michigan assistant. Digging deeper, I found that Singletary was not fired. So much for accepting what UM fans say without verification.

Further investigation uncovered that Dantonio fired all of John L. Smith's assistant coaches except one, Dan Enos (then 1 year at MSU). The firings took place a few at a time and did not give the appearance of "gutting" the coaching staff. Furthermore, Dan Enos had been with Cincinnati the year before joining John L. Smith's staff.

Both coaches brought 6 assistants with them, hired 2 from the outside, and retained 1. Each left 3 assistants behind at their former schools. At the staff level, both coaches replaced their graduate assistant coaches and a few others but essentially retained all of the rest of the staff.

I recant my posts and do so knowing there is the risk that someone will claim that since I was wrong on that one point, I was wrong about everything.

In digging all that up, I found myself on a second digression, as follows:

Rodriguez was an assistant when Don Nehlen was WVU head coach. Nehlen was an assistant under Bo Schembechler.

November 26, 2000:
West Virginia announced Rodriguez as the new head coach, officially starting November 27, 2000.
Source: Clemson Assistant Coach Rich Rodriguez Will Be New West Virginia Head Coach

February 2, 2002: Rodriguez signed a 1-year contract extension with West Virginia.
Source: Alabama's violations draw NCAA punishment

...despite leading the Mountaineers to a 3-8 record in his first season.December 21, 2002: Rodriguez signed a 7-year contract extention with West Virginia (through 2009) that included a reciprocal $2M termination penalty.
Source: Contract Law: Meet Rich Rodriguez

June 26, 2006: Rodriguez signed 3-year contract extension with West Virginia (through 2012) that continued the reciprocal $2M termination penalty.
Source: WVU's Rodriguez gets contract extension

December 5, 2006: A famous Rodriguez quote:
I plan on being at West Virginia the rest of my career.Source: Bama to make decision within 72 hours

December 7, 2006: Rodriguez received the Alabama head coach offer.
December 8, 2006: Rodriquez turned down the Alabama head coach offer.
Source: Rodriguez ponders 'Bama, Morgantown

December 8, 2006: Reported that Rodriguez to receive a 2-year contract extension with West Virginia.
Source: Tide turns as Rodriguez rejects Alabama

December 12, 2006: A famous Rodriguez quote:
Obviously I'm very excited to stay here and I plan on being here a long time.
Source: Rodriguez denies 'Bama, will return to Morgantown

August 24, 2007: Rodriguez signed a 1-year contract extension with West Virginia (through 2013) that changed the reciprocal termination penalty to $4M.
Source: Rodriguez testifies he felt pressured to sign contract
Source: WVU Rodriguez signs 1-year contract extension

One might conjecture that West Virginia increased the reciprocal termination penalty as a result of the Alabama offer.

The August 24, 2007 West Virginia contract with Rich Rodriguez included:
$150k/yr base
$550k/yr guaranteed supplemental compensation (with $50k increases every year)
$415k/yr incentive bonuses (bowl games, etc.)
$350k/yr additional income (non-WVU approved endorsements)
$150k/yr tenure bonus
$4M reciprocal contract termination penalty that declines after 3 years
Source: RR WVU Contract (link to actual contract)

November 19, 2007: Lloyd Carr announced his retirement effective at the end of the season (after the bowl game).
Source: Live notes from Carr's press conference

December 5, 2007: Greg Schiano (Rutgers) turned down the Michigan head coach offer.
December 6, 2007: Les Miles, another candidate for the Michigan head coach position, signed a new contract with LSU.
Source: Schiano rejects Michigan, stays at Rutgers

And 1 year plus 1 week after receiving the Alabama offer:

December 14, 2007: Rodriguez received the Michigan head coach offer.
Source: Rodriguez testifies he felt pressured to sign contract

December 14, 2007: Michigan officially received permission from West Virginia to talk with Rodriquez.
Source: Michigan gets permission to talk to Rodriguez

December 14, 2007: Rodriguez met with Michigan president Mary Sue Coeman and athletic director Bill Martin in Toledo.
Source: Rodriguez mum on Michigan job reports
Source: Report: Michigan meets with West Virginia's Rodriguez

The following likely occurred on December 14th but may have been on the 15th. The exact dates have not been verified.

December 14 (15?), 2007: Pastilong [West Virginia athletic director Ed Pastilong] said he was unaware Rodriguez, who has a hefty buyout clause in his contract, was in Toledo. December 14 (15?), 2007: Michigan athletic department spokesman Bruce Madej said he was unaware of any talks.
December 14 (15?), 2007: A famous quote:

When asked further whether he knew Rodriguez was talking to Michigan, Pastilong said, "Rich has not mentioned anything of that nature to me. Secondly, we have a strong commitment with Rich, a strong contract. We're strongly committed to him and he's strongly committed to us."
December 14 (15?), 2007: A famous quote: [Rodriguez]
“The impact of your name being thrown about is sometimes a little overrated. It probably makes for a lot of angst among families and we don’t want that, sorry but you all are stuck with me here.”
Source: Rodriguez meets with Michigan AD about replacing Carr

December 16, 2007: Rodriguez signed a letter of intent with Michigan.
Source: Rodriguez's contract at Michigan includes $4 million buyout

December 16, 2007: Rodriguez informed the West Virginia players of his decision.
Source: Rodriguez leaving West Virginia to coach Michigan

December 16, 2007: Rodriguez submited his resignation, effective at the end of the season (after the bowl game), a one liner delivered by a graduate student, to West Virginia.
Source: Rodriguez's lawyers seek WVU records, Pastilong testimony

December 17, 2007: Michigan introduced Rodriguez as the new head coach.
Source: Michigan introduces Rich Rodriguez as new head coach

December 18, 2007: Rodriguez revised his resignation date to be effective at midnight and declines to coach for the January 2, 2008 bowl game.
Source: WVU DEPARTURE: Rodriguez moves up resignation date

December 20, 2007: Rodriguez announced the firing of all the Michigan assistant coaches.
Source: Rodriguez won't retain Carr's assistant coaches at Michigan

December 21, 2007: Rodriguez rehired assistant coach Jackson.
Source: Rich Rodriguez brings back Michigan assistant day after firings

Interesting speculative pieces that contend McGuffie staying at Michigan might well be influenced by the retention of Jackson.
Source: Star recruit McGuffie is still with U-M -- for now; decision may hinge on Fred Jackson
Source: McGuffie’s First Reactions

December 27, 2007: West Virginia served the lawsuit to Rodriguez.
Source: Fmr. WVU Coach Rich Rodriguez Served Lawsuit by WVU

January 10, 2008: Rodriguez submitted a second resignation letter to West Virginia.
Source: Rodriguez's Resignation Letter Released
Source: Rodriguez submitted second resignation letter to West Virginia

January 6, 2008: Rodriguez announces hiring the West Virginina six-member strength and conditioning staff to work at Michigan.
Source: New Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez Hires More Ex-Aides From West Virginia

January 16, 2008: West Virginia filed suit versus Rodriguez for failure to pay contract termination penalty.
Source: West Virginia University Board of Governors v. Rodriguez

July 9, 2008:
Rodriguez settles with West Virginia on the contract termination penalty.
Source: WVU board approves Rodriguez settlement

October 16, 2008:
Another famous quote:
CBSSports.com: You knew what you were getting into...
Rodriguez: "It wasn't like I looked at the roster..."
Source: Insider: Rich Rod discusses the good, the bad and the ugly

October 24, 2008: Rodriguez signed a 6-year contract with Michigan that includes a reciprocal $4M termination penalty.
Source: Rodriguez contract with Michigan
Source: Rich Rodriguez Signs Contract
Source: Rodriguez signs Michigan contract, 10 months later

It is interesting to note that the contract was signed on October 24, 2008, the day before the MSU game, 10 months and 7 games after Rodriguez was introduced as the new Michigan head coach. It is an amusing thought of what might have happened had Rodriguez waited until after the MSU game to sign. Another amusing thought: after the OSU game.

I fully understand delaying the signing until after the settlement in July. The reasons, to me, are obvious. But the end of October? Questions abound!

The October 24, 2008 Michigan contract with Rodriguez includes:
$300k/yr base
$1.65M/yr guaranteed additional income (endorsements, TV, etc.)
$300k bonus NC
$200k bonus for BCS game or $100k bonus for non-BCS/Jan 1 bowl or $50k bonus for non-Jan 1 bowl
$550k "deferred compensation" (payable when contract comes to term)
$4M buyout, decreases $0.5M/yr
plus what amounts to a $2.5M (plus coverage of the tax liability) signing bonus
Source: RR UM Contract 6 years (link to actual contract)

The $2.5M portion of the West Virginia contract termination penalty is paided directly to West Virginia but counts as income on Rodriguez' taxes. Michigan is also covering the tax liability on the $2.5M which can range from $0 to $1.44M depending of whether the $2.5M can be written off as a loss or business expense or is fully taxed. Rodriguez is employed via a contract. There are complexities concerning the tax code that I have chosen to not spend time researching.

And, last but not least...

November 19, 2008: Rodriguez tells fans to "get a life."
Source: Rodriguez says some college football fans need to get a perspective on life

It is left to the reader to reach his own conclusions.

For further reading, refer to GETTING RICH: U-M names it's new football coach, Rich Rodriguez (Detroit Free Press).

Regardless of the good or bad conclusions one can form based on the history, what counts today is:

3-8 overall
1st losing season in 46 years
4th worst win-loss percentage in school history
7th worst record for number of wins in school history
All-time school record for most number of losses in a season
All-time school record for most points allowed in a season

3rd worst point differential for a single season in school history
Worst season for a first-year coach in school history
2nd worst season-to-season collapse in school history
1-8 Big Ten
All-time school record for most conference losses in school history
3rd worst conference win-loss percentage in school history
First loss to a MAC school in Michigan history
Broke the streak of 33 consecutive bowl games
Broke the streak of 8 consecutive home victories versus MSU
First 5-game losing streak versus OSU

Since his hiring in December, 2007, 12 recruits have decommited, 19 players have not returned, and 5 other players are noted as possible.
Assistant coach Scott Shafer took the blame for the abysmal defense in 2008 and resigned.
The roster at the beginning of the 2008 season had 109 players listed. The 2009 spring roster has 96 players.

Does all of this mean Michigan made a mistake hiring Rodriguez? One season is an insufficient basis for any conclusions. All this shows is the transition from Carr to Rodriguez did not go well.

As for the 2009 season, c'mon September!


Footnote:

There are three alleged quotes from the 2008 season that have not been located or verified:

The first is a Rodriguez criticism of Carr for the poor roster Rodriguez inherited (in the context of losing so many games). Given the celerity of the offer and acceptance, there is no doubt that Rodriguez did not have the time to scrutinize the roster. If Rodriguez actually made a statement of that nature, it was a very foolish thing to do. This alleged statement, if true, could only be made by a classless person.

The second is a Rodriguez statement that he thought a winning season at Michigan was automatic (in the context of losing so many games). This alleged statement, if true, too easily leads to the conclusion that Rodriguez expected an easy tenure, winning with no effort, etc. If Rodriguez actually made a statement of that nature, it was a very foolish thing to do. No one who knows anything can perceive Rodriguez as a slacker.

The third is a Rodriguez statement of "Who wouldn't want to coach at Michigan" (or words to that effect). It must certainly be true that many coaches aspire to coaching at Michigan. If Rodriguez actually made a statement of that nature, it was a foolish thing to do given his statements of staying at West Virginia for the rest of his career. If he actually made a statement of that nature, he is a hypocrit at best and a pathological liar at worst.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: June 5, 2009 5:54 am
Edited on: June 24, 2009 11:04 am
 

Player Defections During The Rodriguez Transition

PREFACE:

This piece, originally published on the Spartan message board as "Lest We Forget (part 1)," received some worthwhile comments from go-blue-go, a Wolverine fan. I have his permission to include his insights here, too. Those passages that go-blue-go contributed are marked with his member name.

In addition, the entry for Matt Mallett is corrected from decommit to transfer.

From the dialog with go-blue-go and others, it seems the common perception is that this article attempts to blame Rodriguez for all the player departures. It is likely that the quotes from the Forcier vs. Paulus message thread contributes to that perception. The exchange of posts in Forcier vs. Paulus was my inspiration and motivation to digress from my primary research project to compile this data. The research actually did not delve into why a player left (except in 2 or 3 cases), but rather verified both that player had left and the type of departure (decommit versus transfer for example).


For the past several weeks, I have been engaged in a large research project (NCAA football). As often happens during research, interesting things are uncovered that are not directly related to the thesis being investigated. Such curiosities are often worth a digression, so I spent a little time looking at what follows.

First, a little background.

It the Forcier vs. Paulus, who cares ? Gotta Love It!!! on May 1, 2009 at 9:49 pm, Michwolverines1 posted:

All three of you are idiot that dont do their research first

One has to pause and comtemplate the literacy of that particular fan.

A few minutes later (9:53 am), I posted:

How many players has Dik-Rod lost or chased away now? Seems in spring practice a year ago, one or more left because of the lack of values brought to the program by Dik-Rod. Lost Treet recently.

A bit later (10:59 pm), Michwolverines1 responded with:
I havent really kept a tally but the player you are referencing in the next sentecnce about "values" would be Justin Boren.   He claimed there was "eroding family values" when in fact it was his father who did want his kids playing at rival schools.
THREET transfered becuase he is a more suited for a pro style system.

One has to pause anew and comtemplate the level of research conducted by that particular fan.

In the course of my research, the site I discovered was Observations of Coach Rodriquez' First Year at Michigan, which was authored by a Michigan fan.

Listed on that site, are 12 recruits that decommitted and 19 players who left or were kicked off the team during the first year of Rodriguez as head coach at UM plus one coach who resigned. In addition, one recruit decommitted and later recommitted and 5 players may decide to leave (still listed on the spring roster). That's 36 players and 1 coach.


Shafer, Scott
- resigned (now Defensive Coordinator at Syracuse)
go-blue-bo: Scott Shafer resigned due to poor performance of his D, he said "Bottom line is, I take full responsibility for the demise of the Michigan program. I accept all the responsibility." - The Detroit News . It also had nothing to do with Coach RR.  Was he fired or resigned?  When asked  if it was actually a resignation Shafer replied "Yes, it is accurate. We just had a mutual decision." - The Detroit Free Press.

Campbell, Will - decommit & recommit (class of 2009)
go-blue-bo: Will Campbell while I have no actual proof, everyone knows that Big Will is a practical joker, and has been known to play pranks on everyone.  He decommited and recommited to UM just to pull their chain, as well as when choosing the team hat at the Army All-American game he first reached for the LSU cap then returned to UM.  He was in the spotlight, who wouldn't have a little fun.....

Babb, Zion - kicked off team (new school not identified)
There is disagreement whether Babb was kicked off or left of his own accord. As reported, Babb probably deserved to be thrown off the team.
go-blue-bo: Zion Babb was in fact kicked from the team, repeatedly violated team policy.  Every team has this type of departure.  He did not leave due to RR.

Kates, Jason - left the team (new school not identified)
go-blue-bo: Jason Kates a redshirt freshman that saw 0 snaps.  Left to find some more playing time (rumour has it he also had difficulty maintaining his weight during his time at UM). - http://varsityblue.blogspot.com/200
8/11/jason-kates-leaves-michigan.ht
ml


Bostic, William - did not return (new school not identified)
go-blue-bo: William Bostic in '06 and '07 he produced 0 playing time, never saw the field.  Can't blame those years on RR.  http://www.mgoblue.com/football/pla
yerbio.aspx?id=69120


Buckman, Sam - did not return (new school not identified)
go-blue-bo: Sam Buckman in '06 and '07 he produced 0 playign time, never saw the field due to a tear in his vastas intermedius muscle.  Again, that is not RR's fault.  http://mgoblue.com/football/playerb
io.aspx?id=69118


Butler, Carson - did not return (entered NFL draft)
go-blue-bo: Carson Butler as you stated entered the NFL draft, and got picked up by Green Bay Packers, not RR's fault  - http://www.packers.com/team/players
/butler_carson/


Criswell, Andre - did not return (new school not identified)
go-blue-bo: Andre Criswell its anybody's guess where this kid is now, this player had 1 year of eligibility left (if I'm correct) however I cannot find any information as to why he departed.  RR may very well have played a factor into his departure.

Middleton, David - did not return (new school not identified)
go-blue-bo: David Middleton did not see any action in his first year '06 nor any action in '07.  Again can't blame those on RR.  http://web1.ncaa.org/stats/StatsSrv
/careerteam


Perry, Lawrence - did not return (new school not identified)
go-blue-bo: Lawrence Perry did not see any action in '07, however many freshmen do not, his departure could be due to RR.  http://web1.ncaa.org/stats/StatsSrv
/careerplayer


Ramirez, Michael - did not return (new school not identified)
go-blue-bo: Michael Ramirez was actually on the roster last year, however in '07 and '08 he did not see any playing time and was a SO for both seasons.  Not on current roster may have departed due to RR.

Ciulla, Jeremy - wasn't asked back for 5th year (whereabouts unknown)
go-blue-bo: Jeremy Ciulla 4 good years in UM, well 3 really as he didn't play in his first.  Unknown reasons why he didn't play for his 5th season.  Could have departed due to RR.

Mitchell, Alex - wasn't asked back for 5th year (whereabouts unknown)
go-blue-bo: Alex Mitchell much like Jeremy Ciulla played in 3 seasons, only 7 games in his last year.  Unknown reasons why he didn't play for his 5th season.  Could have departed due to R.R.

Boren, Justin - claiming a lack of family values at UM, transferred  to Ohio State
go-blue-bo: Justin Boren 100% departure due to RR

Chambers, Artis - played in 2008 while ineligible, transferred to Ball State
go-blue-bo: Artis Chambers was deemed Academically Ineligible, did not return to UM and transfered to Ball St.  As you pointed out.  Nothing to do with RR

Clemons, Toney - transferred to Colorado
go-blue-bo: Toney Clemons another student who transfered due to the arrival or RR, however it was not RR specifically (much like Boren) but more the installing of the spread offense.  http://www.ralphiereport.com/2009/5
/20/881063/wr-toney-clemons-commits
-to
  however we'll count it as a departure due to RR

Horn, Avery - transferred (new school not identified)
go-blue-bo: Avery Horn actually saw field time last year, but only on returns and didn't see a single snap on Offense.  Its said he transfered to a school closer to home, however I cannot find any hard proof.  Could be becuase of RR, but then again it may have other reasons.

Mallett, Ryan - transferred (new school not identified). Ryan Mallett played in (not as a starter) 11 games as a freshman at Michigan. According to a WJLA report, Mallett may end up at Tennessee under former UM offensive coordinator Mike DeBord and quarterbacks coach Scott Loeffler, both of whom Tennessee is, at the time of the report, was considering hiring. Texas A&M, UCLA, and a couple of other schools were also under consideration by Mallett.

McGuffie, Sam - transferred to Rice. Interesting speculative articles (Detroit Free Press and Scout) contended in December 2007 that then recruit McGuffie was considering decommitting depending on whether Fred Jackson was or was not retained as an assistant coach. Rodriguez rehired Jackson on December 21, 2007 and McGuffie was on the Michigan roster for a year.
go-blue-bo: Sam McGuffie yes he transfered, but it had nothing to do with RR, he left to be closer to his family as well as after recieving 2 concussions last year he felt he could not take the hits at this level. There are a number of factors," McGuffie said about his decision, according to Rivals.com. "It's nothing against the Michigan football team or the university. I felt that I had to do what is best for myself and my family."  Can't blame that on RR  http://www.bukisa.com/articles/6191
3_sam-mcguffie-transfer


Patilla, Quinton - transferred to Grand Valley
go-blue-bo: Quinton Patilla left due to issues with new staff at UM as well as medical reasons, might not be RR but thats splitting hairs.  We'll say this is RRs fault. http://grandvalleystate.scout.com/2
/759380.html


Slocum, Marques - alleged conflict with Rodrigues, transferred (new school not identified)
go-blue-bo: Marques Slocum you say "alleged conflict with Rodrigues" however depending on what you read it seems most of his aggression was towards Mark Barwis. Seemed to be academically faultering as well as skipping team workouts.  Not to mention the alcohol related misdemeanor... Won't blame RR for this. http://varsityblue.blogspot.com/200
8/07/marques-slocum-leaves-program.
html


Threet, Steven - quarterback competition with Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson, transferred (new school not identified)
go-blue-bo: Steven Threet this is more of a case of player unable to fit a system, and coach RR tried to work it with him, but in the end some players dont fit.  He stayed at RRs request, but left because he couldnt fit.  We'll still say RR was the reason http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/
story?id=4105440


Grady, Keven - may possibly transfer but still listed on the spring roster
go-blue-bo: Kevin Grady has no intentions of transfering, but may not play due to dui. Until he actually transfers can we really blame someone (if that was the case women would begin to blame us for crap we didnt do...wait they do that now). http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/
story?id=4168796

Mathews, Greg - may possibly transfer but still listed on the spring roster
go-blue-bo: Greg Mathews haven't heard anything of him transfering,

Patterson, Adam - may possibly transfer but still listed on the spring roster
go-blue-bo: Adam Patterson haven't heard anything of him transfering,

Warren, Donovan - may possibly transfer but still listed on the spring roster
go-blue-bo: Donovan Warren haven't heard anything of him transfering reciently (since 07)

Webb, Martell - may possibly transfer but still listed on the spring roster
go-blue-bo: Martell Webb haven't heard anything of him transfering

Hill, Taylor - decommitted, signed with Kent State (class of 2008)
Wienke, John - decommitted, signed with Iowa (class of 2008)
Wilson, Christian - decommitted, signed with North Carolina (class of 2008)
Witherspoon, Marcus - decommitted, signed with Rutgers (class of 2008)
Barnes, Jordan - decommitted, signed with Oklahoma State (class of 2009)
Beaver, Shavodrick - decommitted, signed with Tulsa (class of 2009)
Fera, Anthony - decommitted, signed with Penn State (class of 2009)
Graves, Pearlie - decommitted, signed with Texas Tech (class of 2009)
Jones, DeQuinta - decommitted, signed with Arkansas (class of 2009)
McNeal, Bryce - decommitted, signed with Clemson (class of 2009)
Newsome, Kevin - decommitted, signed with Penn State (class of 2009)
Peace, DeWayne - decommitted, signed with Arizona (class of 2009)
go-blue-bo: As for all the Decommitted and signing with other teams, this happens each and every year with each team.  Players commit and decommit regularly.  Some may very well have had to do with UM's 3-9 record last year, some may not want to play the spread, and some may just not like RR, but we may also have taken a few commits from other teams for the same reasons.  Unless a players specifically said "I will not sign with Michigan because of Rich Rodriguez" then I cannot accept it as his fault.

Certainly there is turnover from year to year. Too, a change in coaching is sufficient cause for players and recruits to reconsider. One recruit stated he decommitted because he wanted to play for coaches more like Carr. Some of the players did not fit in with the spread option or the new defensive scheme and left for programs with better fits to their talents and training.

But 40% of the team? In one year?

It makes one wonder.


ENDNOTES:

The fall 2008 Michigan roster listed 109 players. There are currently listed 96 players on the Michigan Spring roster (not all the recruits are listed since they are not yet enrolled). Based on 109 players and 31 confirmed departures, the turnover percentage is just over 28%. The original 40% was based on the 85 scholarships allowed per team, 31 confirmed departures and an assumption that another 3 of the 5 "possible transfers" would also depart.

Posted on: December 13, 2008 10:31 am
Edited on: December 30, 2008 10:15 am
 

Dear Lil Sis (part VII)

December 13

Dear Lil Sis,

    I recently read where your coach is upset with the fans, unhappy with comments he has heard with regard to the season just ended. Perhaps if you and your girlfriends on the team were to cease giving away free teeshirts at Wal-Mart, you would reap a benefit.
    You might consider setting up outside of Toys R Us for your teeshirt giveaways. Certainly there is a good prospect of gaining better fans. These new fans would likely be much more mature and there is all likelihood that these new fans will understand that football is just a game.
    While there, you should avail yourself of the many educational toys. Purchase of a Speak-And-Spell and other instructional gadgets will surely help you prepare for the spring semester. Indeed, using it while on teeshirt duty would benefit not only you, but also all your girlfriends on the team.
    Just think of how your teammates will be so envious of you and your new toy!

With all the love there is,

    Little Brother

Posted on: November 30, 2008 9:48 am
Edited on: November 30, 2008 9:49 am
 

Dear Lil Sis (part VI)

Dear Lil Sis,

     Congratulations on a record-setting/record-breaking season. You and your girlfriends should be pleased and proud of all you managed to accomplish.
     No, I do not believe you should start Spring Training just yet.
     In keeping with your request, I will continue to keep my letters short.

With all the love there is,

     Little Brother

Posted on: October 30, 2008 6:13 pm
 

Dear Lil Sis (part V)

Dear Lil Sis,

    Yes, I've heard that your coach has signed a 5-year contract.
    No, I do not believe the Federal Government will bail out your program like it is doing with the banks.
    In keeping with your request, I will try to keep my letters short.

With all the love there is,

    Little Brother

Posted on: October 30, 2008 6:10 pm
 

Dear Lil Sis (part IV)

Dear Lil Sis,

    I watched the game. Your team has made definite improvements since the beginning of the year. It will not be too long, maybe a year or 2, before you are ready to test yourselves at the next level. There are a number of good Pop Warner teams in your area. The Oak Park Trojans and the Ypsilanti Panthers come to mind.

    You asked me to write shorter letters. Ok.

With all the love there is,

    Little Brother

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 24, 2008 7:01 pm
 

Dear Little Sis (part III)

 

Dear Lil Sis,

    I did get your last letter. I am delinquent in responding slow to answer. Yes, it has been too long since last I wrote, but after your last letter I was hard pressed to motivate myself. Even so, I will try to answer your questions.
    Yes, it is true I expound with a substantial vocabulary use big words, but there is no need for you to be so disquieted stressed out about it. You do have a dictionary. It is that large red book accumulating collecting dust on your bookshelf. But hey, kiddo, I'll tell you what I will do. I will dummy this down, just for you. I will go back over this letter before I send it and put in smaller words. Then maybe at least some of those nasty big, bad words will not be so scary. After all, I do not want to "make your head hurt." And who knows, you might actually even learn a few of those words. That would help you get your grades up and then you could go to a real school or, if you can't improve raise your grades sufficiently enough, maybe you could enroll in get into a community college, which would definitely be a step up from where you are now and a good step in the right direction for getting a decent good education.
    I was reminiscing thinking about one of the original SNL episodes shows a little while ago. Chevy Chase and Jane Curtin were doing the newscast skit and Chevy came forth with said one of his classic lines. It made me think of you.
    For future reference Just so you know, it is Sodom and Gomorrah not sodomy and gonorrhea.
    So you got an A in poetry class! Congratulations! Congrats! But, don't get cocky. Yes, we want you to get good grades and getting an A and being the best in your class is a strong start. However, I do not believe your verbal report of, "I read the first 3 lines and I was too confused to continue. It made me feel real sad," does true justice to The Road Less Traveled by Robert Frost. You really should try to finish it and do try to grok understand get it. That you were the only one in your class to have actually read any of it and actually give a report of any kind bespeaks enough of Charm School.
    I am sorry you are feeling such angst so unhappy that you stadium is no longer the biggest in the country. No, sorry, those emails are just spam. Size does not matter; at least not in that context the way it was used. Hey kiddo, look at the bright side. So your stadium is number 2 in capacity the number of fans that can sit, but now you have handicap access. Those added handicap access ramps means your team can now come into the stadium without needing to be carried by the band. That's something, isn't it? Besides, there usually are not that many fans left once the game is underway.
    Please do not ask about Braille yard lines. You many hear the fans yelling the refs are blind, but they are not. It just seems so at times, so just don't ask, ok?
    The big game is this weekend. I am looking forward to it. I hope you and your girlfriends are prepared ready. I know you said you are, but having a bake sale to raise money so you and your teammates can wave them on the sideline, showing your team spirit, is not exactly the best preparations way to get ready. It will be best if those cute little flags are left on the sideline when you go onto the field.
    I see no reason why you and your girlfriends should not go ahead and wear the Goth makeup for the game. Just remember that you can’t wear your leather miniskirts minis and you have to take off all the jewelry before the game. Maybe you should consider what a fashion statement it will be to wear Goth makeup with those cute little uniforms you have to wear. Oh, and the cup? First, I do not believe the cup will work with a thong, leather or otherwise. Also, you and your girlfriends really do not need to wear cups. You have nothing between your legs that needs protecting. Just a suggestion: I would leave the leather undies back in your room if I were you.
    I have kept tabs on your team this year. It is obvious easy to see that the coach has not done enough to get you girls prepared ready for any of your games. It also seems you and your girlfriends need some assistance help comprehending understanding getting the basics. Let me see if I can simplify it make it easy for you.
    The spread: The spread has nothing to do with food. Likewise Also, the spread has nothing to do with lying down, the position of your legs, your state of dress, or with whom you are dating. Yes, I fully understand and appreciate know that you and all the girls at Charm School are very proficient good at that activity. I am also well aware that the kids at Charm School are renowned for running around naked. None of that has to do with football and you will do well to do nothing like that on national television TV and you should wear those cute little uniforms throughout for the whole game. The spread is a type of offense where the players are not crowded together. It is supposed to make things difficult hard on the opposing team's defense.
    Rushing: The rush has nothing to do with pledging a sorority. It has nothing to do with how you feel when you hyperventilate breathe really deep and fast. It has nothing to do with the euphoria you get when doing drugs or see a really, really cute hunk of a guy. The rush is a kind of football play where someone is handed the football and runs while carrying it.
    Passing: I know you think you know what a pass is, but it has nothing to do with a guy (or girl) trying to entice talk you into a sexual encounter having sex. Likewise, the pass is not a slip of paper that gets you out of class. The pass is a kind of football play where someone throws the ball and another player on the team catches it without dropping it and then runs while carrying it.
    Receiving: I am sure you have heard the saying, "it is better to give than to receive." Although that is a charitable good way to live one's life, it has nothing to do with football. When a person on your team throws the ball, the person who catches it is receiving and that player is called a receiver. When the ball has been kicked, a player from the other team tries to catch it. That is receiving, but the player is called a kick returner. You are not supposed to give the ball to anyone from the team that just kicked. The player with the ball then runs, like a rusher.
    Punting: I am sure you have heard the expression saying, "fall back 10 and punt." This is a football expression. It does not mean for you and your girlfriends to run backwards and fall on the ground. It means you and your girlfriends did not do well and have to kick the ball. What you are supposed to do is keep the other players away from your punter girlfriend who kicks long enough for her to kick the football.
    The option: The option is somewhat like what you get with a telephone menu. You do have to choose. In football, the choice is to keep the ball and run with it or give (or pass) the ball to a team mate. When on the phone, you have lots of time to think and there is the "#" key to go back and change your choice In football, you do not have a lot of time because players from the other team want to knock you down while you still have the ball.
    Yes, it is a lot. Yes, it is confusing, but do not take your cell phone onto the field. There are no lifelines in football.
    Turnovers: Turnovers are fumbles and interceptions. You and your girlfriends, by now, know a lot about turnovers, so I need not say more. Just try to not make so many and, when the football is on the ground, as I said in an earlier letter, grab the ball and do not worry about getting grass stains on your cute little uniforms.
    Winning and being number 1 are achievements things one earns through talent, skill, and hard work. The real goal is doing your best. You and the other girls on your team are assuredly fershur doing your best. One thing is certain fershur. You and your girlfriends are starting to learn how to graciously accept a loss. By the end of this season, you all should be able to finish a game without a single quivering chin.
    See you soon. Looking forward to it.

With all the love there is,

    Little Brother

Posted on: September 24, 2008 5:30 pm
 

Dear Lil Sis (part 2)

Dear Lil Sis,

    I have not heard from you lately. Perhaps your reticence might be attributed to admirable industry such as studying and not due to incarceration or a sojourn at the local rehabilitation center owing to yet another weeklong binge. Certainly it is understood that students occasionally need to "blow off steam," but engaging in such an occupation should be with self-control and moderation, perhaps even parsimoniousness. Keeping up your grades is a worthwhile endeavor and, if successful, you will surely revel in the satisfaction of receiving a certificate from Charm School. Then, too, higher grades will engender opportunities to enroll in a real school.
    Perhaps your studiousness so sequestered you that you have not heard. Our team avenged your loss! Although the margin was 16 points and your loss was by 18 points, perhaps the triumph is sufficient to quell a few of your teammate's quivering lips. It would be serendipitous if true for it would be unobliging to impregnate your delicate sensibilities (or those of your girlfriends) with further angst by dwelling on your loss or this recent victory.
    Either way, it is sagacious that your team has the week off after those three grueling contests. This will afford a proper drying and cleaning of your cute little uniforms. It will also give you and your girlfriends ample opportunity to get rid of those nasty split ends and tangles that you suffer every time you put on your helmets. We know how important appearance is to your self-esteem and you assuredly will put this time to good use.
    And speaking of football, permit me to offer some advice. You and your girlfriends should not be so shy about touching the football. Football is not a game of "hot potato" and when the ball is dropped, everyone should make an effort to grab the football even if it means falling on the ground and mussing your cute little uniforms.
    Allow me to backtrack for a moment as I feel impelled to note and comment on your continuing curricula fluctuations. Many students do revise their plans and chart a new course through the academic swells and this is normal and natural. However, one should consider all facets before buying the gem. Yes I know that basket weaving is sometimes tedious and boring, but you will find that true of most academics. You've changed to Knitting 101 and knitting, as a career, is more glamorous than basket weaving. From the business perspective, however, both have robust markets, but the prospectus for wicker waste baskets is very strong with much less substantial competition. When making decisions about careers, one would be well advised to consider such factors.
    A report that was published sometime ago and recently came to my attention is most troubling. Is it true that last spring a member of your team left due to "a lack of family values" on the team? Did this player also leave Charm School? Your enrollment in Charm School was founded primarily on the understanding that one of the highest priorities, one of the most salient attributes of Charm School, is the emphasis on family values. If this report is bone fide, then aside from disappointment and failed expectations, it represents both a serious breach of trust and an insincerity by your coach or perhaps even Charm School administration to the point of disingenuousness or misrepresentation. You do not have to continue in that institution. You can always request a transfer to another institution where morality and ethics are hallmarks, not graffiti.
    It has been problematic not commenting on the rumors and reports surrounding your coach and the manner in which he left his former position to take the coaching position with Charm School. Given the allegations coupled with the reported lack of family values a pattern starts to emerge, one that should cause you to take pause and be wary. The cliché, "once a thief, always a thief" seems apropos. Take care, darling, to not be violated by your coach. Although the evidence is insufficient to prove or predict, it seems likely that that may already have happened.
    Be strong. Be brave. Perhaps in the not-so-distant future, your team might have a winning season. Take comfort that our team will avenge each and every one of your losses.

With all the love there is,

    Little Brother

Category: NCAAF
 
 
 
 
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