Monday, August 31, 2009

Michigan Football: We Talk’n ‘Bout Practice?

Ah Allen Iverson practice quotes, you do make me smile.

Also: Character Assassination:

the slandering of a person usually with the intention of destroying public confidence in that person

Let me just say that I am shocked – SHOCKED – to find out college football players at a major college football program have been pressured to put in more time on football related activities than NCAA guidelines allow for mandatory work. I am less shocked that Detroit Free Press opinion columnist Michael Rosenberg published an investigative story about the practice in which he eviscerates Michigan and, more specifically, Rich Rodriguez.

Here’s the bottom line on the Rosenberg article – it’s a hit piece. It just is. I’m not saying that no rules were broken as I have no earthly idea, but there is an agenda here. This guy is an opinion columnist, one that I liked for quite awhile, but you don’t let opinion columnists conduct investigative reporting when they’ve already spent more than a year lambasting the target of the investigation. Make no mistake, Michael Rosenberg hates him some Rich Rodriguez. The good news for Michael is that a lot of people hate them some Rodriguez, so it’s not too hard to find people willing to step behind a curtain of anonymity and lampoon the guy.

Now, I’m not saying Rodriguez is not a dick. He’s a college football coach. Often times that’s a pre-requisite for the job. But he’s also not an idiot. Any college football coach in his position knows what the rules are and how to push them to the absolute breaking point and I’ve no doubt he’s done just that. But I also doubt he’s doing anything that’s not common practice at any other school with a major football program and that the primary reason he’s in the crosshairs right now is that there are some very vocal people who don’t like him.

To be honest, I’m indifferent to Rodriguez. I’m a huge fan of the school he’s coaching so I naturally want him to do well. But at the same time, I’m not convinced one way or the other that he’s the guy for the job. I mean, really, how would I know? I’m a fan. What bothers me about this media firestorm is that it’s not about concern for the “kids” involved or the program, it’s about a grudge against the guy running it and that’s cheap.

Anyway, if you’re following this story you owe it to yourself to read the articles linked above as well as some of the posts coming out of MGoBlog over the last 24 hours. Yes, Brian and company at MGoBlog are partisan, but they’re still more credible than Rosenberg… and better writers too. (a look at the allegations and the rulebook) (two parents of current players on the record) (more analysis of the rules and the lack of credible journalism on display)

Also, former QB Chad Henne had a few words.