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M Man

Member since 30 August 2010 | Blog

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Comment 22 hours ago

So this is interesting...

You are "impressed" by Michigan's student government and the Michigan Daily.  And I am thoroughly unimpressed.  How's that for an unlikely exchange on Eleven Warriors?!?  

This needs to be a respectful exchange, between you and I.  I understand where you are coming from; and I don't for a moment doubt the sincerity of your opinion or your good motives.  I owe you that respect, and more.

Let me tell you, respectfully, why I think your commendation for my alma mater may be misplaced.

First, as to the Michigan Daily.  The Daily was leaked a copy of a letter that went to Gibbons informing him of his expulsion.  The leak was almost certainly a violation of state law, federal law and university policy.  The leak is or should be a firing offense and could result in imprisonment.  Somebody handed it to the Daily, and they then printed up the story.  The Daily also reported on the original incident back in 2009, and then (like everybody else) dropped it when the investigation when nowhere and never turned into a prosecution.  I like the Michigan Daily and it is one of the best collegiate newspapers in the nation with a list of alumni that would make major metropolitan newspapers jealous.  But for the life of me, I don't know what the Daily did that was so brilliant in the Gibbons case.

As for Michigan student government, the failure is much worse.  After the Daily story broke, savaging the privacy rights owed to Brendan Gibbons in a decidedly sub-legal proceeding, Michigan student government leaped into action, scolding everybody they could find for wrongs that nobody could very well describe and generally espousing the liberal/feminist political correctness that suffocates much of Ann Arbor.  MSG officers issued a small handful of finger-wagging statements that got the basic facts wrong and generally made a hash out of all the important legal issues.

And I want to assure you and all of the other smart football fans who populate this very fine forum.  I am not speaking as a partisan Wolverine here.  This isn't about football at all.  I have said to all of you that I see this happening with one of your own unlucky guys in the foreseeable future.  And when that happens, I will be on that guy's side to the precisely equivalent extent that I am on Gibbons' side in this recent controversy.

This is really about politics, and about the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights under the current administration.  That other shoe has not yet fallen in Tallahassee.  I expect that it will.  How it does, will be very interesting. 

Comment 18 Apr 2014

Yes I think you are right.  Cameron Johnston is a dandy punter to have.  I like him.  No doubt one of the top 3 punters in the Conference, and just maybe the best.  I like Cameron Johnston's special skills as a punter (kicks OB inside the 15, and all-around ball handling) as much as his raw leg strength.

Cameron Johnston, 2013 (did not play in 2012): 49 total punts for an average of 44.0 yards.

Will Hagerup, 2012 (did not play in 2013): 32 total punts for an average of 45.09 yards.

Comment 18 Apr 2014

Woody Hayes; at one of his numerous speaking engagements in the Ann Arbor/Detroit area during his heyday.  People up here loved it when Hayes came to speak.


Comment 18 Apr 2014

We've got good depth at punter right now.  Will Hagerup, coming off a year's suspension for violation of team rules (quite likely a repeat-failed drug test for marijuana), is a good bet to be the Big Ten's leading punter.  He was, in his sophomore year.  Despite his infamous .gif appearance.  He'll be welcome in returning to the lineup, inasmuch as Matt Wile, our other kicker, was dividing his time with placekicking and punting last year.

I presume that your comment was a shot at the Brendan Gibbons story.  Gibbons is a PK.  In that story, Hoke is guilty of precisely one thing; and that is saying to the press that Gibbons was not returning due to "family reasons" when in fact Gibbons had (in an administrative proceeding, not a court case) been expelled.  Hoke had nothing to do with anything surrounding the original incident (he was at SDSU at the time); Hoke had no role in any investigation (police or university); Hoke is not alleged, by anybody, to have interfered with anything; and I know of no one with a brain around these parts who thinks Hoke's job is in jeopardy over the Gibbons matter.

Comment 11 Apr 2014

The talk about the Michigan Spring Game here at 11W, was pretty much like the talk about the Michigan Spring Game at MGoBlog.  Everybody thought it was mostly painful to watch.  That there was some interesting action, personnel-wise, on defense.  That the offense looked like a minor clusterfuck.  And that Freddy Canteen was a tiny bright spot.  Most of us miss the days of a Spring Game that is a game.  And a few of us could not help but notice that for all of the hype and hoopla and Era of Good Feelings under Hoke, our Spring Game attendance has been falling since a peak period in 2009-10, and it is just a fraction of what will be happening in Columbus.  The best that the True Believers could come up with was, "It's just practice, no matter what..."

Comment 10 Apr 2014

I'm pretty sure of that too.  Nobody's ever confirmed it, but I'd bet anything that it was a kind of a package deal.  That Brandon was counting on Mattison as being part of the Hoke-hire.  (Nobody's ever denied  it, as far as that goes...)

Nobody thinks we'd have gotten Mattison, without Hoke.  But what some of us think is that perhaps the worst single decision/problem/circumstance during the RR era was that Michigan failed to do whatever was necessary to make damn sure we secured the services of Rodriguez's personal defensive coordinator, Jeff Casteel.  Casteel sat out the Rodriguez-in-Ann Arbor period, remaining as DC in Morgantown.  He promptly jumped ship and moved to Tuscon in within the first month that Rodriguez was hired.

The real story behind Jeff Casteel is in my mind one of the handful of the very best intrigues (and there were a lot of them) of Rodriguez's three years at Michigan. 

Comment 09 Apr 2014

Yeah; I think you've got it right.  Hoke's seat isn't all that hot at all.  You've even got all the reasons right, Hodge.  Hoke = Mattison, and Mattison is going to be running a pretty good defense this year.  (Lots of positional competition there, and nobody knows better than OSU how that intramural competition translates into success in the fall.)  A good defense will keep Michigan in just about every game.

Everybody seems to like Hoke, and yeah he is very much Brandon's guy and -- I can't say it any better -- Brandon's ego is tied to Hoke.

Hoke did the hard thing after last year which was to let his friend Al Borges go.  The Nussmeier thing is going to take some time; the New Nussmeier Offense probably also works to buy Hoke some time.  It is Devin Gardner's third new playbook to learn.

Comment 08 Apr 2014

Of course I changed the hypotheticals, Jack.  I changed them to make them more comparable to the realities of college football.  Where the NCAA limits how much time schools can require players to participate in football and basketball.  But where hyper-competitive athletes spend much, much more than that.  What do you propose to do about that?  I'd be seriously interested; it's not a rhetorical question.

I wish I had proofread my post better, too.  "5 hours" should have been "50 hours."  Among other typos, et cetera.  Not my best writing.

Comment 08 Apr 2014

I'd really like somebody to investigate that.  Find out how many "hungry" nights he's had in his time at UConn.  That is, since his prep school days at the private Lawrence Academy.

Like Chris Webber's "hungry" days.  After leaving the private, elite Detroit Country Day School and entering Michigan.  Chris Webber, it is pretty well known now, was lying.  His quasi-biographer, Mitch Albom, who helped broadcast Webber's lies, was as clueless as Webber was dishonest.


Comment 08 Apr 2014

No more freshman eligibility is the one that John U. Bacon likes; I'm okay with that.  Five year scholarships, too, with some kind of repayment to the university by a professional league that drafts any player early; I like that.  I hate the NFL and the NBA and the more that they can be chiseled to support collegiate athletics, the better.

Anyway, back to the NCAA; I don't think that the NCAA promulgates crazy rules for the fun of it.  They promulgate crazy rules because member institutions do crazy things to try to gain advantages in recruiting, in training, in competition, you name it.  Crazy rules lead to crazy enforcement actions, and some of those enforcement actions do seem crazily out of step with reality.  There's no denying it.  Just remember what caused it.  Not some bad motive on the part of the NCAA.

It is the inter-collegiate competition that drives the arms race in spending.  And people keep throwing more money at it.  Like most things in American university life.  What a concept, eh?  We keep finding new ways to pay for ever-increasing college costs... and the costs keep going up.  Precisely as any economist would have predicted.  

The day that Michigan has a player's union and a collective bargaining agreement, I'm out as a booster. I'd like to see a large group of OSU and UM boosters all get together and say the same thing.  They need us!  They ought to listen to us.  If the Michigan Athletic Department is to be believed, booster support is their second-largest revenue component after ticket sales.  Bigger than tv.  Bigger than apparel licensing (and Michigan's apparel licensing is one of the top five in the country; we've got the single biggest adidas contract in college sports).

Comment 08 Apr 2014

Two preposterous examples.  Who is Brian Philips, anyway?

Because the real example would NOT be Julie "fooling around in her dorm room" to invent a new kind of engine.  No; the better example would be Julie's working 5 hours a week in $250 million nuclear reactor laboratory, in company with faculty, graduate assistants and with special grant for her work.

And the problem with Max's work is not that it isn't his own work; it is.  Max is going to get rich someday if his talent is as extravagant as you suggest.  But Max isn't working in a competitive team environment.  Max could quit college and go to Hollywood or New York.  The only restriction on Max is if he wants to keep writing on a college scholarship.  He could pay for his own college and stay in school.  Or he can pursue his career outside of college and forego a degree.  Max's only problem  is if he's pulling down a six figure salary and working with editors and script doctors and at the same time turning in work at school for prizes and grades.

Comment 07 Apr 2014

So here is my position on this, through the prism of "rivalry."

I think this is a shared problem.  And, it is one that we -- the Michigans and the Ohio States -- have helped to create together.  Look; the one and only valid thing that the Northwestern case is exposing (and that entire case is mostly a waste of time in my view) is that football players devote large amounts of supervised and non-supervised time to football.  They don't do that because the NCAA requires it.  And not, really, because Northwestern requires it.  They do it because the competition requires it.  Northwestern players are spending 50 hours a week on football and another 40 hours on scholastic work, because that is what the guys at Michigan and Ohio State are doing.  Plus, the guys at Michigan and Ohio State started out as 4-star recruits.

Everybody loves to poke fun at the NCAA.  But if the problem is that student-athletes are acting like professional athletes and not like students, let's fix that problem directly.  Treating them more and more like NFL/NBA professionals doesn't solve anything at all.  It only increases the gap and the distance and the separation between athletes on campus and the rest of the student body.  And the NCAA has tried -- sometimes clumsily, sometimes making laughable errors in judgment, sometimes being hypertechnical -- to keep the concept of "student-athlete" alive.  The NCAA has a pretty horrible job to do.  They have had to make ridiculously byzantine rules.  All of those rules are the result of member institutions trying to get a competitive edge, and the NCAA trying to keep things from getting out of hand.

I'm very tired of the recent direction of college football, which I love so dearly.  I'm with my friend John U. Bacon.  We could do more, to make college football better, for everybody.  (Everybody, that is, except the pro-league owners, agents, union reps, and wannabe players.) And it wouldn't involve a college football players' union, or a collective bargaining agreement, or agents for the student-athletes. 

A good place to start, would be a joint press conference, with Gene Smith, David Brandon, Jack Swarbrick, Bill Battle, Bernard Muir, and who knows who else, to set forth a joint recommitment to treating all athletes -- including those in the "revenue" sports -- like college students.  And carefully recognizing the cost of collegiate athletics can't continue to explode with "revenue" sports paying the freight for all of it.

Comment 06 Apr 2014

Well I voted for Woody in this one.  But, uh, my Final Four bracket had Fielding Yost, Fritz Crisler, Bo Schembechler and Lloyd Carr.  All of whom I'd vote for over Paterno.

Comment 06 Apr 2014

Ypsilanti.  Not Ann Arbor.

This really pisses me off I have to tell you.  You guys aren't allowed to make fun of Ypsilanti.  Only we are allowed to make fun of Ypsilanti.


Comment 04 Apr 2014


...these things would mean zilch if nothing was done and a kid ends up committing the same act again later on...

To the best of my knowledge, Brendan Gibbons was never in trouble in four years after his redshirt freshman year, when the incident arose with the female athlete whom he was later accused of having assaulted.

Comment 04 Apr 2014

The Title IX "stuff" started with the "Dear Colleague" letter of April, 2011.  When Urban Meyer was recently out of Gainesville, getting started with ESPN, and just going around the country visiting spring camps of coaches he knew personally.  Including Michigan and its then-head coach and a favorite personal friend of Meyer's, Rich Rodriguez.

Coach Meyer in Michigan's Glick Fieldhouse, spring '11; taking in a practice with the legendary Schembechler-era OL coach, Jerry Hanlon:


Comment 04 Apr 2014

I love stuff like this.  Thank you.

I go to a lot of games in Ohio Stadium.  I love them all.  Especially Michigan victories.  My first was the 22-0 pantsing we delivered to Coach Hayes in Columbus in 1976, when I was a Michigan undergrad.  I was in awe of the place.  There were temporary bleachers in the south end as I recall.  Temporary but not so temporary.  But what I really liked -- and what I will forever cherish -- is that I saw the 'Shoe as an actual structural horseshoe.  It is such a great place.  And yours is such a great game day experience.  I'd tell you how much you all should be so proud of your university but you hardly need to hear that from me, do you?

Of course we helped you dedicate it.  The 1922 dedication game was a 19-0 Michigan win in which Michigan's Harry Kipke scored a touchdown and handed the ball to one of the referees, saying, "Well, the place is really dedicated now."

Comment 04 Apr 2014

No, JRB322; it is an entirely new level of inquiry and a wholly different level of proof.

A "suspect" in a Title IX case will be judged on the basis of a "preponderance of the evidence."  And his crime may simply be having sex that he genuinely believed to be consensual, but with a woman who is judged to have been of diminished capacity, i.e., drinking.

Again, see the Joshua Strange case at Auburn.  A reminder; the Auburn case is unique, insofar as there was a recording of the proceedings that was leaked to the Wall Street Journal.  That hasn't happened in any other cases that I know of.  There is litigation over some of these cases; the Auburn case won't be the last one in which we see the inner workings of how sausage is made under Title IX.

Comment 04 Apr 2014

Andy, don't mistake me for thinking that Coach Meyer isn't genuine.  I think he is.  And, I think he is smart.  And he pays attention.  When he came up to Michigan for the Sound Mind Sound Body camp, he couldn't believe that it was legal per the NCAA.  He turned to his guys there and said, "We've got to do this."

So I stand by what I said -- I think Meyer was paying attention to Title IX and he was smart to do so.  And I didn't ever mean to imply that his personal motives were in any way suspect.

Comment 04 Apr 2014

Nope; it is NOT just about star athletes or celebrities.  See below; my reference to James Taranto's remarkable (remarkable for his having gotten access to how they actually "deliberated" in the Josh Strange case) story on the Auburn case for the Wall Street Journal.  It can happen to anybody; it's not just star football players.

As for your political taunts... Here is where I respectfully draw the line.  I won't go after your chosen news sources in a punch-for-counterpunch exchange.  I will simply say the following.

As Taranto (link just below) points out (and as the Gibbons/Michigan case has dramatically demonstrated), it is a new directive from the Department of Education that has kicked off this whole issue.  The timing, and the origin of the Dept. of Ed. "Dear Colleague" directive are essential parts of the story, no matter whom you may have supported in the last election.  There is a reason that nothing happened in the Gibbons case, from 2010, to almost 2014.  What happened, in the interim, was a federal executive branch change.  That's a fact.  Nobody even argues that point.  Nobody in the Obama Administration would argue the point.  It is their stated, acknowledged, policy.

You wrote:

It's pretty simple. If FSU screwed up, the victim deserves justice. If they didn't, and Winston is guilty of no crime whatsoever, even better for everyone involved.

The place that our society and our system of jurisprudence has (rightly) consigned those questions, is a court of law.  If someone wants to insist that universities are free to demand a code of conduct higher than legal conduct in the rest of civil society, okay.  Just tell us how such a system will provide a tribunal and a fact-finding mechanism that protects the rights of the accused.  And will be accountable to the public that has endowed the University of Michigan, the Ohio State University, Florida State University, Auburn University, etc., etc.