The Paulus Saga and Rodriguez as a Manager

By Jason Priestas on April 17, 2009 at 7:00 am
Rich Rodriguez approves

First a word on language: We love to curse. We talk like sailors out on the street and there's not likely anything you could say to offend us. Saying that, we're a little concerned with the flippant f-bombs and especially the use of the word "faggot" in some of the comments on this site. On the former, we're not one to censor -- we don't delete comments and even let you comment anonymously -- but we are trying to keep 11W accessible to as many fans as possible, so if you could please use discretion on some of the more colorful language, we'd really appreciate it. Regarding slurs, they will not be tolerated in any form. It's 2009, not 1957 -- homophobia is no longer acceptable. Thanks! And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

For some reason, the thought of a benched Dukie joining the Michigan football team has been burning down the internets the last 40 hours, so we figure we ought to address it -- if only to drive some more daggers into our eternal nemesis from the wasteland above us.

The news of Greg Paulus potentially heading to Ann Arbor to compete for the quarterback position broke last Wednesday night when FOX Sports reported on a visit Paulus made to Michigan's practice on Tuesday. The former Gatorade National Player of the Year hadn't thrown a football in a competitive situation since his senior year of high school, but Rodriguez was interested and had him over to check things out.

Kind of funny on the surface, but with Sheridan on the shelf and the quarterback battle raging between David Cone and freshman Calista Forcier (with another frosh, Denard Robinson arriving in the fall), if there's an extra schollie, it makes sense to take a flyer on a guy that could possibly help out right away.

But then things got weird.

Paulus showed up on the Dan Patrick Show and PTI basically insinuating that he already had an offer from Michigan and that he was strongly considering becoming a Wolverine. Not so fast, said Forcier, who was off to a good spring start (albeit by increasingly lowering standards) and appeared to be a little blindsided by the news:

From what I’ve heard, I’ve been talking to coaches all morning, my position coach, Coach (Rod) Smith, he told me specifically that they have not offered him. They don’t know why he would lie. They don’t know the kid. They haven’t offered them. They said we’ll let you’ll know what’s up, because right now, their specific words were, they haven’t offered them.

I want to believe my coaches, I committed (to) them. Why would a kid like him lie to national media? So to me it’s still up in the air.

Awesome. Say what you will about Rodriguez's merits on the field, but it's becoming quite clear that he lacks the other set of skills vital to any coach of a big FBS program: that of a manager. Setting aside whether or not Paulus would be effective after so long away from the gridiron, is hanging your freshman quarterback out to dry like that a good idea? Would you do that to someone that reported to you in the workplace?

We're convinced that Tressel is out to destroy us. How else do you explain the parade of open practices and the accompanying avalanche of quotes and tidbits provided by those worthy enough to attend (or lucky enough to have press credentials). What we learned from Thursday's session:

  • Pryor is "a ripping ball of muscles" and the staff is working more on his foot and hip techniques instead of the perceived weirdness with his throwing motion.
  • The year under his belt is showing up in his swag as he made comments about how disgusted he was when he watched tapes of last season and how there were some teams the Buckeyes "owe stuff to".
  • LeBron in Cleats also excels in the classroom: his GPA was above 3.0 for winter quarter.
  • ESPN's Adam Rittenberg took in his first practice and brings news of Boren dominating Larimore and Garrett Goebel. Winning hearts quickly, Boren is.

Speaking of academic quarters, Doug Lesmerises of the Plain Dealer does a fantastic job of breaking down how the move to semesters will benefit the athletic department. Some highlights:

  • Hoops: Players testing the NBA draft waters will now be able to work out for teams without worrying about having to be in class. This is an APR+.
  • Football: The NFL has a rule limiting players to one minicamp while school is in session. Players from other schools on semesters have had a leg-up heading into the draft.