Chad Henne: Players complaining about Michigan football team's off-season program 'don't want to be the best'
Chad Henne doesn’t know what it's like to practice under Rich Rodriguez, but the former Michigan quarterback does know what it takes to play major college football, and he said it can’t be done in a 20-hour week.
“Twenty hours is a very, very small portion of what you do, especially if you’re a quarterback at a high-profile school,” Henne, now with the Miami Dolphins, said in a phone interview Sunday. “Twenty hours isn’t enough for you. You have to be in there by yourself, studying film, no coaches around, and doing it on your own. That’s where the leadership comes in and that’s where, if you want to get better and play better, you have to do it on your own.”
Several current and former Michigan players told the Detroit Free Press in a story published Saturday they were required to work out and practice more than NCAA regulations allow.
In season, players can participate in up to 20 hours a week of football-related activities. Out of season, they get eight.
Players can exceed those limits so long as they're not forced to by coaches. Henne, who played under Lloyd Carr, said most put in extra time.
“I tried to be there as much as I could,” he said. “If I wasn’t in class, I’d be down there studying film and trying to get the gameplan ahead of time just so I’m prepared for that week and that game.”
Was he obligated to be there by coaches?
"Nah," Henne said. "That’s the players. They have to know, 20 hours, you’re never going to be 20 hours limited. You think about it, you get done with class, you start practice around 2:30 for meetings or whatever, then you go through practice, you get done at 7. So that’s four-and-a-half hours. There’s no way - you’re going to use up 20 hours easily in practice.”
As for the anonymous players who complained, Henne suggested some might have ulterior motives.
“I really think whoever’s saying it really doesn’t want to be there,” Henne said. “If they’re saying that then they’re not really worried about the team, they’re not worried about what they’re going to do during their season and they’re kind of just giving themselves up. That’s just negative talk right there. So whoever it is just really doesn’t care about the team, I would say.
“If they’re complaining about that, then they don’t want to be the best they can be and that’s their own fault.”