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Posted on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 10:54 a.m.

Rich Rodriguez appears on HBO's Real Sports; 'money handshakes' alleged against boosters at Michigan State and Ohio State

By Staff

Former Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez appeared on the HBO show "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" on Wednesday night.

The hour-long show was dedicated to a single topic, which it touted as "the state of big-time college sports in America." At its core, the show was questioning whether college athletes should be paid.

Rodriguez was part of a panel discussion that was asked if athletes were treated fairly considering the huge revenue that college football and basketball generates.

"Those young folks are being offered opportunities to be able to help them for their next job," Rodriguez said during the show. "As coaches, recruiters and universities, they need to make sure that this is what you're going to school for." columnist Jason Whitlock, a former Ann Arbor News sports writer, was part of the panel. He summed up his feelings on the issues in a column titled "Greedy NCAA still exploiting athletes."

In it, he writes: "The system is broken. No one believes in the integrity of the NCAA rule book. Most fair-minded people don’t believe the athletes are getting a fair shake. Many of them are unprepared to be educated in college, and the demands on their time compromise their ability to catch up or keep pace academically."

Also in the show, former Auburn football player Stanley McClover said he received “money handshakes” from boosters while being recruited by a number of college football programs, including Big Ten schools Ohio State and Michigan State.

Michigan State associate athletic director John Lewandowski said "our compliance office was never alerted to this alleged handshake" and declined further comment in a Grand Rapids Press story.

McClover, who would have been recruited while Bobby Williams was coaching at MSU, also said he received sexual favors while on a recruiting visit to Ohio State. Jim Tressel was the head coach at Ohio State and current Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio was his defensive coordinator.

He originally committed to Ohio State in 2003, but switched to Auburn when he allegedly received a book bag full of money.

McClover was one of four Auburn players interviewed who said they were given cash by alumni and boosters. Auburn coach Gene Chizik has since called the report "pure garbage" and athletic director Jay Jacobs said the school would conduct its own investigation.

Rodriguez was also a part a web-only “Overtime” segment of the show, during which he commented on the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, a group that he met face-to-face in August.

Rodriguez said he believes members of the committee "truly have the best interest of the student-athletes at heart," but that "sometimes the people that are investigating truly don’t know the ins and outs of college athletics, so they’re going in kind of blind."

Here is the "Overtime" segment, courtesy of HBO:




Mon, Apr 4, 2011 : 8:04 p.m.

Seems like we keep hearing the same names on NCAA violations Auburn, Ohio State, Tennessee, USC, LSU, Oregon you know the teams with year in year out outstanding recruiting classes. Must be a wild coincedance. Texas gets the great classes cause they recruit Texas, seems it would be a culture shock for a kid playing there from a different region though

Alexander John Migda

Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 12:40 a.m.

Is this Rich's attempt at making an excuse for his teams being destroyed by MSU and OSU?


Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 2:31 a.m.

Obviously you didn't even bother to read the article before you commented. Rich Rod being on CBS and the MSU/OSU news are two separate stories. The topic being discussed by the group Rich Rod was in was the idea of pay-for-play for athletes who play big time college football/basketball. The MSU/OSU news is something entirely unrelated that came from a former Auburn player.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Regarding writers' statements that "It's slimy, but at least it's somewhat 'fair' in that if it happens everywhere (and it does), nobody is really getting that much of an advantage from it," and "Anyone naive enough to believe that somehow it is all that different here at Michigan is fooling themselves." Issue taken with both statements. It is probable that neither the athlete nor the booster derives any recruiting or on-the-field benefit from the "slimy" act (and it is slimy) where it occurs. But what proof is there that it "happens everywhere"? Our basketball program suffered from the regrettable Fab Five outcome (we would just as soon forget it all). But unethical behavior such as cash handshakes or booster bonuses better not ever be acceptable or happening at Michigan. If anyone knows of such conduct actually having occurred, it is important to advise those in charge (i.e., the AD) of the particulars. Most of us Michigan alums would prefer that we excel on the football field and in other sports without any cheating, and we would gladly pass up any chance at a Big Ten or national championship if it was connected to any unethical behavior. Regarding the cash handshakes or any such wrongful behavior revealed at some schools: Why is that suddenly a springboard for a conversation about the alleged necessity to pay athletes to play? It is granted that colleges make a lot of money on their football programs, but they spend a lot of revenue on the players' training and travel, the facilities they use. Most of all, the players receive, at least at places like Michigan, Notre Dame, and Northwestern, opportunities to benefit from top notch educational programs, and major exposure of their on-the-field talents to the nation. The system is fine without pay for play. The NCAA just needs to be revamped or rebuilt to be able to go after the offending coaches and boosters effectively.

Alexander John Migda

Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 12:49 a.m.

What makes you think it's not happening at Michigan? Your personal opinion? The fab five? Of course the only top-notch educational programs are at Mich, Notre Dame, and Northwestern. You're not stuck up at all.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 1:50 p.m.

Good point michboy40. It's sad to see how corrupt college sports has become. Maybe its always been this way, who knows? All I know is It turns my stomach.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 2:01 a.m.

"Money handshakes" are something that will never go away, because policing something like that is impossible. Unless alumni are disallowed to come into contact with current student-athletes, it'll always take place. And obviously the only way to keep alumni away from current student-athletes would be to ban them from campus for life, which would be ridiculous for obvious reasons. It's slimy, but at least it's somewhat fair. If it happens everywhere (which it most assuredly does), nobody really derives an advantage from it. PS. I made this post before, nearly verbatim, and it was removed for violating the conversation guidelines. I'd love for somebody from to explain how it is in violation. It is on-topic. There is no vulgarity. There are no personal attacks. There is no hate-speech. There are no threats. Why was it removed?


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 1:42 a.m.

Nice to see Dantonio learned his lessons well from the vest. You had to know the program was dirty when they get talent to go to the farming school. There is no way that many players really wanted to be farmers. 3 years the dirt has paid off but hopefully the ncaa will scrub sparty clean. It will be a big job and I doubt they do since they let Cleeves slide when he took money from Martin but they burned Michigan. Got no respect for the ncaa. you knew they were worthless when they let the osu players play in the bowl. The big ten commish should be fired for backing the vest. He looks like a fool now and has brought shame to the big ten. He and OSU should be gone for good.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 1:57 a.m.

You mean The OSU, right? Tressel is gone, but be careful what you wish for, especially If the rumors about Urban Meyer are true. McClover's stroy has not been substantiated


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 11:20 p.m.

Why are the people that underwrite the NCAA violations, the coaches and athletic directors, not held accountable? Fine the Tressels and Chiziks a few of their millions and give scholarships with the money. Reggie Bush earned his Heisman, fire Pete Carroll. If they continue to break rules, ban them from coaching and make them live like mortals. Isn't including RR in that conversation a lot like asking the fox what happens in the henhouse when nobody's watching? Whitlock's "Plantation" comments are about fifty years past their expiration date. How many would gladly work for free for three or four years for an opportunity to be able to make a few million dollars afterwards. Oh, and get an education too.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

"Isn't including RR in that conversation a lot like asking the fox what happens in the henhouse when nobody's watching?" You're not the only one that thought that. Rather comical. Dusty, I guess someone who steals or robs a car is better than a rapist or murderer, but they are still guilty of committing a crime, are they not ? The old coach is still the only UM football coach that has NCAA violations in our long and storied history.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 2:04 a.m.

"Isn't including RR in that conversation a lot like asking the fox what happens in the henhouse when nobody's watching?" Right, because stretching too much is the same as paying players and covering it up.

Lorain Steelmen

Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 9:13 p.m.

Being from Ohio, it's pretty well known that Tress was 'dirty' when he moved in from YSU. There WAS a history there, if you checked into it. So, nothing new there. The folks in Cbus, knew EXACTLY what they were getting. The only question here is, can osu stonewall this thing, and save Tress's fanny?. Answer...probably, yes. Heck, when 'the vest' recruited Mo Claurett, HE also knew what kind of kid HE was getting. So, when Mo got in trouble, Tress just threw him under the bus. I have never been a fan of Dantonio, because of his ties to osu. Now we are seeing, that Dantonio learned some 'tricks' that he obviously has used in E. Lansing. Again, no one should be surprized. I always thought it was comical when the so called 'UM fans' on here took RR to task, because he had kids doing warmups on THEIR time, instead of the schools' time. Oh he was a punk. The truth is, he was from WestVirginia. So many here considered him to be dirt under their fingernails. Can you imagine how the folks at osu, MSU, LSU, and Auburn, et al, were laughing at us for the past year or so. The only real news is, that LSU got implicated. Give Brandon credit....sure, Davie may have talked to Miles, but I suspect, he was never interested in the Mad Hatter coming to Ann Arbor. I think at the end of the day, Brandon wanted a guy that would be passionate, WITHOUT being sleezy....result, Brady Hoke. At this point we don't know if the Hokester can cut it here, BUT, I think we CAN say he'll play by the rules. I for one supported RR, while here, and now am behind the new coaching staff. It will take a LOT of hard work, by a lot of people, coaches AND players, to knock off the Bucks...but it CAN be done. Let's stay focused on THIS Michigan team, and support them, as they go after title no. 43. ( And many more after that!) Go BIlue!

Larry Weisenthal

Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 10:20 p.m.

Excellent post. Nice to see everyone here -- finally -- on the same team -- 100% behind THE team!


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

Nice job. I could not have said it better.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

Very good post Lorain.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 10:35 p.m.

Lorain...."Let's stay focused on THIS Michigan team, and support them, as they go after title no. 43. ( And many more after that!)" VERY WELL PUT!!! TiM Go Blue!!!!


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 9:10 p.m.

"Money handshakes" are one of those things that nothing will ever be done about because it's impossible to police short of strictly forbidding alumni from coming into contact with current student-athletes. Which, of course, is impossible without banning alumni from the campus forever. It's slimy, but at least it's somewhat "fair" in that if it happens everywhere (and it does), nobody is really getting that much of an advantage from it.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

This will happen when you mix a multimillion dollar business with teenage student athletes that are the bread and butter of the sport ( business ). Some of these athletes come from poor homes and underfunded second rate schools, and are taken advantage of by professional smooth talking businessmen or boosters offering them what they need, money and an opportunity. This is not the case for all, but it is a problem.

1st Down

Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

Wow so....Sparty, Auburn and that school in Ohio are dirty? Well we all knew that didnt we? Especially about the school in Ohio and Auburn... but handshakes to try to compete with The University of Michigan? Hiring a dirty coach from the dirty school down South to try to revive their program? Let's hope that the NCAA clears this up and tosses those 3 programs on probation. This isnt about counting hours stretching...this is about flat out cheating. Go Blue. This is Michigan.

Alexander John Migda

Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 1 a.m.

Haha you think this sort of thing doesn't happen at umich? Yeah lets just forget about the fab five. Rich is just a disgruntled man trying to make excuses for being beaten. It's obvious that this show barely scrated the surface. They could have done a much better job to attack an issue and talk about what needs to be done to solve something. It was an interesting show, but way too scattered to actually make a good point.

1st Down

Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 9:43 p.m.

Dusty dusty dusty... here again always trying to spin pro-RR. Bottom line, RR and his staff broke the rules... and we got penalized for it, actually fairly... HOWEVER what RR did does not compare to Tressell's long history of turning his back while his players get unfairly compensated, lying to the NCAA etc. as well as Auburn who seems to go on probation every 3-5 years and pay their players. So yeah, no comparison, but RR still broke the rules and that is on him.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 9:08 p.m.

So you're admitting that the "cheating" Rich Rod was accused of was pretty weak?


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 8:12 p.m.

We should not be casting stones, Frieder and Fisher stuck their heads in the sand like an ostrich.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

The slimy recruiting and player payoff trail leads back to Ohio State again. Certain schools encourage the rule-breaking by looking the other way, pretending that they don't know. The problem starts at the top from the President on down. Unless the school leadership is willing to take a stand and crack down, programs like Ohio State will continue the "pay for play" model. The NCAA could help by levying very harsh penalties against obvious violators, but they don't seem to have the budget or the guts to take a stand agains the big schools. I don't think what goes on at Auburn and Ohio State is done everywhere. But at the same time, little violations probably do happen everywhere because they're hard to completely stop, even by the most diligent athletic administrators.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 9:05 p.m.

even by Rich Rodriguez!


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 6:20 p.m.

"I thought after Mich. disposed of Rich Rodriguez that was the last we would hear from him, imagine what the heck is HBO thinking?" They are thinking the same thing that ESPN/ABC are when they assign Matt Millen do the UM football broadcasts in the Fall. In fact, I fully expect ESPN/ABC to team Millen and RichRod in the UM football broadcasts this year.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 1:50 p.m.

I actually mute the teevee and listen to the radio when Millen is broadcasting the UM games. I make it a point to email espn and ask them what they see in Millen's resume that convinces them that he should have a job as anything other than a toilet attendant! When ESPN/ABC or NBC put Millen on the teevee for a pregame show, or a draft analysis show, I change the channel. I don't get HBO. I would change the channel if anyone tried to push RichRod as an "expert."


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 1:14 a.m.

Neither one of them knows anything about the UofM football program

Blu n Tpa

Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 8:45 p.m.

I will watch the game with the sound off.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 6:54 p.m.

hey, I like that idea.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

It is what it is and the boys and girls with the deep pockets call the shots. If people don't like it then they'll have to stand up and be accounted for. This is not only our college athletes this is in the roots of America. I did like the question about who are these NCAA people and putting a face on them. I'd like to see more of those NCAA guys with a camera in their faces and watch them squirm and some of the accountability questions. I thought after Mich. disposed of Rich Rodriguez that was the last we would hear from him, imagine what the heck is HBO thinking?

David Briegel

Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 5:05 p.m.

HBO"s Real Sports with Bryant Gumble is an excellent show and this episode was outstanding. Anyone naive enough to believe that somehow it is all that different here at Michigan is fooling themselves. The term 'student athlete' is becoming an oxymoron and it discredits real students and even those athletes who chose to be real student athletes!

David Briegel

Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

In our greedy capitalist society, I would encourage anyone to make as much as they can using their intellect, skills and abilities to their maximum profit! If someone wanted to give us millions for playing a game we love who could say no?


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

David. Since you are so adamant that the term :student athlete" is an oxymoron, why don't we separate the revenue from the major sports such as football and basketball that's dominated by black athletes and see how long those other 'student athletes" survive in this present sport climate. Instead of badmouthing the revenue generating sports, why don't we talk about the professional college coaches who are making millions and the athletic departments and universities who benefit from all the revenue and publicity of these sports, while many of their "student athletes": cannot take a dime not even from a relative without being sanctioned. The problem with college sports especially football and basketball is rooted in the racial atmosphere of our society. If 75% of black athletes were to boycott their sport, it would create major turmoil in amateur sports. That's why I applaud Darius Morris and his family for encouraging him to explore his draft potential. He doesn't owe the University or Beilein anything because the minute he becomes injuried or otherwise "damaged goods", the university and Beilein will do everything it can to dissociate itself from him.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

If the NCAA investigated hard enough, every major college program would get an automatic death sentence! I think every ball player that ever got illegal benefits should step up and tell the truth. If they did, the system would implode from the inside out because the NCAA would be forced to deal with the fact that nobody follows their ridiculous rules! NCAA is a fraud that is proped up by old money that are deperate to hang on to their power...plain and simple!


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

$100 handshakes? I never knew about this before. I thought money was only handed out in birthday cakes. They missed out on the story of the day about the Fiesta Bowl exploiting the NCAA and their universities and athletes.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 1:54 a.m.

I missed the sarcasm? bummer! Paul Finebaum had some good stuff on this the past couple of days. Still, the John Janker)sp) stroy is incredulous, and he is the only one that has been exposed.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 10:40 p.m.

Yup, it was sarcasm.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 9:12 p.m.

I think that's sarcasm, PLB.