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Posted on Thu, Aug 27, 2009 : 2:45 p.m.

Rich Rodriguez wants Michigan to continue staying in hotels the night before home games

By Michael Rothstein

The Pacific 10 conference is proposing that, as a way to cut costs to athletic budgets, football teams no longer can stay in hotels the night before home games.

Rich Rodriguez, like other coaches asked about the issue, doesn't seem too pleased by it.

"For us in particular, we have so many guys that live off campus in different parts of town that we need to get them together on a Friday night," Rodriguez said.

He went on to say that his team is trying to cut budget elsewhere, including taking campus buses to home games instead of charter buses and breaking camp today instead of Saturday.

Hotels for coaches, players and other assorted staff cost thousands of dollars, even for a single night. And it's a practice that CBS Sports columnist Gregg Doyel finds insulting.

As for the issue itself, it'll be voted on in January at the NCAA Convention.

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein.



Fri, Aug 28, 2009 : 9:02 p.m.

I like the fact that the staff enters the discussions with the fans on this site and deletes off topic comments. Bravo!

Suzy Sherman

Fri, Aug 28, 2009 : 3:36 p.m.

A comment has been removed from this story because it was off-topic.


Fri, Aug 28, 2009 : 10:01 a.m.

As far as the economy goes, I think the team staying in hotels is great. If the school can afford to pay for it and think it will benefit the program then they should be allowed to make the decision themselves. Yes it is a large cost but all of that money is going to local businesses and boosting the local economy. This is the kind of thing we need right now, people/organizations with money spending it locally to support the businesses in the community. As for the schedule, the school needs to start including another BCS non-conference game in addition to the Notre Dame game. All the I-AA and MAC games are only a chance to be embarrassed. Not only do they NEED to win these games they need to do in a convincing fashion. A close win is almost as bad as a lose.


Fri, Aug 28, 2009 : 1:56 a.m.

thee is a real simple solution to this situation! just let the schools decide themselves. also it seems to me the only reason why this is an issue now is because of the economy. not necesarily the fact that football teams don't make money but the fact the economy is so bad some people might get offended by the amount of money spent on the rooms. in my opinion it is a good idea to keep the team in a hotel. we're talking about college kids on a friday night. imagine if a kid came for a visit before a home game and bigblue had another mateen cleaves type of situation. actually it wouldn't even have to ba a recruit it could just be a player going out on a friday night.


Thu, Aug 27, 2009 : 9:41 p.m.

Pete come on really! You want a tougher schedule so all these young kids can get their brains beat in and totally demoralize them for the future. Man I gave you more credit than that. BCS! Come on man give us a break, you don't look at national championships with build towards national championships with freshmen. I also refuse to SUPPORT your ANN ARBOR.COM "rag", when there are articles in there about Michigan State that are bigger than an article on the Wolverines, oh excuse me there were no mentions in there on the Wolverines. One of the most storied football programs in the country and it's own "hometown" newspaper can't even write about them, now thats pathetic! So thereto I will buy only newspapers WORTHY of the opponent,you know like Auto Trade etc. Ok so if you not "ALL IN FOR MICHIGAN" then maybe you too should transfer out.


Thu, Aug 27, 2009 : 9:02 p.m.

guess what guys, there's a simple solution to the scheduling problem, and it just so happens to be the same simple solution for a lot of other problems with NCAA football...a playoff system. teams wouldn't have to worry so much about 1 or 2 losses, and would be more apt to schedule tougher opponents. "oh, but the season matters so much it's like its own playoffs." tough for playoff haters to use that excuse when everyone is complaining about the regular season matchups...


Thu, Aug 27, 2009 : 8:51 p.m.

In response to the scheduling: Yes, other teams do schedule down--namely Florida and a few others. But that doesn't make it right. And given the B10 and its weakness, what does 4-0 in the 'preseason' even mean with our schedule? Let's put it this way--losing to App State or similar teams takes you out of the national championship hunt for that year. Losing to Texas, USC, or similar teams just makes it harder. But remember, those other teams take the same risk in playing Michigan (in most years) in that M can beat them and ruin their chances. I just feel that the first thing Michigan must do during each season is to improve, and you simply do not improve by playing inferior competition--especially game after game (look at the 1980s schedules vs. those in the last 5 years). And if the 'poorer' teams actually beat M? Well, then Michigan deserves whatever ridicule comes its way and lost championship chances. Michigan and Florida and others schedule these div I-AA teams or MAC teams expecting to win and win handily, which defeats the whole notion of competition. There are good wins and bad wins, good losses and bad losses. Beating a nonBCS school is hardly ever a good win; losing to them is inexcusable for a school like Michigan. Beating a divi-AA school should be a given and losing? Well, look at 2 years ago. I just feel that when you shy away from meaningful competition, you erode the whole point in playing, insult the fans of college football, and for me, it has partially ruined the seasons. I used to think that there was nothing that could ever take away my love of Michigan football--well, over the last few years, with the fear of competition and meaningful games, with the lack of true pride, with the lack of accountability--my love has been diminished insofar as I won't even buy season tickets at this point. I find that sad, and place the blame squarely on Bill Martin and secondarily on the coaches for allowing this to happen.


Thu, Aug 27, 2009 : 7:42 p.m.

If Harbaugh can get his own $60K peehouse, than the players can get a good night's sleep at a decent Motel. I wonder how many millions each year made in sales of UM hats, shirts, sweatshirts and other UM items are sold just due to the FB program. The FB program funds itself, and many other programs, so a few thousand for a a good night's sleep isn't hurting anything.


Thu, Aug 27, 2009 : 7:06 p.m.

I hope the proposal falls flat on its face. Let teams that want to cut their budgets that way do it, and let those that want to stay in hotels stay in hotels.

Pete Cunningham

Thu, Aug 27, 2009 : 4:19 p.m.

While it may seem absurd to pay such an exorbitant price to lodge a team the night before a game, it seems equally absurd to enforce sweeping legislation in the name of fiscal responsibility when certain athletic departments (i.e. UM) don't need such guidance. If a school's athletic budget is in the red, then it would be silly not to consider cutting this large cost, but if a school is in the black, it would be just as silly to force them to cut something they find beneficial.


Thu, Aug 27, 2009 : 3:05 p.m.

UM's athletic department is one of the only in the entire country that actually generates revenue. Additionally, it is one of the only athletic departments that has its own budget outside of general university funds. The football team is the biggest part of this. If they want to stay at a hotel the night before a game, so be it.


Thu, Aug 27, 2009 : 3:04 p.m.

There are other alternatives: the university can have a "camp out" in their indoor facility -- or else invest in some dorm-like facility which can thenbe "rented" out during football camps in the summer, etc. to help defray the cost, etc.

Michael Rothstein

Thu, Aug 27, 2009 : 2:44 p.m.

Nick, Surplus or not, everyone is looking for ways to be more mindful of costs considering the economy. It's not like they are saying "We can't pay for new helmets, so we're going to use these fun leather ones we dug up in a corner somewhere." It is just little things. And as far as the hotel issue, it is more of a nationwide thing. It is an interesting debate, though. Heartbreak, My take on the scheduling issue is this: you schedule yourself to try and win a national title. Unlike in sports where there is a playoff (another issue), you have to be smart and navigate it correctly. it's very easy to schedule yourself out of a national title/BCS conversation (take a look at Illinois' schedule this year with non-conference games against Missouri, Fresno State and at Cincinnati). Is the Delaware State game a joke? Yeah, not the best one to schedule. Then again, most top teams have some sort of FCS/I-AA team on there. And didn't Appalachian State actually win in 2007? Just saying.


Thu, Aug 27, 2009 : 2:33 p.m.

I have no problem whatsoever with staying in hotels or taking limos if they so want. The bottom line is the M athletic dept is self funded meaning they do not use University dollars for any of this. M is one of only a few that can say that. And where does that money come from 70% from the football program itself not the soccer team but the football program provides the moeny for UM to even have a soccer team. Football does not use university scholarships either those come directly from donars and money from the football program. Once the suites are completed and the bill paid for the revenue stream will grow and I believe I have seen that a profit should be seen in 7 years if not 5. I have not intended to take any jabs at soccer or any other non revenue athletic, I am proud that UM athletics is self funded not taking anything from the rest of the student body and allows others the chance to attend such a greatn institution. The athletic dept actually provodes a handful of scholarships to general students. Scheduling is what it is do I like Delaware St not really but not too many options. With the NCAA just last year permitting 12 games it left many schools scrambling to fill out a 12 game school. And if not for D st the loss of revenue from not having a extra home game would be a huge loss to the school.


Thu, Aug 27, 2009 : 2:30 p.m.

Didn't the Athletic Department post a HUGE surplus last year? Why would they need to cut costs, especially on football. Football is the number one earner they have. It would be ridiculous to somehow limit the program that funds the department.


Thu, Aug 27, 2009 : 2:18 p.m.

It's an interesting debate, regarding money and all. I do believe with how high profile the football players are, the high stakes for the university (both in terms of publicity and potential for $$), and the sheer size of the team, it is probably best for them to be put up in a hotel. The coaches can more easily have meetings, prepare them for victory (which the schools need to continue the possibility of revenue generating), and for safety. Though college students overall--football players included--should be their own stewards and be responsible, it is very easy for a high profile athlete to believe the hype and be drawn into trouble. Even with stringent rules. I mean, look at Chris Webber. I have no problem with a portion of the budget going to hotel stays the nights before games. Campus buses though seem to be an obvious way to get to the games, and i am stunned that the team actually uses special buses. Now, if you really want to examine the team and its revenue--how about writing articles about its poor wimpy scheduling and the fact that teams like delaware state, App State, Eastern, Toledo, etc, do not encourage fans to come out and spend money. I for one passed up multiple offers for tix because I refuse to support the department for such poor scheduling. I will buy individual games for worthy opponents, but not Delaware state--UM should reimburse all their fans/alumni for that game and pay them to come. I predict that that game will break the 100K streak. I continue to get emails from the athletic department desparate to get that game sold.

Pete Bigelow

Thu, Aug 27, 2009 : 2:13 p.m.

A comment has been removed from this story because it was off-topic.