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Posted on Sat, May 8, 2010 : 8:14 p.m.

Rich Rodriguez says comments attributed to him about Morgan Trent are 'absolutely ridiculous'

By Staff

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez told The Detroit Free Press on Saturday that comments attributed to him in a book that includes information about former Michigan cornerback Morgan Trent are "inaccurate and absolutely ridiculous."

The book, "Draft Season: Four Months on the Clock" by Bobby Deren, says Trent slipped to a sixth-round pick in the 2009 NFL draft because Rodriguez "claimed that Morgan was lazy, he had an attitude problem and he was a big reason why the Wolverines finished with a 3-9 record." Trent, the book alleges, learned of what was said through a meeting with former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr.


Gary Schmidt

Mon, May 10, 2010 : 4:49 p.m.

Jim, I guess it depends on what you want to do and to be. Is your top priority to "have conversations"? If so, well, link away. My understanding is that you see yourselves first and foremost as a news organization. If that's so, then your first priority should be the cardinal rule of all journalists, which is to verify. We can have all the conversations we want, but what's the value of a conversation about hearsay that no journalist should ever have published and that is highly questionable? You guys are in the midst of an interesting experiment, and I applaud your hard work. It's also true that the "terms of engagement" on the web are different in some ways than they are in print. But here's the thing: in a "real" article, you have certain basic standards for your reporters--ensuring accuracy of quotes, getting two independent sources for information and so on. The reasons for these standards are legion, not least to ensure you're serving the public and not ruining the lives and reputations of the people you report on. But then these same reporters post links without holding their sources to the same standards, or even alerting readers to the fact that you've moved out of the realm of reporting. On occasion your folks even post links in the comments section on controversial stories--again, offering none of the context or fact-checking that we reasonably expect of a reporter. Sometimes, in short, you guys act like a news organization, sometimes like a blog. I understand why you'd do that, and how being online makes it tempting. But when it's the same writers playing both sides of the fence, and you don't make it clear which role they're playing at a given time, you tend to muddle what should be very clear standards for what makes it into the publication. Peace.

Blue Marker

Mon, May 10, 2010 : 2:20 p.m.

Yeah. Ditto on the Gary Schmidt post. Spot on!

Jay Allen

Mon, May 10, 2010 : 2:14 p.m.

Gary Schmidt, that was an awesome post!!! I am 100% surprised it was not removed.

Terry Star21

Mon, May 10, 2010 : 1:44 p.m.

PortageLkBlu... best point you made was RichRod conducting interviews v.s. LCarr. Carr always left America with the view UM was a hardened school, angry, chip on the shoulder type. RichRod presents a good guy, informative interview - he is very hard to rattle, and many have tried. RichRod is our Coach and leader for the future, and will be a good example that 'Good guys do finish first', and will withstand this seemingly endless weekly stab at controversy. RichRod....... He's our Man..... if he can't do it no one can!

Gary Schmidt

Mon, May 10, 2010 : 10:37 a.m.

Tony: I understand how the online journalism world works, and I like being provided with links elsewhere. The danger, though, is that posting links can become a lazy way to handle news. The fact is, if all you do is link to this article, you are missing the real story. I am not a conspiracy theorist or Freep hater like some UM fans. But the real story here is not what Carr or Rodriguez said. It's that Deren committed journalistic malpractice. He acknowledges that he did not even try to confirm his facts with either Carr or Rodriguez. Verifying quotes, checking facts: that's Day One, Journalism 101. The deeper issue here is this: a writer for a recruiting website, who is apparently not held to traditional reporting standards, writes a book that simply ignores those standards. The Free Press reports, with zero attempt to fact-check themselves, the accusations he levels. Then you guys link to that. Go ahead and argue that you're just reporting what's out there. But the truth is you are only repeating what is at best shoddy journalism and potentially a hatchet job. Rather than doing what a reporter should do--check the quotes and verify the facts--you're just repeating rumors. To me this goes to the integrity of and all online journalism: how do you decide which stories are worth a link? Is it just that it's sensational? Of potential interest? Would you link to a story from the National Enquirer? If not, why not? When you contend that linking to another story essentially absolves you of the basic work of journalism, it only adds to your readers' confusion about what kind of publication you really aim to be.


Sun, May 9, 2010 : 7:11 p.m.

This is another example of sensational, poor journalism by the Free Press. Frankly I'm surprised would post this garbage when the entire original story is based on a totally unsubstantiated source. On the surface, the quotes attributed to both Rodriguez AND Carr are out of character with both of them as pointed out by several other people posting here. Neither one would have anything to gain by saying those things. Another reason this article is not credible is basically what Sparky79 said. I agree completely. If you look at Trent's career here, he was CONSTANTLY torched by opposing teams. Given the choice between throwing at Donovan Warren's side and Trent's, the other team almost always chose the latter - path of least resistance. He was LUCKY to be picked in the 6th round. The main reason was that he is a very good athlete. But, he was a natural receiver and NEVER had natural coverage skills that I could see. So put this "story" in the garbage pail where it belongs.


Sun, May 9, 2010 : 4:28 p.m.

In response to Tony Dearing's comment, I hear what you're saying and I see nothing wrong with linking to other sources but I think that the summary should note that even in the Freep story being no one confirms the story's accuracy (not even -- exactly -- Trent who makes a noncommittal comment). I also it worth pointing out -- in the context of a story linking a story about a book (that's a mouthful) -- that the author the book admits that he didn't talk to Rodriguez or Carr.


Sun, May 9, 2010 : 2:59 p.m.

I would like to think ol LLoyd had more class than to both hurt a persons feelings or his ability to make substantial earnings however, on several occasions for instance halftime interviews I have witnessed LLoyd Carr shall we say, conduct himself in a rather rude occasionally obnoxious, sour attitude when the interviewers were asking normal questions such as, "Coach Carr, what adjustments are you going to make at halftime to get back into this thing?" Typical response, what kind of stupid question is that? Out here in Southern Calif. a typical interview with Pete Carrol when he coached USC was vibrant, polite and informative. I love the Wolves always will but I gotta tell ya that the first time RR gave a halftime interview I was shall we say relieved rather than embarrassed. As I say, I just don't want to believe that Mr.Carr would stoop that low but if he did that would make him a scum bag in my book.


Sun, May 9, 2010 : 2:19 p.m.

This whole story is a bunch of baloney. I bet you anything that if someone asked Lloyd Carr if he EVER said anything like this he would flatly deny it. Also, he would probably rip the questioner a new one. This story reeks of inaccuracy. In fact, it is so ridiculous that it's almost funny. The joke is really on those that will no doubt use this to further an anti-RR agenda.


Sun, May 9, 2010 : 7:04 a.m.

More and more smoke surrounds poor misunderstood RR. One day he will be fired.


Sun, May 9, 2010 : 6:19 a.m.

this story is a waste of time. not to mention it involves the freep


Sun, May 9, 2010 : 5:59 a.m.

I'm not a richrod fan and I'll be here calling for him to be fired when the next scandal breaks (and there will be a next one) but this is much ado about nothing. This is a weak story and shouldn't have been posted.


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 11:45 p.m.

I couldn't care less about M football, but I think that this story is a great example of everything that is wrong with You post this at the top of your page as though it is a NEWS story. It isn't even original content. It is cut and pasted from another news organization. It is TWO paragraphs. And that is being generous as it really si one sentence, a break, and two more sentences. Seriously? Three sentences makes a news story? You should be ashamed. Lastly, this is gossip. At best it is a good angle at selling a book. Are you guys getting a return on the book? Are you associated with the author? If not, with whom should I speak when I want free (albeit shoddy) publicity for my own tell-all partial-fiction piece when I decide to publish?


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 10:36 p.m.

If true, this is just utter ridiculous nonsense... what is the purpose of this? Trent must know he was drafted higher than expectations, does anyone remember the draft predictions... how about his trial workouts at the NFL combine?.. Trent should be grateful he made the NFL and he has a great chance to do good for himself... if Carr really said that, does he think trying to make RichRod look bad, will not hurt the University... Really...

Terry Star21

Sat, May 8, 2010 : 10:07 p.m.

I agree 100% with Sparky79... RichRod didn't say any of those things about Trent, he didn't have to - Trent proved all those points by himself. If you have a short memory of his senior year, go back and watch video, and you will see the truth. I can't tell you the frustration many of us felt with Trent on many occasions... yes he had some sparkling moments, but I think the frustration of his coaches and knowledgeable football people agree, he was lack laster at time - even spinning his wheels so to speak. There are at least two NFL scouts whom RichRod spoke highly of Trent to - they need to come forward. Lloyd Carr and Morgan Trent - if those comments are true, why are you trying to hurt RichRod, his team, the University of Michigan and future recruiting?


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 8:28 p.m.

Where's my box of popcorn? This outta get good. So Trent comes out and says he learned from Carr that RichRod bad mouthed him. RichRod denies it. So, anyone wanna guess what Carr's side of the story is? Probably more silence. How about finding some of these scouts RichRod allegedly bad mouthed Trent to? There's always been a conspiracy theory fan base that thought Lloyd Carr isn't supportive of RichRod. This is just gonna add fuel to that fire. As for Trent, I don't think he "dropped" to the sixth round. I think he "moved up." I was shocked he even got drafted. Go watch the film of USC lighting his butt up in the Rose Bowl. If the other team needed a first down or big play, just throw it Trent's way. He was not that good. I still can't believe he got drafted and Donovan Warren did not.