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Posted on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 7:29 p.m.

Rich Rodriguez takes criticism personally, and it showed on Monday

By Michael Rothstein

He paused for a second at the podium, looking down for almost a minute as he attempted to fight back tears. Rich Rodriguez was about halfway through his 14-minute-and-change opening statement Monday where he defended himself and his strength and conditioning coach, Mike Barwis. 

Clearly, the past 48 hours had weighed on the second-year Michigan football coach - so much so that he broke down and appeared to start to cry. 

It was a scene surreal in nature for a football coach. Rodriguez was clearly hurt by the allegations put forth Saturday evening that he and his staff had violated NCAA rules regarding practice time and watching summer workouts.

He took all of this personally, the accusations that people think he and Barwis don’t care about his players.

“That is disheartening,” Rodriguez said, before the first of his pauses. “To say that is misleading, inaccurate and...goes against everything I’ve ever believed in coaching.” 

If there’s one thing obvious out of Monday it is that Rodriguez does care. 

The emotion he showed wasn’t contrived or fake. If anything, it was stunning in its rawness.

Rare is the day you see any coach cry with the notable exception of Dick Vermeil. This, mind you, isn’t a bad thing. 

Usually it just happens when a special season ends, a coach is fired or retiring, or someone dies. Before this gets misinterpreted, there is no indication Rodriguez’ job is in danger.

Merely an acknowledgment that Monday was anything but normal around Michigan today or this week. 

Scandal - at least ones of the potential football violation variety - just doesn’t happen around here very often. Neither do live shots every hour from ESPN for something that isn’t game-related. 

And the hoopla started before Rodriguez spoke.

What’s left now is an investigation, one that Michigan athletic director Bill Martin said will be conducted by compliance along with the potential of an outside firm. 

Players will be spoken with - offensive lineman David Moosman confirmed Martin told the Wolverines that when he showed up at practice yesterday.

But there’s also the underlying factor of team unity.

There were current Michigan players who spoke to ESPN and the Free Press about the harshness of the workouts and the hours put in. So clearly, there are people still within Michigan’s football program who at least take some issue with what is going on.

Rodriguez said he’s never heard from a disgruntled parent or player and that his door is always open. No reason to believe that isn’t true.

Except how many parents - no matter the program -- are going to openly complain to the head coach, the guy who controls playing time, whether or not their child is unhappy. 

That’s not the route to playing time. That’s the route to playing with your thumbs on the bench instead of having them grasp a football or an opponent. 

For any coach to believe that - on a team of 12 to 112 - is naive. 

“Sometimes it’s unfair to have these roadblocks and these things thrown out there that go against the very fabric of how we stand for a program,” Rodriguez said, choking up again. “So I guess I’m here to tell you that whatever you’ve heard or want to believe, the truth of the matter is that this coaching staff cares very deeply about the young men in our program.

“Always have. Always will.” 

Thing is, though, that’s never been the issue - at least not now. Rodriguez proved, again, that he cares.

Caring, though, has never been equated with innocence or not committing violations. That's for judges and juries and panels to decide.

It merely means, and the tears showed it, that he's human.

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



Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 4:07 p.m.

I have only two hopes for Rich Rodriguez during the coming season: (1) that he avoid using bad grammar during press conferences, and (2) that he avoid wiping his nose on his sleeve during games. Surely on his salary he could afford to buy a pack of tissues, a handkerchief or a bandana.(And, yes, I realize that this might be considered a "snotty" comment.)


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 2:32 p.m.

All you self righteous hypocrites...Nothing has been proven at all...documents shredded(actually has been proven...but it was determined to be only personal files)... practice-gate....breach of contract(Ponzi scheme)....players being forced out....lack of family values.....And yet most of you want to run him out of town before the season starts....This is laughable....Some of you RR haters need a life....or need to support another team.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 2:19 p.m.

Hey heartbreak...I liked coach Carr.....I wanted Les Miles....The fact that fact that I'm speaking up for RR is because I think he's getting a raw deal here. Most of what's been said about RR's departure from WV.....shredding docs....players leaving......has been total BS....You know it....I know it.....Most can't accept the fact that Les Miles didn't want to leave LSU....plain and simple.....What you have is a bunch of old regime cronies doing what they can to make life unbearable for RR because of his record last season and the fact they want to return to the days of Michigan football...2 yards and a cloud of dust. It's not gonna happen....RR and the football program will be cleared....This will all be behind us and those old cronies will find some other dirt to dig up.....The only way it stops is if UM starts winning....that's what they are afraid of.....They know if RR starts winning there goes their chances of returning to the good old days.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 1:25 p.m.

Hey WolverinePiston: Your points notwithstanding, your message gets lost in that morass of bad grammar and spelling. Anyway, it seems that those who are RRod loyalists and yelling at those who criticize the coach, are probably the same people who were loudly criticizing Lloyd carr and his staff before he resigned. If you were, do you not see it as hypocritical to loudly complain about those exercising their rights to complain and expect a little more (wins, lack of scandal, etc)?


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 12:46 p.m.

I will take 8 and an injection of integrity back into thos program.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 12:41 p.m.

I am a parent of 2 children who were athletic scholarship recipients/players for major colleges/universities. I remember hearing many times throughout their collegiate careers how much they had to condition/train/play/watch film, etc. when they were out of season. It was a full time job being an athlete and they were never told this when they signed their Letters of Intent. Then they show up for the first day of 2-a-days and find out how hard it really is to be a team player. Most of the student athletes eventually understand and enbrace the coaches program. The problem is when a coach is hired and they don't develop a good bond with the team, don't win a lot of games,etc. it's a recipe for disorganization/confusion and finger pointing. Then you get the disgruntled parents and boosters in the middle of this and before you know it the rules are scrutinized and charges are filed against the athletic programs. This is indicative of internal issues between the team members and the coaches/athletic administrators and the team parents. If U of M football has a winning season this year, some of the violations (if true) will be minimized. If not, the future looks bleak for all of the coaches.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 12:28 p.m.

The facts are out there and they seem kinda weak, but when you have people that need attention, they will spend there whole lives putting spin on things that have nothing to do with reality....Ponzi Sceme: FACT. Player the story was based on saying he was mis quoted: FACT. Players that got cut cause the spread was too much running: FACT. Players that will say anthing cause they feel Carr got a raw deal: Partial Fact. People that are mad cause we not running Bo Ball: FACT....And lastly I dont recall RR doing anything wrong. He left WVU cause he wanted to Coach THE GREAT MAIZE AND BLUE by any means, coaches break contracts all the time. If you got a better opportunity would you not break hearts and contracts to go for it! Its the same thing Nick Sadan does and we all respect him:FACT...hmm.....The Economy caused most of use to have ventures that failed, most of the country is in default: FACT. I could do a better job then you in journalism cause I have no agenda: FACT...LOL JK! And the best fact of all...I GET TO SEE MY BOYS RUN OUT THE TUNNEL JUMPING & SMACKING BANNERS IN THOSE SWEET BLUE HOME JERSEYS INFOUR DAYS: FACT..MATTER OF FACT..THATS..PRICELESS!!!!!!GO BLUE!!


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 12:25 p.m.

Huh?...and was that a niner in there??


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 12:08 p.m.

O YE HYPOCRITES, NUFF SAID! So when the refs cheated for Mich did that upset u. When media hypes my wolverines based off tradition does that upset you(even when they not really good enough). Everytime a ref gives us a good spot do you blog about it.....the funny thing is Bo ran a wishbone attack for awhile similar to the spread in a way so watch as see its gonna work out.....and i got a seat for you on the bandwagon that I'm already on For MY Maize and Blue all I ask is when we start winning big will you have a beer wit me.....Cause I love the Game...get it its just a GAME!


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 12:01 p.m.

And another thing seeing the name of the staff writer let me set something straight...The reason most people hating...has alot to do with the tradition of those that use to and i mean use to hold spots on the DL, LB, DB......this is sadly is a race issue as most things are.....there will be no more little JOHNNYSTEIN, SLYKES, and such player for UM unless they play like Urlacker or the saftey that played for the Bucs and Dever Broncos all those years....the day of the more student then athlete has passed by cause of instant replay, referee scrutiny for bad calls, mobile quarterbacks, spread offenses, 60/40 pass run ratio, and Last but not least THE BCS let me see how you do with criticism.....So go to class and stay off the field, cause you slowing up the game if you can't run a forty at 4.4 for DB's, RB's, WR's-4.5 for LB's, FB's, Mobile QB's, 4.6 for DE's, TE's.....and if you play on the DL and OL you better have world class agility. Believe me you will be on the bench or behind a desk mad remembering the days when all you had to have is a "Good Motor" to start in BT joke of the!!!! GO BLUE.....9 WINS THIS YEAR JUST CAUSE YALL ACTUALLY MAKING THE TEAM CLOSER AND MORE FOCUSED, WEEDING OUT THE WEAK( if you never played sports you would not know that)...THE THING ABOUT HARBORING HATE IS ITS LIKE A THIRST THAT NEVER GETS QUENCHED (SOMETHING LIKE HELL>>>LOL) CAUSE IT USUALLY HAS THE OPPOSITE EFFECT FROM ITS INTENDED PURPOSE>>>>GO BLUE!!!!!(and before some idiot calls me racist...the 6'6 kid from arkansas Matt jones ran a 4.3 in college so if you good you good (ie jacob Hester Lsu rb, Tim tebow qb FU))!!


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 11:32 a.m.

....and what happened to Gary Moeller? Thanks. I like to win, but not at the expense of integrity. Rich Rod and Gary Moeller. 'Nuff said.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 11:28 a.m.

OK lets just settle this. I have been a michigan fan since I was like seven or so(I'm 34)....I actually thought the Rose Bowl was the national title for a long time growing up, but then I grew up and realized that michigan got by on that tradition crap for sooo long. The only game that counts is the one that hands you the SEARS TROPHY. So all you traditionalist here is the facts. The way College football is set up we will never win a title with the way our program was and the kind of players and schemes we were having and running. OSU dominates the BTen but gets dominated on the national level...the reason is WOODY AND BO BALL IS DEAD!!!!DEAD!!! Let it go and step into the twenty first century....The only way we can win in that old way is if our whole roster is five star players from Cali, Texas, Mich,and Florida.....And the best players not gonna come to a program that coaches down players.....that is what carr did for soo long thats what Michigan has done for soo long...RR is the only coach that we have had since Gary Moeller that trully wants to play to win BIG. you can keep giving me all that tradition respect for your opponents crap, but how much respect the NATION HAS FOR THE BTEN, last I check USC,LSU was running up the score, I think they just scored again on a bomb down the sidelines against O So I have no idea what you media guys agenda is or you I throw like a girl, or never played sports in my life fans have against this guy RR. In the words from the most cheatiness Dag Gum coach BB dont,"cut off your nose to spite ya face". We just might win 8 or 9 games just of scheme alone this year...don't forget we play in the bigten and now have a team in top shape, with lost of Fl speed at QB, solid BT D so i'm optimistic about this season......and the reason we suck last year is cause we had QB's that had no idea how to be athletes and think at the same time, and a miget at RB that got the daylights beat out of him cause he was agilitly (lol probably not a word) challenged....And a bend but dont break defensive system that we have used for 1000 years that gets broke in every BIG GAME.....So lets support RR if we can support Bush who pretty much tried to collapse the world over onto its self (And I know Most of you Critics voted for Bush), Then we can embrace a coach that want to be A championship Coach at the Best School in the Country(If not for the colors and helmets alone). And wellhung is right the players that are mad are those that know they will never be able to achieve starter status.....Its time we start getting the best out there and RR can bring them here......Let it be known I'm a black man and I'm all about having the best scheme and the talent to run it.....Cause Tebow (complete football Player) is showing us that our old way of doing things is gonna have CF passing us by (I Love to Have Tebow in maize and blue).....Its time for you corn balls and Bums to steps into the 21st century.....And finally be true BLUE fans...cause I'm sick of MICHIGAN not being the Best in the whole Nation! GO BLUE!! GO RR, WORK THEM EVEN HARDER!!!!!LETS GET IT!


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 10:27 a.m.

Interesting.... "And again, the school(WVA)knew what it was getting into. Which is why it watched him (RR) like a hawk." I wonder if Bill Martin is going to read this article. Rather than hiring "an outside firm" to investigate allegations of possible NCAA violations, why doesn't Martin get proactive and hire someone to watch RR's every move?


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 10 a.m.

Well, the one thing you have here is a PR component that drives the health of the program just as wins and losses do. So, this isn't about a 'conviction in a court of law' this is about the preponderance of the evidence and the affect it has on public opinion. Whether Michigan is loved or hated around the country, public opinion for the last 40 years is that Michigan Football did things the right way ran a clean program substantially free of distraction. No more. It seems there is something coming out about the current regime weekly and you cant blame this all on the media. Half the people here are Les Miles boosters here to bash RR. The other half are rah-rah Michigan fans who are in denial about everything but the promise of the season to come. Where are the reasonable people who can see both sides and consider what all the missteps by RR and Martin as WELL AS the bad press (right or wrong) is doing to the integrity built up over the last 40 years? Most Michigan fans would probably prefer a clean loosing program to a dirty winning program. This is starting to feel like a dirty loosing program. Doesnt anyone care??


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 9:37 a.m.

That's your opinion.....That's not fact.....The fact is nothing has been proven about the extra practice time....voluntary or involuntary. Let those who investigate the matter handle it and get behind the program and team in support of the upcoming season. RR like him or hate him will be here til either he wins the Big ten and possibly a National Championship or if these allegations prove to be true. And even if they are true....It may not be enough for him to lose his job if he is winning. The mess that he has found himself in isn't all his doing....possible disgruntled players....possible misquotes from freshman....possible upset parents because little johnny isn't playing.....The lawsuit regarding the Ponzi scheme....I have one name...Bernie Madoff....Look how long that went on and all the prominent people he duped. There are some of those people that just can't let go of the past and realize that things have changed since the days of Bo. They will stop at nothing to try and push RR out. The only thing that will cure that is winning again.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 9:36 a.m.

That's true....he exibited "raw emotion" when he signed his WVA contract extension, and again when he left them holding the bag. He used "Raw emotion" when I had to take my kids away from the spring game last year when every other word out of his mouth was an explitive....And now hes using "raw emotion" again........Buy out's, messing with long-standing traditions before you've even settled in, pissing off alumni, media, students, 3-9, a dubious value system, handing out at the periphery of integrityblah, blah, blah. Any casual observer would have to conclude Rodriguez has completely failed when it comes to managing the PR end of the job. Has he gotten any help, direction or guidance from his AD? Probably not. He can build a buildingand thats about it. Basically where was Bill Martin when the crown jewel of his athletic department required a sound succession plan? Even a Mom and Pop hot dog stand has a succession plan! He had nothing and had to scramble to plug a hole without the required amount of due diligence. Nobody can refute the plain fact that none of these types of issues were going on with Lloyd Carr or predecessors. You can drill down into the esoterica of NCAA rules all you want, one fact remains: This program is starting to look and smell like week-old socks.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 9:27 a.m.

"For the first time yesterday I saw true raw emotion from RR. He cares about the program....he cares about his players....he cares about the traditions and is trying to build on them. Those were Maize and Blue tears folks..." Those "raw" emotions you mention are the same ones I mentioned in my first post, trouble is they are not raw emotions. They are cold, calculated attempts to gain public favor and have been used in the past when he was under a hot spotlight. Just my $0.02, I may be wrong, but I'll bet I'm not.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 9:23 a.m.

I think a lot of people (minus the Les Miles folks) were excited about Rodriguez. It's just that he and Martin polluted the water on that deal from the get-go. Lay most of the initial blame for that at Martin's doorstep for completely failing to do his job. He was more worried about keeping Mary Sue from stepping in than doing his due dilligence....and here we are. Forget that 'witch-hunt' stuff, 3-9 would get that ball going at ANY major college with a winning tradition ANYWHERE. The other distractions only fuel that fire.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 9:17 a.m.

Raw emotion? RR finds himself in a position he found all by himself! How about the point: Bill Martin is the man who takes the credit or responsibility for this gathering storm. Rich Rodriguez is dealing with enormous pressures created in large Rich Rodriguez. A proud and honest football tradition is being jeopardized if not by misdeeds, then by a level of innuendo that is creating distraction, mistrust and low morale. You know: once the program has been completely run over by a bus, it's not like you flip a switch to make it all better again. How far does it go before somebody says, 'enough'?


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 9:12 a.m.

Nicely written


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 9:06 a.m.

The RR bashing needs to stop. For the first time yesterday I saw true raw emotion from RR. He cares about the program....he cares about his players....he cares about the traditions and is trying to build on them. Those were Maize and Blue tears folks...He's a Michigan man and should be treated as such. These are all allegations....nothing has been proven. The lawsuit was this point he and 4 other investors were a victim of a Ponzi scheme....the man responsible is sitting in jail awaiting trial. Time to get off RR's back and let him do his job to bring this football program back into the positive National spotlight.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 8:34 a.m.

Since RR was picked as the coach and before he even coached his first game, he's been a target by the media and a faction of Michigan fans (probably Les Miles supporters). Obviously, the 3-9 season has only made them more aggressive and damaging in their attacks. Here's a wild idea - maybe the Freep is so desperate for readers that they're now resorting to sensational headlines with unsubstantiated articles to sell papers and get hits on the their website? Goes back to the days of Yellow Journalism in my opinion. I agree with Tater's comments and the former player in CA. But, as for Lloyd Carr's involvement (an interesting theory), I'd have to hold judgement until actual proof comes out. In either case, the Michigan football community needs to pull together and show a unified front of support for RR and the team. When fans, alumni, players, or former players make unfair accusations and attack the program, it only makes Michigan look worse. Let's give RR and his staff a real chance. I believe he WILL create the best program in the Big Ten within several years. Go Blue!


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 7:53 a.m.

I think the same story could have been written by any newspaper covering a major collegiate sports team - but it would have likely been a two paragraph story buried on page five of the sports section. The Free Press chose this as a page one, above-the-fold story!? Rosenberg's bias against Rich Rod - and his editor's acquiescence with its prominence, anonymous sources and heavy emphasis on minor infractions - is a ridiculous distraction that Rosenberg and the Freep should be ashamed of. I have always been a UM fan and a reader of the Free Press. I was dismayed when delivery was reduced to three days a week. Now I'm celebrating its demise. It has fallen from the heights of exposing Kwame's shenanigans - award wining journalism to be sure - to featuring the complaints of some players that they are working too hard? It's a sad commentary on the quality of the paper and the motivation of Rosenberg. Eliminate the distraction from this clown pretending to be an objective journalist and Go Blue!


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 7:40 a.m.

Can we hear the NCAA rules in question, please. gwncb


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 7:32 a.m.

my bad not tater but theo212.....carlos brown wont be healthy enuf to enter the heisman race, they wont give it to drob, and minor may have a great year, but hed have to set every major running record for a season to even be considered when you have tebow, mccoy, and bradford all back

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 5:11 a.m.

Bo would be rolling over in his grave at a Michigan coach crying on national television.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 3:16 a.m.

One thing to be wary of here. There were players who came here expecting a full ride and being able to rely on their given strength and talent as opposed to making improvements in order to play at the next level. There are still players within the program that are unhappy, and easy targets for reporters covering an angle. I say this because of some of the quotes, it seems to me players were answering leading questions which can jeopordize the truth. Obviously if there is wrong doing, it should be dealt with, but until the NCAA makes sweeping changes across College Football and places such as Florida, OSU, USC, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, and so on are also fully investigated it would be unfair to take out undo punishment IF the U of M is found guilty in the first place. The reports of student assistants sending texts is also troubling. You can still have impropriety on a team without the coaches being fully aware, and in this day of technology I would not hold the coaching staff fully responsible for a select few doing something wrong. These are issues that also need to be dealt with and violators should be disciplined, but given a fair chance at correcting a potential mistake in judgment here. As far as scheduling goes, most elite schools pack their schedules, and you can't knock a conference if the competition within happens to be weak, all conferences go through it. I would like to see more equality tho, such as 6 home and 6 away. 2 non conference games against two opponents from two different BCS conferences, and two opponents from two non-bcs conferences. I would also advocate for a sort of preseason game if FBS and FCS want to intermingle, but otherwise they should not be playing each other in the regular season. And for you who hate everything Michigan, get a freakin' life. You have nothing better to do than to try to tear down fans of that school? Why not relish the competition and enjoy the times you win and give'em a "we'll get you next time" for the losses and quit treating this as if we were different warring factions ready to kill each other. It's a game! Finally, for those fans who are so ready to pass judgement, quit being the reason why College Football and every other sport is being ruined. Nobody is going to win EVERY YEAR FOREVER! So quit acting like that is an attainable goal. Also, quit putting undo scrutiny on RR specifically, but coaches in general. Its not fair to hold them to a standard impossible to meet. How about this for a change, instead of baseless knee jerk emotional reactions to everything, maybe take a moment to reflect and see how things pan out. Really, sometimes you people can be great, but sometimes you are just foolish and ridiculous (I myself am guilty from time to time as well, but I try to step back and see the bigger picture as much as possible). Rant ended. Go Blue! And here is to another exciting season of College Football, I have been waiting long enough! Enjoy All.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 11:27 p.m.

Michigan whiners STOP IT WILL YA! I'm beginning to be embarrassed to be a Michigan fan. Let it GO PEOPLE! Carr retired! YES Michigan had a 3-9 record! Get over it! Stop whining and crying like a bunch of spoiled little brats, and try supporting the program and the current coach.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 10:36 p.m.

Hey Well Hung--as a former player, what is your take on this joke of a schedule each year? Do players care if they play "inferior" (I put that in quotes but you know what I mean) teams? As a fan, not having played football, I would imagine that the players would much prefer to play meaningful competition. What's your take on that? Also, do you really think that Michigan should EVER have lost to Toledo, Purdue, Northwestern or any such team last year? Some losses are acceptable, but those? At least Toledo? Do you not put it on the coaches at all? You say you were a player, so you may offer a different insight.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 9:37 p.m.

As someone posted above, something does indeed to stop. But that "something" is the unwarranted attacks upon RR. The faction of idiots that would damage the UM program for their own personal agendae needs to subjugate their petty, personal grievences for the good of the team. This includes not only the so-called "reporters" who generate these hatchet jobs, but the insiders who direct them to the disgruntled for grossly inaccurate "information." Most of all, though, Lloyd Carr needs to step in and tell those who think they are "helping" him to stop their crap and get behind RR. All the malcontents have really "accomplished" is to give anti-UM and anti-RR trolls something more to write about. And that's not much of an accomplishment at all. Above comments posted by Tater. Good job Tater. I`ve been thinking all day, when`s Lloyd going to speak up and back RR and this great program. His word`s could go a long way. Come on Lloyd, where are you.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 9:31 p.m.

RR has the ability to be one of the best coaches ever at U of M. I played for Bo so I don't say that lightly. One of the biggest problems here is the failures of Carr and his continued behind the scenes involvement with players and press. Carr's teams over his last 5 years were failures. RR comes in and is pushing these kids to be the best they can be and they can't take it so they quit. GOOD. Let them quit. It's just too bad you idiots in the press give this kind of crap any press at all. Do your job and write a story on Carr and his cronies involvement in making sure Les Miles couldn't come here then making sure he quietly undermines everything RR does. The story is there. Be a Fu**ing reporter and do the research, write the story and maybe these attacks on RR will finally stop as Carr is shown to be the petty jackass he is screwing around behind the scenes all the time. I live in Calif. and my friends and ex-team mates still in Ann Arbor tell me what is going on behind the scenes by Carr. Can't you idiots there on site write about it? Any complaining player was never a starter anyway and that maybe the problem.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 9:26 p.m.

There is a nice piece by a national writer who mentions that RR will be able to laugh about this in a couple of years and point out how the adversity helped him turn UM into a champion. I sure am glad the national press thinks more of RR than the OSU, MSU, and ND trolls appear to. Really, though, the fans of other schools who troll UM forums know that RR succeeding at UM is their worst nightmare come true. When RR gets his players and system fully in place, MSU will only win about once a decade instead of their normal three times, Notre Dame might not beat UM again until they get a real coach, and Jim Tressel might start looking a lot like John Cooper. No wonder they want to sow the seeds of unrest and try to get him fired. Thankfully, most national writers and commentators are saying that nothing will come of any investigation into RR. They also seem to know that RR has a history of turning around programs, and that bringing UM into the current millenium was a massive undertaking. Does RR take criticism personally? Yes. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not. It is great to see someone with RR's passion leading UM. They haven't had someone who cares this much since Bo. I have a feeling that, thanks to the tabloid story at the freep, UM's scheduled improvement has just been accelerated.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 9:11 p.m.

It is obvious that RR isn't wanted and he's out of his league as coach at the U of M. He's out of touch with what it takes to be a Michigan man. I recall some trolls last year talking about RR and Barwis shreading strength and conditioning records prior to their departure from WV. Does anyone think they were trying to cover their tracks? Hopefully Barwis and RR were shreading yesterday.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 9:06 p.m.

As someone posted above, something does indeed to stop. But that "something" is the unwarranted attacks upon RR. The faction of idiots that would damage the UM program for their own personal agendae needs to subjugate their petty, personal grievences for the good of the team. This includes not only the so-called "reporters" who generate these hatchet jobs, but the insiders who direct them to the disgruntled for grossly inaccurate "information." Most of all, though, Lloyd Carr needs to step in and tell those who think they are "helping" him to stop their crap and get behind RR. All the malcontents have really "accomplished" is to give anti-UM and anti-RR trolls something more to write about. And that's not much of an accomplishment at all.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 8:05 p.m.

Since Rod has come to Michigan, nobody has accused of him of not caring about his players. (Though I have raised the question of whether he blames players for shortcomings rather than squarely admitting as Lloyd Carr did after the App State, that his coaching may be to blame). On the contrary, this latest scandal, in conjunction with the lawsuit and leaving WVU has to do with questioning how Mr. Rodriguez looks at rules, contracts, etc and applies them to his own situation. It could be that the workouts, while very difficult and more than Lloyd did, were within the rules and regulations. We will find out. My guess is that for the most part, they will be shown to have been fine (though entering that gray zone that other columnists have addressed). But this pattern of attention to the UM football program, and the University overall in such a bad light is not what we are accustomed to from the program. And I think it must stop. Yes, he's human and humans make mistakes--all of us do. But at least at Michigan, there is an expectation to do things the right way and to succeed. Bill Martin has done his part by making the schedule laughably easy, and Rodriguez so far has not done his part, by his actions so far. Time will tell if he was the right hire--I have been critical, but we will see--maybe I was wrong. But, please Coach, help yourself by not having such a glaring bad spotlight focused on your program and yourself. We know you care about your players--start caring about the Michigan football tradition and community.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 7:48 p.m.

UM 42 WMU 10 Coach of the Year: Rich Rod Weight Trainer Guy of the Year: Barwis Heisman Winner: Minor, Carlos Brown, or DRob (or all three)


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 7:35 p.m.

Marko; I agree that there seems to be a pattern which you've noticed..I just take it a little differently. I have been neither an apologist for RR, nor a hater. My attitude has been, and largely will continue to be "wait and see", with his results, his attitude, and with whatever comes out in the long run. However, I think your observations just underscore what Rothstein says, "Rodriguez proved, again, that he cares. Caring, though, has never been equated with innocence or not committing violations. That's for judges and juries and panels to decide. It merely means, and the tears showed it, that he's human."


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 7:24 p.m.

Tears. RR signs an extension at WVU after the Alabama excursion. I will be here as long as WVU will have me - insert tears. ESPN interview 12 months later when RR goes to UM - I love WV and the people there - inset tears. Today. RR, I love UM and my players and we didn't do anything wrong - insert tears. I have to admit I only had one pattern recognition course in college, but this pattern is very obvious....