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Posted on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 4:18 p.m.

University of Michigan offensive lineman Mark Ortmann defends his program and coaches

By Michael Rothstein

Mark Ortmann hadn't been sitting down in the Hyatt Regency for long when he addressed something that he seemed itching to talk about.

In the past two seasons, three offensive linemen have left Michigan's football team. On the way out of Ann Arbor, two -- Justin Boren and Kurt Wermers -- decided to take shots at Rich Rodriguez and the new-look Wolverines.

And Ortmann seems to have had enough.

"It's hurtful in the fact that he's not telling the truth," Ortmann said. "Kurt was a great guy, got along with him fine, but for him to come out and question, go along with the whole Boren thing, Wermers didn't even play for coach (Lloyd) Carr so for him to say that it isn't anything like coach Carr's program, it's not fair. He doesn't know what it was. But I like Kurt a lot.

"For him to come out and make accusations that aren't true is not fair to the team or the coaching staff."

Wermers left Michigan earlier this year and earlier this month made comments to the Northwest Times of Indiana on similar lines to what Boren said when he left -- essentially questioning portions of the Michigan program.

Then, last week, reported Wermers was potentially academically ineligible anyway. And of course last year, Justin Boren left for Ohio State claiming the same thing.

Ortmann, though, feels the trio left for "wrong reasons."

"It's hard to say without getting too into it," Ortmann said. "But they are making false accusations."

Ortmann then guaranteed that, yes, family values are still in place at Michigan. As for what Rodriguez thinks, he said he prefers to worry about the players he has although acknowledged Monday that his staff made some mistakes in his first recruiting class.

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558 or at



Fri, Jul 31, 2009 : 9:15 p.m.

I am an Ohio State fan, so I clearly admit my bias. However, my recollection is that Rodriguez's response to the Boren situation was that his mother-in-law drove like 7 hours to a game (Homecoming, I think), proving "Family Values" was alive and well in his program. Now, if you were in my position, how would that sound?


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 8:02 a.m.

What I don't like about Boren and Wermers burning their bridges on the way out is that some members of the national media have filed their comments away in their "I have to write something about UM and I'm too lazy to find out what's really happening there, so I'll just use this instead" files. The Human Twinkie couldn't handle the conditioning and the Worm not only couldn't handle the academics, but wasn't going to play a lot anyway. Incoming recruits and their parents often cite the family atmosphere at UM as a big part of their decision, but the national media seem to ignore them. Apparently, UM has been so consistently good in the writing lifetimes of most of the media that they are taking advantage of this aberrational year to kick them while they are down. I'm sure their jouralism teachers who told them to seek "man bites dog" stories are proud of them now. Unfortunately, UM's national image has suffered because of the comments of a couple of twenty year-old boys who failed at UM and the laziness of the media.