Image of Rich Rodriguez
I just came across this scathing article by Jay Mariotti regarding "practice-gate" at The University of Michigan. As I read the column I began asking questions.
Is Michigan really in "crisis?" Uh, no. While Rich Rod may have fractured a rule or two, I don't see the NCAA blasting Michigan football for practicing too much. It just isn't sexy enough to throw the all-time winningest program in college football history under the bus. It may be embarrassing for some but really, this isn't about too much practice, it is about too little WINS! Jesus, Ohio State didn't even get sanctioned when Mo Cletus (Clarrett) got cars and money from boosters.
Why is Rich Rod hated by some MIchigan fans? A 3-9 season aside, really, why is there so much contempt for Rich Rodriguez? So he had a messy exit from West Virginia, who cares, it wasn't any worse than Bobby Petrino squirreling out of town on the Atlanta Falconsor Nick Saben bailing on the Miami Dolphins. Rich Rod doesn't appear to be any more of a jerk than Lloyd Carr when things weren't going his way.
Who are the "former and current players" who are determined to get Rich Rod? This is the most damaging issue for Rodriguez. Players talking to the press about an internal team issue is concerning on so many levels. Either the players don't like, don't care or don't give a damn what Rodriguez and his staff think, they'll just take their case to the media. Do you think that would happen under Bo or Lloyd? For years players at all Universities have kept their mouth shut about unethical stuff and recruiting violations, why would these players say anything about potential violations? Because some of them are determined to get Rich Rod fired and yes, I believe they are being coached by the Les Miles crowd. There are deep divisions at Michigan over Rodriguez's hiring and some won't stop until the program is returned to "Bo."
Is there a conspiracy to get Rich Rod fired? Yes, I think there is a undercurrent of former players and old blues who would like to see Rodriguez fired. Face it, the old school Michigan fans wanted Les Miles, the former players wanted Les Miles, hell, who didn't want Les Miles? Don't think for a minute that some former players and boosters aren't trying theirdarnedest to get Rich Rod out of Ann Arbor. In fairness, Michael Rosenberg is also in the camp that didn't want Rodriguez hired.
Mariotti also took some cheap shots at Rodriguez.
"So it's little wonder that Rodriguez, now being probed by a university administration that might bring in an outside investigative firm, nearly broke down and cried several times Monday while addressing the allegations. I didn't know if we were getting Mike ("I'm a man. I'm 40'') Gundy or Roy ("I'll cry if I want to cry'') Williams, but finally, he caught himself and passionately defended himself, Barwis and their conditioning program. Frankly, he looked like an embarrassment, a desperate man in his final months on the job."
Sorry, I just didn't see the same thing he saw today. I saw a frustrated Head Coach, not an "embarrassment" Why do Rich Rod detractors think he all of a sudden became a dumb, bad coach? I have my doubts about him as well, but I certainly think his career suggests the guy knows how to win.
"Simply, this doesn't look good for Coach RichRod, who again faces suffocating scrutiny as a season begins. He looked like a laughingstock last week when he said he'd play three quarterbacks in the season opener this Saturday against Western Michigan. Time was when Michigan would throttle a Mid-American Conference opponent by 50 points. Now, don't be shocked if the Wolverines lose, as they did last year to Toledo. One of the quarterbacks, freshman Denard Robinson, doesn't tie the laces of his shoes. Nor will the coaches make him, which suggests a dubious trip-over-the-laces scenario as Robinson is running toward the end zone."
So, saying you have 3 QB's makes you a laughing stock? Since when do we start believing anything that comes out of a college Head Coaches mouth? When I saw that quote is looked to me like another "cutsy" quote to avoid answering the question....Who is the starting QB?
I personally don't think the allegations will harm Rodriguez as long as he doesn't repeat last season's 3-9 fiasco. However, all bets are off if MIchigan doesn't play in the post-season.