Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mailbag question: I noticed the Anti-Free Press shirts and was surprised

Mailbag question: I noticed the Anti-Free Press shirts and was surprised

Hi guys,

I was surprised to see the anti-Free Press T-shirts at the top of your blog today.

I’ve been reading Michael Rosenberg’s columns for years and have always found him to be objective, funny, and at heart a Michigan fan.

Do you consider the story to be the result of journalists uncovering a pattern that could be illegal, or the result of journalists deliberately trying to tear down Michigan?


Delmar, NY


Thanks for the question.

Well, first off this content is an advertisement that GBMW has agreed to post on this blog. We have had fundamental disagreements with the Free Press and the late Ann Arbor News in the past. This is just a matter of opinion and we, along with plenty of others, believe the Free Press handled this entire matter poorly, with a sole intent of looking to "shock" things up and get their newspaper noticed again. Some claim the newspaper has had financial problems obviously linked to loss of viewers/subscribers and advertising revenue.

The newspaper industry is a dying breed and resisted change brought about by the techno and info era that rapidly evolved during the early 1990’s. Such behemoths mocked the use of web sites, blogs, and other resources for purposes that now happen to include recruiting. Look at the current sources and the information being producing on a 24/7/365 day cycle and one can deduce the newspaper business needs to try and get attention, in perhaps any manner, thereby regaining advertisers and viewers.

In the Detroit area, short-term strategies (that likely will yield short-term gains) that involve turning guys like Drew Sharpe loose may actually create more problems. Other reporters may be envious of how a Sharpe has made himself known and received national attention on television and radio programs. Reporting, as defined by past masters of logic and virtue, seeks the truth through an accurate process. Today, the nature of society has evolved reporting into a sometimes anti-intellectual venture. The capstone excuse has popped up nowadays: “It is not about reporting it is about getting attention through sensationalism.” Instant, shocking sensational headlines gains an advantage in such a climate. And the only defense is for enough viewers and readers to see through the transparency and realize the intellectual void of the modern way of conducting business.

Okay it is now time to get off the soapbox and answer the question.

We think it has more to do with some unhappy, former, players who feel they were treated unfairly or might even have had their words taken out of context as well as the current players.

In any organization as large as Michigan, one can always find a number of dissatisfied people.

Our problem with the article originally was the lack of sources. Then, after the sources were released, we believed it to be somewhat premature to make these types of headline statements/conclusions based on the word of so few players, some clearly with possible revenge factors.

And why the focus just on Michigan and Coach Rod, they are not the only ones making these types of demands on college athletes?

There is a good reason so many of today's college coaches jumped to defend Michigan (including Ohio State), they are doing the exact same thing.

This also was not the first time a local paper, or for that matter this reporter, has taken a swipe at Michigan or Coach Rod without getting all the information available by doing some diligent fact-finding.

The reporting begged several basic questions that needed to be asked. Were players putting in the time on their own and how much out of the long hours of hard work was on their own? Were coaches around all the time, or just for mere glimpses?? Do you know the rules of and understand the concept of voluntary/mandatory time? Were the upperclassmen players leading the charge, a typical role, and telling everybody that they need to be there and get better?

This debate is something that will raise a few eyebrows for a couple of weeks and then die down behind all the other problems in college football. People will talk BCS rankings weeks before they have any meaning. Are these kids being told to show up? Well, like anything else the more work you put into obtaining an objective the more likely you are to achieve success. And of course this success includes playing time.

Why do you think for the past eighteen months we have been saying how hard these kids have been working, and people do not frequently understand the reality of high level athletes in major programs busting their *ss, and giving the effort and dedication it takes to be a football player at a top elite football program.

Also, this extensive effort and commitment is why we believe this program will always have players transferring, and it is a simple task to understand the reason for such players leaving. It is tough to work as hard as these players do within the Michigan program and not see the "fruits of their labor" result in game participation. Remember, the back-ups, third team players and even the walk-ons have to put forth the same time, effort and dedication that the starters do. But the reality is the starters get to go out on the field on Saturdays and show what they have worked so hard for and have some fun beating down on somebody else for a change.

There is a difference in intercollegiate athletics and intramurals, a self-explanatory difference.

Craig James (a former SMU running back) was the game announcer on television and we thought he said it best by declaring this entire venture as a witch-hunt.

Craig talked about his own kid, who is going to Texas Tech right now on a football scholarship, and stated that besides the football team members the only other person he knows on campus is his girlfriend. This is due to all the time players need to put into football to become better. Craig also stated his other son was in a fraternity and said he is the opposite and knows 1,000 girls on campus. Later, Craig stated that nobody can compete at this level on only eight hours a week in the off-season and twenty hours a week during the season when you have to include meetings, game film study with the coaches, and, oh yea, practices and games in those twenty hours a week.

We know high school programs that put more time than that into their schedules in the off-season and during the football season.

Guys like Sharpe fail to grasp the ultimate substance and issue that should be defined within the debate one that has roared an ugly outcry a few times in the history of college athletics. Should participants in college sports play on game day and return to being Clark Kent the other 99% of the week? Or should the status quo that has evolved over decades remain the same. Or is there a twilight zone where mandatory versus voluntary really has meaning?

Who would like to predict which stance the NFL would endorse?

Thanks for stopping by Go Blue Michigan Wolverine
If you have any questions please E-Mail

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

1 comment:

Amichfan said...

I enjoyed reading your well thought out and articulate response. Thanks for all the effort you put into your blog.

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