Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mailbag question: Dirty Laundry and the Michigan program

Posted at 8:00am -- 2/16/2010

Mailbag question: Dirty Laundry and the Michigan program

Thanks for answering the questions I previously sent to you. I appreciate your candor and honesty in your views regarding the Michigan football program.

I have a question regarding Coach Rod. In talking with other alumni, ticket holders and Michigan fans, I think about 30% percent of them would like to see Coach Rod fired now.

The main reason seems to be more about his showing a lack of respect for Coach Carr and thus the program, with his public comments regarding the lack of players, more than his record. A lot of the people in this group felt that it was time for Coach Carr to retire, so I do not think they are upset because they feel Coach Carr should still be coaching.

Most of them feel that the lack of players is real but it is not something that should be aired in public but kept behind closed doors. Coach Barwis showed much more class in his comments about former S&C coach Mike Gittleson by talking about his pioneering efforts and long time service rather than what he felt needed to be changed in S&C program.

If this percentage of fans that are upset with Coach Rod about his actions is similar throughout the fan base, and especially for the big money alumni, I do not think just winning more games is going to bring this portion of the fans to support Coach Rod. I think this was evident with the amount of negative comments that the minor issue of the recruiting of Demar Dorsey caused. Do you think Coach Rod can bring these fans back?

Thanks and keep up the good work.



Thank you Andy and please continue to write in.

First, we are 100% in agreement with keeping some program information and complaints behind closed doors. Airing your dirty laundry in public is problematic most or all of the time.

The entire debate/comparison/taking sides as far as Coach Carr and Coach Rod has been beat to death, and in most cases people on both sides of the wall will not switch opinion one way or the other, regardless of changing circumstances.

We held the same opinion as you when Coach Rod went public with his discussion of Coach Shafer in press conferences or other media. If a coach does not fit in, let him resign after the season. Calling him out to the press will end up hurting a program.

We agree, as well, on how Coach Barwis handled the situation in regards to his taking over the strength and conditioning program at Michigan, replacing Mike Gittleson.

It might take more than winning games for Coach Rod to win over some of the dissidents; it might take something huge like a Big Ten Championship or a win over Ohio State. A National Championship would be the ultimate enzymatic catalyst to change fan perception.

All in all, we believe that a winning season and a win over Ohio State would be at least a start for most of the counterpoint fans that support Michigan and the football program to form allegiance with Coach Rod.

People need to remember that similar mini-soap operas have happened at most or all programs, especially major powers that are used to winning and are usually on top of college football. It happened at Florida, USC, Ohio State, Texas, etc. Mack Brown at Texas was under pretty substantial duress in his first couple of years, along with Jim Tressel at Ohio State with his conservative nature. But the obvious nature of fans is they do not complain when the team wins a multitude of games or a National Championship.

For normal fans all they ever want is for their program to win and also be a clean program. We believe this is the case for most of the fans, alumni, boosters, donors, followers of major programs. Some so-called factions have agendas that are being floated and we believe these groups simply want to follow a program that wins football games.

Right now there are rumblings from people in the basketball community, along with the hockey program at Michigan, with people wondering what is going on with these sports as well. So Michigan football is not alone, but football is a bigger voice because of the popularity of football at Michigan, along with being the cash cow for the athletic department and a program that has enjoyed a near unparalleled winning tradition for decades. Most football fans have been around for the good times, Big Ten championships, the consecutive bowl games and several BCS bowl games and of course the 1997 National Championship.

As far as the Demar Dorsey situation goes most of the negative comments came from the media in regards to taking a recruit with past problems. None of us, including the media, are privy to the totality of behind the scene discussion and evaluation that went into the final decision. This could be a life-making event for young Demar.

We at GBMW do not have a problem giving a kid a second chance, especially since his actions were those in a juvenile stage and he was exonerated. If his citizenship and contributions are exemplary, or even acceptable, the staff’s decision will be justified. We are sure he will be on a tighter leash than other recruits coming into Michigan. Clearly, people went to bat in support of Demar, and clearly higher-ups supported giving this guy an opportunity. Demar’s obligation is to pay back the university’s good faith with loyalty and achievement.

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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