University of Michigan football Coach Rich Rodriguez cheated. That’s hardly a shock


We already know what this is about.

OK, maybe some of you out there really are shocked to hear that University of Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez may have been breaking the NCAA rules and overtraining his players so that they can win more games. Maybe. But for the rest of us, this can’t possibly come as a jaw-dropping “Oh my gosh NO!” kinda surprise.

College football coach (who earns more than $2 million per year) decides to ‘stick his neck out’ and ‘go the extra mile’ (cheat) to make his players ‘deliver’ (win more games, earn more money for the university).

I mean c’mon. Seriously. NOBODY thought this day would ever come?

No, this isn’t about me having some kind of inside scoop on what kind of a person Rodriguez is and what he’s been doing because I haven’t the slightest. Never met the man and never watched Michigan football. Don’t have to. All I need to know is that the University of Michigan is an ‘elite’ college football program (factory) worth millions and millions of dollars to the University of Michigan, one of the top public universities in the nation. A football program like this is what attracts alumni and ‘booster’ dollars. It’s the kind of program that puts a university on the map.

So when a coach who is caught at the intersection of money and power in this type of situation decides to break the rules  to get an edge on the other competition? No. This is not an earth-shattering revelation to me. This is not to say that all other big-money college programs are automatically corrupt because this simply isn’t so. Some coaches and universities do manage to resist temptation and actually put the well-being of the student above the dollar bill. That’s to be commended. Up to this point the U of M has had a pretty clean record from all indications, and that’s important to note.

But when the dollar bill wins out – as it looks like it did at long last at Big Blue- there really isn’t much cause for shock. Money…money just…well…money just does things to some people. And we know it’s money because if Rodriguez had only been getting, oh let’s say $60,000 per year? Yeah. Well I don’t think he would have been quite so, let’s say motivated, to step out of bounds. Who knows, if he were only making normal folk wages he may have been forced to rub his eyes and see those players for what they really are, which is kids. True, they are really big, really strong, really talented kids. But they are still kids.

Those are young people you've got playing their hearts out for you, Coach Rodriguez. Not dollar signs.

Those are young people you've got playing their hearts out for you, Coach Rodriguez. Not dollar signs.

OK. Young adults (kids).

And kids deserve to have a life. Why? Because they have the rest of their lives to learn about how life can consume you and how the time you used to have to enjoy this and that can so suddenly be snatched away. They’ve got the rest of their lives to learn that shit. And for the handful that may make it into the pros, they can have the rest of their pro career (when they’re actually earning a salary to work that hard) to work out until they throw up. But is it too much to ask to let college students at least enjoy a little bit of college life before it’s gone forever? Because they will never get those years back.

Look, I have no problem with hard work and sacrifice and all that good stuff. College is a great place to develop those skills. But what Rodriguez is being accused of is insane. And if it’s true, they should boot his little paramilitary ass out the door and shut the door to any other college coaching opportunity for a good long time. I say give him the Michael Vick treatment. Hell, if  the powers that be in pro ball can yank a man’s career out from under him (justifiably) for abusing dogs, then shouldn’t a college football coach get the same for abusing his own players?

The debate about whether college athletes are really students at all has been going on for years, and I’ve always come down on the side that college athletes should be allowed to be students, but that in far too many cases they are merely unpaid semi-professional athletes masquerading (at the behest of money hungry ‘responsible’ adults) as students. Therefore the term ‘student athlete’ has become an oxymoron’s oxymoron.

If you’re not gonna pay these kids, then at least let them be part time students so they can get something out of this deal.

SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blog @ The “D ” Spot Redeux.


~ by Keith A. Owens on September 1, 2009.

9 Responses to “University of Michigan football Coach Rich Rodriguez cheated. That’s hardly a shock”

  1. would the freep print this story if say uofm last year record was say 10 ad 2,did Bo cheat?

    • Tootsie,

      Very good question. And yes, I think the Free Press would have gone after the story even if it was Bo. But it would have been much harder to get the story or to get anyone to talk had it been Bo. So the effort probably would have cancelled itself out.

  2. A typical article from a pencil pushing nerd that I am sure never stepped foot on an athletic field/court in his life. It is this negative slant from the media that ruins it for the avid fan. You ought to join the Free Press staffers against RR, and branch off an form your own RR bashing group ….. oh, I forgot, you and that group already exists ( I am afraid you are in the minority now. Can a site be started to fire sportswriters?

  3. I agree with Steve.So many people around this country are so envious of the Michigan Football Program that they try to fine fault with it instead of emulating it.

  4. U of Michigan can keep him. We don’t want him anymore.

  5. Well, great article…too bad most of it isn’t even true. Do you even have a clue as to what the allegations are? I seriously doubt it by reading this blog. RR may have broken the rules, but in no way was it a form of cheating. When you have a Graduate Assistant and a QC staff member walk around and talk to players as they stretched and got ready for practice, while illegal by NCAA standards, there is no way that is cheating or a way to get ahead. Please, at least understand the allegations before writing an article

  6. Here is an exert from the NCAA allegations:

    “According to the notice, Michigan’s compliance department expressed concern “about the duties and activities” of the program’s five quality-control assistants “shortly after” Rodriguez was hired. Athletic administrators with responsibilities to the football program failed to provide the necessary information, and that “collective failure partly resulted in the violations.”

    Quality control assistants help regular staff assistants with administrative duties such as cutting up film and gameplan prep work. They are not allowed to work directly with players.”

    Do most of you realize that RR is not the one that actually broke the rules but those of his GA and most importantly his QC assistants. Those QC Asst are not hired by RR nor do they report directly to him. Those same 5 QC Asst were working at UM when Carr was the HC

  7. Will you have a defense this week?

  8. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my blog so i came to “return the favor”.
    I’m attempting to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: