I hadn't commented on the self imposed "Sanctions" that the University of Michigan recently levied on itself for two reasons:
1. I never fully believed the charges as defined by the Free Press and later by the NCAA
2. I never believed that there would be much more than a firing of one coaching assistant for attending a summer workout and a slap on the wrist for over-stretching.
It would seem, after reading the entire account of self imposed sanctions that the University made public, the University of Michigan AD department agrees with me. The charges by the Free Press and the NCAA could have gone against any Division 1 program that desires to achieve a National Title. All the Freep did was show the "proper" way to "cheat" by having all your CARA forms and authentication signatures lined up and in a row and then you can practice and stretch your athletes until the cows come home. As far as the paid assistant working players out; well, I would really like to see someone monitor 10 other programs and their elite starting players during summer workouts and find out exactly how many have workouts where the only people in attendance are unpaid managers. In addition, if you read between the lines, Michigan blasts the NCAA for extremely unclear and "interpretation" language in some of the rules that require University lawyers to get involved and translate. If the rules were clear, they wouldn't get broken. Enough said on this mess.
With one exception: In a way, the damage is done. Other coaches can point to Michigan when speaking to respective recruits and their parents and say, "You want to be part of THAT?" That's the part that really, REALLY annoys me. And had the Athletic Department been run a little tighter - please notice I'm not saying Rich Rod here - then this could have all been avoided.
Where does the buck stop?
I've always heard it stops at the top. So, where, EXACTLY, was Bill Martin in all of this? IF (that's a big if) he is running a tight sailboat, doesn't he review this kind of thing on a regular basis? Why are we letting him off the hook? Because he retired? And if Lloyd is this program's athletic advisor, why wasn't he making sure that the boxes were all checked?
I don't believe (too much) in successful conspiracies because sooner or later somebody cracks and the story comes out. However, if Bill Martin was trusting Lloyd Carr to monitor the Football Program and Lloyd Carr wasn't doing his job, or rather, wasn't paying attention, did he in fact help accelerate the fall? I don't want to dive into this any more than I already have, either. Lloyd is no longer the head coach. Lloyd should simply go do what retired coaches do and not continue the tradition of keeping an office in the Michigan Athletic Department. He quit. Leave.
Whatever comes out of this, to me the answer for Rich is still one he is somewhat in control of: Win Football Games. Sounds simple, but all wrongs can be made right with a winning program. Or at least a return to post season play...
Maybe, just maybe, Rich figures out what it takes to be a Michigan Man and breaks the mold of what used to be a Michigan Man. And that, I think, might be a refreshing change....