Mailbag question: Disagree with your take on the allegations


Posted at 8:00am — 6/3/2010

Mailbag question: Disagree with your take on the allegations

I believe this clearly shows that the football coaches aren’t to blame for this mess and that others were out to get Coach Rod into trouble.

How can you blame the coaches for this mess especially Coach Rod? Seems like you are covering for others.

Tim S.


Thanks for the reply.

First off, the overriding purpose of the GBMW blog site is to present news, discussion, and occasionally opinion (analysis).

Second, little was stated about the coaches within the very broad scope of the article, one that many found to be informative. Most of the discussion centered on the administrative circle and chain of command. Nothing of what GBMW stated, or any other source, can either completely absolve coaches or administrators, of blame, nor place complete guilt on any party, including administrators or coaches. As stated, there will be plenty of blame to go around, The head coach, by his very position and job description, must demonstrate proficiency in compliance and quality control. Others are present to assist and be efficient filters or safeguards. By all sources, and associated criteria, the system broke down.

Third, nothing has been linked directly to any conspiracy to get the coaches “in trouble.” That may very well have happened, but incompetence may also be the culprit. Not doing assigned duties or properly carrying out logistical tasks to sink a coaching staff’s boat is a very good way to lose a really nice administrative position. There are plenty of dots to still connect, and some of the dots will show up here and there to fill in the remaining picture. There may never be an entire portrait presented as perfectly accurate, that is asking much for a situation where finger-pointing and disagreement over responsibilities may never be completely resolved. But the resolution now is to put in place an efficient system.

Fourth, the NCAA could care less about the internal drama. The picture it is looking at is Michigan’s punishment and future. If coaches were found to be intentional in violations, or untruthful about the violations, the fan would go full speed to the institutional control level. Lying has been leveled as a charge, and said finding will likely neutralize some of the goodwill Michigan is trying to build by giving the image of instant self-reporting and pleading guilty.

Well it was indeed the coaching staff that hired and misused the Quality Control/Graduate Assistants. We saw with our own eyes that the QC/GA were coaching during the spring.

It was the coaching staff that practiced too long, this is not any administrator’s bookkeeping error. The staff is capable of knowing practice limits and correctly reading a clock, especially when the staff has a horn-blower that breaks practice down to the minute. They know the rules, period.

This is Coach Rod’s program, and as head coach (as stated above) it is his responsible for hiring and keeping any hire within rule boundaries. He is the face of the Michigan football program and he is the one that makes the big bucks. With that high position comes a price, in this case at least a large share of accountability for the overall compliance of the program. Compliance is an ugly mess in college football, vague, fluid, far-reaching, and nearly impossible to be without minor violations, even with the best of intent. As a result, a new branch of university official has sprouted up throughout the nation, the compliance corp. Most major systems have a reverse funnel mechanism, whereby the many lower level administrators (called bean-counters) will funnel documentation, or concerns, up to the top two or three management people (usually one assistant AD and then the AD).

In the recent article, we noted that many people made mistakes and David Brandon himself stated that he was disappointed in a lot of people, including the coaching staff. This is a pretty direct and most certainly an accurate statement. Hence, again GBMW uses the general phrase of plenty of blame to go around.

We have gotten e-mails and communication that we are protecting two people, Brad Labadie and Scot Draper, which to the staff is quite funny, especially with some limited contact with the two. The blog has implied or stated several times lately and in the past that our staff members are not big fans of Draper. This is not a recent development.

As for Labadie we don’t really have a connection with him except for an incident this past spring where someone unsuccessfully attempted to discredit a member of this blog through the attention of Labadie.

Our staff is not privy, nor should be, to the internal process of finding of fact from the current investigation. Like everyone else, GBMW “heard things” but waited until the official university communication before presenting an opinion or position (the take).

By all means no blog or web site sits in on any meeting with the primary players such as Head Coach, University President, or Athletic Director. Blogs can comment on perceived errors and the associated personnel, but only the primary players make hiring and firing decisions. A blog calling for who is fired and who stays on likely has a .0000000000000 chance of impacting a job termination decision by a skilled and experienced CEO like David Brandon. Other factors centered on fact and the judgment of the major administrators will determine any such actions.

No one here is calling for any heads, administrators and coaches alike. What the call is involves UM cleaning up this mess correctly, and moving on, improving the program, and putting a system in place in insure no future incidents. This is a universal call and not an invention of this site. That seems to be Mr. Brandon’s clear goal. Mr. Brandon may want to move on, or eventually more firings may occur after the NCAA final penalty assessment. But the trigger belongs to President Coleman, Mr. Brandon, and perhaps the Board of Regents.

Written by GBMW Staff

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