Two former Michigan players who played for Rich Rodriguez have commented on the record about the allegations U-M is facing.
One of them, Toney Clemons, left the team earlier this year and transferred to Colorado, citing that he wanted to play in a different offense. He spoke to ESPN’s Joe Schad, and his comments did not do Michigan any favors.
“The allegations are true,” Clemons said. “Nothing is fabricated or exaggerated in that story. I was there on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. or 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. depending on if guys needed treatment. You were there daylight to nighttime.”
“On Sunday, it was lifting, film, dinner and practice,” Clemons told Schad. “I usually got out around 10:20. I truly don’t want to be associated with the program back there. But I am going to help benefit my teammates back there by speaking and giving testimony.”
Helping which teammates, Toney? Sure, you’re helping the few current players who spoke to the Free Press and don’t like how much time they have to spend on football, and I’m sure there are others who feel the same way but didn’t speak out. But what about the rest (majority) of the team? Do you think people like Brandon Minor and Brandon Graham, who are seniors and want to win this season, appreciate you making this situation even worse for Michigan? I doubt it. By now the damage is already done from the report itself, but the more former players like Clemons come out and go beyond simply confirming that the story is true, the worse this situation gets for Michigan.
Another former player, Morgan Trent, who didn’t transfer but simply graduated, spoke to Angelique Chengelis today on the record.
“Yes, we were there all day it seemed sometimes,” said Trent, a former Michigan cornerback now in his first season with the Cincinnati Bengals. “But if you expect to win, that’s the sacrifice you make. I was a senior (last season under Rodriguez) — I just wanted to win, that’s all.”
Chad Henne, who played his last game before Rich Rodriguez took over, spoke to Dave Birkett and echoed similar feelings, saying that putting in more than 20 hours was necessary to become a better player.
“Twenty hours is a very, very small portion of what you do, especially if you’re a quarterback at a high-profile school,” Henne, now with the Miami Dolphins, said in a phone interview Sunday. “Twenty hours isn’t enough for you. You have to be in there by yourself, studying film, no coaches around, and doing it on your own. That’s where the leadership comes in and that’s where, if you want to get better and play better, you have to do it on your own.”
Henne went on to say that while he wasn’t obligated to be there all that extra time, the hours really were already racked up enough just by practicing. He also shared his thoughts on the players who spoke out to the media.
“I really think whoever’s saying it really doesn’t want to be there,” Henne said. “If they’re saying that then they’re not really worried about the team, they’re not worried about what they’re going to do during their season and they’re kind of just giving themselves up. That’s just negative talk right there. So whoever it is just really doesn’t care about the team, I would say.
“If they’re complaining about that, then they don’t want to be the best they can be and that’s their own fault.”
I couldn’t agree more.