One Final Quick Hits

By · Monday, June 7, 2010 · 11:04 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Friday Quick Hits: Michigan Loses to Tennessee 5-0

By · Friday, May 28, 2010 · 3:53 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • The Michigan softball team lost its first home game since 2008 last night.  Pitcher Jordan Taylor only gave up one earned run during the game, but Tennessee capitalized on a few Michigan mistakes and ended up winning 5-0.  The Wolverines only managed one hit during the game, breaking up the near no-hitter in the seventh and final inning.  To advance to the College World Series, Michigan will have to win twice today.  Game two of the series gets underway at 4:30 p.m. on ESPNU.  If Michigan wins and forces a third and deciding game, it will start around 7 p.m. and be shown on ESPN2.
  • Bree Evans, who’s had enough injury problems to deal with, hurt her right arm last night when a foul ball hit her in the dugout.  Evans was on the ground for a few minutes before going to the clubhouse.  She did come back out to Michigan’s dugout with her right arm in a sling, but there’s no word on how bad Evans’ injury is (she was supposed to get x-rays last night).
  • The baseball team opened the Big Ten tournament with an 18-4 win over Iowa.
  • MVictors took a look at where Bill Martin fits into this whole CARA forms mess.
  • Get well soon, JoePa.

Thursday Quick Hits: Michigan Softball Opens Super Regional Tonight

By · Thursday, May 27, 2010 · 2:51 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan opens its Super Regional series against Tennessee tonight at Alumni Field in Ann Arbor.  Tonight’s game begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN.  Tomorrow’s first game begins at 4:30 p.m., and if a third game is necessary it will start at 7 p.m.  Friday’s first game will be shown on ESPNU, whereas the third game will be on ESPN2.
  • Desmond Howard has been elected to the College Football of Hall of Fame.
  • Michigan’s hockey captains next season will be Carl Hagelin and Luke Glendening.  The alternate captains will be Matt Rust and Louie Caporusso.

Wednesday Quick Hits: Kickoff Times for UConn, UMass Games Announced

By · Wednesday, May 26, 2010 · 3:49 PM |  Share | 4 Comments 
  • For the third straight year, Michigan’s season-opener in football will be broadcast nationally and start in the afternoon.  Just like the Utah game in 2008 and the Western Michigan game a year ago, the UConn game on September 4 will start at 3:30 p.m. and be shown on ABC/ESPN2 (depending on where you live).  Also, it was announced that the UMass game on September 18 will start at noon and be shown on the Big Ten Network.  So far the game times/TV details have been announced for five games.  The other game times will be determined either six or twelve days prior to kickoff.
  • Brian of mgoblog went through the documents included in Michigan’s response to the NCAA and determined that Brad Labadie and Scott Draper should be canned over how incompetent they were in handling the CARA forms.  It’s truly amazing to read through the different e-mails and see just how poorly this was handled.  If I were Rich Rodriguez, I would demand both to be fired right now, because this situation was made a lot worse over how mishandled it was by Labadie and Draper.
  • Jonathan Chait took the Free Press to task for how inaccurate their “investigation” was.
  • Michigan’s game against Kansas at Crisler Arena has been scheduled for January 9, the Sunday after the winter semester starts.  Also, the Utah game is set for December 10, meaning it will be played the night before The Big Chill at the Big House.
  • Ashton Kutcher had to wear a Michigan Wolverines shirt for some movie he’s in, and based on this picture I’d say he’s not a fan.

Michigan Announces Self-Imposed Sanctions

By · Tuesday, May 25, 2010 · 12:30 PM |  Share | 1 Comment 

Michigan made its NCAA response public this morning, announcing the specifics of its self-imposed sanctions:

  • The quality control staff has shrunk by 40% (five to three), and the remaining three staff members will be prohibited from “attending practices, games and coaches’ meetings for the remainder of 2010.”  A new NCAA bylaw actually now gives the quality control staff the ability to attend coaches’ meetings, but as part of its punishment, Michigan will not allow that until 2011.
  • Michigan will lose 130 hours of practice and training time over the next two years.  Because it was determined that Michigan went over the countable athletically related activities (CARA) limit by 65 hours during 2008 and 2009, Michigan decided to punish itself by doubling that number and reducing practice and training time by 130 hours.
  • Michigan will be on probation for two years.

That is really it as far as actual penalties go.  Seven staff members will be reprimanded for their “responsibility for these violations occurring over an extended period,” including Rich Rodriguez, Mike Barwis, Scott Draper, and a few people in the compliance office.  Alex Herron, the quality control staffer that allegedly misled NCAA investigators, was fired months ago.

In addition, Michigan has “taken corrective measures to prevent these or similar violations from occurring in the future.”  For example, a new “fail-safe” method of tracking internal matters has already been introduced in order to prevent any potential violations from happening again.

Another part of the response includes some disagreements Michigan has with what the NCAA found and with what the Free Press reported back in August last year.

• U-M disagrees with the NCAA enforcement staff that Rodriguez failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program. The information gathered during the investigation demonstrates that Rodriguez has been committed to both compliance with NCAA bylaws and with the academic success of his student-athletes during his time at the university. Rodriguez has been responsive to direct requests from the compliance and academic support staffs.

[...]

• U-M found no evidence of student-athlete abuse, nor any evidence that its employees disregarded student-athlete welfare. This is in stark contrast to early media reports.• While U-M could be considered a repeat violator as a result of a May 8, 2003, men’s basketball case, the institution does not believe it is warranted in this instance.

Michigan obviously admits that violations occurred and is punishing itself for those violations.  However, Michigan also feels pretty strongly about how much the Free Press misrepresented what actually happened.

“The University is satisfied that the initial media reports are greatly exaggerated if not flatly incorrect.”

While the Free Press’ investigation was already determined to be very inaccurate and completely off base in some instances, it’s interesting that Michigan commented about it.  They didn’t specifically call out the Free Press, but it’s obvious that’s who they were talking about in the quote above.

Anyways, going back to the self-imposed sanctions, the early returns are that Michigan “slapped itself on the wrist.”  The sanctions announced are basically what I was expecting, although I was a bit surprised that there were no scholarship reductions.  I felt that it was possible Michigan could lose an assistant coach spot for a year or two, but it lost a couple quality control staffers instead.

All in all, these sanctions aren’t too bad.  Losing 130 hours of practice time over the next two years stinks, but that’s much better than some of the alternatives to deal with the violations, such as losing numerous scholarships or being banned from the postseason or whatever.

Michigan’s hearing with the NCAA Committee on Infractions is set for August 13-14.  The Committee on Infractions will then later determine if the self-imposed sanctions are enough or if additional sanctions are needed.  Michigan put their response together with the hope that their self-imposed sanctions would satisfy the NCAA Committee on Infractions, so let’s hope that ends up happening.  The last thing Michigan needs to worry about now is having the NCAA add to the list of infractions or worse, having the self-imposed sanctions thrown out altogether because they’re too light.

You can find all of the documents included as part of Michigan’s response to the NCAA here.

Monday Quick Hits: Michigan Softball Advances to Super Regional

By · Monday, May 24, 2010 · 2:20 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • The Michigan softball team rolled through its regional, beating Wright State once and Notre Dame twice in dominating fashion over the weekend.  Michigan will now host Tennessee, the No. 15 seed in the tournament, in a super regional in Ann Arbor.  Thursday’s game starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN.  Friday’s first game starts at 4:30 p.m. on ESPNU.  The second game, if necessary, will also be shown on ESPNU.
  • Michigan’s response to the NCAA over practicegate was expected to be submitted today.  We should hear about the details of the response on Tuesday.
  • Although Michigan and Notre Dame announced a 20-year extension of their rivalry a few years ago, there is no contract making it official.  Dave Brandon wants to make it official at some point, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a game played every single year.  Remember, the rivalry is taking two years off in the future, and honestly, that is something I’d like to see more often.  If the Notre Dame game is going to prevent Michigan from playing in big-time home and home series, then I’d rather play ND every other year or for two years and then take a two year break.  That would give Michigan more flexibility with its schedule and allow for matchups with the big-time programs in college football like Ohio State has been doing.
  • Tate Forcier is excited to play against San Diego State in 2011 because he feels they didn’t show him much love when he was being recruited in high school.
  • Soony Saad, an incoming freshman for Michigan, received the honor of being named Gatorade’s National Soccer Player of the Year.
  • That Big Ten expansion rumor from a couple weeks ago was complete BS, as confirmed by Jim Delany.  Delany also said that the Big Ten is going to stick to its timetable, meaning we shouldn’t expect a sudden expansion announcement to happen this summer.
  • Lloyd Carr’s opinion on Big Ten expansion is that “it’s inevitable.”
  • In addition to some of Braylon Edwards’ former teammates at Michigan, Mark Sanchez, Darrelle Revis, Santonio Holmes, Donte’ Stallworth, and Kerry Rhodes also are scheduled to participate in his charity basketball game at Crisler Arena next month.  Tickets are now available.
  • WolverineHistorian uploaded a video of the trophy presentation after Michigan won the Big Ten title in 2003.  As you’ll see in the video, Chris Perry was happy, to say the least.

Tuesday Quick Hits: Michigan to Submit Response to Allegations Next Week

By · Tuesday, May 18, 2010 · 5:48 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan’s response to the NCAA’s allegations of rules violations (try saying that three times fast) will be submitted next Monday and made public on Tuesday, May 25.  The response will include self-imposed sanctions, which Michigan hopes will satisfy the NCAA Committee on Infractions, who Michigan has to meet with in August.  During that meeting the committee will determine whether more sanctions are needed or if the self-imposed ones are good enough.
  • Rich Rodriguez and company won’t find out Demar Dorsey’s status (if he qualifies or not) for another few weeks.
  • Michigan’s only serious injury during spring practice was when Will Heininger tore his ACL.
  • The Griese/Hutchinson/Woodson Champions for Children’s Hearts Weekend raised more than $1 million for C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
  • MVictors has a recap of the Swing to Cure Diabetes Event.
  • The Michigan basketball team could travel to Europe in late August for some games.

Michigan Announces 2011 Football Schedule

By · Tuesday, May 18, 2010 · 2:39 PM |  Share | 3 Comments 

Michigan’s 2011 football schedule was made public earlier today, revealing that in addition to Notre Dame, the Wolverines’ non-conference opponents will be Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and San Diego State.  The full schedule can be found below or here:

9/3 – vs. Western Michigan
9/10 – vs. Notre Dame (8 p.m.)
9/17 – vs. Eastern Michigan
9/24 – vs. San Diego State
10/1 – Bye Week
10/8 – at Wisconsin
10/15 – vs. Indiana (Homecoming)
10/22 – at Michigan State
10/29 – at Iowa
11/5 – vs. Minnesota
11/12 – vs. Illinois
11/19 – at Northwestern
11/26 – vs. Ohio State

Michigan’s non-conference portion of the schedule presents one real tough game (Notre Dame at night) and three cupcakes.  Of course, by 2011 it’s possible that San Diego State could be tougher considering former Michigan assistant Brady Hoke is the head coach of the Aztecs, but still, there aren’t exactly any thrilling matchups outside of the ND night game.

The month of October is a little strange because Michigan only has one home game.  The month starts with a bye and a road game, has Indiana at home in the middle, and then finishes with two more road games.  In all, Michigan will play only one home game in a span of five weeks, which kind of sucks.

The season concludes in November with three home games and one road game.  2011 will be the first Ohio State game at home since the Big Ten season has been extended past Thanksgiving on a permanent basis, so it will be interesting to see what effect that has on the crowd, especially the student section.  Most students that live in the state of Michigan can go home for Thanksgiving and then come back for the game, but many out of state students fly home and then don’t come back until the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  If Michigan is playing for a Big Ten title or something big then students will be more inclined to stick around, but if not I fear there could be even more scarlet and gray in the stadium than there has been the last couple of OSU games.

One of the interesting things Dave Brandon told AnnArbor.com about scheduling in general is that a neutral-site game could be a possibility in the future.

Michigan also has been approached about playing a neutral-site game against a major-conference opponent, but so far there are no plans for that happen. One possibility could be defending national champion Alabama, perhaps in Atlanta around a future induction ceremony at the new College Football Hall of Fame.

“I like to look at all kinds of new, different stuff,” Brandon said. “Remember, I’m a change-is-good guy, so I’ll listen to whatever anybody wants to propose. But just because I’m listening doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Too early to tell.”

Brandon also mentioned that there is no hurry to schedule games for 2012 and 2013 because it’s possible the Big Ten could look quite different in a couple years.  If the conference schedule changes as a result of expansion, it would be a pain to rearrange a bunch of non-conference games, so in that regard it looks like Brandon will wait to see what happens with the Big Ten before scheduling any big games too far down the road.

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