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.
- The Michigan club lacrosse team won its third-straight MCLA title on Saturday, downing Arizona State 12-11 in the championship game. It certainly seems like it’s only a matter of time until lacrosse gets bumped up to the varsity level, but I just hope it happens sooner rather than later.
- Michigan was trailing Northwestern in baseball 14-0 yesterday after only 2.5 innings. The bad news obviously was that Michigan played so bad that it was down 14-0, but the good news was that it had plenty of time to get back into the game, and that is exactly what they did. Michigan slowly but surely chipped away at the 14-run deficit and eventually tied the game on a 2-run homer in the bottom of the ninth. Then, in the bottom of the tenth, Mike Dufek hit a walk-off home run to give Michigan the unbelievable 15-14 victory and to keep Michigan near the top of the Big Ten standings with one week left to play. This was such a ridiculous game that it made SportsCenter, which isn’t too surprising considering teams don’t often come back from 14-run deficits and win on a walk-off homer.
- The softball team received the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA tournament and will be hosting a regional this weekend.
- MGoBlue put together a piece on softball’s Bree Evans, who was seriously injured during a game last October but is once again healthy and playing for Michigan.
- Michigan’s game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge is going to be at Clemson on Tuesday, November 30.
- Gil Brandt, the former longtime VP of player personnel for the Cowboys, said that whatever Rich Rodriguez told scouts about Morgan Trent was not why Trent dropped to the sixth round. In fact, Brandt gave his own scouting report on Trent and explained exactly why the former Wolverine was only a sixth-round pick.
- Mike Hart doesn’t regret using the phrase “little brother” to describe Michigan State after Michigan won the rivalry game in 2007.
- If he could do it over again, Drew Henson would have stayed for his senior season at Michigan instead of signing with the Yankees.
- Marvin Robinson is going to join the football team at some point in the next couple of weeks.
- Johnny Sears has signed with the Bengals.
- Dayeesha Hollins has left the women’s basketball team and is going to transfer somewhere closer to home.
- Isaiah Sykes ended up deciding to play college basketball at Central Florida.
- There may be some rule changes coming to NCAA hockey.
- MVictors has a good post examining what exactly went down between Bo Schembechler and Ernie Harwell during that whole saga in the early 90s.
- Purdue reinstated Justin Siller, the quarterback who torched Michigan in 2008.
- Lloyd Carr spoke to Angelique Chengelis about the whole Morgan Trent/Rich Rodriguez draft book fiasco that developed over the weekend, clearing up exactly what his involvement in the situation was.
“That paragraph is completely a distortion of my conversation with Morgan,” Carr said. “That is a complete distortion, and it is not accurate. I have never spoken with the author. I have never met him. I have never had a conversation with him to the best of my knowledge.”
Trent also talked to Chengelis and backed off the assertion that Carr was the one who brought up what Rodriguez supposedly said and used specific quotes about it like the book implied.
“Lloyd didn’t bring any of this to my attention,” Trent said. “When we spoke, I brought it up to him, and he said he had heard some of the same things.”
This still isn’t a great situation, but at least we now know that Carr didn’t go running to Trent or the author of this book to share the specifics of how Rodriguez was trashing one of his former players to scouts. That wasn’t necessarily what the book was trying to convey either, but the excerpt could easily be interpreted that way.
- 2010 power forward Colton Christian has committed to Michigan. Christian was originally set to go to Tulane, but he changed his mind after a coaching change. Christian then made a few visits and picked up offers from Cal and Penn State before ultimately deciding on Michigan following a trip to Ann Arbor this past weekend. He isn’t ranked on Rivals and only has two stars on Scout, but ESPN grades him as an 85, which isn’t bad. This definitely seems like another sleeper type of recruit, but Christian did play at the Hargrave Military Academy this past year, prompting ESPN to give him this evaluation:
Tulane may have landed a sleeper as Christian plays a very efficient, and college ready, brand of basketball. He isn’t going to dominate the game with his scoring but has some inside-out skills and impacts the game in a variety of ways. He’s a capable scorer on the block with a little jump hook and can also step out to 18 feet and shoot. He’s strong and very athletic off of two feet, bodies up well defending the post, and rebounds out of his area. Look for him to see immediate minutes next year at Tulane.
The best part about getting Christian is that he adds more height to the team (Rivals lists him as being 6-7). He isn’t a seven-footer or anything, but the added depth in the post will be very welcomed by John Beilein and company. Plus, he becomes the fourth recruit to join the 2010 recruiting class, meaning he, Tim Hardaway Jr., Evan Smotrycz, and Jon Horford will be coming to Ann Arbor this summer as true freshmen ready to contribute to the 2010-11 Wolverines in some form.
- UM Hoops has a recap of yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the new basketball practice facility. AnnArbor.com also has a recap of the event as well as some videos.
- Patrick Beilein (John’s son), who has been a graduate manager at Michigan, is leaving to take an assistant coaching job at Dartmouth.
- Some of the top matchups for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge have leaked out. There’s no word on who Michigan will play yet, but its opponent will not be Duke, Virginia Tech, Florida State, North Carolina, N.C. State, or Miami (the ‘Canes aren’t participating in it this year).
- Big Ten expansion rumors went crazy yet again yesterday when a radio station reported that Nebraska, Missouri, Notre Dame, and Rutgers had been invited to join the conference. The rumor itself seemed like just another BS report, which was seemingly confirmed by the various denials issued throughout the day by the schools involved. Even so, the rumor picked up steam and even caused ESPN to report on it, kicking discussion of expansion back into high gear.
I will admit that I took the bait when the Pitt rumor came out a couple months ago, but since then each rumor has just really been annoying more than anything. Until the Big Ten has deals in place to add teams to the conference, I doubt anything will be announced by them, and all of these other rumors just don’t seem too credible. I’m sure there is some validity to the idea of where there’s smoke, there’s fire. However, I will have a tough time believing any rumor until something official is announced by the Big Ten.
- Personally, I think Black Heart Gold Pants’ take on Big Ten expansion was just about as credible as the rumor that popped up yesterday.
- The hockey attendance record set by the Cold War at Spartan Stadium in 2001 is no more. That is because Germany broke the record last week when 77,803 fans came out to watch the United States and Germany play in the opening game of the IIHF World Championships. The record Michigan and Michigan State set back in 2001 was an attendance of 74,554 people. That record had stood ever since but now moves down to No. 2 on the list. Even so, Michigan and Michigan State should easily take the record back this December at Michigan Stadium. Already more than 100,000 tickets have been sold to the event, so barring some really crappy weather, this new record of 77,803 should go by the wayside with ease.
- It’s been a while since the last Rich Rodriguez controversy, so naturally this weekend there was a story written about how Morgan Trent was one of the players focused on in a book about the draft. The story mentioned that the end of the book included something very interesting about Trent, Rich Rodriguez, and Lloyd Carr.
At the end of the book, Deren describes the scene with Lloyd Carr, the former Michigan head coach that recruited Trent to Ann Arbor, breaking the news to Trent that current head coach Rich Rodriguez did him no favors.
“Rodriguez had bad-mouthed him to every NFL scout he could,” Deren writes. “Rodriguez claimed that Morgan was lazy, he had an attitude problem and he was a big reason the Wolverines finished with a 3-9 record…”
Trent admits the words were “jarring,” and they were hard to understand given that he was so serious about his career that he actually moved in with his brother and sister-in-law and their two small children while going to Michigan.
But Trent was also worried about what Carr thought about his words showing up in the book. He talks to him, not Rodriguez.
“I really like Coach Carr. He’s been very good to me,” Morgan says. “I think at first he was wondering, but I let him know it didn’t put him in a bad light. I would never do something like that to Lloyd. He’s great.”
The claim here is that Carr let Trent know that Rodriguez had trashed Trent to NFL scouts. Trent’s position coach from the Bengals didn’t talk to Rodriguez during the pre-draft process, but he did give some interesting insight about the situation.
“When there is a coaching transition and the team ends up not having success, you have to step back and try to decipher what the truth really is,” Coyle says. “There was a lot of heat on those people and there was some pointing of blame. Plus, the players were somewhat chagrined, so you had to look at everything.”
“The comments attributed to me are inaccurate and absolutely ridiculous. I said just the opposite about Morgan Trent to NFL scouts and wish him well with the Bengals.”
As Brian pointed out on mgoblog, by the time Rodriguez’s supposed comments got to the author of this book, they had been passed along by four or so different people, meaning the chances of them being 100% accurate weren’t great anyways. What’s more, as Tim pointed out in the comments section on MVictors, this may be a case of Rodriguez giving an accurate assessment of Trent rather than badmouthing his former player. It’s not like Trent was some great player that somehow fell to the sixth round of the draft. He was a guy that struggled throughout his career and was downright awful in 2008, his final year at Michigan. It’s no secret that Trent isn’t a fan of Rodriguez, and although this whole story is annoying in the sense that it’s more bad PR for Rodriguez, it’s not all that surprising given who the player involved is.
- Michigan’s deal with adidas is at the top of the list when it comes college apparel contracts.
- Manny Harris is officially gone since the deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft was this past Saturday and no change to his status was made.
- E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson, on the other hand, are both coming back to Purdue after originally declaring for the NBA Draft.
- Apparently some “unnamed sources” from the Big 12 are upset that Nebraska and Missouri are so publicly interested in Big Ten expansion. This all boils down to the fact that revenue sharing in the Big 12 isn’t equal, which is why Nebraska and Missouri have an interest in giving themselves leverage. By expressing interest in potentially joining the Big Ten, they have quite a bit of leverage since they can threaten to leave the Big 12 if things go unchanged. Of course, for that to actually work they would need to have an invite to the Big Ten waiting for them, and right now nothing is official. We’re still in the rumor phase of possible Big Ten expansion, and these “unnamed sources” don’t like hearing Nebraska and Missouri mentioned so often. I don’t know what will eventually happen with Big Ten expansion, but there could be chaos across the land of college sports, especially with the Big 12, regardless of what the Big Ten actually does.
- Maize n Brew found that talk of the Big East giving Notre Dame an ultimatum isn’t a new concept. In fact, Rich Rodriguez brought up the idea back in 2002.
“I know this agreement was made earlier,” Rodriguez said. “I’m just a football coach and our players are just players, but we don’t understand some of the political things. I don’t understand why Notre Dame is getting the best of both worlds. “I think the Big East is a great league and we can stand on our own. In my opinion, Notre Dame either needs to get in or get out.”
Personally I’m with Rodriguez and current Big East coaches on this issue. On top of the fact that Notre Dame gets the benefits of being in the Big East in non-football sports (not counting hockey), the football team also benefits by having bowl tie-ins connected with the Big East, which is what caused the above-mentioned complaint. Conference expansion may cause Notre Dame to get in or get out anyways, but if I were a Big East coach, I definitely don’t think the positives of ND having partial membership in the conference outweigh the negatives.
- Jon Runyan was interviewed by mgoblog.
- FedEx has decided to no longer sponsor the Orange Bowl, ending a 21-year partnership.
- Although NCAA tournament expansion to 68 teams has been approved, the selection committee now must decide on how to add the three new teams. I personally hope they just make a play-in game for each of the 16 seeds. Yes, more teams from mid-major conferences will go to the bottom of the barrel seeding-wise, but I’d rather just keep the play-in games the same rather than have one for a 16 seed and another for a 12 seed and so on. Plus, I’d argue that teams in the play-in games get more exposure than simply going out and being slaughtered by a 1 seed, especially if there are multiple games and something like “play-in game Tuesday” becomes its own big thing.
Going into this year’s spring game, my opinion on the rumblings about how Denard Robinson was legitimately challenging Tate Forcier for the starting quarterback job was that it was nothing more than coach speak intended to push Forcier. Based on what happened in the spring game, though, those rumblings are not only accurate in saying that there is a quarterback competition, but Robinson actually looked better than Forcier on Saturday.
Granted, just like any spring game you have to remember not to generalize what you saw too much since it was simply one scrimmage/practice and it’s possible that Forcier had an off day and Robinson was just on his game. On top of that, there were many players out with injuries and the first-string offense didn’t line up against the first-string defense, so it’s tough to get a great read on how telling this brief look at the team really was. Even with that said, the spring game does provide a small look at how the team is performing, so although there are caveats with any football-related findings from the event, it is interesting to look back on what we saw.
The obvious focus for the offense starts at the quarterback position. Based solely on the spring game, Denard Robinson looked like he should start over Tate Forcier and Devin Gardner looked like he should redshirt his freshman season. Like I have said, this was merely a brief look at the team, but just how much Robinson has improved since last season is quite amazing. His passes were crisper and didn’t seem to wobble down the field. His patience in the pocket was much better, as he didn’t take off at the first sign of a lack of open targets. Also, his speed and moves were just as great as ever. Of course, the defense could only down him two-hand touch style, but Robinson still was running circles around defenders on some plays.
Forcier didn’t necessarily look bad or anything, but it was tough to look good compared to how well Robinson played. Even so, there were indications that Forcier has not improved on some things, such as taking better care of the ball. Just like last year, Forcier held the ball out there with one hand when he was scrambling around in the pocket. That was an issue last year that really hurt Michigan against Illinois and Ohio State, and in that regard it doesn’t seem like Forcier has learned to protect the ball. Other than that there really isn’t much to say about how Forcier played in my mind. Like I said, he didn’t play that bad; he just didn’t do a lot to impress me compared to Robinson.
The same can’t be said for Devin Gardner, who made his Big House debut on Saturday. Although Gardner showed flashes of potential on some plays with great passes and exceptional running ability, overall he struggled. His first snap of the day was a fumble, and his passing wasn’t all that impressive outside of a couple select plays. Perhaps more concerning than his throwing motion, which is definitely raw and needs work, was that Gardner’s struggles with reading the coverage nearly led to quite a few interceptions.
My guess is Gardner simply had an off day and had some nerves since it was his first game in Michigan Stadium, but right now it seems like he would be better off redshirting in 2010. All along the hope has really been for Forcier and Robinson to handle the quarterback duties in 2010 to allow Gardner to take a year to develop, and unless Gardner rapidly improves during the summer, that still seems like the best-case scenario for Michigan.
Moving on to running back, I was very impressed with how deep this position looked, and that was without Vincent Smith. Players like Mike Cox, Fitzgerald Toussaint, and true freshman Stephen Hopkins really looked good, especially Hopkins. He was running defenders over all day long and seems like a very powerful runner. Add Michael Shaw and Smith into the equation and the running back position should be very deep this fall. (Austin White played as well on Saturday, but I think he will probably be redshirted this season.)
Slot receiver is another position that looks very deep. Roy Roundtree picked up where he left off at the end of last season and put on a show on Saturday, scoring a 97-yard touchdown on a pass from Denard Robinson. In general he was the top receiver on Saturday, making plays as a slot receiver and downfield as well. With Martavious Odoms back for another year, Jeremy Gallon and Terrence Robinson ready to get on the field, and Kelvin Grady returning from another stint with the basketball team, slot receiver is really looking solid.
At outside receiver, we got our first look at true freshmen Ricardo Miller, Jeremy Jackson, and Jerald Robinson on Saturday. We also got to watch Je’Ron Stokes catch a touchdown pass from Tate Forcier. Darryl Stonum didn’t do anything too noteworthy and Junior Hemingway was out with an injury. Although the wide receiver position as a whole is pretty deep, I hope one of these freshmen becomes a downfield threat, because Michigan had a tough time completing long passes on Saturday outside of the TD to Roundtree, who simply got wide open in the middle of the field. Hemingway and Stonum both can be pretty good deep threats, but that’s it at outside WR right now.
There was nothing too noteworthy to take away from tight ends Kevin Koger, Martell Webb, and Brandon Moore. Koger had one drop if I remember correctly, but other than that there wasn’t anything too noticeable. Koger and Webb struggled with drops in the latter part of last season, but early on Koger was very good. If he can play like he did in September of 2009 there should be no doubt about who is the starter at this position.
I didn’t pay a ton of attention to the offensive line, but a lot of younger players were getting reps with the first couple of units. Part of that was because David Molk and Elliott Mealer were both out with injuries, but it seems like Michigan should have a pretty good two-deep at offensive line this year.
Just as the general theme with the offense was solid depth, the general theme with the defense was a lack of depth. That is nothing new, and it’s already obvious that how Michigan performs as a team in 2010 will greatly depend on if the defense is once again a liability or not. I don’t see the defense being a strength with so many question marks surrounding it, but the key is to not be a liability either.
On Saturday I really didn’t watch the defense too closely (partly because spring games like Michigan’s aren’t designed to favor the defense), but Ryan Van Bergen stood out to me, as he seemed to be putting pressure on the quarterback throughout the day. I’m sure Mike Martin and Troy Woolfolk would have stood out if they had played, but injuries kept them out.
Let’s hope Will Hagerup is ready to be the starting punter from the second he gets on campus, because Tate Forcier was the best punter on Saturday. He punted the ball once on a fourth down where he backed up out of the shotgun, and that one punt went much farther than any of the ones during the punting drill earlier in the day. The actual kickers and punters could barely keep the ball in between the sidelines, and even when they did, the punts were very short. Jeremy Gallon only got one real chance to catch a punt as a result, and unsurprisingly he dropped it. It looks like some things haven’t changed in that regard.
The kicking competition is definitely wide open, but that is because a few kickers played quite well on Saturday. I don’t see Michigan making a ton of long-range field goals in 2010 just based on the distances kicked from on Saturday, but thankfully every kick wasn’t shank like with the punters. Some walk-ons, a person from the soccer team, and Brendan Gibbons will compete for the starting job at kicker.
Other notes from Saturday
- The alumni flag football game was once again very entertaining. Desmond Howard and LaMarr Woodley were two of the coaches, and Woodley was pretty funny, complaining about calls to the refs all game long. John Navarre, Jermaine Gonzalez, Pierre Woods, and Jimmy King (yes, basketball’s Jimmy King played and even caught a touchdown) were just some of players involved. Despite not playing a snap, Vada Murray, the captain of one of the teams, was named the MVP of the game, a well deserved honor considering he has been fighting cancer for the last few years. (Phil Brabbs was supposed to be one of the captains as well, but I don’t think he was there.)
- I just love how it was 82 degrees and sunny on Thursday and on Saturday it was cold, cloudy, and windy and it even snowed a little bit in the morning. There was still a pretty good crowd despite the chilly weather (the estimate was 35,000 people, although I thought that was a little low), with both sidelines filling up by the time the actual spring game got started.
- I personally didn’t have a big problem with the PNC banners that were hanging in each corner of the field. Yes, it was advertising in Michigan Stadium, but it was for a good cause. I can understand why people would be against it, but to the douchebag that felt the need to boo every time something about PNC was mentioned, get over it.
- The fundraiser for Mott Children’s Hospital went very well and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, but did anyone else feel like the interviews with families were a little tacky? I realize the importance of keeping Mott on people’s minds, but it was awkward more than anything and seemed to hold up the game itself at times.
- Along those same lines, why was it necessary for Frank Beckmann and Jim Brandstatter to announce the game over the PA system like it was a radio broadcast? Last year we simply watched the game and then had interviews with players every so often. That was much better than having to listen to Beckmann and Brandstatter announce every play, which was not only unnecessary, but I bet it was also really uncomfortable for the players who had to listen to the announcers talk about them while they were trying to play football.
- It’s definitely a good thing Michigan Stadium is getting new FieldTurf before next season, because the new piece of the Block M that replaced what was cut out by vandals was noticeably brighter. As it turns out, part of that is because the new turf will be “Duraspine,” which is a “brighter and higher quality version of field turf.”
- It was weird going into the stadium and not seeing the old press box. The area where the old press box used to be was blocked off, as construction of the new seatbacks is still ongoing.
- The new speaker system sort of seemed like an improvement, but I think it would have been a good idea to install speakers in both scoreboards for a surround sound type of effect. That would have also been a good idea in order to be consistent, because the very top of the north scoreboard where the speakers are housed is now covered with a banner that is sort of see through, whereas the south scoreboard is unchanged.
- There were a lot of football recruits at the game, including Demetrius Hart, who was getting a lot of love from the fans that noticed him.
- Some members of the basketball team were also at the game with a few recruits, including Isaiah Sykes.
- Top 10 plays from the spring game (YouTube)
- Rich Rodriguez press conference part 1 (YouTube)
- Rich Rodriguez press conference part 2 (YouTube)
- Denard Robinson interview (YouTube)
- Roy Roundtree interview (YouTube)
- Obi Ezeh interview (YouTube)
- Highlights of the alumni game (AnnArbor.com)
- MVictors (alumni game)
- UMGoBlue (alumni game)
- AnnArbor.com (alumni game)
- UMGoBlue (spring game)
- AnnArbor.com (spring game)
- Michigan Daily (spring game)
- Detroit News (spring game)
- Maize and Blue Nation (includes a look at where one set of the “Michigan Stadium” letters from the old press box went)
- Canton defensive end Brennen Beyer has committed to Michigan. Beyer is a four-star on Scout (the only service that has evaluated him so far) and has offers from Louisville, Michigan State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Stanford, Syracuse, Texas Tech, UCLA, and Vanderbilt, among others. Beyer is the fourth recruit to commit for the 2011 class, joining cornerbacks Greg Brown and Delonte Hollowell and wide receiver Shawn Conway. For more on Beyer, check out mgoblog.
- Tate Forcier’s status for the spring game is up in the air due to his ankle injury.
- Florida running back recruit Demetrius Hart, who will be visiting for the spring game, has a final three of Michigan, Alabama, and Auburn.
- The Free Press wrote a good article on the Mealer family and their bond with Rich Rodriguez. (Shocking, isn’t it?)
- The NCAA has approved the following rules changes for football: messages on eye blacks are no longer allowed (sorry, Terrelle Pryor, no more supporting dog killers and then making dumb comments about it later), wedge blocks on kickoffs are now illegal (the NFL made that change last year), and starting in 2011, if a player taunts the opponent before crossing the goal line for a touchdown, the score will not count as a result of the penalty (lame).
- Jon Falk, Michigan’s equipment manager since the 70s, has a book coming out in August. You can bet that it will have loads of great stories. (UPDATE: A reader on mgoblog found the Amazon link to it.)
- EA Sports has confirmed that ESPN integration is coming to NCAA Football 11.
- Ray McCallum Jr. is going to Detroit Mercy to, like Trey Zeigler, play for his dad.
- Evan Smotrycz answered readers’ questions on UM Hoops.
- The NCAA is now sniffing around the West Virginia football program to investigate if there were any rules violations during Rich Rodriguez’s time with the school. West Virginia seems very confident that no rules regarding practice time were broken, so let’s hope everything is in order and the NCAA doesn’t find anything that will further damage Rodriguez’s already tarnished reputation.
- Tate Forcier sprained his ankle on Tuesday, and although he was apparently walking around with crutches and in a boot on Wednesday, he is supposed to practice today.
- The weather forecast for Saturday’s spring game is now 51 degrees, a 10% chance of rain, and cloudy skies. It’s too bad today’s 82-degree weather didn’t wait for a couple days.
- Mark Moundros is going to play linebacker and fullback in 2010.
- You can find a rundown of Tuesday’s press conference with Rich Rodriguez on mgoblog and MVictors.
- Dhani Jones is not a fan of Rodriguez.
- WolverineHistorian uploaded a two-part look at the 1997 Michigan-Michigan State game.
- Everything is bigger in Texas, including high school football stadiums.
- Louie Caporusso and Carl Hagelin want to lead Michigan to a national championship next season.
- Derek Jeter told George Steinbrenner to lose his Ohio State ring when he delivered The Boss his 2009 World Series championship ring.
- A Michigan baseball recruit threw a no-hitter on Tuesday.
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