Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Rich Rod: still...
. . . .

Rich Rod: still standing...barely

George Foster - March 1st, 2010
Rich Rod: still standing... barely
When the NCAA charged that the
University of Michigan football program has violated rules since 2008,
Rich Rodriquez (Rich Rod) took one more body blow in his fight to keep
his job as U of M’s head coach.
No Wolverines football program had ever been charged with violations
in its long history. The charges can be boiled down to the following:
CHEATING. Rich Rod is in big trouble.
Even the university agrees that U of M football probably exceeded the
number of coaches and practice time allowed in the last two years, a
violation of NCAA rules. The infractions don’t seem as serious as
those committed by other colleges in the past, such as doctoring
transcripts of athletes or even paying recruits to enroll. But
cheating is still cheating, usually the result of a desperate coaching
staff looking for an edge. As we listen to some die-hard U of M
football fans excuse Rich Rod for being unaware of the violations at
the time, how does that square with current and former Michigan
football players understanding the same infractions and reporting
them?
Since Rodriquez took the job in January 2008, his formerly rising
reputation as a young coach destined for greatness has been sullied to
the point that many former supporters at U of M would like him
terminated - now. There are even web sites totally devoted to the
firing of Rich Rod.
Why, when he has been so successful in the past and has only been on
the job two years? Even NCAA sanctions could be weathered by most U of
M fans if Rodriquez’s teams had not lost more games in each of his
seasons than Michigan teams have in over 40 years. Rich Rod’s squads
won only three and fives games in 2008 and 2009, respectively – not
coming close to qualifying for a bowl game in either season. U of M
had played in bowls for 33 consecutive years (by my calculation) until
the beginning of the Rodriquez era.
Rich Rod might be a nice guy and a decent coach, but you have to
wonder if he is in over his head. When he took the job in Ann Arbor,
he seemed to toss U of M’s rich football tradition aside abruptly –
requiring that everything be done the Rich Rod way.
In Rodriquez’s defense, it is not his fault that the coaching
fraternity in Ann Arbor has mostly been incestuous until now. Before
Rich Rod, Michigan football coaches were usually promoted from within
– there have only been a handful of head coaches since 1900. It is not
surprising that jarring changes would come from hiring a coach from
West Virginia with a new-fangled passing attack that requires the sky
to rain footballs as opposed to the power-running game of Wolverine
teams from the last two centuries.
Yet, the drum-beat to fire Rodriquez continues to pulsate, U of M
football players transfer to other colleges by the droves and even
previous coach and die-hard Wolverine Lloyd Carr seems hard-pressed to
make any public comments in support of Rich Rod.
Of course, U of M fans will instantly forget any taint of scandal if
the team begins to consistently win games. And it could happen –
Rodriquez has two good high school recruiting years in a row to draw
upon and a more experienced team to put on the football field this
season.
If not, and Rich Rod doesn’t at least lead the Wolverines to a bowl
game this year, he will be down for the count and run out of Ann Arbor
by November.

 
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