Rodriguez changes more than the Michigan offense Print
Written by Admin   
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 22:45
NCAAF Headline News

 Rich Rodriguez was never going to be ``a Michigan man.''
Not when he was hired, not when he cried after being accused of pushing his players too hard, not even if he wins nearly every game for as long as he lasts in the job.
That's not a slam on Rodriguez. No one in charge of a topflight major college football program anywhere else qualifies as ``a Michigan man,'' either. The last one, Lloyd Carr, resigned at the end of the 2007 season, when he realized he could no longer be both. Trying to uphold a winning tradition while following both the letter and spirit of NCAA laws finally wore him out.
Not a day went by, Carr recalled at his retirement news conference, that he walked into his office without finding at least one of the 100 players he coached, and often several, had dumped a problem - academic, legal or otherwise - on his desk.
``I think it's time to let somebody else worry about all those issues,'' Carr said.
committed to doing things right as they were to doing them better than anyone else. Then the business around them changed.
When they hired Rodriguez to replace Carr, the mandate was to restore the winningest program in the sport to the top of the heap. Naively, perhaps, they thought he could accomplish it simply by updating the offense, not the culture. But Rodriguez knew better.
He had been around the block a few times already - as an assistant or head coach at Tulane, Clemson and West Virginia. He knew there was no way to compete with the juggernauts all around him unless he did things the same way they did - pushing everything and everybody in the program right up to the edge, and sometimes beyond.
Saying ``Everyone else is doing it'' is not an excuse, but it's true. There was no shortage of players and coaches who confirmed that in recent days, including coach Jim Tressel and captains Kurt Coleman and Doug Worthington from bitter rival Ohio State.
``I haven't had anyone come in and say, 'You know what, Coach? We spent too much time at it and that's why we didn't do as well as we wanted to do,''' Tressel said
``I think Michigan is probably abiding by the rules,'' added Coleman, a starting safety. ``But, you know, to be great you have to put in more than 20 hours. That's just the minimum. In any great program, each player is putting in more than what they're required to.''
ickler about stuff like that. He made sure no staff members showed up at offseason conditioning sessions and voluntary practices, entrusting his captains and upperclassmen to play sheriff when he wasn't around. The account of goings-on in the Detroit Free Press paint a different picture since Rodriguez took control.
A telling detail in the newspaper's first story quoted an unnamed player about a saying echoed often by members of Rodriguez's staff: ``Workouts aren't mandatory, but neither is playing time.''
Maybe it's just coincidence, but the newspaper also noted that Rodriguez's All-America center at West Virginia, Dan Mozes, was quoted saying the same thing in the summer of 2006; six months ago, Mozes was hired as a part-time assistant strength coach at Michigan.
During an emotional news conference Monday, Rodriguez insisted, ``We know the rules and we follow the rules.'' What bothered him instead was the perception that he and his staff would put the players at risk.
``To say that is misleading, inaccurate and goes against everything that I have ever believed in coaching.''
allowing termination for that very reason.
There's a saying in sports, spoken only partly in jest, ``that if you ain't cheating, you ain't trying.'' If Rodriguez gets labeled a cheater and he still isn't winning, it's going to be a long fall in Ann Arbor.
---
Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at)ap.org
 

NCAAFB Team Pages

Top NCAAFB Public Bets

#1 186 Marshall 86%
#2 195 Ohio State 86%
#3 161 Memphis 85%
#4 177 Georgia Southern 84%
#5 129 Central Michigan 83%
#6 165 Alabama 83%
#7 121 Mississippi St 77%
#8 133 Boston College 77%
#9 154 Nebraska 77%
#10 168 Michigan State 77%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NCAAFB Futures

NCAA FOOTBALL TEAM BCS CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS CURRENT
MISSISSIPPI STATE 13/2
FLORIDA STATE 7/1
ALABAMA 7/1
MICHIGAN STATE 15/2
MISSISSIPPI 15/2
OREGON 15/2
GEORGIA 8/1
OHIO STATE 10/1
AUBURN 12/1
TCU 20/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com