October 15, 2008

Various Versions of the RichRod Vote of Confidence

Michigan Athletic Director Bill Martin gave coach Rich Rodriguez a vote of confidence on Tuesday. I won't pretend all is well in Ann Arbor this year, but it's ridiculous that he would even feel compelled to make such a comment.

Bill Martin's comments, according to ESPN, were this:

"There's absolutely no question I'm totally supportive of Rich." "Was I surprised with the loss last Saturday [to Toledo]? Sure I was, no question about it. But I think he's the right man for this program at this time."

"You always have to, when you're sitting in my seat, look at long term. You can't look at instant gratification."

Comparing RichRod to Nick Saban (gee, thanks A.D.!): "And where is he now? [No. 2] in the country? Second year..." "So things turn quickly."

Ok, I hate to play lawyer again but that is a pretty half-assed vote of confidence, especially when there was no need for one in the first place. "I think he's the right man for this program at this time." How about "Rich is the right man for this job"? Why qualify it with "I think" and "at this time"? Here's how it should have gone down:

Correct Answer

"You're kidding right? You're seriously asking me if my first-year coach who installed an entirely new offensive system, one that has been highly effective elsewhere, has my support just because we got off to a slow start? Get a life."

Alternative - Silent, contemputous stare for remainder of press conference.

Alternative - "Oh, before I forget, have you seen Michael Phelps' tattoo?"

Honest Answer

"We could be 0-6 without a single field goal this year and Rich would be my coach. Seriously, I just had the M Club cough up millions of dollars to bring two coaches here from West Virginia. Those same donors have lost enough money recently. I'm not asking them for more now. I like my job too."
Weasel Answer

"We brought Rich Rodriguez in to secure our position as one of the premiere football programs in the county. So long as we're moving towards that goal, Rich is doing everything we asked of him."

Revisionist Answer

"We knew we were going to have a tough time early this year. I mean, look at last year. We lost to Appalachian State at home. We scheduled home games against teams we expected to be able to come into the Big House and test our squad. We know this team in November will look nothing like what you saw early on, and we'll build on that this year and next.

Alumni-Pleasing Answer

"Michigan Football has always been about team football. In recent years, we got away from that somewhat. Individuals were fighting for the spotlight. We're returning to true team football, and the boys are excited. The spread offense makes everyone better than any one individual, and they are seeing that. No one in this country can beat 11 Michigan Men working together."
Worst Possible Answer
"I'm not even going to dignify that with a response." (Sorry, that one never works. Ask any married man.)

7 Responses:

Brien said...

Any time an AD from another school gives a press conference, I appreciate Debbie Yow even more.

"ben" said...

Your "Alumni-Pleasing Answer" is neither alumni-pleasing or correct.

There actually is no alumni-pleasing answer because half the alumni think RR should be fired, and the other half (my side) would sign up for what you labled the "correct" answer.

I stopped liking Bill Martin in the middle of the coach search when it became abundantly clear that he was a lying skeezbag (I'd say around the time he called Schiano without Rutger's permission, even though his Miles excuse was that he didn't have LSU's permission to speak with Miles yet).

That said, he has really fixed the UM athletic department's finances, which is what he was hired to do (for $1 a year, though I wonder if that salary has increased now that his role is no longer temporary). It seems like he needed to hire someone else, though, to run some of the sports personnel decisions, and he could have just stuck with the bean counting.

"ben" said...

I guess it would be Rutgers', not Rutger's.

big tuna said...

Yeah, that Alumni pleasing answer is way off. There was no one fighting for the spotlight under Carr. It was all about The Team, The Team, The Team (although probably not as much as it was under Bo). There were never Heisman campaigns and players rarely did interviews.

The Alumni did not hate Lloyd Carr like you might think they did.

Martin is kind of an idiot but he shouldn't have to even answer that question. You pointed out the "I think" part of the quote but that was overblown. What about where he said "There's absolutely no question"?

J-Red said...

Ben: Not true. Rutger Hauer must give permission.

Tuna: "There's absolutely no question" kind of rings hollow when you've just been asked the question. Reading the sentence as "There's absolutely no question I think he's the right man for the job at this time," ok, I don't question that he thinks that. I just wonder when this time becomes another time.

"ben" said...

It's also pointless to parse his response to the question. It was not a prepared statement. I think it's clear RR's job is safe for right now. Ask me again this time next year, though.

J-Red said...

I totally agree his job is safe too. My point is just that ADs and GMs need to be better prepared to answer these asinine questions.

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