Academic Progress

When Kurt Wermers left town, he tried to take a potshot at the Michigan coaching staff, comparing them unfavorably to Lloyd Carr’s (under whom he never played, for the record). This, of course, has a serious short term effects of making the media insufferable for about a week, and compounding the similar accusations made by Justin Boren on his way out of Ann Arbor. Long term, it may diminish offensive line depth, and even chip away at Michigan’s ability to recruit players (though it flies in the face of, like, everything that anyone else has said about the staff).

Michigan Wolverine Ohio State Buckeye Justin BorenPerhaps the most serious damage Wermers may have inflicted, though, is not in terms of what he did do, but rather what he didn’t: stay eligible. Michigan’s football APR has been declining slightly over the past few years, as the Carr tenure waned and now even more Rich Rodriguez has come into town with his demanding program. Several players – whether they didn’t fit the system, weren’t willing to put in the work, or just wanted to go to Ohio State in the first place but were guilted into Michigan by Bo and used a father’s plow service(!) as an excuse to leave Michigan – have departed since the new sheriff in town took over.

The NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate is used by The Toothless Organization to determine which schools aren’t taking care of their student-athletes academically. It is calculated by a 4-year average of scores out of 1000, and if said score dips below 925, tTO will write you a strongly worded letter, then give no actual sanctions (though they’ve gained some teeth, and have punished even a couple BCS conference teams). So how has Michigan done over the past couple years? Take a look:

Michigan APR
Year APR Score
2006 958
2007 951
2008 947
2009 ???

These numbers have, as mentioned above, been on the decline for a couple years, and as higher-APR scores from years past move out of the 4-year average, and the more recent years (with worse APR scores) go into the equation, it doesn’t necessarily bode well for Michigan. Each player leaving the Michigan program costs the team 1 point out of 1000 in the APR calculation for that year. If a player leaves while he is ineligible for NCAA competition, it reduces overall score by 2 points. It’s unclear exactly when players count towards the next score: I believe those who left before the 2008 season have already been counted, and no others have.

Michigan Attrition
Player When Left Notes
Ryan Mallett Winter 2008 Arkansas transfer
Chris McLaurin Winter 2008 Medical reasons, unclear whether he’s still in school or will count against APR
Corey Zirbel Spring 2008 Career-ending injury, still in school and won’t harm APR
Justin Boren Spring 2008 OSU transfer
Marques Slocum Summer 2008 Likely ineligble
Marcus Witherspoon Summer 2008 Left after 2 weeks at school (does he even count against APR?), academically ineligible
Tony Clemons Winter 2009 Colorado transfer
Zion Babb Winter 2009
Artis Chambers Winter 2009
Avery Horn Winter 2009
Sam McGuffie Winter 2009 Rice transfer
Steven Threet Spring 2009 Arizona State transfer
Kurt Wermers Spring 2009 Ball State transfer, academically ineligible
Dann O’Neill Spring 2009 Western Michigan transfer

That means 8 players have already left the team since the end of the 2008 season. According to history, more may be on the way. With Michigan’s APR trending downwards, it appears as though the 2010 score will be more of the same. Will the Wolverines dip into the danger zone – below 925? They haven’t come close yet, though they’re certainly heading in the wrong direction. But hey, there’s always applying for waivers.

Posted under Coaching, Football, Misc., Personnel

Academic Progress

The NCAA published its Academic Progress Rate reports yesterday, and Michigan has a clean bill of health. All scores were above the penalty cutoff of 925, and three sports (both genders of golf and women’s tennis) recorded perfect scores of 1000.

Since Michigan’s main sports have been so attrition-y lately, let’s see if they are in danger for next year (when players who left the program this year will count against APR).

Football’s score was 951. In the past year, the team has lost Adrian Arrington and Mario Manningham to the NFL. Arrington was a fourth-year junior, and probably graduated prior to leaving Michigan. Manningham may have been enough of an academic liability to hurt APR next year. To transfers, Michigan has lost Ryan Mallett (Arkansas) and Justin Boren (Ohio State). I know nothing of their academic prowess, though I would assume that at least Boren was in good standing when he left. Several players have also left the team for other reasons. If Johnny Sears doesn’t hurt the APR, I’ll be shocked. Alex Mitchell and Jeremy Ciulla are the only other two that spring immediately to mind, and I know nothing of their academics either.

Basketball’s score was 927, dangerously close to sanctions. With all the people that left the program (Kendric Price, Jerret Smith, Ekpe Udoh, K’Len Morris), I wouldn’t be surprised if the team at least gets a warning for next year. At least they’re not completely toast like Indiana, already below the cutoff, and going downhill with lots of attrition in this offseason.

Posted under Basketball

Responses to Carty Article

Both the Detroit News and the Michigan Daily (featuring quotes from Mary Sue Coleman, the most obvious source in the world for a story like this!) have articles that essentially sate Jim Carty is nothing more than a gossip monger, trying to make a name for himself by making something out of nothing. In the Daily article, even Professor Paris, Carty’s crucial witness, declined an interview because he wanted nothing to do with Carty’s slam piece.

The only point I haven’t seen Carty ridiculed on is his assertion that athletes were allowed to enroll in classes only a month before the semester ends, with professor permission. What Carty fails to mention is that this is the late Drop-Add deadline, during which any student can enroll in a class with prohttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.giffessor permission.

Etc.: Michael Shaw and Brandon Moore excel in Ohio state track finals. Charles Woodson gives back. UM, not PSU may finish runner-up for Pryor.

Later today: Hockey highlights.

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Carticle Day 2

Brief summary of Carty’s (again idiotic) points:
1. Athletes want to get their degrees (just like just about everyone else at the University).
2. They want to make getting their degree as easy as possible (just like most other students).
3. They go about getting their degrees in a legal and ethical way by taking an easy major (like about half of other students (I’m looking at you, fellow Comm majors)).
4. When one degree (kinesiology) became to hard to get, a number of athletes switched to a different, completely legal and ethical degree path.

Smoking gun, Carty still seeks. 0 for 2 so far. The main frustration for me is that real life journalists and ESPN journalists are going to take this drivel and run with it, giving Carty some sort of credibility that he is no where close to deserving.

Posted under Blog News

Carty Article Drops

I will not link to it, because it’s mostly really crappy, but Jim Carty’s long-awaited article (written with John Heuser and Nathan Fenno) regarding some sort of academic scandal involving student-athletes at Michigan has finally been published by the Ann Arbor News. The general idea is that a lot of athletes take independent study courses with professor Jon Hagen.

Brief Synopsis of Carty’s Arguments:
1) There are easy classes at the University.
2) Some athletes take these easy classes.
3) Academic advisors help athletes pick their classes.

All of these points so far are like, duh. He is actually trying to criticize advisors for doing their jobs, which… what?

Brief Summary of Carty’s sources:
1) Two disgruntled former University employees.
2) Student athletes, who describe their classes.
3) A guy in the psych department who got passed over by the professor in question for a promotion, and admits he is not an impartial source.
4) Not Mary Sue Coleman, who agreed to answer some questions over e-mail, and was turned down by Carty.

Carty also notes repeatedly that there have been repeated reviews of Hagen’s classes by the psych department and the college of LSA, all of which has proven that his independent study courses are aboveboard. So, what’s the problem? There is no Auburn situation here.

Apparently this is the first in a series of four articles on the topic, but if this is supposed to be the bombshell article, it was certainly a dud. This article proves nothing other than that Jim Carty is trying to make a name for himself, and will take a standard situation, and try to spin it into a controversy.

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The Artis Chambers Ineligibility Debacle

On the ride back from Northwestern, one of my compatriots received an e-mail from TheWolverine.com with the cryptic message that Artis Chambers had played in games this year while he was ineligible. Knowing that this could mean very bad things, we tried for the remainder of the trip to find out what the deal was, to no avail.

Upon returning, I did some research (yes, I spent my Saturday night looking for football information) and found the following:

Artis Chambers played this year while he was deemed academically ineligible. Somehow, Michigan violated the rules by letting him enroll early even though he wasn’t cleared to do so. Chambers played on special teams in the Penn State, Notre Dame, Oregon, and App State games, and played defense in mop-up time in the Notre Dame blowout.

Apparently, however, the only game that was threatened (in terms of forfeiture) was the Penn State game. GBW is reporting that it is unlikely UM will be forced to forfeit the game.

More information, as well as postgame analysis of the Northwestern victory, will be coming later.

Posted under Personnel

NCAA Releases APR Reports

Academic Progress Report for Michigan is available here, along with every Division I school.

Men’s Gymnastics was somehow in the 10th-20th percentile(!) within its sport, as was women’s basketball. Field hockey and women’s rowing were in the 20th-30th percentile within their respective sports. Every other sport had a respectable place among its peers.

These scores also provide an easy way to determine varsity sports that Michigan does not have:
Men’s Fencing
Men’s Lacrosse
Men’s Skiing
Men’s Volleyball
Men’s Water Polo
Women’s Bowling
Women’s Fencing
Women’s Ice Hockey
Women’s Lacrosse
Women’s Skiing
Co-ed Rifle

Posted under Blog News