Rich Rodriguez announced to the press at the Griese and Hutchinson Charity Golf event that Kurt Wermers will no longer be a member of the Michigan football team. The Personnel HQ has been updated accordingly.
Rodriguez also mentioned that “a couple guys” might be leaving the team soon, a statement that most people assume to refer to Kevin Grady, who has to serve 7 days in jail for violating the terms of his probation.
This is not going to be exactly as the title implies (i.e. game schedules, or even an in-depth discussion of the Wolverines on College Football Live), but rather a couple quick notes that have appeared on ESPN of late. This is deserving of its own post because the offseason sucks.
First: Pryor e-mail-gate.
Relevant information, as quoted by Brian:
Pryor: “I really want to be like a great quarterback. People tell me I can’t throw and this and that, and I’m not that good and I’m overrated and all that.”
Pryor: “A bunch of people. Michigan players e-mail me and stuff.”
Herbstreit: “Come on, are you serious?”
Pryor: “Yeah man.”
Do I question the veracity of Pryor’s accusation? Kinda, because it seems really petty, and why bother? “Durrr u r overrated lolz”
Do I care either way? Not really. In the age of Facebook, e-mail, etc., things like this are bound to happen. It’s along the same lines of Facebook groups encouraging members to poke the opposing team’s QB, and harmless in the end. To the extent that “bulletin board material” can affect a player’s preparation for a specific team (a concept I question: do you really think it takes an e-mail to motivate Terrelle Pryor to want to beat Michigan?), it might be an issue, but other than that, it’s not. The main reason I hope this isn’t true is that I hope MIchigan’s player’s aren’t lame enough to waste their time with it.
Near the end of the Ohio St. game, Zack Novak appeared to intentionally hit PJ Hill with an elbow in the face after a free throw attempt. He was given a flagrant foul and ejected from the game. Coach Beilein announced that Novak will serve a one game suspension:
“We are taking swift and appropriate action with Zack for the unacceptable incident that occurred at Ohio State,” said Beilein. “After speaking with Zack, he understands the severity of his actions. He expressed regret and embarrassment for his behavior. I hope Zack will learn a valuable lesson from this imposed discipline.”
This seems like the appropriate response. People have made comparisons with the Conboy play on Kampfer. While there are common features, the biggest difference is that this is Zack’s first time pulling something like this while Conboy had a string of prior bad acts. Hopefully this was a one-off, gritty freshman mistake. For those of you who like Jevhohn Sheppard, you’ll be seeing plenty of him against Purdue.
UPDATE: The Big Ten approves of the suspension. Here’s the commish:
“Zack Novak’s actions at the end of the Ohio State game are unacceptable and have no place in the sport of basketball or the Big Ten Conference,” Commissioner James E. Delany said. “We support Michigan’s implementation of a one-game suspension. Also, SEC sux, Big Ten rulez!*”
So… this was unexpected. After assuring the staffs of Scout and Rivals that his commitment was solid, he announces that he’s commiting to Tulsa and disconnects his phone.
There are other quarterbacks in this class that will be getting a call from the staff, most notably Florida QBs Denard Robinson and Eugene Smith. Rich Rodriguez and Co. will definitely try to sign a second someone.
I’m not sure if we’re into full panic mode, but it’s a shock to lose a recruit to Tulsa. But hey, we have had a lot firsts this year. They’ll find someone else, and if nothing else, this will help Michigan’s chances with Devin Gardner.
Kevin Newsome has decommitted from Michigan as per Scout (info in header). While this doesn’t necessarily mean that Newsome will go elsewhere, it is obviously not a good sign. Luckily for Michigan, even if Newsome does decide to go elsewhere there are two other high caliber guys (Tate Forcier and Eugene Smith) who are still interested and available.
More info later.
Non-Informative Update: For those of you sad about Newsome, hopefully this helps:
For the first time in a while, the sports media are somewhat abuzz with talk of the Michigan Wolverines. Of course, I’d prefer them to discuss anything other than the potential punishment of a player, but such is life.
So why is everyone talking about how stiffly Kevin Grady is going to be punished? Because nobody knows exactly how severe the potential punishment will be. Grady is the first player to have a (public) misstep since Rodriguez took the helm in Schembechler Hall, and with such model citizens as Adam Jones and Chris Henry on his resume under the “former players” heading, there is a certain curiosity about what he will do to Grady, morbid though it may be.
The proposals range from doing nothing (as Ohio State fans think will happen, for some reason), to kicking Grady off the team. Jeff Chaney, a columnist for the Grand Rapids Press, said today on the radio that he thinks the latter is the most appropriate and likely outcome. Naturally, I disagree.
The logic Chaney followed was this: Grady is a third-teamer, and therefore must serve as an example to the rest of the team. Of course, this doesn’t take into account that making an example is widely thought of as a terrible idea. Nor does Chaney realize the modus operandi of the Rich Rodriguez staff. Just as upperclassmen and projected starters were not cut any slack in the training room, why should Grady’s status as a non-starter (which Chaney infers, rather than actually knowing) mean that he has less leeway with the coaches?
In rodriguez’s world, that isn’t how it happens. The most likely scenario is that Grady is punished during the summer, and possibly suspended for a game or two in the fall.
Worried about the new home jerseys? Fear not, for they have been revealed!This is similar to, but not the same as, Phil Callahan’s description:
The home jerseys have a maize block “M” on the shoulder, the number is a little thicker and seems to be placed a little higher than on past jerseys. There’s also a small (1/4 inch wide by 1-2 inch) vertical maize strip running down from the collar that has Michigan in blue.
The strip on the collar (later clarified by Callahan to have a Block M, rather than the word “Michigan”) is there, the shoulder “M”s are not. No word yet on the away jerseys, described thusly by Callahan:
The away jerseys have a thin maize piping straight across the chest. There also have a small maize strip on the back of the collar that says Michigan in blue.
TV. The TV times for the first three weeks of the Big Ten Network schedule have been revealed as well, and Michigan isn’t on The Network in this timeframe. This means that the home opener against Utah and the non-conference tilt against Miami are on the Disney networks (Notre Dame is away, and therefore on NBC).
Since the BTN is guaranteed at least 3 games per team (and at least 1 conference game), this means that Michigan’s contest against Toledo will likely be relegated to a station that nearly everyone gets now. Two conference games (probably against “lesser” opponents like Northwestern (sorry, LTP) and Minnesota) will also have to end up on BTN to meet the minimum.
Grady. Through a friend-of-a-friend, I know one of the people he was “going out to get drunk with” (as described by the person in question’s mother). He blew a .281, achieving his goal and then some. Rodriguez will handle discipline internally after meeting with Kevin.
East Grand Rapids’s own Kevin Grady was arrested last night in Wyoming, MI (which is no where near Ann Arbor (apparently they don’t have such technological innovations as “Google Maps” in Ohio), though I do enjoy the smug/hopeful tone of this post, which was apparently written by a 3rd grader. I have no idea what “Grady had implications [sic] of becoming a starting running back (sharing time with Travis Minor [sic] amongst others) after recovering from an ACL tear last year” is supposed to mean, nor do I know who Travis Minor is).
This will likely be a minor setback for Grady, who is likely to be punished internally, or suspended with reinstatement by the start of the season, for the offense. His presence in the Utah game would be very helpful, as I believe the inside run game is the Utes’ biggest deficiency on defense.
In happier hockey news, the team took 3 points from Miami over the weekend, returning them to the top of the CCHA (now with a guaranteed CCHA playoff bye), and the country. They face off against Lake State for 2 games in The Old Barn this weekend.
Sadly, no more WOLV games until the CCHA playoffs. I’ll keep you updated.