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It’s one thing when bad universities like Penn State implode.

It’s another when good universities like the University of Michigan spin out of control. Off they go, one after another expensive (to Michigan taxpayers) football player… And the players get that all-important incredibly condescending send-off from the coach:

“Fitz made a poor decision and has been suspended indefinitely because of that action,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said in a statement released Monday afternoon. “There are expectations that come with being a football student-athlete at the University of Michigan and those responsibilities were not met in this instance.

“We will use this as an opportunity to educate Fitz and make sure he understands the high standards that we have established within our program.”

As if this asshole didn’t recruit the guy. More becoming would be the coach saying something like The pattern of university-destroying misbehavior on the part of so many members of our most high-profile teams means that something is wrong with our recruiting strategy. We will try to do a better job. But no – he has to lecture the player on how he’s going to get educated blah blah. Better to educate the coach in avoiding cynical recruitment decisions.

But anyway. Doesn’t matter. UM’s disgusting and expensive hiring and firing of the likes of Rick Rodriguez… I mean, we’re supposed to forget about all that… Put it aside the way Penn State people put aside one unsettling event after another over decades. North Carolina Chapel Hill is already a laughingstock; U Mich is probably next. On with the farce.

Margaret Soltan, July 24, 2012 8:46AM
Posted in: sport

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7 Responses to “It’s one thing when bad universities like Penn State implode.”

  1. dmf Says:

    NCAA as Penn “enablers”

  2. dmf Says:

    law school reform and a discussion of college money sports as too big to derail today on:
    will history record the prophetic powers of UD?

  3. AYY Says:

    I don’t see how you can blame the coach for recruiting a guy who gets a DUI arrest. The coach can’t foresee the future. Besides there are plenty of non-athletes who get DUI arrests. The coach’s comments were probably written by the University’s public relations office.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    AYY: I don’t expect coaches to be able to see into the future. But I certainly expect them to do enough vetting of character and of police record and even academic ability to shape a team that isn’t a constant embarrassment. Yes, non-athletes get into DUI problems, but athletes are special students – high-profile, recipients of big scholarships, extensive benefits of all kinds, etc. What they do is big news and reflects importantly on the entire university.

  5. AYY Says:

    They can’t vet the police record if it’s a juvenile record. That’s usually confidential. Also the article didn’t say if there was a prior police or juvenile record.

    Your response also suggests that the real problem is just a public relations one. But your post suggests that it’s something more than that.

  6. Margaret Soltan Says:

    AYY: Yes, true – coaches need to act with partial information. But maybe one of the reasons universities pay them multiple millions of dollars would be their capacity to do a reasonably good job of sensing – based on whatever information they have PLUS their instinct and experience – whether a given player would be an asset or a disaster.

  7. University Diaries » The professor as PR whore Says:

    […] nothing and knows nothing. Its function is to give institutional legitimacy to Michigan’s rancid sports program. And most of the committee members are happy to play along: “It’s not our job to […]

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