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Old May 24th, 2008, 12:44 PM   #1
Rocky Bleier
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U of M thread (in the Lions Forum) :)

Howard: U-M may struggle

Angelique S. Chengelis / The Detroit News

Desmond Howard, the former Michigan receiver and Heisman Trophy winner who covers college football for ESPN, visited Ann Arbor last Sunday for the Griese/Hutchinson charity golf outing.
As always, he had plenty to say.
Angelique Chengelis, Michigan beat writer for The News, caught up with Howard to discuss coach Rich Rodriguez, the coaching search process (Howard was a member of the committee), and what a Michigan Man thinks of a former Michigan player transferring to Ohio State.


Q . Your ESPN colleague Kirk Herbstreit has said Michigan will go 6-6 this year. What do you think of the Wolverines' chances this year?
A . It's going to be a challenge. I think when you look at the Big Ten, I think that you automatically think Michigan will be better than a .500 team. But when you factor in that there's a new system, that there aren't the athletes that coach Rodriguez would usually have to run this system, then that may be what people are looking at to say, 'OK, it may be a 7-5 or 6-6 season.' I think that's what they're looking at when they say that. I don't know Coach's history, but I think this is probably one of his biggest challenges as a head coach simply because this is the biggest stage he's been on. ...
He's trying to build a house with someone else's materials right now. So, I'm just real interested what that product is going to be like in September.

Q . What did you think of the hire?
A . I think I was on record for (LSU's) Les Miles simply because, first of all, I never wanted people to think just because he coached here, he went here, that's why I was on record. I was on record because I cover college football for a living, and I knew he was the most qualified person for that job that I had seen. Les Miles ... can coach his (butt) off. He has a winning record. He was a winner at Oklahoma State, he coached as an assistant in the pros, and you've seen what he's done for LSU.
Rich Rodriguez, I do think, is a very good coach, and I do think he has a tremendous challenge ahead of him. I've had a chance to sit down with Rich, and he's very likable as a person. Very likable.
It was a raggedy (search) process, and it took turns that it never should have taken, starting with the report that Herbstreit gave, but we are where we are now with it and hopefully it works out.

Q . What was your take on the Herbstreit's report when he said Miles-to-Michigan was a done deal?
A . I was in Hawaii doing ESPN, so I had no knowledge of anything. I put the (earpiece) in my ear, and I'm hearing Herbstreit break this news, and I'm thinking, 'You know, things happen overnight, maybe it did.' He's a seemingly intelligent guy, so if he's going to say it, I don't think he's going to go out there and blurt it out. He must have believed what he said. Whether it was true or false, there's no doubt in my mind that Herbstreit believed what he was saying on TV.
Now, should he have dug deeper, should ESPN have dug deeper? Of course. They have a Michigan guy on their crew and they knew how to get in contact with me, but no one ever called me.
It put Les in a bad position. That was wrong on so many levels. As a former player, unless I spoke to that coach and he told me it was cool, I would never have done that because he was still coaching a team that's about to play in a (SEC) championship game. ... His team, the first thing they saw when they woke up was that report. It was not fair to him and not fair to the players. ... And no one from this side of the story (at Michigan), as far as I know, came out and refuted it. The only one who said something was Les Miles that day.

Q . When a former player like yourself sees a player (Justin Boren), who had harsh comments about the new staff, transfer to Ohio State, what do you think?
A . At first, I was like, 'Wow, he's talking about family values.' And sometimes you use key words, and I read that, and I was like, 'Damn, this thing is just blowing up.' So I came up here (to Michigan) and I watched them practice. I was in the weight room working out, and two players started talking to me, and in general conversation they said, 'This guy, Desmond, was a complainer. He complained about workouts, he complained about practices.' And this is what they told me: 'Really, we're better without him.' I said, 'Wow, that's a different side of the story I hadn't even thought of.' I knew they were training in a way they've never trained before.
So then he went to Ohio State, and I was like, 'Well, how loyal can this guy be? All the colleges available to him, and he goes to Ohio State?' I talked to Rich, and Rich told me he talked to him, and Rich said (Boren) never was really happy no matter what they did. And Rich said, 'Desmond, I've got to do things my way.'
I tell people all the time, this is college football. It's not tennis, it's not golf. At the end of the day, Rich is going to do things his way. He's going to separate the people who can take it from the people who can't take it.
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Old May 25th, 2008, 09:47 AM   #2
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Howard was a Miles slappy who was very disappointed Michigan didn't get him. However, he probably will be right about RR's first year. ESPN needs to can this guy, he is unbearable to watch.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 12:07 AM   #3
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coach barwis is sick. if you want to get to a level physically that you never thought you would be able to get to, then do what he asks you and shut your fat mouth. justin boren will never make it any where he goes cause he doesnt have the heart. so get ready for your eating competion career you fat lazy judas
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Old May 26th, 2008, 06:49 PM   #4
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Honestly, Howard sounds very open to Rodriguez's view... for example he acknowledges there was a side to the Boren story that he really didn't think about until he talked to the players still there.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 08:30 PM   #5
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Boren left so early in the process, how could he possibly get a good read on RR's values. I now tend to believe that Boren's attitude had more to do with the whole thing, rather than a collapes of all that is right with UM.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 07:42 AM   #6
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damn i wish we'd have gotten Les Miles... Mallet wouldve been a damn fine QB here.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 05:03 PM   #7
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Michigan State is working on playing Western Michigan at Ford field in 2009. This most likely will be my first visit to Ford Field. Mark Dantonios idea would be to help get local recruiting edge over Michigan playing in Detroit. Anything will help.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 05:08 PM   #8
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You never went to see Bret Almighty when he was playing the Lions"

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Old June 30th, 2008, 05:29 PM   #9
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Not at Ford Field I did at the Silverdome
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L-kxng View Post
Michigan State is working on playing Western Michigan at Ford field in 2009. This most likely will be my first visit to Ford Field. Mark Dantonios idea would be to help get local recruiting edge over Michigan playing in Detroit. Anything will help.
Article I read said Michigan State already has the edge by default. The state of Michigan doesn't have the players Rodriguez wants; he's focusing on Florida.
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 07:07 PM   #11
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Rivals.com released their first team rankings of the 2009 recruiting classes.

Ohio State #1 nationally.

Michigan is doing very well at #4

Michigan State is doing outstanding at #10, a huge jump from the No. #47 last season.
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 07:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Article I read said Michigan State already has the edge by default. The state of Michigan doesn't have the players Rodriguez wants; he's focusing on Florida.
Yes, RR is targeting FL and that SEC type speed
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 09:52 PM   #13
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Is this guy in the mix next year?

Michigan tailback Grady charged

Wolverine faces court date next Wednesday after being arrested for DUI in Kent County.

Detroit News staff and wire reports

Michigan tailback Kevin Grady faces a hearing July 9 in Wyoming, Mich., District Court on charges he was driving while intoxicated.

Grady was arrested early Wednesday morning in Wyoming, near his Grand Rapids home, and was taken to the Kent County Jail. He was released on a $5,000 personal bond.

Grady, 5-foot-9, 228-pounds, sat out last season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

U-M coach Rich Rodriguez said in a statement that the matter will be handled internally.
Football

The Big Ten conference announced starting times for all non-conference games involving its teams through Sept. 20, the fourth week of the college football season.

Michigan will open its season at home against Utah on ABC at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 30. It will then host Miami (Ohio) at noon Sept. 6 on ESPN or ESPN2, and play at Notre Dame at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 13 on NBC.

Michigan State will host Eastern Michigan at noon Sept. 6 on the Big Ten Network, host Florida Atlantic at noon Sept. 13 on ESPN or ESPN2, and host Notre Dame at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 20 on ABC.

Also, Central Michigan will play at Purdue at noon Sept. 20 on the Big Ten network.
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 10:37 PM   #14
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Grady is the state of Michigan's all-time leading high school rusher, his Michigan career has not live up to his HS days. Anything from him this year would have been a plus for M. Grady rushed for 483 yards as a freshman in 2005 but only 187 yards 2006. He missed the 2007 season after tearing his ACL in spring practice. He would/ or could have been a backup to Carlos Brown this year.
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 10:46 PM   #15
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3 yards and a cloud of fumbles.
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Old July 4th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #16
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I just read Barwis has Michigan doing Pilates too. This guy is working for every angle, I never associated this with football much, but I think it would help any athlete. I started this discipline about 3 months ago b/c of muscle stiffness, and do I feel better! It really helps with your flexibility also.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 09:34 AM   #17
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all's well that ends. period.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Former West Virginia football coach Rich Rodriguez agreed to pay a $4 million buyout clause and settle a lawsuit that the university filed after he broke his contract in December.


The tentative agreement, which university attorney Tom Flaherty expects will be approved by the WVU Board of Governors later Wednesday, would end a case that had been set for trial this fall. It also may end a bitter public feud.


"It's a case that should have settled a long time ago and could have settled a long time ago. It's in the best interest of everyone to resolve it," Flaherty said.


A call to Ohio attorney Marv Robon, representing Rodriguez, was not immediately returned.


Rodriguez quit the Mountaineers in December for the head coaching job at Michigan, only a year after extending his contract with WVU. He had argued that WVU broke the contract first by failing to honor certain promises -- a charge WVU denied.


Flaherty said he would reveal additional details about the settlement, including the period for repayment, after the deal is approved by the board. However, he said the payment would not be made in a lump sum.


The settlement was reached on what had been a key deadline in the case. As part of the discovery process, a judge had given Rodriguez until the end of Tuesday to reveal whether the University of Michigan or anyone else had agreed to pay WVU on his behalf.


Flaherty said a document was produced, but he could not immediately divulge its contents.


Adding pressure to Rodriguez was a lawsuit WVU filed in a Michigan court last week, asking a judge to order Michigan athletic director Bill Martin and President Mary Sue Coleman to testify in depositions. A hearing on that request had been set for Wednesday afternoon.


WVU also recently got an Ohio court to issue a subpoena for testimony and records from Mike Wilcox, Rodriguez's financial adviser.


The Rodriguez camp approached the university with a "significant and serious offer" within the past few days, and WVU responded with a counterproposal Tuesday, Flaherty said. That set off a series of meetings with a court-appointed mediator, Frank Fragale.


"Mike Garrison and the people at Stewart Hall worked tirelessly -- under the very, very difficult circumstances that he's in -- to get this done," Flaherty said. "They also, in my opinion, did everything they could to keep Mr. Rodriguez here."


Garrison is stepping down as WVU's president Sept. 1 over an unrelated scandal involving a master's degree the university wrongly awarded to the governor's daughter last fall.


The $4 million liquidated damages clause was suggested by an attorney on the WVU Board of Governors in December 2006, after Rodriguez turned down an offer from Alabama.


It was double the amount of the previous contract, but a number attorney Steve Farmer said he believed would protect WVU from lost marketing, merchandising and other opportunities if Rodriguez left early.


Though Rodriguez initially balked, he ultimately signed a contract with that figure in August 2007. He then resigned Dec. 16, taking recruits and assistant coaches with him, and leaving the Mountaineers just before the Fiesta Bowl game against Oklahoma. Bill Stewart replaced Rodriguez after a 48-28 victory over the Sooners.


Stewart has a five-year contract worth $800,000 a year, plus incentives. The base salary totals $4 million, the same amount WVU aimed to recover with its lawsuit.


Rodriguez testified recently in a deposition that he signed his contract under pressure from board members and Gov. Joe Manchin. He argues that WVU failed to honor some of his demands and Garrison assured him the buyout clause would be reduced or eliminated if he were to resign -- a promise Garrison denies making.


Rodriguez also testified that while he considered the amount "excessive" and "unfair," he acquiesced when he was told a major WVU donor had insisted on it.

He has agreed to a similar $4 million damages clause at Michigan.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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Old July 9th, 2008, 11:15 AM   #18
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Rodriguez is expected to pay $1.5 million spread over three years, beginning in 2010. U-M is expected to pay the balance of the sum, $2.5 million, immediately and cover Rodriguez’s legal fees later, two people with knowledge of the agreement told the Free Press this morning.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:48 PM   #19
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REPORTING FROM ... CAMP BARWIS

by Bruce Feldman


It's five minutes before 11 a.m. on a snowy Monday in late March when Victor Hobson walks into the Michigan weight room grinning. He glances into the small cramped coaches office and just nods. Hobson, a former Wolverine linebacker with a neck as thick as a tractor tire, is the first player to arrive. Hobson plunks down on a stationary bike and starts pedaling. Soon he will be joined cycling away by running backs Mike Hart and Avon Cobourne. Braylon Edwards, another former UM star, shows up totting an open laptop computer in the crook of his arm. Before Edwards gets on one of the bikes, the Cleveland Brown receiver hooks up the computer to the gym's speaker system so he can play DJ. Welcome to Camp Barwis.

Over the next three hours, every muscle in their bodies will be challenged as a gravel-voiced man alternately shouts encouragement and jokes with them. Following the bike warm-up will come a series of sprint starts where the players burst out of their stances while a belt harness rigged to a wall attempts to hold them back. After that, Barwis implores the players to snake their way in procession over, around and through a group of high hurdles. This is the warm-up portion of Camp Barwis before the heavy lifting begins.
Camp Barwis is like nothing Hobson or Edwards had ever experienced before. Hobson came back to Ann Arbor because he had heard stories about Mike Barwis, Michigan's new strength coach. Hobson, who had spent previous off-seasons working out with a boxing coach, was always in search of cutting edge training methods that might help him get better, so he asked Barwis if he would work with him. Barwis said he'd love to. He already was training some former Mountaineer players who had relocated to Ann Arbor. Cobourne, a compactly built CFL running back who starred at West Virginia in Rich Rodriguez's first season as the Mountaineers head coach, had even rented a one-bedroom in Ann Arbor for the winter just so he could train with the new Wolverine coach. Owen Schmitt, Steve Slaton and Ryan Mundy, a trio of former Mountaineer players, also had moved up to Michigan to have Barwis get them ready for the NFL Draft.
Hobson says after the first week he felt quicker and more explosive. He was so impressed with his gains, he told other former Michigan players. Edwards opted to join in, as did Steelers linebacker Larry Foote.

The buzz about the coach has grown from his days in Morgantown. Barwis had become a folk hero among West Virginia football players who say he is as responsible as anyone for victories over heavily favored Georgia and Oklahoma in BCS bowls in recent years. Kay-Jay Harris, a former WVU RB now playing with the NY Giants, says it's not just type of workout Barwis coaches, which is a combination of plyometrics, Olympic lifts, core training and generous amounts of sprint work, but it's the intensity he demands.

Barwis is a 190-pound Philly area native with the kind of presence that scares grown men. Football players, many outweighing Barwis by 100 pounds, speak in awe of the guy like he's some sort of Chuck Norris figure. His reputation, which quickly turned him into an internet star among Wolverine fans, is indeed larger than life. "I think he had a freakin' pet wolf at home," says Harris. "Now, c'mon, who has a pet wolf?"

It doesn't hurt that there is just enough info about Barwis' MMA background to spook his protégés, especially those who have seen Barwis roll with any of their teammates who have tried to submit him, regardless of how much of an advantage he gives them to start out. Barwis prefers to sidestep the MMA thing or detail his martial arts background. "I really try not to talk too much about it," he says, adding that he'd rather talk about the athletes than himself.

Says Hobson, "It's like he's in the CIA or something. Those are the kinds of guys you really don't want to mess with."

The training regimen the players are put through is something many wouldn't want to mess with either. A half-hour into the session, the players assemble in pairs in front of a row of squat racks as they begin to load bumper plates onto their barbells. Barwis' instructs the group through hang cleans, an exercise you probably won't see at your local gym.

Most of the guys in here had never done hang cleans. Many had never done squats either or taken nutritional supplements. (The old Michigan program didn't include any of that in the Wolverines regimen.) Proper technique is a major concern so Barwis harps on strict form and uses Cobourne as his model. Soon, a rhythm develops. Heels snap on the floor. The clink of the barbell getting hoisted up is followed by a "THUD-thud" as the bumper plates crash to the ground.

"With the clean, you gotta be explosive and aggressive, you can't fake it," Barwis barks. "Just like football."

Over the next two hours, the intensity level rarely dips as the players go from the squats racks to the bench press over to some grueling core work (the athletes try to balance themselves while kneeling on two stability balls) before heading back onto the field for some plyometric work and additional sprinting.
"You're either gettin' or you're gettin' worse," Barwis says, his voice cutting through the bass throb of Edwards' music.
Cobourne, the veteran of the workout group, says he's noticed a dramatic difference in the athletes, using Foote, an established NFL guy, as his prime example.

"I saw Foote come in at the beginning, and he'd try and lollygag a little," says Cobourne. "And Mike's like 'Look, that ain't how we do it here.' Foote wasn't used to it. But now he's going right through it. These guys see what they're getting from it, 'Man, I was never explosive like this before. Wow this is really working for me.'"

Hobson says the impact the program will have is more than just physical. "If there are some soft people, these guys are gonna get them out of there," Hobson says of the new Wolverine staff, adding that Ann Arbor could have a Miami-like appeal amongst NFL players hoping to get in better shape during the off-season. "Word is going to get around, and that can only help the program when young recruits see a Braylon Edwards coming back here to train.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:22 PM   #20
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WOW!! Great article Rock..
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