The Wolverine

February 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  from our readers and what if Brendan Gibbons misses that pressure-packed kick at the end of the State game? We could easily be grousing about a 6-6 record. I watched 10 of the 12 games this year, and what I saw was a wellcoached team of players who were all playing as hard as they could play. And realistically, that is the most you can expect from your team. The transition from the Rodriguez spread to the Hoke pro-set is still a work in progress, which I believe will improve in time. And until Hoke has all his players and his full system in place, please, please don't schedule Alabama. Harvey Dasho Walnut Creek, Calif. The pieces are falling into place, as you noted, Harvey. The 2012 season underscored the fact that a few remain missing. Cheating Not A Factor Dear The Wolverine: I have been called many things over the years, but never "naïve." Such a characterization does not negate my point, however. As I said in my letter, we all know that OSU has broken some rules over the years. It is a stretch, however, to blame a decade of Michigan futility on OSU's transgressions. Maurice Clarett only played for one year and the rule violated by Terrell Pryor, selling his own property, should not be a rule anyway. Jim Tressel's cover-up had nothing to do with the play on the field. The problem with blaming everything on OSU's violations is that it encourages Michigan fans to minimize or overlook our own team's shortcomings, and that is truly naïve. I know we are all looking forward to a successful 2013 season as Brady Hoke and company work to overcome the RichRod hangover. Charles M. Freeland Indianapolis Isn't it possible to do both, Charles? Brady Hoke has clearly identified a number of shortcomings in the 2012 team, ones being addressed through recruiting, schematics and personnel moves within the team. But to brush off the affect of rampant cheating in the Ohio State program in the Tressel decade makes little sense. Clarett delivered a national championship, and with it instant credibility and recruiting gains for the Tressel regime. If selling off gear and memorabilia while still a student-athlete WASN'T a rule (and hardly the only one Pryor broke) programs would begin issuing 10 bowl rings and half a dozen helmets to each player, providing an extra means of income and thereby paying performers. And we couldn't disagree more about Tressel's cover-up having nothing to do with play on the field. That cover-up kept an otherwise ineligible Pryor (and several others) on the field, which significantly enhanced Ohio State's play. It also furthered the anything-goes culture around Columbus, which eases recruiting for those looking to profit beyond a scholarship. ❑

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