The Wolverine

January 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  from our readers Cheating Charge Questioned January 2013 • Vol. 24, No. 6 ISSN 1048-9940 Editor John Borton Associate Editor Michael Spath The Editor Chris Balas Football Recruiting Editor Tim Sullivan Staff Writer Andy Reid Managing Editor Chris Riffer Contributing Editor Steve Downey Contributing Writer Ryan Tice Editorial Intern Kevin Minor Layout And Design Cory Lavalette Jeanette Blankenship Contributing Photographers Lon Horwedel Per Kjeldsen Cover Photo Per Kjeldsen Publisher Stu Coman Business Manager Linda Autry Circulation Manager Gail Evans Marketing/Merchandise Manager Beverly Taylor Director Of Advertising Dave Searcy Customer Service Manager Laura Kendall The Wolverine is published monthly. A one-year (12 issues) subscription is $49.95. The Wolverine is printed at The Papers in Milford, Ind. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Wolverine, P.O. Box 2331, Durham, NC  27701. Periodical postage paid at Durham, NC  27702 and additional offices. For advertising or subscription information, call 1-800-421-7751 or write The Wolverine, P.O. Box 1304, Ann Arbor, MI  48106. The Wolverine is a publication of Coman Publishing Company, Inc., 324 Blackwell St., Suite 1020, Durham, NC  27701. E-Mail Address: Subscription questions: Web Site: 4  the wolverine    January 2013 Dear The Wolverine: In response to Tom Bacon's letter in the December issue, I think it is a mistake for Michigan fans to attribute the football team's recent poor record against OSU to OSU's "cheating." Sure, some rules were broken, but one can question whether those rules had anything to do with the performance of the teams on the field. After all, is it unreasonable to assume you can sell something that is supposed to belong to you? In my view, OSU has defeated Michigan consistently over the last decade because they had better teams. They had better teams because they had better players. They had better players because they recruited better. Even though Lloyd Carr has now been promoted to sainthood, I think many would agree that he waited a year or two too long to retire. In the latter years he seemed to lose the fire in the belly necessary for truly toptier teams. I offer up as evidence the January 2004 Rose Bowl, where the Blue were woefully unprepared for a good but not great USC team, and, of course, the 2007 Appalachian State game. When Carr retired, the cupboard was less than fully stocked. Then we come to the Rich Rodriguez debacle. Rich Rod didn't even try to recruit players who could compete effectively against Big Ten competition. Brady Hoke and his staff are still working to overcome the Rich Rod hangover. With Hoke, Mattison and the rest of the crew returning Michigan to recruiting prominence, especially in Ohio and the rest of Big Ten country, I am confident that Michigan football will soon be back on top where it belongs. Speaking of recruiting, I would like to see a discussion of how academic standards influence recruiting   Be Heard! Send your letters to: Wolverine Letters • P.O. Box 1304 Ann Arbor, MI 48106 Or e-mail: Letters may be edited for clarity or length. in the Big Ten. We are all very proud of Michigan's academic reputation and world-class standing, but how does that impact recruiting? Are we at a disadvantage when competing against OSU and MSU? We have read stories about how some players may end up playing at a particular school when they were not academically qualified at another school. See Plaxico Burris and Randy Moss. Do all Big Ten teams have the same standards? Are Big Ten standards the same as other conferences? How about an informative article on recruiting and academics? Charles M. Freeland Indianapolis Charles, let's review the first point, with a slight diversion. You say Ohio State won over the last decade because they had better teams. They had better teams because they had better players. They had better players because they recruited better. Let's take three Michigan killers over that period of time, just to scratch the surface. There's Maurice Clarett, who recently noted the Cadillac and Lexus he owned when in Columbus and was quoted as saying "I got paid more in college than I do now in the UFL." There's Troy Smith, busted for taking extra benefits. There's Terrelle Pryor, who made a living out of beating the Wolverines, and a good living above and beyond those on-field actions. There was a system clash when Carr left, and U-M lost some serious talent in the transition — such as a five-star quarterback, fueling the "cupboard" talk. A fuller cupboard for a pro style isn't necessarily stocked for the spread, and vice versa. Meanwhile, OSU continued looking the other way (or actively covering up) a corrupt system that threw open the doors to a host of paid performers who played a key role in its advantage. To downplay this aspect seems, at best, naïve. And yes, there are skilled performers in the Big Ten right now that would not have been admitted to Michigan. It just goes with the territory. Anger Over Empty Seats Dear The Wolverine: I love Michigan football. I was born and raised in the U.P. and have

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