Coach Rod comments at Victors' Rally on coming sanctions
Ann Arbor businessman Pete Nichols put together Sunday's Victors' Rally in an effort to provide a morale boost to the fans of the recently moribund Michigan Football program. During the rally at the Michigan Theatre, attended by 450 fans who paid for admission, Coach Rod made remarks lasting about 15 minutes. Coach Rod was overcome with emotion (imagine that!) as he spoke about the program and his place in it. Most interestingly, he hinted at what is coming down the pipe in terms of the NCAA investigation into allegations that he committed violations during his first season as Head Coach. Coach Rod said at the rally, "We have an issue with the NCAA. That’s going to be resolved and I feel confident at the end of the summer, we’ll be through that. Can you imagine if Bo was told (by) the NCAA, you worked too hard? Maybe we worked too hard, I don’t know. But our players are totally committed.” (emphasis added)
The reason, quite simply, that Coach Rod does not know if they "worked too hard" is because he did not maintain the requisite practice time logs for the Compliance Department during the period of time in question. In the proud 130-year history of the Michigan Football Program, the Wolverines have never been hit with a major sanction by the NCAA for a rules violation. This is another of the Wolverines' streaks that is likely to come to an ignominious end under the reign of Coach Rod. In a ploy to garner support for his rule-breaking practice policies, Coach Rod invoked the memory of legendary Coach Schembechler. In his remarks, Coach Rod asked rhetorically, "Can you imagine if Bo was told (by) the NCAA, you worked too hard?" Fans would be hard pressed to envision a scenario where Bo had to be reprimanded by the NCAA as Coach Schembechler ran a program that always played within the rules and was beyond reproach. Coach Schembechler never had to be told by the NCAA about how hard he was working his players because Bo ALWAYS played within the rules.
In his book, Bo's Lasting Lessons, Coach Schembechler titled the Sixth Chapter: Do the Right Thing-Always. The beginning of the chapter seems particularly pertinent:
Every coach, every executive, every leader: They all know right from wrong. Even those Enron guys. When someone uncovers a scandal in their company, I don't think they can say, "I didn't know that was going on." They're really just saying they're too dumb to do their
job! And if they really are too dumb, they why are they getting paid
millions of dollars to do it? They know what's going on.
Bo went on to write that he could not recall a single moral dilemna in all his
years of coaching. (page 59) He wrote the reason was, "We always
knew what the right thing to do was, so we just did it. And we slept
well at night! Really, it was that simple."
When Coach Rod plaintively asks what it will take for him to be considered a
Michigan Man he does not understand it takes character that is beyond him.