FanPost

People who say 'I told you so' have zero class.

But it is fun, and that's what a good internet pseudonym is for, n'est-ce pas?

***

So, Michigan self-reporting major violations to the NCAA.  How is it possible that [they found the cash in the freezer] that such "mistakes were made"*?

Sage of all things Blue, Mr. Brian Cook, September 2009:

"do you have anything substantive to say …about what’s on the site, or are you a one-trick pony?"

For more of the charming repartee, and he really hurt my feelings before banning me from his site (meanie!), go here:

http://www.blackheartgoldpants.com/2009/9/1/1010576/brian-cook-named-new-attorney-for

But this is now:

"Everyone involved with Michigan football compliance administration has failed massively and should be fired.  Now."

http://mgoblog.com/content/names-named-heads-should-roll

I think, incidentally, that he still misses the point, as he wades through 73-page exhibits and such.  Just from the perspective of governance and culture, what this huge document dump reveals is two things, and I don't think either one is 'We gotta fire some nobodies, and pronto.'

First, there was no compliance in effect at Michigan.  When executives do not follow the rules, staff do not follow the rules; at this point the rules cease to exist.  The staff is not there to protect the executives from themselves.  There was systemic, institutional flouting of the relevance of compliance by program executives, including the head coach. Analogy:  change the problem here from a compliance failure at a popular football school, to, say, an accounting or sexual harassment problem in a corporation or a battalion -- any independent evaluation would say that the violations are so consistent, persistent, and so casual as to indicate complete disinterest in preventing fraud or sexual harassment.   (The NCAA has already stated that Michigan created a hostile-to-compliance environment. Note to future execs: when you are told you have created a "hostile environment" for anything, you are a) being sued; b) about to lose some money; and c) at risk of losing your job.)  I have no idea how the NCAA deals with a cash-generating athletic monster like UM, but if this were a corporate governance problem, and it really is, on a level with lying about receivables and ginning up phony expenses, or trading bonuses and promotions for sex, there would be consequences.  The consequences would not be limited to firing a couple of clerks.

Second, RichRod considered compliance somebody else's problem, didn't look into it, didn't inspect it, didn't hold meetings on it, didn't take responsibility for it, didn't execute according to his responsibilities, appears not to have even read the rules.   This is the strangest, and yet most plausible, aspect of the story.  Strange, because why would a HC in the NCAA not trouble himself with core compliance due diligence?  And strange, because when was the last time you heard a football coach stand up and blame "collective failure"  and say, 'Hey, I'm just one of many gullible, innocent pawns' here.  But plausible, because he is a corner-cutter, a self-dealer, and a refugee from seamier climes. 

Anyway, Michiganders seem pleased that RichRod has some sort of plausible deniability, and that compliance failure may have preceded his arrival (a variation of the 'I inherited this mess' meme that we see elsewhere these days).  Okay, fine.  But I think they're arguing about whether or not those were $100 bills, or twenties, that they found in the fridge.  And I do think that there is someone who is in charge of and accountable for the UM football program.  

*Yes, the HC of UM actually said, in his defense this week, "mistakes were made":  

http://www.freep.com/article/20100526/SPORTS06/5260375/1054/sports06/Rich-Rod-Collective-failure-caused-violations

P.S.  In another story the Freep implies that, if fairly reviewed and associated with prior, punished infractions at (less powerful) schools, they'll lose a few scholarships.  

P.P.S.  What I see with this editor is definitely not what I'm getting.  Is it Safari?

Unless otherwise expressly indicated by BHGP editors, this FanPost is strictly the viewpoint of the author and is not endorsed by BHGP in any way.

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