Jump to content

Motor City Sonics

3 and Out - Rich Rod & Michigan in The Crucible of Football.

Recommended Posts

Amazon.com: Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football (9780809094660): John U. Bacon: Books

I worked with John U. Bacon for a year and a half and I will tell you that you won't find many people more knowledgeable about the history of Michigan football than John.

I can also tell you that, from what I understand, some folks will be awfully pissed off by this book.

I know one thing for sure - and that is John will be fair in his writing. He, like me, actually found room in his heart as a Michigan fan to like Rich Rod at the same time as liking and respecting Lloyd Carr. I don't think John has any agenda, I think he is trying his best to explain what the hell happened in those 3 years. There is no smear campaign at play here. Some people didn't want to talk to John for this book and therefore their side might not be covered. If they wanted to tell him their side, he would work it into the book. This is not a man looking to tarnish anyone or write a hit piece. He's not that kind of person.

I have read parts, I can't wait to get the book next Tuesday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have also read some parts/reviews, and it sounds really good. The ineptitude by Bill Martin and other higher ups seemed really interesting, but not shocking. I expect this book will put together what many Michigan fans already suspected about the behind-the-scenes of the RR era, and show how unstable everything was from the AD to general support of RR by the alumni. I did enjoy the part where RR called Danny Hope a "no class Junior High School *******" for his antics after the 2009 Purdue game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have also read some parts/reviews, and it sounds really good. The ineptitude by Bill Martin and other higher ups seemed really interesting, but not shocking. I expect this book will put together what many Michigan fans already suspected about the behind-the-scenes of the RR era, and show how unstable everything was from the AD to general support of RR by the alumni. I did enjoy the part where RR called Danny Hope a "no class Junior High School *******" for his antics after the 2009 Purdue game.

To call Bill Martin inept is inaccurate. As a builder of good sports programs and teams he was not good at all, but as a builder of infrastructure he did an amazing job. He was brilliant at securing funds to build the physical structures and he did a good job at making sure it was done right, even at higher cost. Nothing they built looks out of place or cheap and it all blends traditional and modern aspects beautifully - and in the long run this will absolutely benefit recruiting - especially in the basketball program. He did hire the right guy in John Beilein, that's for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To call Bill Martin inept is inaccurate. As a builder of good sports programs and teams he was not good at all, but as a builder of infrastructure he did an amazing job. He was brilliant at securing funds to build the physical structures and he did a good job at making sure it was done right, even at higher cost. Nothing they built looks out of place or cheep and it all blends traditional and modern aspects beautifully - and in the long run this will absolutely benefit recruiting - especially in the basketball program. He did hire the right guy in John Beilein, that's for sure.

I should have been more specific. I thought the whole process behind the RR hiring/coaching search was poorly done, and it looks like the book does a very good job at explaining this. Martin did a fantastic job on the renovations, and the Beilein hiring was a very good decision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I should have been more specific. I thought the whole process behind the RR hiring/coaching search was poorly done, and it looks like the book does a very good job at explaining this. Martin did a fantastic job on the renovations, and the Beilein hiring was a very good decision.

Cool, I am not the biggest Bill Martin fan in the world, but he did a lot in a short period of time and that Big House renovation and transformation is stunning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pre ordered it a couple weeks ago. Should be a good read.

I'm guessing this will be the best selling book of all-time on Michigan athletics.

Edited by Sparks4Ever

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ill read it. I know RR's time at UM was awful on him and that he wasn't given a real fair shot from the beginning. I think when the new A.D. was hired he just wanted to put that troubled regime out of its misery and start fresh. Would RR have turned it around eventually? Hard to say. Book should be real interesting though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ill read it. I know RR's time at UM was awful on him and that he wasn't given a real fair shot from the beginning. I think when the new A.D. was hired he just wanted to put that troubled regime out of its misery and start fresh. Would RR have turned it around eventually? Hard to say. Book should be real interesting though.

Rich Rod was treated horribly by a lot of people that sit there and tell you about the integrity of Michigan while going behind his back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got this from Amazon yesterday and finished it today. Really interesting book. I'm a Spartan through and through but bought this book because it sounded like it would be a very good read and it was.

RR comes off looking much more sympathetic than previous impressions. Lloyd looks REALLY bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I got this from Amazon yesterday and finished it today. Really interesting book. I'm a Spartan through and through but bought this book because it sounded like it would be a very good read and it was.

RR comes off looking much more sympathetic than previous impressions. Lloyd looks REALLY bad.

Having read it and just finished it myself, I will agree. He went through hell.

That being said, he shouldn't have been hired to start with. And IMO it's better for the program that he's gone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not done yet, but wow it hurts to read about Lloyd Carr. Hope all of it isnt true, but makes sense if it is. This book makes you realize it wasnt all RR's fault, just a bad time for everyone involved in the program from top to bottom. A few breaks here or there and yea maybe he would still be the coach. It is a game of inches. Great book so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not done yet, but wow it hurts to read about Lloyd Carr. Hope all of it isnt true, but makes sense if it is. This book makes you realize it wasnt all RR's fault, just a bad time for everyone involved in the program from top to bottom. A few breaks here or there and yea maybe he would still be the coach. It is a game of inches. Great book so far.

I think RRs supporters were right when they complained about how bare Lloyd left the cupboards. Coming into that bad a rebuild situation without any base of local support was clearly a hard way to go, but on the other hand, the way the D has played this year with pretty much the same cast as last yr also points up that RR had some seriously bad ideas on the defensive side of the ball but not the sense to let a good defensive coordinator run it without his 'guidance'.

I think it's not unusual for people to present an attractive public face and then be bastards in private, but the opposite is less often true, Lloyd was such a prick in public it's easy to believe that's pretty much who he was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm through the 2009 season in the book. By not publicly supporting RR, Carr was not doing his job as associate AD. This is Bill Martin's fault as much as Carr's. Carr was getting paid well into 6 figures and should have been doing everything in his power to support the football program. Martin should have told him early on to either get on board or get out. I am guessing this is what Brandon did, but have not made it that far into the book yet.

If Carr's on board, I doubt Rosenberg is able to find so many sources to speak out against RR, and Rosenberg himself might not even go on such a crusade against Rodriguez. Maybe their team doesn't fall apart in 2009 and they make a bowl game that year. Of course, they'd still have a ****** defense and a ****** DC in 2010, so even that might not have saved him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No doubt it was poorly handled from Martin to Carr to RR.

At the end of the day it comes down to W's and RR didn't get it done.

It will take 2-3 recruiting classes to build up the size we need on the lines. We are making progress but it is painful to see the lines get owned against top tier Big Ten teams.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love reading the tidbits this book has about Dantonio and how he treated RR and basically anybody associated with UM. Stay classy Dantonio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't mean this to sound flippant, but who is John U Bacon? I've always had the impression he was affiliated fairly deeply with U of M. If this stuff about Carr is in there(when we get our Kindle this is my first book I'm ordering), then it would seem Bacon is not part of the "UM establishment."

Again, I don't mean the question to demean Bacon, just understand where he fits in whole U of M matrix if you will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I'm about 85% of the way through the book. Holy cow. I wouldn't even know where to start with how many things were handled wrongly.

Rosenberg, Snyder and the Free Press...they should be ashamed of themselves. But sports media has never worried about stuff like that. Carr....man.

I don't know that Rodriguez was still the right hire or not, but talk about a guy having to swim against the tide before he even got to campus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think RRs supporters were right when they complained about how bare Lloyd left the cupboards. Coming into that bad a rebuild situation without any base of local support was clearly a hard way to go, but on the other hand, the way the D has played this year with pretty much the same cast as last yr also points up that RR had some seriously bad ideas on the defensive side of the ball but not the sense to let a good defensive coordinator run it without his 'guidance'.

I almost choked when I saw that they had lost Casteel over $10k a year. I mean, DAMN. Between Rodriguez, Coleman, and Martin, how much sense do you need to understand that Rodriguez is an offense guy, and getting the right DC is utterly, vitally important. It's just sickening to see all these people (including Rodriguez), go through all this pain, and it very likely could have been averted, at least to some degree, by paying Casteel $500k a year. Just make sure he wants to come.

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I almost choked when I saw that they had lost Casteel over $10k a year. I mean, DAMN. Between Rodriguez, Coleman, and Martin, how much sense do you need to understand that Rodriguez is an offense guy, and getting the right DC is utterly, vitally important. It's just sickening to see all these people (including Rodriguez), go through all this pain, and it very likely could have been averted, at least to some degree, by paying Casteel $500k a year. Just make sure he wants to come.

Rob

The Michigan defense was and still is my biggest complaint of RR, I didn't care about anything else. But being in the bottom 5% of all college football defenses, and getting worse by the year made me dislike him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Having read it and just finished it myself, I will agree. He went through hell.

That being said, he shouldn't have been hired to start with. And IMO it's better for the program that he's gone.

So...he wasn't at fault but let's blame him?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So...he wasn't at fault but let's blame him?

Nope, not what I wrote at all. The results of his team, all the losses and bad performances on the field are entirely his fault. And from what I read in the book, he seems inept at times. He was not the right coach to come into the circumstances at UofM after losing Bo and Lloyd retiring. But as was written in the book, he didn't even set foot on campus before he took the job. Didn't research or talk to people about the situation, the culture at UofM, what he'd be dealing with. He took Martin's and Coleman's word on everything and basically went into the job blind. For that he is definitely at fault. For being a crappy coach and losing in the b1g he is at fault. For not being able to come up with answers to why his team wasn't improving, why he couldn't make the team better, he's at fault. For bringing in 2 defensive coaches that couldn't do better than 117th in the nation, he's at fault. For making a fool of himself repeatedly, especially at the bust last year, he's definitely at fault. For embarrassing the school and team in OSU games and in the bowl game, he's definitely at fault.

The stuff that happened behind the scenes, the people that worked against him, not his fault. As I wrote, he went through hell with that stuff. And that sucks that people at Michigan acted that way.

It's pretty clear he wasn't the right coach for the job at the time and his style coaching did not fit at Michigan. Had a competent AD actually vetted him and took the time to investigate him, instead of choosing the hottest name that would agree to take the job, they would have seen that. Therefore, he shouldn't have been hired to begin with and, as this season has shown by the improved defense alone, it's better for the program that he's gone.

That all being said, he seems like a nice guy and he's probably a pretty good fellow and has a nice family, etc. People close to him seem to like him. But that has nothing to do with him being the coach at UofM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mtdman, read the whole book, and then comment. Read the whole thing and tell us exactly how Rodriguez would have been able to do something other than take Martin and Coleman's word on things. Last time I checked, the university president and AD were pretty good people to get information from. You realize you are actually indicting them by your comment. Lloyd Carr called him personally.

Who exactly would Rodriguez have "consulted" as you say he should have that would have been better people for him to listen to than the outgoing coach, the AD and the school president?

You're having a very hard time justifying the fact you are simply looking at W-Ls and nothing else when you say he was a bad hire. You're better to just stick with that.

BTW, a lot of people have short memories. In 1996 Mattison was the DC, and he couldn't do anything right. Ran off to ND to take the same job there, Jim Herrman comes in, 1997 happens and he is a genius. Now Mattison is the proof that it's better for the program Rodriguez is gone?

While I want to see far more Ws than Ls, Michigan has always been about doing things the right way. After the Rodriguez episode, I have a hard time saying that is still the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read the whole book, as I wrote in my comments above.

You're damned right I'm indicting Martin and Coleman, and Lloyd. After totally screwing up the whole search process, and not even attempting to return any of the attempted communications from Miles, Martin was on a boat when Miles was under pressure to sign a contract extension with LSU and had no idea what was going on there. That's when Coleman stepped in and got involved. And both of them chased after hot names like RR instead of actually pursuing Miles' interest in the job. And Lloyd threw a wrench in the whole thing by contacting RR to begin with. He just didn't want Miles to get the job. All 3 were incompetent baffoons when it came to that search, and Bill Martin's handling of the hiring and the subsequent problems shows he was not a good AD. A good builder of facilities, maybe. A good SPORTS AD? No.

RR didn't even COME TO CAMPUS before accepting the job. He should have come here, spoke to people. Sports writers, former players, etc. Do you think that Michigan's football culture at the time was a secret? Every sports writer in town knows about the 'Michigan Mafia' and some of the dysfunctions amongst the alumni, former players, and past staff. The former players knew. The alumni knew. I knew, as an outsider alum, that things were dysfunctional inside Lloyd's kingdom in the football program. If Bacon could find people to admit that in his book, RR could have figured that out by doing a better job of vetting the position. A little closer look would have revealed those problems to Rich. Actually coming here and talking to Lloyd in person would have been a good barometer. Do you think Lloyd would have been welcoming in person if it was clear that RR might actually get the job over one of his assistants at the time? Lloyd the evil half time interviewee? Come on.

RR coming here meant dismantling EVERYTHING that had been built from Bo onwards in the football program. New people, new coaches, new attitudes, new schemes, etc. RR says so himself in the book, and tries to warn Coleman and Martin that implementing his scheme usually means several years of losing. That was not what Michigan needed at the time, and that was not what those close to the program wanted. Hence all the other problems he had from former players, former staff, alumi, media, you name it. That was all against him from the start.

But nobody wanted to think about that when he was hired. Everyone wanted his fancy pants offense that put up points in the ACC. Nobody stopped to consider the fact that UofM didn't have those kinds of players here. And that it would take many years before they did get those kinds of players. And if those kinds of players, and that kind of scheme, could win in the big ten.

The book shows RR week after week trying to figure out why his players weren't getting better, weren't picking up his system. Week after week his excuses are "We need to coach them better, that's on me." After 3 years of a coach saying that, not getting any better results, it becomes pretty obvious that if week after week the team is losing and not getting better and the coach blames himself, then yes, it is the coach that is the problem. When players are rebelling against the program and refusing to learn the system and spend the time they need to in the film room (Tate), that points a pretty big finger at the coach. RR teams didn't get better as the season went on, they didn't grow, they didn't improve. Already this year Hoke team improved week after week after week, the team that finished the season was far better and improved than the team that started. You cannot say the same for RR. His last 2 games certainly were not the best 2 games the team played during the season. That falls squarely on the coach.

I know that many people just LOVE RR and think he got a rotten shake at UofM. And all the background bullcrap certainly didn't help him. But that doesn't change the fact that his teams sucked and he was a bad coach at UofM. He was not the right coach to hire at the time he was hired. Martin and Coleman did a rotten job in going after him when they did, as a way to save face from early screw ups in the coaching search. IMO it was a case of putting a square peg in a round hole. He didn't work at UofM, and it was a bad hire. Nothing in that book changes my opinion. And in fact, the results from this season and what Hoke was able to do with RR's players shows that RR was a bad coach at Michigan. Same players, different coach and different system. Major improvement. Can't argue with those results.

What does Mattison have to do with RR being a horrible coach at UofM and a bad hire? Irrelevant and specious. Stay on point. UofM is better, RR is gone. What more proof do you need that UofM is better off without him? Good Lord.

Michigan has been about doing things the right way. The way RR was treated was not the right way, and a majority of that was Lloyd Carr working against him and Bill Martin allowing that to happen. That does not change the fact that RR was a bad coach and the program is better with him gone. Him gone, Lloyd Carr gone, Bill Martin gone, and Dave Brandon in charge making sure the infighting and factions and Michigan Mafia is under control.

Edited by mtdman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I read the whole book, as I wrote in my comments above.

You're damned right I'm indicting Martin and Coleman, and Lloyd. After totally screwing up the whole search process, and not even attempting to return any of the attempted communications from Miles, Martin was on a boat when Miles was under pressure to sign a contract extension with LSU and had no idea what was going on there. That's when Coleman stepped in and got involved. And both of them chased after hot names like RR instead of actually pursuing Miles' interest in the job. And Lloyd threw a wrench in the whole thing by contacting RR to begin with. He just didn't want Miles to get the job. All 3 were incompetent baffoons when it came to that search, and Bill Martin's handling of the hiring and the subsequent problems shows he was not a good AD. A good builder of facilities, maybe. A good SPORTS AD? No.

RR didn't even COME TO CAMPUS before accepting the job. He should have come here, spoke to people. Sports writers, former players, etc. Do you think that Michigan's football culture at the time was a secret? Every sports writer in town knows about the 'Michigan Mafia' and some of the dysfunctions amongst the alumni, former players, and past staff. The former players knew. The alumni knew. I knew, as an outsider alum, that things were dysfunctional inside Lloyd's kingdom in the football program. If Bacon could find people to admit that in his book, RR could have figured that out by doing a better job of vetting the position. A little closer look would have revealed those problems to Rich. Actually coming here and talking to Lloyd in person would have been a good barometer. Do you think Lloyd would have been welcoming in person if it was clear that RR might actually get the job over one of his assistants at the time? Lloyd the evil half time interviewee? Come on.

RR coming here meant dismantling EVERYTHING that had been built from Bo onwards in the football program. New people, new coaches, new attitudes, new schemes, etc. RR says so himself in the book, and tries to warn Coleman and Martin that implementing his scheme usually means several years of losing. That was not what Michigan needed at the time, and that was not what those close to the program wanted. Hence all the other problems he had from former players, former staff, alumi, media, you name it. That was all against him from the start.

But nobody wanted to think about that when he was hired. Everyone wanted his fancy pants offense that put up points in the ACC. Nobody stopped to consider the fact that UofM didn't have those kinds of players here. And that it would take many years before they did get those kinds of players. And if those kinds of players, and that kind of scheme, could win in the big ten.

The book shows RR week after week trying to figure out why his players weren't getting better, weren't picking up his system. Week after week his excuses are "We need to coach them better, that's on me." After 3 years of a coach saying that, not getting any better results, it becomes pretty obvious that if week after week the team is losing and not getting better and the coach blames himself, then yes, it is the coach that is the problem. When players are rebelling against the program and refusing to learn the system and spend the time they need to in the film room (Tate), that points a pretty big finger at the coach. RR teams didn't get better as the season went on, they didn't grow, they didn't improve. Already this year Hoke team improved week after week after week, the team that finished the season was far better and improved than the team that started. You cannot say the same for RR. His last 2 games certainly were not the best 2 games the team played during the season. That falls squarely on the coach.

I know that many people just LOVE RR and think he got a rotten shake at UofM. And all the background bullcrap certainly didn't help him. But that doesn't change the fact that his teams sucked and he was a bad coach at UofM. He was not the right coach to hire at the time he was hired. Martin and Coleman did a rotten job in going after him when they did, as a way to save face from early screw ups in the coaching search. IMO it was a case of putting a square peg in a round hole. He didn't work at UofM, and it was a bad hire. Nothing in that book changes my opinion. And in fact, the results from this season and what Hoke was able to do with RR's players shows that RR was a bad coach at Michigan. Same players, different coach and different system. Major improvement. Can't argue with those results.

What does Mattison have to do with RR being a horrible coach at UofM and a bad hire? Irrelevant and specious. Stay on point. UofM is better, RR is gone. What more proof do you need that UofM is better off without him? Good Lord.

Michigan has been about doing things the right way. The way RR was treated was not the right way, and a majority of that was Lloyd Carr working against him and Bill Martin allowing that to happen. That does not change the fact that RR was a bad coach and the program is better with him gone. Him gone, Lloyd Carr gone, Bill Martin gone, and Dave Brandon in charge making sure the infighting and factions and Michigan Mafia is under control.

Nice take.

I'd go a little easier on Coleman. You really can't expect a University president at a school like UM to have high interest in or expertise at IC athletics. She had no reason to think she was doing anything other than walking into a top notch athletic org here and probably had no idea of Martin's cluelessness about athletics beyond the facilities end until the crap started hitting the fan. At that point her role is just damage control.

Maybe the other point would be that even if RR did know exactly what pathologies he was walking into, he likely still would have taken the job. What coach at that level doesn't believe he can overcome the problems and make it work on his terms if it's a job he really wants. If you don't have that kind of ego, you probably didn't succeed at the last place enough to be on the radar.

All that said, as a coach RRod was not ready to win at this level for all the reasons catalogued. It was up to Martin to know that more than anyone else - hiring coaches is in the AD's job description, no-one else's. It will be interesting to see at Arizona how much he learned from the experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      96,822
    • Total Posts
      2,952,484
  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Upcoming Events

    No upcoming events found
×
×
  • Create New...