Last week when U-M SID Bruce Madej called into WTKA 1050AM to douse the rumor of a potential deal in the works to sack Rodriguez in favor of lighter NCAA sanctions, he half-jokingly wondered if there are people out there thinking, “Well it’s been three days, how can we hit Rich again?’”
Ugh. Turn over the egg timer.
Via a tweet from Mark Snyder of the Freep, former DB Morgan Trent is one of the NFL players profiled in the book Draft Season, which chronicles the story of four mid-round draft picks from 2009. Bengals.com provided a book summary and noted a claim by Trent that Lloyd Carr told him that prior to the draft, Rodriguez trashed Trent “to every NFL scout he could”":
At the end of the book, Deren describes the scene with Lloyd Carr, the former Michigan head coach that recruited him to Ann Arbor, breaking the news to Trent that current head coach Rich Rodriguez did him no favors.
“Rodriguez had bad-mouthed him to every NFL scout he could,” Deren writes. “Rodriguez claimed that Morgan was lazy, he had an attitude problem and he was a big reason the Wolverines finished with a 3-9 record…”
Trent admits the words were “jarring,” and they were hard to understand given that he was so serious about his career that he actually moved in with his brother and sister-in-law and their two small children while going to Michigan.
But Trent was also worried about what Carr thought about his words showing up in the book. He talks to him, not Rodriguez.
“I really like Coach Carr. He’s been very good to me,” Morgan says. “I think at first he was wondering, but I let him know it didn’t put him in a bad light. I would never do something like that to Lloyd. He’s great.”
So if you follow this, Trent’s effectively saying that Carr was aware that this was going in the book and didn’t stop him. They have no comment or quote from Rodriguez.
Thankfully Bengals secondary coach Kevin Coyle provided some perspective on this, admitting he didn’t directly speak to Rodriguez before the draft (which seems odd to me) and reminding us that there are two sides to every story:
“When there is a coaching transition and the team ends up not having success, you have to step back and try to decipher what the truth really is,” Coyle says. “There was a lot of heat on those people and there was some pointing of blame. Plus, the players were somewhat chagrined, so you had to look at everything.”
So a couple things here. First, I’m struggling to find a motivation for Rodriguez to trash Trent unless you believe RR truly is a big prick. What does he have to gain by dumping on a player to scouts – what, to help explain a crappy season to guys in the NFL? Doesn’t add up. At best I can see Rodriguez, when asked, being honest in his assessment and maybe about an incident or two that put Trent in a bad light. Beyond that, it would seem to only boost Rodriguez and the reputation of Barwis and crew to get more players drafted and to have success in the NFL, even if they were only around for a year.
I’m not sure what to make of the Carr stuff, and I guess I’d like to hear from him specifically what he heard and what he told Trent, or better yet, hear this corroborated by a few NFL scouts. I’m sure a lot of scouts called both Rodriguez and Carr to get the skinny on Trent, and those scouts probably shared information with the coaches.
As far as Carr allegedly spilling the beans about Rodriguez badmouthing Trent to Trent - I guess I’ll say that in a perfect world Carr and Rodriguez would meet at Coach and Four every day to talk football, kinda like those guys in Hoosiers. But that doesn’t happen and nowhere is it required that all Michigan coaches (past, present and future) be pals.
[Ed 5/10 --> I heard some people this morning on WTKA 1050AM asking for Lloyd Carr to apologize. For what? If you piece this together, we’re talking about a (1) writer who wrote about something he heard from (2) Trent, who relayed something about something he was told by (3) Carr, about something Carr apparently heard from another (4) scout or team about what (5) Rodriguez allegedly said to a (6) scout or team about Trent, which Rodriguez now denies. What? I’d like to know, did the writer walk through this line and try to validate any of the story? ]
As an aside, Geoff Hobson wrote the piece for Bengals.com and included this:
“What was really hard for me was coming into the draft after being on a team with a bad record,” he says of the worst record in Michigan history.
Come on, man. Don’t make me do this again.