shand

After numerous motions and delays, a judge has thrown out the case of former Michigan hockey player and coach, NHL’er and WTKA 1050AM morning host Dave Shand against U-M athletic director Bill Martin.

Shand claimed he was wrongfully terminated in April 2007 from WTKA at the order of Martin, who, they argued, pressured station brass to remove the outspoken host.   The gist of the complaint:

20. On April 19, 2007, Martin communicated both indirectly and directly with [WTKA station brass] Bolak and Cowen, and informed them that he would not allow WTKA to participate in a planned coverage of a UM charity golf event if they permitted plaintiff to broadcast it.
21. Martin further indicated that he wanted the station to fire the plaintiff, and stated that if they did not, he would no longer allow WTKA to carry University of Michigan football games.

It appears as though Shand’s team was never able to present smoking gun evidence of Martin’s direct involvement in the firing. 

Shand’s attorney Nick Roumel explained via email, “Some of our evidence was hearsay because we never actually had anyone who heard Martin himself make the statements we alleged he said.  We argued that the hearsay was nonetheless admissible under certain hearsay exceptions.”

Roumel added, “I’m proud of Dave for standing up for his rights.”

We know Martin is moving on next year; here’s hoping Shand decides to get back on the radio or in some other form of media down the road.   Dave’s currently an attorney at Lahn, Hall and Shand in Saline.

Related:
* Concept of ‘Michigan Man’ remains with alum – 2006 Michigan Daily piece on Shand
* Exclusive: Dave Shand Responds to Questions

John Heuser’s piece in the Ann Arbor News, discussing this week that Rich Rodriguez’s compensation tallied up to $6.6M, was thoroughly blasted in the blogosphere– see Brian Cook’s posts on mgoblog and AOL, and the gang at Wolverine Liberation Army.

Heuser was defended by his former colleague Jim Carty on his blog. JC called it a “meaty little story” and after acknowledging Brian Cook’s greatness took a few shots across the virtual bow.

If you read this site regularly you might recall my October 2008 interview with Dave Shand where he reveals the scuttlebutt that Michigan was going to pay the taxes on the buy-out:

Shand:…So it cost Michigan, they say $2.5 million. But I’ve heard, through back sources, that Rich Rodriguez did not realize that the $2.5 million that Michigan is paying on his behalf is taxable, so Rodriquez is going to have to pay taxes on that. Plus there’s the million and a half out of his own pocket.

That was indeed scuttlebutt at the time, but then a couple weeks later Rodriguez’s contract was FOIA’d and the terms of the buy-out were revealed. Those terms included the language on the tax neutralization [from my post on October 27, 2008]:

Thanks to the contract being available via FOIA, we know that this is true (here’s the full contract), see section 3.02, part (g):

So I, maybe you, knew this was going down. Carty suggests in the comments thread on his site that this October post was news and deserved some credit, but that the specifics revealed by Heuser make this news. Says JC:

See the difference – $4.1 million versus the initially reported $2.5 million?
That’s reporting. New reporting. Actual numbers and stuff. Journalism.

That’s fair, I agree the numbers and the terms matter and are interesting, but I also see the point of a few commenters on mlive and Paper Tiger who basically say that any dope with a calculator could have figured this out. Maybe so.

I was able to find a dope with a calculator and it confirms that last little detail that Shand mentioned when discussing the taxes, (“Plus there’s the million and a half out of his own pocket”). I’m pretty confident Michigan paid the taxes on the entire $4M, not just U-M’s portion. Heuser didn’t break out the detail of how we arrived at $6.6M and I think Carty may have missed this, he writes: “Now – thanks to the FOIA – we see that Michigan also stepped up and paid the taxes on the $2.5 million, which brings the total compensation number to $4.1 million.”

To the dope, calculated assuming Michigan compensated Rich Rod for the tax burden of the full $4M:

This assumes the highest tax brackets of course, and it assumes he had to pay for 12 months in West Virginia. If he claimed one month residence in Michigan these figures would be reduced to $6.65 or so. I don’t if the final figure reported was exactly $6.60M, but it makes sense that Michigan would cover Rodriguez at something under that full tax rate after factoring for various deductions.

Update: Yes, I hath understanding and I reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, and its number is six hundred and sixty-six (not six million six hundred and sixty thousand).

Related:
Jim Carty Interview – Three Parts
Dave Shand Interview – Four Parts

Continuing the interview with former News columnist Jim Carty. In Part I we talked about his decision to leave the News, on his new blog, the day Lloyd Carr canceled his subscription and his feud with Bill ‘Huge’ Simonson.

In Part II we talk about some of his critics and its affect on his personal life, on his access to the team at the Capital One Bowl, on the accusations the News misled some student athletes during the athademics series, and finally, on dubbing Michigan athletic director Bill Martin ‘Barnacle Bill’ during the coaching search:

MVictors: How big of a concern was some of the criticism of your work at the News reaching your family?
Jim Carty: My kids I think are too little at this point, my oldest daughter is eight and I don’t think she’s ever been aware of the controversy I create. She just sort of thinks it’s cool that I worked for the newspaper and didn’t understand why I would go back to school.

At one point during the Bernard Robinson thing, when I was writing that he should be kicked out of U-M, there were some phone calls to the house that really freaked my wife out. And in general, during the backlash from the project [academic series] I think that was very disturbing to my wife. But you know, those are minimal things. I don’t want make it seem like in any way, shape or form being a columnist for the Ann Arbor News was a negative experience for my family. It was overwhelmingly positive.

MVictors: Has “cartyhater” extended the virtual olive branch like Huge?
Jim Carty: I wonder what he’s doing these days? He did not. But one of my really crazed stalkers sent me an email. This is guy that the people I worked with were really afraid was dangerous. He sent me an email talking about how much he was going to miss me, and our “relationship”.

MVictors: Oh boy.
Jim Carty: And yet, he almost immediately began writing to Pete Bigelow and John Heuser, so I guess I really wasn’t that much of a part of his life after all.

One of the most surprising things about my exit for the News is that I got more than 300 emails for readers, and to me at least, they were stunningly positive. Probably 15 or 20 to 1 positive. Many, many people praised the academics project, which I never would have expected. A lot of them do follow the blog, some send email from time to time. What’s interesting though, there were people who were readers who emailed me if not on a daily basis, a couple times a week who have completely dropped out. They were in it for the U-M football, I was just a conduit to that.

MVictors: The scuttlebutt on the message boards insisted they knew you were frozen out of the football program by Lloyd Carr, I heard you laugh off the suggestion on WTKA.
Jim Carty: It’s a fascinating thing because I had one emailer just relentlessly pound me on the idea that John and I were frozen out of the end Lloyd’s era, and he knew it because someone from one of the Detroit papers had told him. He wouldn’t give it up. It’s very odd, how do you convince someone of a different reality?

I will say this. There seems to be this idea the John and I were not allowed in the post game locker room at Lloyd’s last game. Maybe that’s true. All I can say is we didn’t ask. [laughs]. I went to the post-game press conference, John talked to players as they were boarding the bus. There were two reporters I think, Larry Lage, who set it up in advance who did a very ‘inside the Wolverines’ thing the whole bowl trip, and I think Mark was in the locker room after the game. We just hadn’t asked. If I had asked, would we be allowed in? I don’t know. Nobody told me I couldn’t.

MVictors: So it’s not like there were 50 media members in the locker room?
Jim Carty: No. I can say this. Probably two days after that last game I got a call from someone really close to Lloyd saying they were calling for Lloyd to tell me how much he really appreciated my last column and something else we did that month that was rather private, that I’d rather not say. But I haven’t seen Lloyd seen the academics project ran, and if he’s not really pissed off at me I’d be surprised.

If he is pissed off at me, I’m not happy about that. He’s think he’s a good man, he’s been very good to me, very good to me, much better than people realize. I certainly don’t want him mad at me, but I understand if he is.

MVictors: You know Lloyd Carr pretty well, you know his personality.
Jim Carty: I don’t know. I think reporters often overstate how well they know the public figures they cover.

MVictors: What do you think he’d say about Jim Carty right now?
Jim Carty: I don’t know. That’s a really good question. I think he’d say that he really enjoyed a lot of my work but probably he thinks I was overaggressive, maybe even irresponsible. But that’s a guess on my part.

MVictors: Dave Shand’s firing from WTKA (allegedly at Bill Martin’s request) got about as much attention in the News as a Detroit Shock WBNA title. Why hasn’t the News really picked up the story, is it because Bill Martin’s involved?

Jim Carty: I don’t think it’s to protect Bill, since as far as I know he’s not speaking to the paper [laughs]. On the whole, I think if you looked back at how the News has treated news out of TKA, it would probably be in line with that. When Dennis [Fithian] quit we ran a paragraph, when Jeff Defran quit we ran a paragraph. [Note: Fithian and Defran were actually fired from the station, Jim knew this, just misspoke.]

MVictors: Shand didn’t quit.
Jim Carty: That’s true, but we also have run full articles on the lawsuit. We have. [I gesture that the Shand articles were eency, weency]. Yeah, but I think if it gets to a trial I think it’ll get significant coverage. And if they don’t cover it, I’ll go down and cover it on my blog.

MVictors: After the academics/athletics series was released Chad Kolarik claimed he was misled by John Heuser in his interview for the series. Sam Webb peppered you on the radio and you defended the News be didn’t give many specifics. Now that you’re gone from News, anything you want to say to set the record straight on that?
Jim Carty: I should say that it wasn’t just Chad. I believe Greg Mathews also claimed he was misquoted. I believe they both claimed they were led to believe it was somewhat of a more positive story about Professor Hagen.

When I was working for the News, I was in a position where I was limited by policies to the News. Quite frankly, there were times I would go on ‘TKA and people at the paper would not be happy. What I was saying in relation to that was being very, very closely monitored.

If I had a regret about the project, I think the paper’s management did an extremely poor job of defending John Heuser who did both those interviews. I think they acted very corporately. I think that they let John hang out there in an unfortunate way. It would have been extremely easy to run the run the transcripts of those interviews, and prove that no such thing like that ever occurred. No such thing like that ever occurred.

I will say this. In 20 years of doing this, I have never worked with a more ethical person than John Heuser. He is a former Naval officer. A tremendous family man. A University of Michigan journalism graduate, when they had a journalism program. I would bet my life on it that he didn’t mislead those kids even if I didn’t hear the transcripts. But since I did, I know it was mishandled. I guess the bottom line on this is that John right now has more ongoing relationships with former Michigan players than any reporter that I’ve ever seen cover Michigan. It’s because they know he’s a really good guy and he’s always treated them fairly.

There are times you are forced to be things in a business sense that you wish you didn’t have to do. Would I like my own kid to be put in the position that those kids were in? No. Would I like my kid to have their own transcript run in the News the way Perry Dorrestein’s did? No. But yet I would defend those decisions as the right thing to do for the next kid. Whatever we did or didn’t do with Perry Dorrestein’s transcript was much less damaging than what Michigan’s done with him. To basically just put him in a clown class to keep him eligible. I don’t understand why no one took a step back and said, ‘Why wouldn’t it have been better with this kid with a 1.8 to just sit that year out and work on his grades?’. Long term that would have been the best decision for the kid. Not doing that is ultimately going to be more damaging to him than what the News did. [laughs] But that’s a self serving position, I recognize that.

MVictors: You called Bill Martin ‘Barnacle Bill’ during the whole Les Miles thing during the coaching search. Martin doesn’t come off as a man that likes to be teased, perhaps especially in the newspaper. Did he ever confront you?
Jim Carty: I’ll say this–Bill throughout my tenure was very, very good to me. I think Bill always recognized that we could agree to disagree about certain things. But the academic series snapped it. There’s no doubt about that–it snapped it. After the coaching search at Rich’s introductory press conference in front of a couple other reporters he made a point of saying, “You know, you really didn’t understand some things and some day I’ll sit down to explain it to you.” And I said, “Why don’t you explain it right here?” And he said, “I’m not going to embarrass you in front of your colleagues.” I said, “That’s fine! Go ahead.”

That fact is that there is no explanation. He was on the boat when he shouldn’t have been on the boat and he intentionally didn’t return Les Miles’ call because he didn’t want to hire him.

MVictors: I think you crossed the line there, when called him ‘Barnacle Bill’. It struck me as disrespectful. Do you regret that?
Jim Carty: Not at all. I guess I’d say this–I respect your position. I like disagreement. I think disagreement is what drives the conversations that ultimately move us forward. I love it when somebody says what you just said, rather than when someone thinks what you just thought, and doesn’t say it. I will leave here thinking about what you just said and reexamining that position, maybe next time I’ll do something different, maybe I won’t, but at least I thought about it. That was one of the things about the job, disagreement is good, ultimately.

MVictors: A lot of people see Drew Sharp as a guy who simply looks for the controversial topic, spins it up, whether he believes it or not, just to get some attention. I think there’s many out there that lump you into that Drew Sharp bucket.
Jim Carty: Probably the most fascinating swing in my career was from the Barnacle Bill column to about a month later when I said in back-to-back columns that Rich was wrong in his positioning and needed to pay the buy-out. And if you had looked at my email the day of the Barnacle Bill column, it was hundreds of emails, it was like “You get him Jim, this is fantastic!”. Then a month later, the same exact people were like, “You’re the devil!”.

It’s part of the job. When I was writing columns about Sue Guevara’s mom dying of cancer, and Marlin Jackson growing up in poverty in Sharon, Pennsylvania and how far he had come. I don’t want to look like I’m blowing my horn but when I’m writing those columns, nobody felt like I was Drew Sharp. When I’m writing negative columns there’s an obvious correlation. I thought I was portrayed much more negatively that those final emails reflected, I was happy about that, maybe that’s just because people that like me wrote. I would be surprised if someone who read everyday, if that’s how they felt.

Coming up in Part III: We’ll talk about radio, good and evil in the world of sports journalism, bloggers and their place in the media and wrap up with a little Bruce Springsteen.

27. October 2008 · Comments Off on Rodriguez Contract and Tax neutralization: Shand was right · Categories: Archive 2008, Coach Rod, Dave Shand, The University


Thanks for the comments, emails and the feedback on the Dave Shand interview. The Blog that Yost Built called it “one of the best things I’ve read on the blogosphere. Ever.” And there’s been all kinds of discussion on various parts of the interviews on blogs and on all the major message boards. It’s always fun to see how people react to things you post, this was a thrill.

Anyway, with Coach Rodriguez signing his contract last week we’ve got some specifics on the deal and at least part of what Shand revealed in the interview is confirmed. Recall that Shand said he heard that Rodriguez didn’t realize that the buy-out portion that Michigan paid to West Virginia was taxable, here’s part of the interview:

So it cost Michigan, they say $2.5 million. But I’ve heard, through back sources, that Rich Rodriguez did not realize that the $2.5 million that Michigan is paying on his behalf is taxable, so Rodriquez is going to have to pay taxes on that. Michigan… has paid taxes on the [buy-out funds] it paid on his behalf which is all taxable income…

Thanks to the contract being available via FOIA, we know that this is true (here’s the full contract), see section 3.02, part (g):

Shand also said he heard that the University paid all of the $4 million buy-out, not just the $2.5. There’s no evidence of that in the contract, although just because that is not specified in this contract it doesn’t mean they didn’t pay it in one form or another.

Related: Here’s all of the interview:
Part I: What he’s up to, the lawsuit with Bill Martin, more.
Part II: Jim Carty and the News Series
Part III: Coach Red and the Fab Five
Part IV: The Rodriguez hire

The final segment of my four part interview with former WTKA morning show host Dave Shand. In Part I, we discussed what Shand is up to these days, his lawsuit with Bill Martin and his thoughts on the current morning crew at WTKA. In Part II, we looked at Jim Carty and the Ann Arbors News series on academics and athletics. Part III discussed Red Berenson, the future of the hockey program, and we got some of Shand’s candid feelings on how the University handled the Ed Martin mess.

Wrapping things up, we turn to the Rodriguez hire. We talk about the hiring process, the deal that was allegedly struck in Toledo, the ensuing lawsuit, and finally, we get Shand’s thought on what Rodriguez’s system will bring on the field.

Achtung! Shand uses some spicy language in this one (again). FWIW.

MVictors: Michigan landed a big name football coach in Rich Rodriguez. You’ve got a lawsuit with Bill Martin right now and he of course it was Martin who spearheaded the coaching search. What were your thoughts as you watched the coaching search unfold?:

Shand: [laughing] It was a complete clusterfuck. It was an absolute disaster. And Bill Martin’s excuses, ‘I was at sea’ or whatever, I have no idea, he couldn’t contact Les Miles because he didn’t get permission from the athletic director. Bill Martin lied, he absolutely lied. Because the next time he was trying to hire somebody [Schiano] he contacted him directly. Obviously he didn’t want to hire Les Miles which is fine. If you don’t want to hire somebody, just come out and say, “You know what? I know there’s a lot of pressure to hire Les Miles. I’m not interested in hiring Les Miles.” Don’t go through this whole charade.

This is a typical example of the arrogance of Bill Martin. In that he thought he could get away with it. Ok, we’ve got a $4 million buy-out, but we’re going to litigate them down and we’re not going to have to pay the four million bucks. It turns out West Virginia was pissed off enough and they weren’t going to litigate it down; they weren’t going to settle the case.

So it cost Michigan, they say $2.5 million. But I’ve heard, through back sources, that Rich Rodriguez did not realize that the $2.5 million that Michigan is paying on his behalf is taxable, so Rodriquez is going to have to pay taxes on that. Plus there’s the million and a half out of his own pocket. I’ve also heard from some very credible sources that Michigan’s paid the whole nine yards. Michigan has paid the entire $4 million to West Virginia, Michigan has paid $750,000 of West Virginia’s legal fees, a million dollars of their own legal fees, and has paid taxes on the $4 million it paid on his behalf which is all taxable income, so Rich Rodriguez, instead of the four million dollar coach, he’s become the eight million dollar coach. Anybody want to take a look at that?

MVictors: From the perspective of a lawyer, were you surprised that they pushed to try to reduce the buy-out?

Shand: If you had asked one hundred contract lawyers about his defense to their claim, as far as the $4 million buy-out, one hundred contract lawyers would have said he had no chance.

MVictors: The lay person would look at John Beilein’s situation and note that he got it reduced, so why couldn’t Rodriguez?

Shand: And [Beilein] negotiated; he said, “This is where I want to go. What will it cost me for me to pay you guys to get out of this deal?” And then they negotiated a deal. Rich Rodriguez didn’t do that. He went straight to litigation going, “I ain’t paying fuck all.” And West Virginia said, “What do you mean you’re not paying fuck all? We had a liquidated damages clause in your contact which is enforceable. You can’t tell us your not paying fuck all.” And that was the position that they had. Well, they were dead wrong and they paid every single penny plus all their legal fees. Probably should have just negotiated it down and it would have cost them, say, $3 million. That was just really stupid.

MVictors: From a legal perspective, as University officals, what authority did Martin and Mary Sue Coleman have to step into that meeting in Toledo and make a deal with Rodriguez? And Michigan settled with West Virginia right before Martin and Colemany were to be deposed, do you think they were afraid of having to reveal details of the meeting in Toledo?

Shand: There’s so many avenues you could go down here. I think there were a lot of things that were said there and a lot of promises that were made…that they did not have the authority to make. You can not make multi-million dollar promises to pay on somebody else’s behalf without the Board of Regents approving those promises. They would have to say, which is typical in any public body, “We have to go back to our bosses, which is the board of regents, and present them with what we have tentatively agreed on and get their approval on this”. Apparently none of that went on. They were just two cowboys out there goin, “Oh yeah, we can pay $2.5 million, we can do all this stuff..” That’s not their money. That’s money that belongs to the people of the state of Michigan– this is a public university. And that money doesn’t get to be thrown around willy-nilly without the Board of Regents, which is a duly elected body in the state of Michigan, approving it. I have no idea where they got off doing what they were doing. I was stunned.

MVictors: This of course is all alleged. We know West Virginia’s lawyer said it was agreed to in the meeting, but we don’t have anyone else saying that.
Shand:
Well, we don’t have Mary Sue Coleman’s deposition because..[laughs]..she wasn’t deposed.

MVictors: What are your thoughts on the hiring of Rodriguez, forgetting about the hiring process and lawsuit, etc.?:
Shand:
I loved the hire. I think Michigan’s needed a change for a long time. I love Lloyd. Bo helped recruit me here to Michigan. I know Gary [Moeller]. Melanie Moeller, Gary’s granddaughter, is my daughter’s best friend. But I thought it was going to be a breath of fresh air. I was pleased with the hiring. Mike Barwis from what I hear from all the hockey guys that are dealing with him say he’s just a horse. A lot of the hockey guys before going to pro training camps have been working with him, it’s radical, it’s different and they really think it’s helped them. I love everything he’s doing.

Rich Rodriguez is going through the same process that Red was going through when he got here. Red had a thing in his head about how his was going to play. High tempo, high speed, high execution level with constant pressure and you’re going 100 miles an hour for sixty minutes. If you can hang with us, fine. If you can’t hang with us we’re going to blow your friggin’ doors off. That’s the way he wanted to play. He took the job in 1984 and he comes to the University of Michigan and what does he have? A bunch of plow horses. He has no talent to work with. It took him four, five years to get enough of the guys for his vision. He literally had to sweep out four years of guys that were plow horses.

You can’t play Red’s system if you can’t fly. Finally when he got a whole team in of guys that could fucking skate, from first second first minute, to the last minute of 60 minutes, we’re goin’, and we’re going 100 miles an hour. And we went 37-3, and 38-2, and 35-4 but it took him that long. Rich Rodriguez doesn’t have any players that can play his system. Maybe Carlos Brown. Maybe Martavious Odoms. They’ve got a couple of them and they don’t have a quarterback. And the defense doesn’t have the presence yet to know how to fly. He’s got a bunch of 4.6 guys back there and he wants a bunch of 4.2 guys back there.

Michigan’s always been known for starting fast and finishing slow. Now they’re starting slow and finishing fast. And I’d rather have finishing fast because that means we’re getting to the right conditioning level. Next year, there going to get to a new level.

MVictors: Are Michigan fans going to wait two to three years?
Shand:
They’re going to be pissed [laughing]. But they have to have the one thing that Michigan fans don’t have and that’s patience. This is a totally different way of playing the game. We could have kept a Lloyd Carr and kept Mallett and Justin Boren, and we could have gone 10-2, 9-3 or whatever, playing traditional Michigan football. Are you going to have a chance to compete on the national stage? The answer is no. Rich Rodriguez gives you a chance to compete on the national stage, but you’re going to have to wait 3-4 years to see what his vision is. I think he’s the right guy.

I always admire the ability of Michigan fans to blow smoke up their own ass. Sorry folks, we’ve only had one national championship in 50 years. Have we been consistently above mediocre? Absolutely. I think Rich Rodriguez gives them a chance to be exceptional. Rich Rodriguez had West Virginia one game away from having his team in the national championship. We’d had one shot at that was 1997. And it’s West Virginia! You’ve got dumbfuck hillbillies with no teeth and one nut. At least we’ve got a chance to recruit better student athletes here.

—————————————————–

Here’s links to all four parts of the interview:
Part I: What he’s up to, the lawsuit with Bill Martin, more.
Part II: Jim Carty and the News Series
Part III: Coach Red and the Fab Five
Part IV: The Rodriguez hire


Blue Ice: The Story of Michigan Hockey

14. October 2008 · Comments Off on Shand Uncensored: Part III, Coach Red and the Fab Five · Categories: Archive 2008, Dave Shand, WTKA 1050AM

Continuing the interview with former WTKA morning show host Dave Shand. In Part I, we discussed what Shand is up to these days, his lawsuit with Bill Martin and his thoughts on the current morning crew at WTKA. In Part II, we looked at Jim Carty and the Ann Arbors News series on academics and athletics.

In this installment, we talk about Red Berenson, the future of the hockey program, and get some of Shand’s thoughts on Steve Fisher and how the University handled the Ed Martin mess.

Achtung! Shand uses some spicy language in this one. FWIW.

——————————

MVictors: Let’s talk some hockey. Coach Berenson, do you still talk to Red? How’s he’s doing?
Shand: He’s doing really well. He’s almost seventy. He doesn’t look even close to that. I remember his dad, a good guy, 95 or 96 before he passed away. So genetically Red’s got some things going for him but I remember him telling me, “Sixty years old, that’s it. I’m retiring at 60.” I remember Red talking to me about taking over the program, becoming head coach and I remember telling him, “You’re not retiring. You love this too much.”

And it’s getting easier because Mel Pearson and Billy Powers are doing such a great job at putting pieces in place for Red to work with. They go out there and work their asses off and they bring in a ton of talent everything single year. Last year was the best example– look at the number of freshman they brought in and look at the year they had. Red does not go out beating the trails and finding the kids in Buttfuck, Utah trying to find a power forward. Those guys do it, and they keep bringing in talent every single year. And the genius of Red is that he knows how to mold that talent, how to put it together and how to make a team.

MVictors: He’s not going to coach here forever.
Shand: I don’t know about that. [laughing]. He might be the first 110 year old coach at Michigan. He’d be our JoePa. [laughs]

MVictors: Where’s the next coach going to come from? Are they going to do what Michigan State did and hire a seasoned, high profile coach?
Shand: I would really be shocked if Mel Pearson didn’t get it. Just because he was here before I was here, and he was my mentor. I knew nothing about recruiting college hockey and Mel taught me everything about it. I think he’s the best recruiter in college hockey. And I think he’s proven it year after year. Why he doesn’t have a head coaching job somewhere else….it just baffles me. I know he’s had a couple of offers but they weren’t good situations, it was coming in as a disaster rescue unit where your chances of succeeding are really slim. He’s the best guy in a living room I’ve ever seen; he’s the best evaluator of hockey talent.

It’s not just every high profile recruit. When he recruited Mike Knuble he was playing for the Kalamazoo Junior Wings, nobody else in the country wanted Mike Knuble. Nobody. He wasn’t being recruited by Western [Michigan], which happens to be in Kalamazoo. Mel Pearson loved that kid and we went that kid and offered him a scholarship and he came to Michigan sight unseen. He’d never been on campus, he didn’t have another scholarship offer. He’s a 30 goal scorer in the NHL now. He was a big, fat slow kid from Kalamazoo. Mel saw something in him that nobody else saw, and he’s does that again and again. So I think he absolutely has to get the first shot at the job. He deserves to have the shot, he done so much for this program. I think he’ll be a terrific coach.

MVictors: You hear a lot about how the football program is a close family, you heard about Bo’s first team coming back and players coming back for big games. Is the hockey program a close family?
Shand: Oh yeah. It really is a tight family. It’s hard to explain to somebody on the outside. I am now a lawyer for a number of Michigan ex-hockey players when legal things come up. I’d say at least a dozen kids that I recruited, or coached, or got to know after I left the program- I’m their lawyer. They know they can trust me and I’ll do my best for them and I’ll never give them bad advice. So they call me.
Red’s done a phenomenal job creating the feeling that everything that’s gone before is connected with everything that’s going to happen. And it is not an easy thing to do. I think Tommy Amaker tried to replicate it, and I think John Beilein’s trying to do the same.

You don’t understand how crucial it is to recruiting because everybody knows everybody. Once you are part of the Michigan family you’re part of the Michigan family forever. You know what? That’s a huge recruiting pitch on the road. It’s not like we cycle you through and when you’re done, don’t call us again. It’s a continuation. It’s a really good feeling that the program has.

MVictors: You mention Beilein, I saw him at the Illinois game along with Fab Fiver Jimmy King. You were a hockey coach when the Fab 5 was in town.
Shand:
Yes, Brian Dutcher, Jim Smith were assistant coaches. Steve Fisher…I loved Steve. So I guess I’m prejudiced.

MVictors: Do you think Fisher was wronged?
Shand: Oh yeah. I think he was totally screwed. Those guys were good guys, those kids were good kids. I really liked the whole group, not just the Fab Five. I thought Fish did a terrific job. That decision, and I think it was Tom Goss’s decision, but that decision was an absolute disaster and it’s been a disaster from that point on in the program.

MVictors: Most people think that Fisher was aware of what was going with Ed Martin and should have done something to stop it

Shand: They had pictures of Ed Martin up in the locker room [that read] ‘You Can Not Associate With This Guy’. It’s in the locker room. Posters. And by the way, it wasn’t those guys that got them all fucked up, it was Louis Bullock. He got them to the statutory limit, it wasn’t the Fab Five. He’s from Maryland. How the hell does he know Ed Martin? He actively went out and connected with this guy, and got illegal stuff from this guy. He’s from Maryland, what’s he doing with Ed Martin?

MVictors: Do you think Chris Webber’s clean in this?
Shand: I don’t think Chris Webber’s hands have ever been clean. I think everything that was going on at that point in time was going on at every basketball program in the country. If you want to indict every basketball program ..that’s the way business was being done. And everybody knew that was the way business was being done.

MVictors: Should Beilein welcome back the Fab Five?
Shand: Oh absolutely. I think the thing was handled so poorly, to get on bended knee and say ‘please, please, please.’ If you want to pick on Michigan, that’s fine. You know what? UNLV, with Jerry Tarkanian, went through 11 years of appeals before Tarkanian vs. The NCAA ever made it to the Supreme Court. Jerry Tarkanian was employed for 11 years and we have pictures with him with hookers, in a spa with his players and an agent, and it goes on eleven years. And Michigan just folds the tent.

I just thought it was really poorly handled. I thought it was poorly handled from beginning to end. Why don’t you fight? You want to indict us…Why don’t you go after Jim O’Brien at Ohio State and direct payments of money to players. Did Jim O’Brien get sanctioned, did they go on probation? Every elite program was doing the same thing.


MVictors:
Sticking on the topic of coaches, we still don’t know a whole lot about Rodriguez but we know he really doesn’t like to lose. I think he cited it as a reason he didn’t want to film Michigan Replay after games (in case they lost).

Shand: You haven’t seen fuckin’ Red after a loss. There’s actually a story in John Bacon’s book Blue Ice. We’re up in Sault Ste Marie, and we’re playing Lake [Superior] State. I think the previous 27 times we’d played them we beat them twice. This was 90-91. Lake State were defending national champions. They were big, physical and they’d bang the shit out of you, especially in their own building. I think we lost 10-0.

It’s just Red and I up there–Mel’s on a recruiting trip. I thought Red was going to fucking explode. He comes into the locker room, throws shit around and he goes, “That was unbelievable. You guys are wimps and fucking pussies. You’ve got no fuckin’ guts and no fucking balls.” He stomps out of the locker room. I’m the assistant coach so I follow him out.

So the team’s getting on the bus to get back to the hotel, it’s about three miles from the rink and it’s 25 below zero. As the team’s getting on the bus Red goes, “I ain’t fuckin’ riding with those losers.” So we walk back from the hotel in a snow storm, at 25 below zero, I’ve got Italian loafers that I bought when I was in Europe. They were $250 shoes, they were ruined. I get back to the hotel and just throw the shoes in the garbage because they’re done. I had to go back to my room and run a tub of hot water because I thought I was going to get frostbite.

So Red calls and tells me to come down, he’s got the tape from the game. We looked at the tape ‘til 6 o’clock, 7 o’clock in the morning. For six hours, broke down everything. We have the morning skate, Red doesn’t say a fucking word. We have the pregame meal, normally we have a meeting right after. Red comes in, he goes, “If you are men, and I mean men…with balls and a fucking cock and some sense of yourself…then you will fucking play tonight.” He turned around and walked out of the room. We won 4-3 in overtime. It was unbelievable. The bus ride back from the Sault was like 20 minutes.** Talk about people who hate to lose.

** Per a reference to the story in Michigan Today, Bacon’s version of this incident is mildly different but you get the idea, plus heck, Shand was there.
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Here are links to all four parts of the interview:
Part I: What he’s up to, the lawsuit with Bill Martin, more.
Part II: Jim Carty and the News Series
Part III: Coach Red and the Fab Five
Part IV: The Rodriguez hire


Blue Ice: The Story of Michigan Hockey

13. October 2008 · Comments Off on Shand Uncensored: Part II, Jim Carty and the News Series · Categories: Archive 2008, Dave Shand, Media, WTKA 1050AM

Continuing the interview with former WTKA morning show host Dave Shand. In Part I, we discussed what Shand is up to these days, his lawsuit with Bill Martin and his thoughts on the current morning crew at WTKA. In this installment, I serve up a few discussion topics–this time on Jim Carty and on the News athletics and academics scandal, and Shand does what he does best.

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MVictors: Jim Carty recently wrote his final column for the Ann Arbor News and he’s moving onto law school at the University of Toledo. What did you think of Carty’s work?
Shand:
I thought he was the best writer there. He actually talked to me about going to law school. It wasn’t driven by anything at the Ann Arbor News, it was driven by the state of the print media these days. He seen friends around the country, good quality writers at good papers, getting laid off.

Talk about someone who’d be a prime person to have as a lawyer, having been in the newspaper business as long as he’s been and then crossing over to get a law degree, he’s going to have a pretty good resume once he starts looking for a law firm.

MVictors: You rarely hear praise for a columnist, but Carty was criticized a lot.
Shand:
If you hear praise for a columnist he’s going to be fired. Bob Bolak [WTKA general manager] used to say to me, “I don’t want to be general manager of a radio show that doesn’t get calls from people complaining.” He’d come down the hall and say, “Shand, I haven’t had a complaint about you all week. Are you going soft?” In the radio business [having complaints] that’s viewed as a badge of honor. You pissed them off enough that they called the station and you know they’re listening. And they’re going to listening the next morning to hear what else you are saying.

Jim unfortunately became, in a couple situations, a lightning rod in Ann Arbor, because he wouldn’t kowtow to the traditional Michigan golden shrine of Bo, or whatever. He wouldn’t do it. And he challenged the conventional wisdom, and the conventional wisdom is that Michigan is better than anybody else at academics and athletics. We are good at it. We are not better than everybody else at it. We have to cut corners and we have to make accommodations, we have to set different standards to recruit student athletes, as every other elite program in the country has to do. It’s the nature of the business.

I did it at Michigan. I did it as a coach when I was coaching with Red Berenson. Did we have some student athletes on the team that would not be admitted under normal Michigan standards? Absolutely. Did I get them in? You’re damn right I did. I just saw Ted Spencer, he’s director of admissions for University of Michigan, I said last time I saw you I had my kneepads on. [laughing]

But that’s what you do. You have extraordinary athletic talent and mediocre academics or in some cases disastrous academics, I mean, are you going to try to get the kid in? I’m a coach, I want to put the best product on the ice. That’s my job.

MVictors: Is that all that matters [to the coaches]?
Shand: They want kids to make academic progress. They want them to graduate. They want them to take advantage of the opportunities that are here. But you can be the best frickin’ coach in the world, but if you don’t have any fucking talent on the ice or on the field, your best coach in the world is out the door in about two years. This is not some kind of boys or girls club where you’re here to develop personality and character. You’re here to win, and if you don’t fucking win you get fired. So you can go, ‘Look at the character of the kids I brought in and look what great student athletes they are?’ That’s great–go to Harvard or Brown or Cornell or Stanford, and see what Jim’s [Harbaugh] having to deal with out there. It’s not reality.

MVictors: Isn’t the University’s job to set some standards? So that it’s difficult to bend the rules and prevent tough situations like where you’ve got to beg guys like Jim Spencer?
Shand: It’s Ted Spencer. I should get his name right as long as I’m blowing him. [laughing].

It is their job. But do you create some artificial, minimum entrance level that’s inconsistent with the minimum that’s set by the NCAA? You don’t. Everybody thinks we’re better than Ohio State. We’re not. We’re the same. And the reason we’re the same is that’s the only way we can compete athletically. If you want to be different, be Notre Dame when Bob Davie was down there and they raised academic levels on all admissions and you watched Notre Dame football go in the freakin’ toilet. Do you want that to happen at Michigan? We try to do the best job we can, to give the kids that get in here the best support we could possibly give. And in some cases we give them remedial courses to get them up to speed to be legitimate college students.

MVictors: What was your reaction to the News series—as a former student athlete, as a coach, a lecturer in the department they investigated, a former member of the media, and a guy who’s ex-wife works in the academic athletic support department–what was your reaction?
Shand: I thought the series stated exactly what it is. There was no problem with the series. The issue was the reaction to the series from the old Michigan true blue ‘This is not what we do here, ‘cause we’re different, we’re better, we’re special. Our academic standards are different from anybody else…’ It’s not true, but people have this belief that it’s different and it’s not.

My ex-wife [Sue Shand] was named specifically in that article. [The academic advising staff] didn’t create the system that exists at Michigan now. The system is in place. Kinesiology wouldn’t exist without student athletes. Do they have 60 spots [for athletes] in Kinesiology? Yes. If you have a student athlete in Kinesiology and they have a two point, they could transfer to LS&A, and they’re able to get a General Studies degree—the athletic department didn’t create the General Studies degree. The degree was created by the University of Michigan. Are they taking advantage of it? Maybe. Is it legal? Absolutely.

Would you like them to be taking aeronautical science or chemical engineering? I don’t know, probably. Do they have enough time to do it? I don’t know. The athletic department didn’t create this system. Have they gamed the system a little bit? Yeah, they probably gamed the system a little bit. But you know what, they didn’t put it in place. If you don’t people graduating Michigan with BGS degrees then don’t offer it.

In my experience as a Michigan hockey coach we had some outstanding student-athletes that would have been admitted under any standard. Did we have some student athletes that wouldn’t have had a chance in hell? Yeah, damn right we did. That’s why I had the knee pads on. I still have chapped lips. [laughing].

MVictors: Do you have any insight into allegations by Michigan hockey player Chad Kolarik that his interview with the News was presented as a feel good piece for Professor Hagen [when in reality it was intended for the academics and athletics series]?
Shand: No I don’t, but as a lawyer I can tell you that when witnesses say some things that come back to bite them in the ass, all of sudden they come up with, ‘Well that’s not what I meant say’, and, ‘if you’d have told me that what I was going to say was going to bite me in the ass, I wouldn’t have said it.’ So, yeah. That buyers remorse is not uncommon. All of a sudden it’s, “You mislead me”. You’ve been blogging and doing MVictors long enough to know, “Did I really say that?…Oh shit!” [laughs]

MVictors: Is Michigan a worse place because there are different standards for student athletes?
Shand: Some of the gamesmanship that goes on, it pisses me off. The false labeling for student athletes to get kids in that wouldn’t normally get it in, and that goes on, and that pisses me off. They’re an alum, or they give money to the University, or give something else to the University, and they falsely label them a student athlete so they can sneak in the back door, that pisses me off. Don’t code applications to get somebody in who shouldn’t be in.

Jeff Cappo probably gives a dozen to sixteen cars to the athletic department. Both his sons got admitted to the University of Michigan as student athletes. They’re not student athletes. They’re regular students. But, you know, Jeff Cappo gives cars to the athletic department. Half the athletic department is driving around with Cappo cars.

MVictors: Great, now my season tickets are going to be revoked.
Shand:
This is stuff I would have said on the air. If they’re legitimate student athletes than treat them as such. I have no problem with that.

MVictors: Coaches get very scrutinized, Lloyd Carr got a lot of abuse, there were “fire Carr” websites. Players also get abused. They get abused but they’re also worshipped, they’re loved…
Shand: They get laid. A lot. I was there, I know. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t get laid after I retired from hockey. [laughs] Turns out I was ugly.

MVictors: [continuing question] Jim Carty and columnists are criticized a lot and rarely get any praise. You know Carty, did the abuse have anything to do with his decision to leave the News?
Shand: No, no, his reason was that he sees the warnings on the horizon. To put it bluntly, the internet, and the blogosphere, and everything that’s going on on the internet is surpassing in timeliness and in content what can be offered by print journalism. He’s seeing friends of his in big markets getting fired because they can’t support the news making activities that have traditionally gone on in print journalism. And he’s on the low end of the totem pole, the Ann Arbor News. If journalists are getting laid off in LA, New York, Chicago and Washington, what are his chances in Ann Arbor? This was a career change based on the landscape. I agreed with him completely. I’m one of the worst offenders. At 6:30am, I don’t go get the newspaper at the end of the driveway. I’m 52 years old, if I’m going online to see what sports and news is going on, why would I want to open up a newspaper? The demographic that reads the paper is dying.

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Here are links to all four parts of the interview:
Part I: What he’s up to, the lawsuit with Bill Martin, more.
Part II: Jim Carty and the News Series
Part III: Coach Red and the Fab Five
Part IV: The Rodriguez hire


Blue Ice: The Story of Michigan Hockey

Last week I had the pleasure of sitting down with former WTKA morning show host and former NHL and Michigan hockey player Dave Shand. The 90 minute interview was held at Mac’s in downtown Saline a couple days after Michigan’s stunning loss to Illinois. Shand is in the middle of a lawsuit with Michigan athletic director Bill Martin, who Shand claims directly caused his dismissal from the Ann Arbor radio station. The interview is broken into a few parts, first we’ll start with the basics: What he’s up to, the status of the lawsuit, and his thoughts on his old show and the new hosts at WTKA:

MVictors: It’s been a year and half since you were fired from WTKA, what have you been up to?
Shand:
Right after I was fired it took me a while to absorb it because we had just received the highest ratings that any show had ever gotten in the history of the radio station. I had just received a 50% raise in pay. Literally within a month, and we were right in the middle of the spring rating period, I was fired in April 23rd. No one ever gets fired in the middle of the rating period because you want to wait until the Arbitron ratings come out to make personnel decisions. If you’re in the toilet after the rating book comes out, you get shit-canned. If your ratings rise significantly, you get a raise.

[Lawyer] Chris Easthope called me after I was fired and said, “I know you’re unemployed, I’m overloaded and need help with cases.” So I started up with him. He’s made the decision to run for district judge and now we’ve formed a partnership called Easthope and Shand, we do everything from assault/battery, drunk driving, minor in possession – you name it we do it on the criminal defense side. We also do some landlord/tenant work around Southeast Michigan. And I still handle contract and negotiations with police and firefighters. We’re surviving. We’re not making $500,000/year but there’s a roof over our heads and food on the table.

MVictors: Are you still working for the University?
Shand:
No, I don’t have any connection with the University. I haven’t since 2006. They revamped the department of Kinesiology. But I left on a high note, I’m still the highest rated lecturer they’ve ever had in the Department of Kinesiology.

MVictors: Any thoughts of getting back to work with the University?
Shand:
No, not really. [laughing] I think suing the athletic director is probably not the best way to build bridges to the University community.

MVictors: What’s the status of your lawsuit with Bill Martin?
Shand:
We filed a suit on July 24th of 2007. We did not sue Bill Martin in his official capacity as athletic director; we sued Bill Martin individually for violating my First Amendment rights to free speech. They filed multiple objections, motions to dismiss on (five or six) different grounds. Ever single motion he filed he lost.

Last year (December 2007) we filed a discovery request, documents, letters, emails – to this point in time we have not received one piece of paper from the University of Michigan. We have been stonewalled on everything single thing we have done. It has been an unbelievable act of arrogance. The stunning thing for us is that it appears that the University of Michigan is paying for his defense – we’re not suing him as an Athletic Director. I bet the legal bill is well into the six figures right now, and we’re not suing him as athletic director. To me, someone should ask, ‘Why isn’t he paying his own legal bills?.

MVictors: What is Martin’s position in the case?
Shand:
I think their position is that he never directly asked WTKA to fire me. But he made it very clear that the relationship was going to be severely damaged.

MVictors: What do you think of the current WTKA morning show?
Shand:
I think they’re knowledgeable, I think they’re prepared…I just don’t think it’s entertaining. It’s a booster-driven station now, you can’t say anything bad about Michigan, it’s rah-rah-rah. There’s no objective analysis, there’s no critique. But I understand that completely, I mean look what happened to the last guy! [laughing]. And look at Dennis Fithian before him. If you want to keep your job you better keep your mouth shut and keep your nose clean. It’s just not entertaining.

The whole with my show and Wickett and I together, and Josh and I. Everything seemed like a cluster-you-know-what. But there was a method to the madness. There was a concerted effort for me to drive the train off the tracks, and a concerted effort for Wick and Josh to keep it on the tracks. That tension – that was entertaining. You never knew what was going to come out of my mouth, never did they. People weren’t listening to hear a recap of Michigan football, they were listening because they wanted to hear what he’d say next. The four hours went by like it was forty minutes. Some people liked us some people hated us. It was a great dynamic and it was so fun to do. It was entertaining radio.”

MVictors: Each show you had some excuse for being late, was that shtick?
Shand: I was there every single show on time. We started coming up with reasons to be late, I would pretend to be late and I would add some excuse like, ‘There was a gang fight last night, the Crypts and the Bloods in downtown Saline’ Or the sheep are coming down from the hills. I would never tell Wick or Josh what my story was. Ryan Maguire, the program director at the time told us to keep it up. People would tune in at 6:15 to see if was there. It was so successful, that’s how we came up with ‘Storytime with Shand’ and ‘Shouting with Shand’. And they actually charged extra to sponsor those segments. In the last ratings when I was there we were #2 in our target demographic, which is males 25-54. We had a 300% increase from the previous ratings period.

MVictors: Speaking of Storytime, you have some incredible stories. I recall you talking about dating sisters with Pete Rose and great stuff like that. Have you considering putting any of this in a book?
Shand: [Laughing] Ohhh…the Brown sisters. They were awesome. Actually, Lasting Lessons author John Bacon talked to me about this. I told him, the only thing that would make the book interesting is if I named names. With all my time in the NHL and all the things I know, naming names would get me killed. The best stories are going to get guys divorced. [laughing] So, I can’t do that. I’ve been divorced enough, I don’t want to get anyone else divorced.

MVictors: Any thoughts of getting back into radio, have you had any offers?
Shand:
I would love to get back into radio. I’ve talked to [WDFN program director] Rona Danziger from Clear Channel and [afternoon host] Mike Stone. My only problem is, I’m not a Detroit guy. I never played for the Red Wings, I’m not a sportswriter for a newspaper, I’m an Ann Arbor guy. I went to undergrad here, I went to law school here. I played here, I coached here, I taught sports law at the University. Everything I am is defined by my relationship with Michigan. Which is a reason why the morning show was so successful, but it’s a limitation because I don’t have any connections elsewhere. I’m a Michigan man.

They said they’d look for opportunities to bring me on, or in guest spots. But I’m not willing to do a 6-10am slot in Detroit where I have to get up at three in the morning and be on the road by five. My daughter’s playing travel volleyball and my son’s playing travel hockey and baseball. And I’ve got a law practice now. Having a show in Ann Arbor would be perfect, but I don’t think it’s ever going to happen unfortunately. But never say never, I love doing the radio stuff and I thought it went really, really well and obviously a lot of other people think so too.

MVictors: You started out on WTKA’s Sunday show, Off the Field, with John Bacon. Have you guys spoke since you were let go from WTKA?
Shand: When we did the show together I used to tell stories, and some of the stories were Bacon’s stories. I would tell the story and Bacon would always say, “Hey, attribution, attribution. As John Bacon told me…”. So I was listening one Sunday to his show with Jamie [Morris] and he told two stories in a row that weren’t his stories. They were my stories. And I called him up and said, ‘You know what? It’s a two way street. You always demanded attribution from me. If you’re going to tell my stories you give attribution.” He apologized, and as far as I know he hasn’t told any more of my stories. But we also have not talked since that point in time. It was an uncomfortable conversation. I knew he was between a rock and a hard place because he can’t say ‘Dave Shand’ on the air at WTKA.

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Here are links to all four parts of the interview:
Part I: What he’s up to, the lawsuit with Bill Martin, more.
Part II: Jim Carty and the News Series
Part III: Coach Red and the Fab Five
Part IV: The Rodriguez hire

Dave Shand v. Bill Martin

AD Bill Martin’s motion to dismiss the case brought against him by former WTKA morning show host Dave Shand was denied today. U.S. District Court Judge Julian Abele Cook, Jr. published the following decision today:

“Martin’s motion to dismiss must be, and is, denied. The Court finds that Martin is not entitled to qualified immunity at this stage of the proceeding. Furthermore, Shand’s First Amended Complaint has sufficiently set forth a claim upon which relief may be granted.

Martin’s motion for summary judgment must also be, and is, denied in its entirety. The Court finds genuine issues of a material fact exist with regard to each of Shand’s claims.”

Shand’s complaint against Martin is summarized in the order as such:

The complaint, as amended, alleges that Martin informed the management at WTKA on April 19, 2007 that “he would not allow” the radio station to cover a charity golf match at the University of Michigan if Shand was assigned to cover the event as a broadcaster. Shand also contends that Martin threatened to terminate WTKA’s right to broadcast the University of Michigan football games unless he was fired as a broadcaster with the radio station. Several days later (April 23, 2007), Shand was relieved of his duties at WTKA.

The court order provides a view into some of the documentation submitted into the case, including a few of the statements made by folks involved:

– Shand’s affidavit mentions a discussion he had with WTKA program director Brian Cowen where Shand was told, “[the controversy] was between you and the Athletic Department, and we needed the Athletic Department more than you.”

– Cowen and WTKA station manager Bob Bolak submitted statements completely denying Shand’s claims. The court order mentioned portions of Bolak’s declaration which states:

“At no time did Mr. Martin, or anyone from the University of Michigan or on their behalf, request that WTKA-AM terminate the employment of Mr. Shand. At no time did Mr. Martin, or anyone from the University of Michigan or on their behalf, issue any kind of threat to WTKA-AM to terminate any broadcast right if WTKA-AM did not terminate Mr. Shand’s employment.”

– Further, Bolak maintains that Shand’s firing “had absolutely nothing to do with William Martin or the ability of WTKA-AM radio station to continue to broadcast University of Michigan football games.”

– Shand submitted an alleged email thread between Cowen and Cathy Roglitz, one of the golf event organizers, where Cowen stated, “[if] it your desire that WTKA not be involved [with the golf outing] because of our morning show, I do need you to advise me as such,” as “[w]ith our staffing levels, and in all fairness to our personalities, it is not possible to preclude anyones [sic] presence.” Roglitz replied, “…the limitations are not on WTKA as a whole. However, I have received a very strong directive from Bill Martin via Jamie Morris re: the participation of Dave Shand as recent as Tuesday morning prior to our meeting.” Makes you wonder how Shand got his meat hooks on this email thread but it’s a doozy.

– Martin’s attorney did get a statement from Roglitz that “at no time did anyone from the University of Michigan athletic department communicate to me that they desired to see David Shand terminated..”

– After Shand was given his walking papers, Cowen allegedly emailed Roglitz back, “We have had a change in staffing here at WTKA and will be able to help you with your golf outing unabated.”

– And check this out. The court reviewed an affidavit from Rebecca Bogoski, a business manager for the station, who maintains that “approximately three to four days before his involuntary termination, Shand’s personnel file did not contain any notices of counseling, misconduct, warning letters, or listener complaints of any kind.”

As far as a trial date, Shand’s attorney Nick Roumel advised, “The court will probably send a scheduling order out soon.”

More coming soon. For history on the Shand case, click here.

It was the worst kept secret in town: Jim Carty and the Ann Arbor News were investigating the academic practices and policies within the athletic department. What we didn’t know was when or if it would be released.

It’s out and it’ll be released in four pieces starting this morning. To get to this point the News spoke “to athletes and former athletic department employees as part of a seven-month investigation that included interviewing 87 people and reviewing more than 3,500 pages of internal documents”. Here’s the full story.

The News even produced a little video piece talking about today’s article. It’s pretty funny because they ran it as a Q&A but it is an Ann Arbor News guy “interviewing” another Ann Arbor News guy. It’s like me asking my wife this morning, ‘So what did we have for dinner last night?’. Mrs MVictors: ‘Umm, you were there, numbnuts.’

Early this morning a few Michigan bloggers were even notified by MLive that this went to the presses, welcoming the reaction from the nerdosphere. No major reaction from here yet other than, “Thanks for nothing Rodriguez!”. Here’s a summary of the findings presented in Part I:

– Michigan athletes described being steered to [Psychology professor John] Hagen’s courses by their athletic department academic counselors and, in some cases, earning three or four credits for meeting with Hagen for as little as 15 minutes every two weeks.

-Three former athletic department employees said Hagen’s independent study courses are sometimes used by academic support staff to boost the grade point averages of athletes in danger of becoming academically ineligible to compete in sports.

– Athletes have enrolled in independent studies with Hagen several weeks beyond the normal deadline to add classes, which is 21 days after a semester begins. For example, in the winter 2005 semester that began Jan. 5 and ended April 19, two football players enrolled in independent studies with Hagen on March 18.

I’ve got to wade through the stuff the News published today. A couple notes:
– The school of LSA did run an investigation of its own into Hagen in December, the findings here in this report.
– To understand the trigger to the start the investigation, look no further than former QB and current Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh. Read Ed Petykiewicz’s Editor’s Column this morning. While Harbaugh’s comments were the trigger, the University’s response (or lack thereof) really prompted the News to assemble a team to investigate:

It was a significant moment. For the first time in a very long time, one of the most cherished mantras of the athletic department was called into question – and it was done by one of their own, an iconic “Michigan man.”

Harbaugh’s comments opened the door to a possible discussion about whether Michigan is a place where academics come first, or something substantially less.

– In the middle of all this is Sue Shand, ex-wife of former WTKA morning host Dave Shand. She’s the co-director of the Academic Success Program in the athletic department:

An e-mail obtained through a public records request shows Shand, the program’s co-director, working with Hagen or his assistants to set up courses for athletes.

“I have two more students to register for Psych. 218.001 for Fall 07,” Shand e-mailed on Sept. 7, 2007.

Hagen’s reply was partially redacted by the university, but read in part, “I don’t have e-mails for them so have not sent them the appl. forms yet. They can complete them in class. JOHN”

That’s fine, but the News asked Shand’s co-director Shari Acho about these emails:

Asked why Shand would be setting up courses with Hagen for athletes, Acho shrugged.

“You know, I can’t explain it, because I haven’t seen the e-mails,” she said. “I will not do it. It’s standard practice for me. I will not e-mail professors for any of those things.”

Ouch! Burned by your co-director – going to be interesting day in the office on Monday. Acho to Shand: “Looks like someone’s got a case of the Mondays!”

More on this:
Audio from WTKA Sunday morning
– A profile on Professor Hagen published in last year’s M Alumni magazine.