So over the weekend a gent named Neal Rubin for popped up and wrote this piece on Rodriguez in the Detroit News, basically talking about how much of an a-hole Rich Rod is.   Normally I wouldn’t bother to say anything – it reads like a bad sports radio call – but after basically calling Rich Rod a slippery, money-grabbing phony, he went here:

Fielding Yost didn’t sign contract extensions and then flirt with other schools to extort raises.

Actually, despite this being a completely different era in college sports, Yost maneuvered quite a bit with his contracts and with U-M.   I know FHY on some level—he was a very savvy negotiator and businessman, go read The Big House–so when I saw this I got a laugh.

I asked author/historian John Kryk [Natural Enemies], who’s in the process of writing the definitive history of Yost and his Point-A-Minute teams, and he shared this on the topic:

“No matter how long Yost’s contract was (one-year, two-year, five-year) in his first decade, it was always a source of relief in Ann Arbor every late-Nov/early-Dec when he announced he was for sure coming back. Occasionally, there were reports he was considering an offer from, say, Wisconsin — or from the East. One year he even boldly and publicly disputed the wording of his contract as to whether he’d be allowed to coach elsewhere if he opted out of coaching Michigan.   Another year he threatened to retire, he was so discouraged.  Yost worked it masterfully to his own advantage.”

Someone tell Rubin he just got served.  Then tell him what that means.

You’d think the more experienced writers would be a little more conscientious about tossing out these historical references but I don’t find that to be the case at all.   Rubin then mentioned some other big names:

Fritz Crisler didn’t try to weasel out of a buyout clause. Bennie Oosterbaan didn’t make an embarrassing public plea for his job at a banquet. Bo Schembechler and Lloyd Carr were in Ann Arbor for the long haul, and there was comfort and benefit in that for all concerned.

As for Crisler, while I wouldn’t characterize it as a “weasel” move, he did break his contract at Princeton to come to Michigan.  He was in the middle of a five-year deal with the Tigers and got out of it to coach in Ann Arbor.  Oosterbaan, who dedicated his entire life to Michigan, didn’t make a plea—he simply resigned from the heading coaching post to make way for Bump Elliott.

And Bo was in for “the long haul” all right, that is after he seriously considered but rejected Texas A&M’s 10-year deal that would have made him coach and AD.

Rubin should stick to the sweet and yucky love at Milford High



  1. Interesting about Yost, although I'm not at all surprised. Glad you set the record straight.

  2. In Fielding's first five years (at Michigan), he was 55-1-1. But remember, the three seasons before, he was also undefeated; for three different schools (Stanford, Kansas, & Nebraska – in a freakin' row!). Tell me what a coach w/ that resume would command today? (?)

  3. Big News — Michigan Daily photographer wins Award for Denard pic: In a large article on the back page of today's Wall Street Journal, Daily photographer Sam Wolson's photo of Denard, stiff-arming a Notre Dame would-be tackler with Heisman-pose style, is shown and is named as one of 2010's "Best Photos." See the article and great photo at…. Good work, Sam.