The #1 jersey controversy has definitely struck a nerve with the Maize and Blue community. Judging from the comments and emails to this site alone, this is definitely a hot one. I understand.

Anthony 'The Darter' Carter at Michigan

Most fans were a little surprised when Rich Rod overhauled the entire coaching staff holding onto just one assistant- Fred Jackson. But in the end I think people understood. Certainly fans wish the whole mess with West Virginia wasn’t happening but again, I think they get that any divorce like this is going to be a little ugly. As far as upholding tradition I think he’s done the right things so far. The ‘On the Road‘ tour has been a great success, and he’s taken a few opportunities to meet with former players. Each time he’s been challenged on something (Boren, that whole paper-shredding B.S., the lawsuits, the snake-oil-a-rama), he’s addressed it directly and to me, perfectly. He’s hasn’t bashed anyone, he gave his take on the situation and it’s always left me feeling like good about the way it was handled. In some cases, the stuff turned out to be complete bull.

This one cuts right into everyone’s fears. Ignoring the tradition and more recently, the scholarship, tied to the #1 jersey would be a blunder. If Rodriguez did know about it and ignored it, I think that would be a foolish thing to do. I mean, what’s he got to gain by disregarding this? A chance to remind everyone who’s in charge? That’s a huge price to pay: alienation of fans, former players, M tradition and potentially a scholarship? It doesn’t make any sense.

The media is lining up to bash him on this, I’ve already gave you the Jim Rome audio. Check out what the folks in West Virginia have written on this:

You may recall that when Rodriguez coached at West Virginia, very little from the past was left untouched. He needed new uniforms, a smoking helmet, a new offense, a new defense, a new introduction into the stadium. If they huddled in the past, he didn’t huddle. He had a new offense, a new defense.

He controlled everything, except the line of scrimmage against Pitt.

Now he’s at Michigan and nothing’s changed with him, although you expect everything to change with Michigan.

It has begun already as he has already begun messing with tradition and, in the process, teed off not only one of the school’s all-time great players, but one who is the anti-Pac-Man.

And bloggers get crap for not being responsible. How about Rich Rod’s side of the story? Who’s confirmed that he even gave the jersey to the defensive back? Do coaches even officially assign jersey numbers to people in the spring anyway?

If he didn’t know or wasn’t clear on it, then I think he gets a pass. The guy has a lot on his plate. Either way, don’t you think Rodriguez deserves a chance to address this just like everything else that has come up?


  1. Pingback: » Blog Archive » The #1 Jersey Fiasco

  2. Why hasn’t he spoke on the subject? I find it hard to believe that he hasn’t heard about it or been asked about it. Does he just side step it? I wasn’t concerned initially but the longer time goes by, the more I wonder.

  3. I think everyone needs to relax. I’m sure he knows more about it than anyone of us. I would guess that he has more to worry about right now than number assignments. Most places don’t even assign numbers until since returning players can change numbers (Grady was #3 as a frosh), and the incoming frosh haven’t even had a chance to get gear. I imagine Lloyd will make sure that the tradition is taken care of. Relax everyone, step away from the ledge and wait until fall.

  4. Boubacar Cissoko is the freshman and he is not even enrolled yet, I don’t understand why this story is such a big problem

  5. I’m not drinking the snake oil. I wish he would address it. I know it’s not life or death stuff, but come on. Prove something before you go hiking your leg on our traditions.

  6. Looks like I’m in the minority, but I’m not all that bothered that somebody other than a wide receiver might be wearing the #1 jersey. Yes, it was mildly interesting to see which receiver over the past 25 years or so had “earned” that number and to see if the guy could live up to AC-like standards, but to me it will be only slightly less interesting to see if another position player can live up to the same standards.

    And at the end of the day, I’m really not that bothered that Braylon Edwards donates a scholarship tied to the number. Sorry, but there are plenty of worthy causes out there for Mr. Edwards to support and I don’t think the number on a player’s back should be beholden to his or anybody else’s charitable cause. That said, if the decision has in fact been made, it would have been courteous if whoever at the University is in charge of administering this scholarship had approached Braylon to give him the opportunity to support another cause (and I don’t think that necessarily falls on Coach Rod’s lap).

    I find it funny, however, that so many people were so quick to argue for “regime change” over the last couple seasons and I’ll bet most of those same people are the ones having the most difficulty dealing with the consequences.

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