If you have not read the report over at Chat Sports that details, from an anonymous former Michigan player, drug use prior to the Appalachian State game, it is a doozy. The report, part of a piece to be published later this year, talks about players smoking pot on game day and partying in the week leading up to the opening kickoff.
While the partying and drug use are noteworthy—if they are true—they are not the most glaring issues to be found in the article. Drugs or not, the biggest eyebrow-raiser in the article, from a football standpoint, was the utterly egregious lack of preparation for the opening contest. From the article:
“The coaches barely even game-planned for App State regardless. We didn’t prepare any differently nor see any tape of their offense during game week. We were working on normal prep and facing our offense. Armanti Edwards was having a field day on us because we didn’t even know he was a fast dual-threat guy. The whole week is an embarrassment."
That's sad. Not knowing that Armanti Edwards, the guy who led the Mountaineers to a national championship a season ago, was dual threat is inexcusable—weed or not.
I won't be naive here, I know how game prep works. Those games against FCS teams are supposed to be easy wins, tuneups where you work your own kinks out and beat the opposition because your talent is better. You don't prep for them in the same way that you do Ohio State or Michigan State or Alabama.
However, you do have to prep for them. Especially when the team comes in and plays a system that is designed to be a great equalizer. You have to get your team ready to face the opponent. You have to set your defensive personnel up. You have to set your assignments up for the option and for the zone-read and for everything the offense does to level the playing field.
If you're not prepping your team to be ready for what the opposition is going to throw at them, then you're not doing your job. That's a tremendous failure on the part of the staff and something that is, in a word, unforgivable.
Folks will hem and haw over the lack of discipline and the sensationalism that comes with drug rumors, but the real issue here is the total failure to prepare for the game.
If this turns out to be true, the Michigan program in 2007 had more issues than just enjoying the party scene. They were set up to fail, and that is something that is inexcusable. Yes, the drug rumors are terrible, but they aren't the only negatives to be found in the story.