Why Practice When You Can Cheat?

Walter GibsonContributor ISeptember 8, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 05: Head coach Rich Rodriguez claps after a second quarter field goal against the Western Michigan Broncos vs. Michigan Wolverines on September 5, 2009 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

We all know rules exist for a reason.  To be broken.  And if anyone ever had a better reason to break a rule than the University of Michigan, I want to hear about it.

U of M, the most successful football program in history, went 3 – 9 last year and finished in the number 10 spot.  In the Big 10.

If you haven’t heard, they’re getting busted for … ready for this?  Practicing too much.  Hmmmmm.

To the players complaining, a few thoughts.  You’re on scholarship.  Feel free to walk away, right back to the sweet life you left behind in Flint. I’m sure that job at General Motors will work out great.  Oh, and before I forget, you’re on scholarship.  Feel free to win a game in exchange for that $100,000 education.

Did I say education? I meant $100,000 NFL tryout.

Of all the things a program can get shit for, too much practice seems so … I don’t know … stupid.

For example, if U of M were getting shit for recruiting violations … okay, bad example.  If there’s one thing U of M needs more than practice, it would be recruiting.  With or without violations.

Do you ever cringe when you hear about some hungry kid in the third world who got his hand chopped off just for stealing a fig at the market?  U of M is that hungry kid.  Let him eat.

Again, it’s just practice.  You know, what coaches and players are supposed to do.  You have to admit, it’s better than an extra-marital-affair-extortion-abortion scheme.

Rick Pitino to Rich Rodriguez:  Wanna trade scandals?

I realize that Michigan is an institution of higher education, emphasis on higher, as anyone who’s ever been to Ann Arbor knows.  And that football players there are required to go to class and study and take exams.  Because sometimes their tutor stand-ins just can’t make it.

So okay, student-athletes have a busy schedule.  But before we pass judgment here, I think we should wait a bit, at least through the first five games of the season.  Doing so would allow us to accomplish two things.

One, we’d know if the allegations are true.  If they manage a winning record by end of day October 3, then odds are good the allegations are true.  No way last year’s squad can win 3 out of 5 this season without a lot of work. I stand by this statement fully aware that U of M doesn’t play a single top 20 team in its first 5 games.

Two, we’d know what sort of punishment to hand down.  Again, if they eke out a few wins in their first five games, then the answer is: none.  No punishment.  No fine.  No nothing.

Why not? Simple.  If U of M turns it around this year, we’ll have a basic life lesson to pass on.  When you suck balls, get off your ass and work hard and do something about it.

Take that Clubber. See what a little hard work did for the Italian Stallion?

Okay, Rocky III sucked so I’ll get off the hard work bandwagon.  And come to think of it, I can’t deny the glossy appeal of the alternative.

Which is obvious. Get the team on the juice, steal Ohio State’s play book and dangle the punter as a fall guy … hotel room hooker scandal always makes a great smoke and mirrors diversion.  Use it.  It sure as hell beats practice.