The Writing Is on The Wall For Rich Rodriguez and Michigan Football

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The Writing Is on The Wall For Rich Rodriguez and Michigan Football

And it's all Rich Rod's graffiti on that wall.

Year three of the Rich Rodriguez Era. As the figure head and leader of one of the most revered programs in the nation, Rodriguez has not yet been able to escape the cloud of uncertainty, and more importantly, controversy that is his own doing.

It's has become almost clockwork that a new story breaks every couple of weeks; detrimental both to Rodriguez's image as a coach and to the potential success of his team overall.

Most recent - Justin Turner (the No. 1 recruit out of the state of Ohio in 2009) leaves the team. Another No. 1 recruit (remember Sam McGuffie) can't even stand to stick around for another year.

Very recent - Troy Woolfolk makes some negative comments regarding last year's starting QB and Freshman standout, Tate Forcier. Can you imagine Charles Woodson making a comment like Woolfolk's under Lloyd Carr's watch?

Still quite recent - The NCAA announces that West Virginia's football program found violations under Rich Rod's watch that are nearly identical to the violations against Michigan. Ever wonder what the future holds?  Simply look to the past. Or in this case, ever wonder what the past holds? Simply look to the present.

Recent (but thrown under the rug) - Boubacar Cissoko has been sentenced 19 months to 15 years in prison for his role in multiple robberies that occurred earlier this year in Ann Arbor. A player with so much promise simply implodes under the watchful eye of Rich Rodriguez.

On the surface, it's easy to say that Rich Rod wasn't directly responsible for any of the above actions, and therefore shouldn't be held responsible for the black eyes that they give the University of Michigan and it's football program.

But at what point did Michigan forget that profound quote from the movie Remember The Titans, "attitude reflects leadership".  

X's and O's are an important skill set that all NCAA coaches must have. Note that I said "must have". Not "should have", or "it'd be really nice if he did have". It's a given that if you're coaching at this level, you "MUST HAVE" a demanding stronghold of the X's and O's of college football.

Unfortunately, when Michigan hired Rodriguez as their coach, it's seems as though they may have based their decision solely on the one thing that ANY coach they hired MUST have, and forgot about the one thing that has made this University, this revered football program what it was, attitude.

Bo Schembechler and Lloyd Carr (two of the most successful coaches in recent history at Michigan) were judged more by what they did, than by what they said. Michigan players followed their lead because of their attitude. They earned the respect of their players because they recognized that being a leader and a mentor meant more than just winning football games.  

Make no mistake, these men loved to win, I'm sure it was what kept them awake more than one night in their lives. But Carr and Bo recognized that there was a time to focus on football, and a time to focus on the young men they had been put at task to literally raise while they were away from home. Many times, as a result of choosing this path, it in turn actually contributed to their success on the field.

It seems as though this is what Rich Rodriguez has forgotten, or even worse hasn't forgotten, and has simply failed at; being a mentor, an example to follow, someone to look up to, setting the tone and attitude for those around him to exemplify; the true characteristics of being a leader.

His players' comments, and actions, and players leaving his team are living proof of this. And the never ending trail of allegations which followed him from Morgantown and then took up residence in Ann Arbor, speaks volumes as to the type of individual who will be leading the University of Michigan football team onto the field and under the Go Blue banner.  

As the 2010-2011 season goes by, will the University of Michigan be able to sustain any more black eyes to it's football program? Or will they have sustained so many blows to the face over these past three years, that you won't even be able to recognize what was once the winning-est program in the country, staring you right in the face, whimpering..."Go Blue".

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