It's still very early in this process, and we don't yet know all of the details, but here are some preliminary thoughts.
1. You can't help but ask whether there is some sort of agenda at play here
The editors of the Free Press decide to release the allegations six days before the start of the football season? What is the motive behind releasing this article one week before the start of the season?
Surely the Freep has had a lead on this "allegation" for awhile, yet it chose to release it today. This reeks of either a personal agenda or a struggling newspaper trying to generate advertising revenues from online hits, knowing it would draw more viewers today than it would, say, four weeks ago.
2. There were no quotes or proof that extra workouts were mandatory
The closest quote actually proved the opposite point that coaches said it wasn't mandatory. "'It was mandatory,” one player said. “They’d tell you it wasn’t, but it really was."
3. There is nothing wrong with rewarding players who put in extra time and work with playing time
If the program's ethic is truly modeled after the "playing time is voluntary, too" model, so be it.
The world now knows that Rich Rodriguez's program expects you to work hard and voluntarily make yourself better in every way. If you don't, you won't be as likely to play as someone who does put in that time. This is not an NCAA violation.
While Lloyd Carr's staff may not have had the same expectations, it makes sense that players recruited under Carr would not necessarily fit well into the new system.
If they don't, they can leave.
4. It strikes us as problematic that none of these allegations were first reported to the school, the Big Ten, or to the NCAA
Why didn't the Free Press journalists direct them to these authorities? Why didn't the athletes go there first?
There's something malicious about not keeping things in house in the early stages of allegations, especially when you're talking about the reputation of a program and school like Michigan.
Why did these players sensationalize their viewpoints in the media rather than first report them to the proper authorities?
This is symbolic of the me-first mentality of several players who haven't hesitated to trash the program—several of whom were later discredited—upon departure.
Where is the respect for the university that paid your tuition? Where is the respect for the football program? Where is the respect for each and every player that has gone before you?
Why air your allegations out in the media instead of reporting them to proper authorities?