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Attention, Michigan Fans, Here Is the Difference Driving the Workout Controversy

Russell WightAnalyst ISeptember 2, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - AUGUST 30:  Head coach Rich Rodriguez of the Michigan Wolverines reacts after a fourth quarter touchdown while playing the Utah Utes on August 30, 2008 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Utah won the game 25-23. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Were Mick Jagger and Keith Richards talking about the Michigan football team when they sang, "You make a grown man cry..." during "Start Me Up"?

The media has become so enthralled by the Michigan practice-time issue and Rich Rodriguez fighting back the fake tears that some felt it was necessary to gather input from the class program of the Big Ten Conference.

Ohio State captains Kurt Coleman and Doug Worthington, along with head coach Jim Tressel, said that players understand that it takes extra work if you want to be a great football team. 

Are the Buckeyes coming to Michigan's defense? Does the Ohio State coaching staff hold 10-hour practices on Sundays? Is Jim Tressel going to fight back tears at next week's press conference?

Don't bet on it.

There is no doubt in my mind that Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Florida, USC, and Appalachian State all exceed the weekly practice limits set by the NCAA. The difference is the culture of the programs and regard in which the players hold their coaches.

"It's one of those things where you can't say something," one current Wolverine said. "If you say something, they're going to say you're a lazy person and don't want to work hard."

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Regarding the Buckeyes, Coleman said, "In any great program, each player is putting in more than what they're required to. And it's all on their own. That's what takes a program to the next level, when guys are going above and beyond the call of duty."

Does anyone see the difference between the quotes? It is a fine line.

On both sides of the line, you will find major college football teams who practice and train way more than 20 hours each week. 

However, one side has a coach that does not command the ultimate respect of his players. It is the side that seems to be littered with young men who have not yet developed the work ethic necessary to succeed at a high level.

On the other side, Coach Tressel can be seen shaking his head and wondering what happened to Ohio State's arch-rival.

Fear the vest.

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