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Monday, April 09, 2007

Another in the very occasional series.

Casey Rue:

I once heard that U of M is the only public school in the Big Ten that does not treat its out of state scholarship athletes as in state for tuition purposes. A friend explained that all others do, which would provide for a huge savings in the amount of scholarship tuition that the University pays, especially considering that most athletes come from out of state. If this is indeed the case, changing the rule would amount to a savings of millions of dollars, which would go a long way toward catching Michigan up in terms of facilities and coaches contracts. What is your take on this?
I have also heard this but don't know if it's true. Fortunately, a helpful reader who's name I've sadly forgotten pointed out a publicly available copy of the '06-07 Michigan athletic department budget. It projected that Michigan would pay 12.1 million in student financial aid last year. Details:
Financial aid to students: The athletic department grants the maximum allowable scholarships to all varsity sports. Total grant-in-aid equivalencies are approximately 335 with an estimated in-state to out-of-state ratio of 30%/70%.
Athletes are compensated for more than just their tuition. They get room and board and books and scads (scads I say!) of Entree Plus, so the calculation isn't quite as easy as dividing 12.1 million by 335 and saying "a-ha!". But the average cost for a year of tuition at Michigan appears to be slightly over 10k for in state students and slightly over 31k(!) for out of state students, though many athletes go to school in the summer. Assuming everyone does and the 10k is actually 15k, if all 335 grant-in-aid equivalencies were charged at instate levels only five million of the 12.1 would actually be going to tuition and each player with a full scholarship would be given $21,000 per year for living expenses. And that's erring on the conservative side. No freakin' way.

It's true: Michigan charges out-of-state student-athletes out-of-state tuition. I can't speak for what other schools do, but at places like Texas this is much less of an issue. Does it really matter? I don't know. Michigan is running a sixteen million dollar surplus but, as everyone constantly points out, is slipping behind in the facilities arms race and will likely be applying much of that surplus to shiny new palaces down the road. If other schools ignore the soft costs of a few extra students, their palaces will be shinier and their Godzillatrons more Gozilla-y.

Yes, this is still the #1 Michigan blog in the Central Asian Steppe, thankyouverymuch. Look, I've totally got proof:
hi brian
couple of questions about the WV basketball coach beilein. the buzz seems to be that he's good or great at x's and o's and is a good guy, etc., and that he does "more with less" but doesnt recruit that well.
this worries me a bit. shouldnt we be looking for a coach that does "more with more ?"ok so we havent been awesome lately but a michigan basketball coach should be able to recruit some pretty good talent. the detroit news is saying he's a "safe" choice. thats neat and all, but shouldnt we be trying to win some games at this point. now, because it was the detroit news that said it, i thought two things:
1. theyre probably wrong... and
2. isnt that a little unfair (at least) b/c didnt beilien have two pretty good runs with his WV teams? and didnt they look pretty good doing it?
so what do you think? is recruiting going to be a problem?
jack from kazakhstan
btw. mullets in kazakhstan totally out of control.
I think this point's be addressed here and elsewhere plenty, but to be fair to Jack 1) he wrote this a long time ago and 2) it contains a critical update on the mullet situation in Kazakhstan.

Anyway: as Friday's UV highlighted, there was no discernible difference between the recruiting rankings of a team that got its coach fired and one that won two national championships back to back. And Michigan fans were livid about Amaker's crappy recruiting. Beilein doesn't have to recruit like Thad Matta or Roy Williams to have a shot at a national championship. He came thisclose to a Final Four with no guys who even sniffed the NBA and it's not like he's going to recruit worse than he did at West Virginia. Even the worst case scenario here is fun forays deep into the tourney alternating with rebuilding years.

We'll get a sneak peek at his recruiting ability in the next week or two as he tries to sell his system and his program to Legion and Harris. Will he keep both? I don't know. That News article over the weekend made it sound okay for Legion and bad for Harris, but Harris has always expressed a desire to stay close to home so his parents can watch him play and I doubt he'll find a situation more conducive to lots of playing time anywhere else. His stock has risen greatly since he signed his LOI, however, and there are a lot of schools who would love to shoehorn him into their class. Legion's always been jumpy, but his shooting is a natural fit for the Beilein offense and he seems interested in the possibility of playing in an offense with a point. Chances are he loses one, but if he manages to hold onto both most of the concerns about his recruiting ability will be dispelled within a few weeks of his appointment.
You probably like to use your own material on the blog, but maybe you too have noticed an interesting phenomenon with Michigan fans when discussing prospects for the next basketball coach.

If a coach is successful and uses a hair accessory, he's dirty. They are convinced he's a slick cheater and they will not be dissuaded. Mere hearsay is more than enough for this crowd to believe he's crooked and "not Michigan." If there's no hearsay, there is enough suspicion to stay away. Winning, hair grease, Italian heritage, east coast background -- I'm told none of these things can be considered under any circumstances.

Have you noticed this? It's hilarious to me. You may want to bring it up in a future blog entry. Keep up the good work.
---Brian R. Coburn
Now that you mention it... yeah. Hell, I was vehemently opposed to Sean Miller for no other reason than his product hair.

The proprietor of the Georgia Sports Blog chipped in some personal observations of the 1-3-1, which is deployed on occasion by Georgia:
When Harrick [who you'll note was totally a product hair guy. -ed] was here we ran the 1-3-1 with Damien Wilkins (Super Sonics 6th man) at the top of the key. And we had our PG under the basket. The long ultra athletic and muscular Wilkins (6'5" and 210 lbs or so) drove teams nuts up top. But as all your articles pointed out, we couldn't run it much. Too exhausting for our PG on the bottom.

We used it as a change of pace to just wreck a team's tempo and kill momentum.

Today, we run it under Felton...and it works ok...unless we're playing:
1. the princeton back cut you to death approach
2. long athletic wings and post leapers like GT that brutalizes us on the baseline
3. Florida. They just shoot over it, through it, around it, etc.

We also drop our 7'0" shot blocking project into the middle of that scheme, and he has a blast with it. He's worthless on offense and man defense, but he's a disruptive force in the 2-3 and 1-3-1.

That defense with Michigan type players, will drive teams bat shit crazy playing you.

We're actually a pretty good rebounding team defensively in that set. But it's because our guards are our best rebounders. Our big men don't do much rebounding in the 1-3-1....well...they don't do much rebounding period actually. So there's that.
Sadly, I think Paul overestimates the "Michigan type players" we've had in recent years, but more food for thought on the 1-3-1. Beilein played down his use of the system in a post-PC interview The Wolverine posted, claiming that this year's team played almost exclusively man-to-man down the stretch. In the NIT championship game, however, the 1-3-1 was back with a vengeance. Flexibility? Oh, John. You say such sweet things.

And this one's really old, but awesome:

I went to Chicago last weekend for the Big Ten Tournament. It wasn't the best of times, what will all the OSU victories, but one event did stand out. Per NCAA or Big Ten policy, there was no alcohol in the stands at the United Center. (This is in contrast to, say, Joe Louis Arena, where I can drink and watch college hockey at the same time.) The only place to get a drink was at a bar that's built into the east side of the building off the concourse. Needless to say that at 11:00 AM CST on a Friday, while most of the stands were empty, the bar was packed to the gills.

After OSU put us down, my buddy and I headed to the bar to get a drink before Purdue/Iowa. It was really hot in the bar (filled to capacity on a warm day) and I removed my Michigan sweatshirt to reveal my "Charlie Weis should probably eat less" t-shirt. I became an instant celebrity. People stopped me to take my picture, complete strangers grabbed my shirt so they could read the entire caption, everybody loved it. There was even a slightly intoxicated Purdue fan who walked up and talked my ear off for five minutes about how ND steals all of their recruits. I just thought you'd like to know.

Charlie Schaldenbrand
Charlie would later reveal that the slightly intoxicated Purdue fan was Scarlett Johansson. BUY SHIRTS!