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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Read this. Several people have urged me to urge you to write Bill Martin with your (polite) opinion on the way this has all unfolded, and Joey provides an excellent exemplar for how you should approach these things. Read the whole thing; Joey also includes an email from a former Michigan player being forwarded around that includes the genesis of the "come sail away" rumor:

Les Miles did want to coach here very badly, and the reports were right. This can be attributed to him being on the phone with a former teammate and very good friend of his until 2:00 am Friday night wondering why he hadn't been contacted yet when Michigan authorities knew about the contract extension. Les was put in a very difficult spot because he had not been assured that the job would be his by anyone at Michigan. There were financial arrangements between third parties beforehand and that was all agreed upon but there was no indication from Michigan directly that the job was his. The discussion of finances before interviews is pretty standard for Michigan when conducting a job search as I was told.

It was apparent that the Michigan admin. had reservations about him (that's another topic all together and can be discussed by someone else) and were not ready to pull the trigger even though the search committee all but confirmed he was the right guy. The search committee, by the way, is a front with no real teeth. When the developments happened yesterday morning with ESPN, Les was put in a real bad position and had to address the issue so that it would not be a distraction. As everyone knows the extension offer was only good for Saturday and he stood to lose a lot of money with no word whatsoever from Michigan about his position. He did what a lot of people would do.

A former player and member of the search committee tried to frantically call the Michigan Admin. as this was all developing and did not get anyone on the phone. Reason why? Sailing.

Contact was made today by Michigan Admin. to Les with Les telling him "door is not closed but closing." The Admin. responded that Les was one of several in a pool of candidates they are considering, and that Michigan wanted someone who was more invested in being at Michigan than at being well paid. Les's agent considered it a dead issue.

It appears that the Michigan Admin. was not all that interested in hiring Les and used the gentleman's agreement of not calling until after the game to his advantage. It looks like Michigan Admin. got over on Les.

Don't blame Les on this one. He wanted to be the head coach here but it seems other people had other agendas. A lot of former players are really upset about the way this was handled, including myself.
Martin's email address is for anyone interested in making their case. You're probably as livid as I am after reading that, so you should probably fire off a profanity and threat-laden one to Herbstreit before sending off something more composed to Martin.

IBFC also has an open letter of its own.

Who now? I don't know and it appears no one else does, either. Most of the names being thrown about are complete shots in the dark. Witness this article from St. Louis on Gary Pinkel:
MU coach Gary Pinkel now could be coveted by many other schools seeking coaches, including Michigan, the winningest program in college football history.
Pinkel is a candidate!
Pinkel could not be reached to comment on Monday, but on Sunday night he declined to comment on rumors about Michigan, where coach Lloyd Carr last month announced he would retire at the end of the season.

"I'm not commenting on fiction," Pinkel told the Post-Dispatch, adding, "Nobody's contacted me."
Or the only reason this article is being written is that Pinkel said no one had been in contact when asked. Most of the names out there have nothing behind them, not even rumors, except attractive records. The list of names bandied about -- Schiano, Tedford, Pinkel, Grobe -- is purest speculation; we really have no idea where the search is or where it's going. Apparently the only thing we do know: Brian Kelly is too much of a meanie to be considered.

A possible exception. Angelique Chengelis might have something more solid:
The pool of candidates includes Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who two weeks ago was thought to have been off the list. But sources said Monday that Michigan has Ferentz among a number of candidates including Rutgers' Greg Schiano, Wake Forest's Jim Grobe, Missouri's Gary Pinkel, Ball State's Brady Hoke, Cal's Jim Tedford and N.C. State's Tom O'Brien.
At least this one has "sources" backing it, although they appear to be sources that don't know Jeff Tedford's first name. In order, that list is okay, disappointing, disappointing, horrifying, WOOOO, and horrifying.

Quitter! The Free Press has the best headline ever:
ESPN's Herbstreit on inaccurate Miles-U-M report: I will never gather news and report again
This, of course, assumes that stating something completely and totally wrong counts as "reporting news."

FWIW. RazorbackExpats: is reporting that Arkansas AD Jeff Long has interviewed Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, Tulsa co-offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and Michigan defensive coordinator Ron English for the Razorbacks’ head coaching vacancy.
English isn't likely to get an offer.

Wheee! More fuel for the "Come Sail Away" theory of extreme incompetence infecting all levels of the AD:
I heard, for example, Michigan's "unofficial" offer to Miles was close to "insulting."
The number I heard was $1.8 million, which is exactly what Miles makes at LSU now... or at least until Thursday, which is a low-ball number. (Voracity* of that number is low, BTW.)

*(I know how to use words; inside blog baseball joke.)

Etc.: The Realests run down the top ten options for Michigan now that Miles is gone; MVictors dispatched a correspondent to the Harvard debacle; Miles didn't exactly sound unequivocal on Mike & Mike, though he has at other times and at this point parsing every sentence from him is an exercise in knight errantry. Canadian Us are moving towards joining the NCAA(!!!).