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September 07, 2010 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 5A

Will Denard be
able to maintain
his dramatic run?

Rodriguez discusses his critics,
NCAA probe and team's future

From Page 1A
It's a scary high number for
a running back - let alone the
new face of the Wolverines.
After the game, neither Rodri-
guez nor Robinson realized how
many attempts the 6-foot-3, 193-
pound sophomore had taken.
"If he can carry it 29 times
for 200 yards, he'll carry it 29
times," Rodriguez said, smiling.
"It is a long season and we play
a lot of physical teams. But he's
a very strong individual. He can
handle it."
If Robinson were to carry
the ball 29 times a game for
the rest of the season, he'd end
up with 348 rushing attempts
on the year - a new Michigan
rushing record. At the moment,
Chris Perry's 338 attempts in
2003 hold the record, and even
workhorse Mike Hart's heavi-
est season (2006) was just 318
And for comparison's sake,
former quarterback Chad Henne
rushed 180 times over four years
at Michigan.
Robinson won't get 29 carries
a game, especially after he inev-
itably tallies a few more jarring
hits in September. (Rodriguez
admitted it was a bit higher than
he'd anticipated, though most
plays were planned runs.) That's
From Page 1A
"We're disappointed that City
Council never reached out to the
University community to really
collaborate on this issue," Ray-
mond said.
Raymond added that though the
assembly supports fire prevention
measures, they are disappointed
that the council considered the
ordinance over the summer and
did not attempt to get students
involved in the process.
"When the City Council tries to
impose itself on these issues with-
out talking to all parties involved,
then you run into problems of
communication," he said.
Though Taylor said he didn't
think City Council targeted stu-
dent groups for input on the
ordinance, he argued that such a
_ measure was not necessary.
From Page 1A
graduated in 1974, but continued
to study at the University, enroll-
ing in the Law School.
After graduating from the Law
School in 1977, Westin served as a
law clerk to J. Edward Lumbard of
the United States Court of Appeals
for the Second Circuit and later for
Supreme Court Justice Lewis F.
In 1991, Westin accepted a
position as general counsel at
Capital Cities/ABC. He eventu-
ally became president of produc-
tion, and in 1997, with almost no
experience in television journal-
ism prior to his counsel position,
he became the president of ABC
Westin is in charge of "World

News Tonight," "Nightline,"
"Good Morning America,"
"20/20," "This Week with Chris-
tiane Amanpour" and "World
News Now." He is the longest
serving network news division
president, responsible for multiple
Emmy and Peabody awards and
has made crucial decisions guid-
ing the network through many
changes including the search for a

the risk a team like Michigan
takes with the spread offense,
and that's why teams don't
normally run quarterbacks like
running backs.
Yes, Robinson is resilient.
But him running so much isn't
necessary. Michigan has a nice
supply of young running backs
who can carry more of the load
while letting Robinson dazzle as
a dual-threat quarterback.
Robinson is really fun to
watch - from the press box,
stands or even the field.
"You'll be blocking, and two
seconds later, you look up and
see Denard 20 yards upfield,"
said center David Molk. "There's
nothing better than that."
He's fun for the Michigan
defense to watch from the side-
lines, too, because for the first
time since fall camp ended, they
aren't the ones trying to catch
Connecticut got a taste of
that, and its coach had a mes-
sage for the 11 teams remaining
on the Wolverines' schedule.
"Denard Robinson is going
to make people look bad," Con-
necticut coach Randy Edsall
If he's healthy, I can't wait to
-Auerbach can be reached
at naauer@mich.edu
"It is an ordinance which ...
is not exclusively related to stu-
dents," Taylor said.
Taylor added that public con-
versations about the ordinance
have been happening as far back
as last April, when a local resident
urged City Council to consider
banning upholstered porch fur-
niture in light of the on-campus
Despite opposing the ordi-
nance, Raymond said the assem-
bly is prepared to work with City
Council to discuss more compre-
hensive fire prevention measures
in the future.
City Council took up a simi-
lar resolution in April 2004 that
would have banned upholstered
furniture on porches, noting that
it could impede residents' ability
to get out of the house in case of
a fire.
In August 2004, City Council
postponed the resolution indefi-
news anchor to replace Peter Jen-
nings on "World News Tonight" in
The search for Jennings'
replacement was a turbulent peri-
od in Westin's career, with "World
News Tonight" going through
four anchor changes in a five year
Fellow 'U' alum Bob Woodruff
- who got his J.D. in 1987 - co-
anchored the show with Elizabeth
Vargas for four months before
Woodruff resigned after suffer-
ing serious injuries while report-
ing in Iraq, and Vargas resigned
shortly thereafter. Westin select-
ed Charles Gibson as lead anchor,
and he served for three years
before retiring, leading Westin to
fill the position with then-"Good
Morning America" co-anchor
Diane Sawyer.
Though he navigated the net-
work through rough waters, some

speculate that his struggles dur-
ing a tough time for the news
business could have influenced
his decision to leave. In the past
few years, ABC News has cut staff
by 25 percent and according to a
report in the Times, there is spec-
ulation that Disney executives
were unhappy with ABC News's
financial performance.

From Page1A
week, Rodriguez sat down with
the Daily to go on the record about
the situation he now finds himself
in. He bluntly discussed the past,
admitting his early recognition
of looming on- and off-the-field
problems and also saying that the
NCAA's investigation of his pro-
gram is "embarrassing." At the
same time, the coach jumped at any
opportunity to discuss the future
and signaled his steadfast belief
that he will turn the program.
The interview offered a glimpse
of the unvarnished Rich Rodri-
guez, not the caricature collaged
from press conference sound bites
and newspaper clippings. But the
Rich Rodriguez who admits his
regrets from the past two years and
gets emotional during talk of his
tenure as Michigan's head coach.
At times light-hearted and at times
sternly serious, Rodriguez was
brash, off-the-cuff, a ball coach -
but a ball coach who was willing to
reflect, analyze, introspect.
He discussed his frustration
with what he called "misinforma-
tion" and "misperceptions" about
him and his program.
"It's almost been an avalanche
of things that maybe have caused
a certain wave of discontent that
maybe didn't have to be there,"
Rodriguez said.
While some were caught off
guard by the team's struggles on
and off the field these past two
years, the coach himself was not.
on the field, Rodriguez under-
stood the challenges the team faced
in getting the right talent to fit his
system from early on.
Asked if he was surprised that
the program isn't further along as
season three gets underway, the
coach said, "in some respects I am,
and in some respects after the first
spring, I'm not."
"I mean I knew after the first
spring it was going to take a little
longer to do what we wanted to do.
So I didn't have a particular, I didn't
come in with a particular window
of say it's going to happen by this
year, or that year. I just expected it
to happen - and hopefully sooner
rather than later."
off the field, Rodriguez points
to his controversial departure from
West Virginia as the seed of the dis-
content he's faced in Ann Arbor.
"It all started when I left West
Virginia and there was a big back-
lash from back home about that
and I didn't talk publicly, talk to
the media before I left," he said. "I
wish, looking back, I wish, I prob-
ably should've done that."
Rodriguez said he opted not
speak on advice from legal counsel,
as he was in the midst of a lawsuit
with West Virginia and several
complications regarding the buy-
out from his contract there.
"Looking back I should've,
I should've said this is the rea-
sons why we're leaving, this is my
thoughts about that place," he said.
"And I think there was so much
misinformation that got it all start-
ed in a wrong fashion."
What surprised Rodriguez
though is just how long complica-
tions from those initial problems
have lingered.
"I thought that would dissi-
pate after a few months, it didn't.
It lasted a year and a half - and it

may still be going on," he said with
a chuckle.
Much of the criticism of Rodri-
guez from within circles in Ann
Arbor is that the coach isn't Ann

Michigan head coach tich todriguez on the sidelines daring Michigan's 30-10 victory oser Llconn on Satarday.

Arbor enough, he's not of the fabled
Michigan Man lineage. The criti-
cisms are part elitist condescen-
sion, part collegiate jingoism. He's
from West Virginia and he didn't
earn his stripes in the Michigan
system, critics have said. The first
charge is also true of Fielding Yost,
the second is true of Bo Schem-
In the interview, Rodriguez
rebuffed that talk, but said he
understood it - at least in part.
"No, I think that comes with
the job," he said when asked if the
criticism surprised him at all. "You
know when you're not winning,
there's skepticism and doubt. And
when you are, there's less of it."
But Rodriguez did say that he
finds some of the criticism of him
so far off-base that it's laughable
- especially those claims that he
doesn't fit in here.
"As far as like the traditions of
Michigan and all that, I studied
it a little bit," he said. "Some of it,
I didn't have to study, you already
knew about it, you knew about the
Ohio State game, you knew about
Bo Schembechler, you knew about
those things.
"So you know, this mispercep-
tion that this new guy was coming
in and trying to change all the tra-
ditions was silly," he continued. "I
mean it really is just kind of comi-
cal to look and think thatsomebody
would think that."
While he couldn't discuss details
of the NCAA's investigation into
his program for violating rules
regarding offseason workouts and
practice times, Rodriguez did talk
about the impact the investigation
has had on his program and him
Asked if he was embarrassed by
the investigation, the coach said
"Oh yeah, I mean sure. Anytime
you get 27 years of coaching and
never have any issues at all and all
of a sudden you have this and your
program has to go through that
type of thing, it's embarrassing to
deal with it," he said.
Rodriguez did note however
that, in his mind, the wrongdo-
ing the NCAA ultimately found
through its investigation was far
different from the initial accusa-
tions published in the Detroit Free
Press last August that prompted
the investigation.
In its notice of allegations, the
NCAA reported discovering five
violations including that the team
exceeded the number of coaches

it can have working with student-
athletes and that it had coaches
monitoring football players in vol-
untary, offseason workouts and
conditioning, which is against
NCAA policy.
The Free Press reported in
August of last year that the team
"consistently has violated NCAA
rules governing offseason work-
outs, in-season demands on players
and mandatory summer activities
under coach Rich Rodriguez."
Rodriguez said in the interview
that the Free Press's allegations
and the NCAA's findings weren't
the same.
"I think we tried to explain our-
selves both from an institutional
standpoint and from me and the
staff as well as we could, try to tell
everybody what was really going
on," Rodriguez said, "...what pre-
empted the investigation in that
article in the Free Press and what
came out later was really two dif-
ferent things."
Rodriguez also expressed his
frustration with what he deemed
"a perfect storm of miscommunica-
tion ina whole lot of areas" that led
to the investigation.
"The thing that bothered me
the most was that everything that
happened through the investiga-
tion or because of it, we could've
fixed in literally hours or minutes
had we just communicated better,"
he said.
The only NCAA charge that
Michigan is fighting is the claim
that Rodriguez "failed to promote
an atmosphere of compliance with-
in the football program" and didn't
sufficiently monitor the activities
of his program with regard to the
other allegations.
Asked if that claim in particular
is tougher to swallow as it has his
name on it, Rodriguez nodded.
"Sure," he said. "I think any-
time you have your name on any-
thing like that it's just something
that you ... have a hard time deal-
ing with, so that's one reason why
we made our case, but we'll see
what happens."
Michigan is still awaiting final
word from the NCAA after com-
pleting its hearing in Seattle in late
Rodriguez isn't a big fan of
dwelling on the past.
Several times in the interview
the coach made reference to put-
ting these past couple years behind
the program and focusing on
what's ahead.
"You know I really haven't

looked back too much to reflect
because I don't - other than to
look back and learn - I don't know
how much good it would do as far
as going forward," he said at one
"I think you have to look back
and learn, which we've all done,"
he said. "But I think you just try
to focus on doing what you've got
to do to build the best program in
America and I still believe we've
made strides to that end."
He said he doesn't think the last
two years were for naught, they
were part of a learningcurve - just
one far steeper than anyone, espe-
cially Rodriguez, had hoped.
"I don't think the last two years
have been wasted in any stretch,
I think there's a lot of things that
we've tried to do in the program
that will help us set up for the
future," he said. "I just, I know
everybody hopes it happens right
now and so do I."
During the interview last Mon-
day, Rodriguez said the much-
anticipated season opener against
Connecticut on Saturday wasn't
even in the forefront of his mind.
"We're always worried about
what's next," he said, "and for us
it's not even, right now it's not even
Saturday, it's today, it's Monday's
practice, what we got to do today
and once today's over, what we got
to do tomorrow."
Though in the interview Rodri-
guez addressed off-field issues like
the NCAA investigation and his
reputation, he prefers to talk foot-
ball - his program, his players, his
coaches. The resthe'llleaveforoth-
ers to talk about.
"Most coaches like to talk foot-
ball, talk about their preparations
for the games and their opponents
and all that as opposed to, you
know there's way too much talk
about other stuff - I mean that's
society today," he said.
"It's more exciting to talk about
the other stuff I guess, I don't
know," he said with a pause. "Not
to me."
The off-the-field problems have
weighed on him, it's clear. But he
says they haven't affected the job
he's done.
"There's been a few more
obstacles, things to overcome,"
he admits, "but I don't think it's
wavered our approach."
Asked if there's any doubt in his
mind that he can turn the program
around, Rodriguez responded
"No, none whatsoever."
- Managing Sports Editor Ryan
Kartje contributed to this report.

Petraeus: Images of burning Quran bad
for U.S. cause in Iraq and Afghanistan


General responds to
threat to burn copies
of Muslim holy book
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP)
- The top U.S. and NATO com-
mander in Afghanistan warned
Tuesdaythat anAmerican church's
threatto burn copies of the Muslim
holy book the Quran could endan-
ger U.S. troops in the country and
Americans worldwide.
"Images of the burning of a
Quran would undoubtedly be used
by extremists in Afghanistan -
and around the world - to inflame
public opinion and incite violence,"
Gen. David Petraeus said in an
e-mail to The Associated Press.

His comments followed a protest
Monday by hundreds of Afghans
over the plans by Gainesville, Flor-
ida-based Dove World Outreach
Center - an evangelical Christian
church that espouses anti-Islam
philosophy - to burn copies of the
Quran on church grounds to mark
the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
in the United States that provoked
the Afghan war.
Muslims consider the Quran to
be the word of God and insist that it
be treated with the utmost respect,
along with any printed material
containing its verses or the name of
Allah or the Prophet Muhammad.
Any intentional damage or show of
disrespect to the Quran is deeply
In 2005, 15 people died and

scores were wounded in riots in
Afghanistan sparked by a story in
Newsweek magazine alleging that
interrogators at the U.S. detention
center in Guantanamo Bay placed
copies of the Quran in washrooms
and had flushed one down the toilet
to get inmates to talk. Newsweek
later retracted the story.
At Monday's protest, several
hundred Afghans rallied outside
a Kabul mosque, burning Ameri-
can flags and an effigy of Dove
World's pastor and chanting
"death to America." Members of
the crowd briefly pelted a pass-
ing U.S. military convoy with
stones, but were ordered to stop
by rally organizers.
Two days earlier, thousands of
Indonesian Muslims had rallied

outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta
and infive other cities to protestthe
church's plans.
Petraeus warned images of
burning Qurans could be used to
incite anti-American sentiments
similar to the pictures of prisoner
abuse at Iraq's Abu Graib (ah-booh
GRABE) prison.
"I am very concerned by the
potential repercussions of the pos-
sible (Quran) burning. Even the
rumor that it might take place has
sparked demonstrations such as the
one that took place in Kabul yester-
day," Petraeus said in his message.
"Were the actual burning to take
place, the safety of our soldiers and
civilians would be put in jeopardy
and accomplishment of the mission
would be made more difficult."

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