The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, January 6, 2011- 5A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 5A
From Page 1A
Robinson was with his former
high school track coach at Deer-
field Beach High School, Kenny
Brown, when he heard the news
. about Rodriguez's firing. In an
interview with The Michigan Daily
yesterday, Brown said Robinson
was "very upset" about losing his
"He came to Michigan because
(of) the offense that Coach Rodri-
guez ran," Brown said. "It was tai-
lor-made for him."
Robinson finished the season
with 4,272 total yards, along with
32 touchdowns - a breakout per-
formance that earned him Big
Ten Offensive Player of the Year
honors, as Michigan's offense fin-
ished sixth in the nation in total
offense. At an average of 330 yards
per game, Robinson tallied 23 more
yards per game than Auburn quar-
terback and 2010 Heisman winner
But with that offense possibly
changing, Robinson will decide in
the co.sing days whether to trans-
fer or stick with Michigan's new
coach and scheme.
Robinson's former high school
football coach Art Taylor spoke
with the Daily yesterday about
Robinson's future with the team.
Taylor hasn't spoken with Robin-
son since news about Rodriguez's
firing was made public.
"I think first you have to look at.
who they're going to bring in and
does he fit his style as a quarter-
back," Taylor said. "You can't jump
to conclusions too quickly ... It just
depends on who they bring in.
"They averaged 400 or 500
yards on offense, and that type of
offense that coach Rodriguez ran
fit Denard perfectly ... That is the
type of offense that he needs to
Jim Harbaugh will likely
become the coach of the San Fran-
cisco 49ers, but in the last few
weeks much speculation centered
around the possibility of Har-
baugh bringing a pro-style offense
to Ann Arbor. But with Robinson's
skills "tailor-made" for the spread
From page lA
the end of the Rodriguez era and
answered questions about his
decision and the future replace-
A reporter asked Brandon how
important it would be for the
next coach to be embraced by the
Michigan community. Brandon's
answer was honest and incredibly
"Clearly, if we want to be suc-
cessful - if we want to be suc-
cessful as a football program,
as an Athletic Department, and
we want our University to really
represent what we're all about
- we need to rally around our
new coach," he said. "Don't find
fault. Don't make hasty judgments
before he arrives on campus."
But that's exactly what hap-
pened three years ago when
Rodriguez came to Ann Arbor.
Rodriguez wasn't a "Michigan
Man," whatever that means. He
was bringing a spread offense, and
that would never work in the Big
Ten. He came with a huge price
tag: the West Virginia buyout. He
wasn't Les Miles, a rumored can-
didate for the job, who was weeks
away from playing for (and win-
ning) a national championship.
Blah, blah, blah.
From Page 1A
ages 35 and 65, Rabhi is not only
the new guy, but also the young
According to his colleagues,
however, that isn't a problem -
quite the opposite, in fact.
In an interview before the meet-
ing, the three other incoming com-
missioners, including Rob Turner,
spoke enthusiastically about Rab-
li's youth and his ability to serve
on the board.
"Here's someone who's new,
young and energetic," Turner said.
"I know his heart is to serve the
people. t'm excited."
Despite having nine years of
experience on a school board in
Chelsea, Mich., Turner said he
doesn't see a difference between
himself and Rabhi in terms of qual-
ifications for serving on the Board
"We're (working) together to
give the people of this county the
best services we can," Turner said.
Turner added that he believes
offense, many are worried that
Robinson's skill set doesn't fit that
type of offense.
And though Taylor said Robin-
son could succeed in a pro-style
offense if necessary, he doesn't
think it would be a good use of Rob-
inson's explosive presence in the
"He can do it," Taylor said. "But I
think you lose such a weapon if you
make himstraight drop back....You
take away all his weapons and he'll
never be as good as he could be.
You'd be taking away a 4.3-speed
kid, a running back type that has an
arm that defenses have to adjust to.
You'd be taking that weapon away."
In his press conference yester-
day afternoon announcing Rodri-
guez's firing, Athletic Director
Dave Brandon said no single player
will affect the decision as to what
coach he will hire and what offen-
sive scheme that coach will bring.
"This isn't about one particular
kid we're recruiting, or one par-
ticular kid on the football team,"
Brandon said. "This is about mak-
ing a decision that will really lay
the groundwork for years to come.
I understand that."
But Taylor doesn't think that
approach is wise for a team that
leaned so much on its speedy quar-
terback this season.
"I think that's a bad choice of
words right there," Taylor said,
referring to Brandon's statement.
"That's not really smart when you
have a weapon like Denard Rob-
inson. How many schools in the
country would want Denard Robin-
son as their quarterback? Everyone
would want him as their quarter-
back ... Could you even think about
if he went somewhere like Oregon?
There's a lot of offenses out there
that run the spread, read offense.
"I think you better think about
Denard, and if you don't, you don't.
Then, you just have to let the chips
fall as they may."
If a pro-style offense is institut-
ed by the Wolverines' new coach
next season, many have wondered
whether Robinson could switch
positions and play as a receiver or
Robinson was recruited out of
Deerfield Beach High School in
The cards were stacked against
Rodriguez before he even set foot
The Michigan community split
into factions: Those blindly sup-
porting any head coach, those
willing to give Rodriguez a chance
and those who decried him.
Every event - the announce-
ment of NCAA violations, wins
over Notre Dame, losses to Ohio
State - only further polarized
fans. There was no "all in" for
And now, Brandon's task is dif-
ficult. He has to hire a coach that
can unite this divided community
- one that was even split on keep-
ing former coach Lloyd Carr or
calling for his head (and Carr won
a national championship!).
Is there such a coach? Is the
Michigan fan base capable of ral-
lying around its coach?
Maybe Jim Harbaugh could
have been that guy, a former
Michigan player with ties to
Bo Schembechler, but Brandon
thinks he's heading to coach in
As for the fan base's ability to
unite, well, I don't know if that's
possible. Fans, alumni and stu-
dents have had three years to try
to do that with Rodriguez, and
they haven't come close. If Bran-
don isn't careful, we might have a
similar situation take place in the
Deerfield Beach, Fla. to play receiv-
er by many schools around the
country, including Florida. Michi-
gan was one of the few schools that
gave him a chance under center.
Taylor and Brown both agree
that the reason he came to Michi-
gan was to be a quarterback, and
theyaren'tveryoptimistic he'd stay
in Ann Arbor playing any position
other than that.
"I don't think Denard would be
open to moving his position," Tay-
lor said. "I think that would be a big
Added Brown: "This stuff about
moving Denard to the slot and have
a pro guy like Harbaugh come in? I
don't agree with that. (Brandon) of
all people knows how Denard feels
about being a college quarterback."
Both Taylor and Brown spoke
about the importance of Robinson's
chance of playing in the NFL, and
Taylor said it should be a part of his
decision. And while Taylor thinks
Robinson could play quarterback
on Sundays, Brown says Robinson
is open to changing positions - but
only at the next level.
"At the next level, (Robinson)
was saying, he can't control that,"
Brown said. "He's not going to say
no ifa team drafted him and asked
him to change positions, that's fine.
"But in college, he always had
dreams of being a college quarter-
back, simple as that. If he wanted
to play wide receiver, he would've
went to Florida. He would've been
a Gator if he wanted to play receiv-
er - that's what they wanted him
to play. He wants to be a quarter-
back. He should be a college quar-
Either way, Michigan fans will
be waiting on bated breath in the
next week or so as Brandon and
Robinson both make decisions that
will seriously affect the future of
the Michigan football program.
Taylor said Robinson was a "big
Rich Rod fan," and he assumes the
news of his firing was "definitely
hurtful" to the Michigan quarter-
"He's a loyal guy and he loves
Michigan," Taylor said. "But at the
end of the day, you have to look out
for what's best for you in that situ-
Even Michigan ties may not
satisfy a large contingent of
fans, especially if fans perceive
this coaching search as another
disaster, like most view 2007. And
people could consider Rodriguez's
successor their second choice,
feeling that Harbaugh should have
been the guy. It's messy any way
you look at it.
"Whether it's a Michigan Man,
quote un-quote, or not, what
clearly is important is whoever
it is has a clear understanding of
what Michigan is all about," Bran-
don said. "This is a unique place.
It creates unique challenges. It
also provides unique opportuni-
Unique challenges - like an
impatient, divided fan base with
sky-high expectations. Unique
opportunities - like the chance
to coach for 20 years at one of the
most prestigious football pro-
grams, with a chance at immortal-
ity in the eyes of Michigan fans.
It's an alluring gig, but a scary
one - especially after watching
the Rodriguez show the past three
It's even harder when you
aren't sure you'll have the Michi-
gan community supporting you.
- Auerbach can be reached
Brandon to begin a national
search for new football coach
From Page 1A
University President Mary Sue
Coleman supports Brandon's call
to fire Rodriguez.
"President Coleman supports
Athletic Director David Brandon,
and this decision on the football
coach was the athletic director's to
make," Fitzgerald wrote.
Brandon announced the basic
criteria he used to evaluate Rodri-
guez: performance in competition,
recruiting and retention, student-
athlete academic performance and
the coach's leadership.
Throughout December, specu-
lation swirled around Rodriguez
and his job status after an embar-
At the press conference, Brandon
revealed he didn't make his deci-
sion until after the Gator Bowl in
order to keep the players focused
and give them their best shot at
winning. However, he noted that
the game was another test of the
progress the program was making
From the start, the West Vir-
ginia native faced pressure from
Michigan fans and the public
at-large because he was replac-
ing former coach Lloyd Carr, who
retired after a 9-4 season in 2007.
Carr had held positions as a Michi-
gan coach for more than 25 years
and was a former assistant coach
for legendary Michigan coach Bo
Schembechler. In comparison,
Rodriguez was viewed - fairly or
unfairly - by many as an outsider
who didn't understand the tradi-
tion of Michigan football.
Due to all the "drama," Brandon
said he doesn't "think Rodriguez
has had a peaceful night('s) sleep
since he arrived in Ann Arbor" in
"It seemed like it was one thing
after another," Brandon said. "It
clearly impacted recruiting. It
clearly impacted the positive ener-
gy that a team needs to be success-
ful. It created a lot of hardships
and a lot of distractions. Clearly,
we need to put ourselves in a posi-
tion where that is all history."
Under Rodriguez's watch,
the Michigan football program
received its first NCAA violations
in program history for exceeding
practice time limits and for mem-
bers of the quality control staff
overextending their duties and
acting as coaches. The ultimate
result included a three-yearproba-
tion period and a 130-hour reduc-
tion in practice time, among other
In his first season, in which his
team went 3-9, Rodriguez strug-
gled to transition the players left
over from Carr's regime to his new
spread option offense. Brandon
said one of the qualities he will
look for in Michigan's next coach
is the ability to fit his scheme to the
players he'll inherit.,
The tide looked as though it was
shifting in Rodriguez's favor in
2009 when then-freshman quar-
terback Tate Forcier led Michigan
to a 4-0 start and a top-25 rank-
ing, only to finish the season los-
ing seven of its last eight games.
Rodriguez's offense took another
leap in 2010, and Robinson became
the first quarterback in NCAA his-
tory to throw for 2,000 yards and
run for 1,500 in a single season -
all in Rodriguez's system. But the
Wolverines lost six of their last
eight games this season to seal
Rodriguez also didn't fare well
in what Brandon called, "bench-
mark games,"or "red letter games"
against Notre Dame, Michigan
State, Iowa Wisconsin, Penn State,
Ohio State, which resulted in a 3-15
record. And the Wolverines need-
ed late-game heroics in 2009 and
2010 against Notre Dame and a
19-point comeback in 2008 against
"First and foremost, the goal of
the Michigan program is to win
the Big Ten championship and go
to the Rose Bowl - every year,"
Brandon said. "You're going to
be ranked in the top-10 or better.
You're going to be in BCS bowls.
You're going to, from time to time,
have the opportunity to play in the
The national search for Michi-
gan's next head coach began after
Brandon met with the media on
yesterday. And though he didn't
give a specific timeline for select-
ing a coach, Brandon said he would
"go fast, but do it the right way."
Brandon detailed a few char-
acteristics that he would look for
in Michigan's next coach: head
coaching experience, the ability to
adapt a system around the inher-
ited players and someone who can
handle the pressure of coaching at
Michigan. He added that the new
coach doesn't need to be someone
who has experience in a BCS auto-
Brandon also said he will hire
a coach to help Michigan's 108th-
"Is there a thought of getting
a defensive-minded head coach?
- There's a thought of getting a
Brandon said. "I want the ball boys
to be defensive minded."
Current Stanford coach Jim
Harbaugh, who is a popular coach
candidate at both the college and
NFL level, has, been linked to
Michigan at times, but Tuesday's
rumors for a potential replacement
didn't include his name. Brandon
said he believed Harbaugh would
end up in the NFL and explained
that he had not yet talked to other
rumored candidates, including
Brady Hoke from San Diego State
or Les Miles from Louisiana;State.
With the end of Rodriguez's
tenure in Ann Arbor, the Universi-
ty will pay the coach's $2:S million
buyout clause, and Brandon made
it clear that money will not stand
in the way of finding Rodriguez's
replacement. In the athletic direc-
tor's opinion, the job still has the
"I do not believe we'll have a
shortage of interested candidates,"
Brandon said. "I think that this
program is still one of the most
premiere programs in the coun-
try. When you look at the facili-
ties here, when you look at the fan
base here, and the passion that
exists here for Michigan football,
the role that it plays in the athletic
program here, the Big House and
everything that comes with it is
something a lot of coaches aspire
to be a part of."
"So I believe there will be very
qualified, interested candidates
out there, and it is my job to select
the right one"
- Daily News Editor Joseph
Lichterman contributed to this report.
14 offenders affiliated with'U'
on state sexual offender registry
Rabhi's status as a recent Universi-
ty graduate will work to his advan-
tage on the board, noting that the
University is one of the most influ-
ential employers in Washtenaw
"Who best to know what's going
on with the people within the Uni-
versity than a freshly-graduated
student?" Turner said.
Incoming commissioner Dan
Smith expressed similar thoughts
about Rabhi, and said Rabhi's
youth provides him with a fresh
and unique insight in board meet-
"He has no preconceived
notions of anything," Smith said.
"He brings a completely different
perspective from the rest of us-a
lot of fresh thinking I think we're
going to get from him."
Commissioner Alicia Ping said
she thinks Rabhi is "fabulous" and
will do a greatjob in his position on
Ping added that her political
career began at age 26 - a head
start that served her well later.
"I think that being younger
brings you a different perspective
and oftentimes (you) ask questions
that generate new ideas," Ping said.
Rabhi's mother, Peggy, pointed
out yesterday that her son's politi-
cal involvement began as early as
preschool, when he participated
in an environmental advocacy pre-
sentation in front of the Ann Arbor
"He went to the council meet-
ing to talk ... (and) he was like four
years old," Peggy said.
After years of activism, Rabhi
now finds himself on the other side
of the political podium.
"I don't know how to describe
it," Rabhi said of his nerves at the
start of the meeting. "It's almost as
if I'm not supposed to be there."
Rabhi's excitement about his
first meeting as commissioner was
heightened toward the end of the
meeting when he was unanimous-
ly elected chairman of the board's
work sessions - a biweekly meet-
ing Rabhi described as "the discus-
sion section of county business."
In his capacity as chair, Rabhi
will be in charge of leading the
meetings and setting the agendas.
"It's a crazy feeling," he said.
ity of Ann Arbor, ia - is a product of the Michigan
Sex Offenders Registration Act, a
offenders listed 1994 state law which requires per-
sons convicted, of certain crimes
on registry to register and prohibits certain
offenders from working in school
By JONAH MOST zones.
For the Daily While each state regulates
registered offenders differently,
1ua Hoe, former director of Michigan's law exceeds federal
iversity's debate team, was standards set by the Jacob Wet-
ted in October of sexually terling Act - an act passed in 1994
ng an alleged minor over that requires states to produce a
ernet. But Hoe isn't the only registry with names of sex offend-
affiliated with the Univer- ers who have committed acts
ho is on Michigan's sexual against children.
er registry. Michigan's online sex offender
re are 14 people associ- directory has been viewed more
ith the University who are than 4 million times, according to
tly on the registry - a list its website.
can access on the Internet One offender, a current Uni-
I information about a sex versity employee who requested
er's height, weight, current anonymity but allowed his gender
s and offense. The majority to be used, said the registry does
nders with University ties not fairly portray the offenders on
mni and current and former the list.
embers who hold positions "Just because you're on the list
torial work, bus driving and doesn't mean you're dangerous,"
g, among others. he said in a December interview.
year, Michigan's registry He said his biggest fear of
ns 45,717 offenders - the being on the list is that it will
-highest number of offend- cause people to accuse him of
the nation - according to crimes he didn't commit. While
s For Megan's Law, a nation- acknowledging that the list may
m's rights advocacy group. be useful for law enforcement, he
an's registry includes 559 said he doesn't think the public is
ers in Washtenaw County equipped to use the information
in the city of Ann Arbor. appropriately..
e offenders on the list are "The general public doesn't
ed with other universi- know what to do with it," he said.
e Wayne State University, An August public opinion sur-
has 31 affiliated offenders, vey by the Center for Sex Offender
tichigan State University, Management, a project of the U.S.
has 19 affiliated offenders. Department of Justice, found that
an offender associated state and federal officials have
he University of Michigan, enacted a large number of sex
on the Michigan Public Sex offender laws in a short period of
er Registry for life. Hoe also time. However, according to the
d a one-to-seven year pris- study, "evidence regarding the
tence in early November. He impact and effectiveness of many
aced on the registry after of these laws and policies is lim-
ig guilty to having sexual ited."
sations with an investigator Proponents of the law argue
used as a 14-year-old girl on that the registry protects people
ernet, according to a Nov.17 from sexual predators, but they
bor.com article. also say that sex offender recidi-
ording to David Reid, Uni- vism rates can be misleading
senior director of strategic because many sexual crimes go
anications, Hoe was imme- unreported.
suspended from his Uni- Parents for Megan's Law offers
position upon his arrest e-mail alerts that inform com-
is employment has since munity members of new offend-
ers. The group also lobbies to
list - which is searchable strengthen sex offender-related
e, location and other crite- legislation.
"Most parents and community
members believe that they are
doing everything they can to pro-
tect children from sexual preda-
trs, but the disturbing reality is
that registered sex offenders are
obtaining employment and volun-
teer positions across the country
where they can have unfettered
access to children," Laura Ahearn,
executive director of Parents for
Megan's Law, wrote in a statement
on the group's website.
Michigan sentencing guidelines
require registration for a variety
of offenses - including a third
instance of obscene or indecent
conduct or indecent exposure -
and judges often have discretion
in placing people on the list.
The offender interviewed by
the Daily argued that the listing
is a burden for those convicted of
sexual crimes and pointed out that
there are not specific lists for other
"Why don't murderers have
their own list?" he said. "Isn't that
When reviewing job applicants,
University doesn't automatically
disqualify people with criminal
histories, but they are certainly a
factor, accordingto Reid.
"Each case is considered indi-
vidually, based on factors that
include the nature of the crime,
the position applied for, how
long ago the crime occurred and
whether the individual has estab-
lished a good work record since
then," Reid wrote in an e-mail
The University employee on the
registry said he feels lucky to have
a job, and said that many offenders
have faced much more discrimina-
tion than he has.
"I've seen news stories of people
pounding signs on trees or trying
to annoythem out of the neighbor-
hood," he said.
No other listed offenders affili-
ated with the University respond-
ed to requests for interviews with
Currently, no University stu-
dents are listed on the registry,
Despite persistent rumors, people
caught urinating in public are not
likely tobe placed on the registry,
according to Department of Pub-
lic Safety spokeswoman Diane
Brown. She added that there is a
See REGISTRY, Page 6A
COME TO OUR FIRST MASS MEETING
Thursday, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
at 420 Maynard St.