Well if wasn't tough enough to be Rich Rod before this week, things just got a whole lot worse for him and for Michigan fans. The Free Press ran a hit piece this weekend accusing the program of violating the number of practice hours. Frankly if this were the whole story, I think the school would be ok and that they would take whatever penalty faces them for the violations. Just for the record, the limited practice hours are a joke and every football program realizes it and probably pushes the envelope on this issue. Michigan just happens to be the one that got caught.
But worse than the allegations is that the story was based on anonymous football players either on the team last year or still on the team. This is bad news for the coach. It shows just how little control and respect he has from some of his players. My best guess is that these are disgruntled holdovers from the Lloyd Carr era and they simply don't like Rodriguez. The preferred the country club mentality instead of having to compete for their playing time. But I wish they would have handled the matter with dignity by going to the coach or the AD instead of to the newspaper.
After a terrible 3-9 season last year, I was hoping to have a redeeming season to help forget about the past and lay the groundwork for future success. I am still in Rich Rod's corner and unlike many Michigan fans, I think he was the correct choice and can restore Michigan to a football powerhouse. But unless he gets his whole team on board, I can foresee a very long season ahead. If that long season includes several losses, it is hard to imagine Rodriguez keeping his job. And unfortunately it is easy to imagine the old guard bringing in a Michigan man like Ron English to replace him.