Blog Entry

Mushnick doesn't know what he's talking about

Posted on: June 19, 2011 6:34 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 4:49 pm

Posted by Adam Jacobi

(Lest this all comes across as purely a defense of Rich Rodriguez on the grounds that he too is now part of the CBS Sports family, the scenario of former Florida coach Urban Meyer being hired by ESPN fits Mushnick's argument quite nicely too, so feel free to replace "Rich Rodriguez" with "Urban Meyer" and "West Virginia" with "Florida" when necessary.)

Permit me, if you will, to not take Phil Mushnick's latest diatribe seriously. In it, Mushnick (a columnist for the New York Post, which, yeah) excoriates the CBS Sports Network for hiring former Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez, noting that Rich Rodriguez recruited Adam Jones and Chris Henry at West Virginia. If that seems like a peculiarly weak argument, well, let's have Mushnick make it himself:

The same Rich Rodriguez who regularly recruited and indulged criminals and assorted bad boys as the head coach at West Virginia and then Michigan?

Yeah, that one.

Pacman Jones and the late Chris Henry, for example, starred for Rodriguez at WVU. Both would accumulate rap sheets as thick as playbooks. But such players helped land Rodriguez the gig at Michigan, where the stadium they call "The Big House," began to take on the other meaning.

For one, Michigan's three years under Rich Rodriguez weren't characterized at all by excessive crime, so while the "Big House" crack would seem clever to someone operating with no knowledge of the situation, it's so transparently false that it doesn't even make sense. Lame jokes aside, Chris Henry and Adam Jones did accumulate substantial criminal records... as NFL players. While at WVU, Jones received probation for one fight, and Henry's worst transgressions were limited to unsportsmanlike behavior on the field. Hardly the stuff of rap sheet legend.

As for the other "criminals and assorted bad boys" that Rodriguez "regularly recruited," what is Mushnick even talking about? Sure, what Pat White and Steve Slaton did to Georgia's defense in the 2006 Sugar Bowl ought to be illegal, but this notion that Rodriguez turned Morgantown into Compton, West Virginia is basically a figment of Mushnick's imagination and nothing more.

Mushnick then bizarrely claims that -- again, this is a quote -- "few college presidents, ADs or head coaches could beat racketeering indictments," then offers no evidence before moving on. As Wikipedia would say, [citation needed].

The rest of his argument is spent on basically making the case that there should be no such thing as college athletics at all; it's the only conclusion possible when Mushnick conjures up the bogeyman specter of big-time athletes having "no other business enrolled in the college" while ignoring the 939 APR (essentially, a student-athlete retention rate of at least 94%; here's how it's calculated) Rodriguez left West Virginia with in the spring of 2008. That's essentially the average across the NCAA, and it's considerably higher than the general student retention rate in higher education, where over 40% of incoming students fail to graduate. Now, there's a difference between remaining academically eligible year-by-year and actually graduating, but by and large, NCAA student-athletes seem to be outperforming their fellow students in the classroom. Not bad for a bunch of thugs.

Mushnick's column is a perfect encapsulation of low-information stereotypes of NCAA athletics. It is drive-by, tabloid moralizing. It has all the permanence, importance, and elegance of last night's dinner floating by in the sewer. It is, in the words of William Faulkner Shakespeare, a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.  


Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: June 21, 2011 9:07 am

Mushnick doesn't know what he's talking about

This guy acts as if Rich Rod wanted to fail at Michigan.  I hope he can get back to coaching and have better luck at the next school. 

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: June 20, 2011 9:55 pm

Mushnick doesn't know what he's talking about

I guess I will have to type slow for all the MICHIGAN fans.  1st, if you WISE people would read the post by Adam Jacobi (that is what I am agreeing with) you will see that I am supporting Rich Rod!  2nd, it is STILL June 20, 2011 at 9:55 p.m. and GUESS WHAT!  Michigan still sucks!

Since: Jun 19, 2011
Posted on: June 20, 2011 9:18 pm

Mushnick doesn't know what he's talking about

wow, some of you dont either read very well or dont comprend very well. but never let facts get in the way of a attack. so go for it but try not to drool over yourself as you do. I guess if you cant refute my arguments all you can do is to attack. I am not defending mushnick or whatever his name is I am saying quite plainly that ALL these sports sites are doing the exact same things. building cases base on innuendo, rumors that are not proven and other sleezy journalistic tactics, will never win you rewards because when the proof comes out the story is long gone.

and who decided I was an Ohio State fan? did you hear me say it? I am a fan of due process and being considered innocent until proven guilty. that seems to be foriegn thoughts for most of you. sad isnt it.

Since: May 31, 2011
Posted on: June 20, 2011 6:11 pm

Mushnick doesn't know what he's talking about

What dialect is this Ohio State fan speaking..."tha" do you mean that? you mean sucks? Let's see, prior to Tressel you had a bunch of misfits for head coach with one thing in common, they at least had integrity. Tressel is a joke, as is Pryor who both bailed out before the NCAA hammer was about to level THE Ohio State Buckeye's. Tressel's idea of recruiting is promising that he will look the other way just to get their scholarships signed. Now all OSU needs is to dump Gee and his cronies and let the school suffer the consequences. It must really SUCK to be a Buckeye fan right now. Buckeye, thats a nut right, it fits.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: June 20, 2011 5:45 pm

Mushnick doesn't know what he's talking about

This is nothing more than a rant by some illiterate who has it in for CBS, RichRod, Michigan, West Virginia, or all of the above.  Just watch all of the court shows.  Who are the stars?  The same attorneys who did so terribly in real life as attorneys.  I, for one, look forward to RichRod's opinions of the SEC, a Conference that the Big 10 has failed to defeat consistantly.  I guess Ohio State found out how to do it.  Cheat.  I can see why Ohio State fans will side with this clown.  They are going to get their tails kicked for years now, so they may as well get their last little whiny shots in now, because in three months from now, you will not see a one postong anywheres. 

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: June 20, 2011 5:00 pm

Mushnick doesn't know what he's talking about

Not defending anyone a attack on the University of Michigan I apologize for please forgive me!  Tha being said the only thing that I can add is that it is 6-20-11 at 5:00 p.m. and Michigan still sux. (Way of life, all in good fun)

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: June 20, 2011 1:55 pm

Mushnick doesn't know what he's talking about

I don't know who is more of a dolt.  On one side, we have Mushnick, who should stick to his equally-inept anti-pro wrestling diatribes.  On the other side, we have fans of THE Ohio State University who want to defend Mushnick and use this piece as an excuse to attack the University of Michigan.  I wonder what fans of THE Ohio State University will think if Mushnick writes a column about the "death penalty" that THE Ohio State University's football and basketball programs so richly deserve?  
That would, of course, assume that Mushnick can even spell "death penalty." 

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: June 20, 2011 1:23 pm

Mushnick doesn't know what he's talking about

Thank You Adam!  The only thing that I can add is that today is June 20, 2011 it is 1:22 p.m. and Michigan still sux!

Since: Jun 20, 2011
Posted on: June 20, 2011 1:07 pm

Try William Shakespeare (Macbeth)...

...not William Faulkner (who did write a book called "The Sound and the Fury").  Otherwise, right on the money.

Since: Jun 20, 2011
Posted on: June 20, 2011 10:33 am

Mushnick doesn't know what he's talking about

Great post, though it is kind of scary how easy it is to swap Meyer in here.

You are quoting Shakespear at the end there, btw, from Macbeth.

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