Thursday, October 15, 2009

Free Press GPA report update

The Free Press now has an update of the original article by chronicling all of the times Rodriguez has mentioned the team's GPA. Here's the breakdown:

May 11
“We have a couple, two or three of our student athletes, who have not gotten their grades back. I think the professors maybe left early, but when we get those back, we think we’ll break the record — 25-year record — for overall football team GPA this semester.” — Rodriguez to an alumni group in Washington, D.C.

Aug. 31
"They’re working hard in athletics and they’re working hard in academics. And they’ve showed that in the balance, in that endeavor, in the way they’ve recorded the highest GPA ever recorded. And as a coach, I am very, very proud of them. And they continue to do that, to this day. They do it in practice. They did it in their summer workouts with Mike (Barwis) and his staff and they did it in spring practice and they’re doing it academically. So they’ve obviously been able to show a great balance in being able to handle that.” — Rodriguez defending his program one day after a Free Press report in which several former and current players said his staff required them to train beyond NCAA limits designed to balance their athletic and academic lives.

Oct. 2
“When Coach RR said the team had the highest GPA in memory he was using an estimate as a motivational tool for the students. Our Academic Success Program is the program that works with student athletes and they don’t routinely track a team GPA because their main focus is on individuals. … A team GPA doesn’t help with that. ASP staff will occasionally calculate a semester team GPA if Coach RR asks for it, but they don’t keep it because it’s for his motivational purposes, not what they do.” — Kelly Cunningham, director of the university’s Office of Public Affairs and Media Relations, in e-mail explaining why U-M said it had no records on team GPAs.

This is followed by his statement that I quoted when I first reported this. Again, all I can do is ask Why? The fact that this is still the lead story on the Free Press' sports page is kind of mind boggling. They haven't accused any players of not making the grade, nor are they seemingly attempting to. This entire story revolves around the idea that Rodriguez may have lied about having the highest GPA a Michigan team has ever recorded. The Free Press doesn't care if the team is or is not passing NCAA standards here. They are just out to show that Rodriguez lied about what the University calls something used for "motivational purposes". If you didn't have qualms with the way the Free Press handled things before, you definitely should now.


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