Bill Martin’s Train Wreck

Scott Draper, we are told, resigned the other day. Who? Scott Draper, Assistant AD for Football, under Bill Martin.

Scott Draper? Still don’t recall?  He was one of the Three Amigos (along with Rich Rod, and Dir. of FB Ops Brad Labadie), who were the principal actors causing Michigan’s NCAA “Major Violations.”
Draper is going on to “other opportunities,” just like Labadie did last July.  These Three Amigos together tubed the entire practice-time-monitoring process for at least  18-24 months.  They also did everything they could to conceal the fact that UM had too many coaches in violation of NCAA rules.  They also, it’s now more clear, were probably well aware that Grad Assitant Alex Herron was illegally involved in coaching, though that’s just a guess.

One other piece of memory-refreshing: Brad Labadie worked directly under Rich Rod.  Labadie, from all appearances, did everything Rich Rod wanted, which included failing to fill out Practice Time records every day for 18 months.  In some contrast, Draper worked directly under former AD Bill Martin.

Why recite this history?  Because it’s now time to assess with a little more accuracy the Bill Martin Train Wreck.

He hires Rich Rod, the Coach in a SharkSkin Suit who cut corners, generated Major NCAA violations, and escaped more Draconian NCAA sanctions only because he lied like a schoolkid, and the NCAA (as it always does) winked and looked the other way.

But it’s more complex than that. If you believe Rich Rod, Martin agreed, at the time of RR’s hire, to let him hire Quality Control staffers to serve in illegal coaching positions. By this account, Martin knew right away what was going on.  But even if he didn’t, the record unequivocally shows that by January of ’09 (a year after RR’s hire), Martin knew about, and had direct responsibility for investigating, the clearly illegal lack of Practice Records –but also for filing a report with the Big Ten and the NCAA about potential violations.

So, you ask, did Martin just sit on his thumbs and do nothing at all, as of January ’09?   Well, actually, no.  It’s worse than that.  The record suggests that Martin did everything he could to bury the Practice Time and Excess-Coach violations — in direct violation of the “Ethics” NCAA cardinal rule embodied in Rule 10.1.

It is also worth noting here, as we go down the appalling list of malfeasances achieved by Martin, that even some of Rich Rod’s performance failures can logically be laid at Martin’s feet.  Why?  Because the salaries of Michigan’s Assistant Coaches under RR were completely short of any standard for Major College, top-tier programs.  Michigan Football – one of the biggest cash-cows in that grand NCAA herd of big-time football schools worth billions in annual income – should have had some of the country’s top-paid assistant coaches.  But Michigan’s coaches made relatively paltry sums — which might have contributed to RR having to hire that thoroughly incompetent (but good-hearted) Greg Robinson as a Defensive Coordinator. And Michigan’s wretched defensive performance appears to have been the #1 factor leading to RR’s firing.

But we should have known that Martin would have led us straight into this moral swamp — based on his 2007 fraudulent testimony about his “pet” $1/3 billion project:  the addition of Luxury Boxes to the Big House.  Back in ’07, Martin articulated the thoroughly looney notion that upgrades to the Stadium (Rest Rooms, concrete, and disability seats) could only be accomplished by spending that $1/3 billion. (President Coleman and the Regents accepted and trumpeted this fatuous claim, whole-cloth  — consistent with H.L. Mencken’s notion that “the most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.”)

A Big Whopping Martin Big House Lie, so preposterous that no one dared challenge it.  It would have been accurate to contend that the $1/3 billion was needed to be spent  —  to pay for the Lux Boxes themselves — but not for the relatively minor changes associated with Rest Rooms and disability seats.  But the truth means little to Martin.  There resides in his breast the heart of a developer who seeks only to expand and increase revenue.

Finally, there are now some disturbing indications that Martin’s other major coaching hire, John Beilein — though honest, diligent, and forthright — in contrast to RR — may resemble RR in that he might be a “one-trick” offense pony, in a big time Big Ten conference which requires a multitude of tricks.  Beilein may be in trouble.

That’s Bill Martin.  A train wreck, in  New York Yacht Club hat.

About brewonsouthu

lawyer, with interest in college sports and NCAA oversight and decisions, and sports generally.
This entry was posted in Bill Martin, CARA forms, Corrective Actions, David Brandon, Luxury Boxes, Mary Sue Coleman, Michigan Football, NCAA Investigation, NCAA sanctions, NCAA Violations, Premium Seating, Quality Control Coaches, Rich Rod, Rich Rodriguez, Rodriguez Firing, UM Football, Uncategorized, University of Michigan, West Virginia Football, WVU Football, WVU Football and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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