Big Ten lunch links

Given the glut of Michigan coverage today, I'm going to split the links into two categories. You can thank me later.

Michigan musings

  • Colleague Mark Schlabach: "For a coach who seems to be on a hot seat, [Rich] Rodriguez is getting plenty of support from his boss. [Dave] Brandon seemed to fall on the sword for a coach he didn't even hire. Brandon said he was the person to blame for Michigan's current predicament, even though he didn't start his job as athletic director until after the NCAA violations were committed."

  • SI.com's Stewart Mandel: "Ultimately, Michigan's punishment fits the crime, which was never an overly egregious one. Michigan fans' greatest concern was never whether the NCAA would 'drop the hammer' on their program; it was the additional stain now associated with the already embattled Rodriguez. The school defended him to some degree Monday, but he's still the CEO of a program about to face probation."

  • The Detroit Free Press' Mitch Albom: "As NCAA violations go, I'm sorry, but this is not an atom bomb. It's not cash in a suitcase. It's not falsifying grades. It's not phony jobs. It's not point-shaving. If Michigan's self-imposed sanctions are accepted by the NCAA, then how will the program change? A few less practice hours? A few less quality-control people?"

  • The Detroit News' Bob Wojnowski: "This is the thin Blue line Michigan now walks, and it's about the same width as the thin line Rodriguez walks. With one hand, Michigan slapped humbly, but not too harshly. With the other hand, it delicately sought leniency in its response to the NCAA's allegations, which it will present formally to the Committee on Infractions on Aug. 13-14 in Seattle."

  • Annarbor.com's Dave Birkett: "Rodriguez, clearly, was the big winner Tuesday, though his 89-page personal response read part caged animal, part blame-shifter. In his defense, he was fighting for possibly his coaching life, and had the documents to back up his claims."

  • Mgoblog's Brian Cook: "Brad Labadie should be fired. Now. I'll leave the decision as to whether he should be put in stocks on the Diag up to Brandon, but I vote yes. The vastly ineffectual management of Scott Draper should also see him go out the door. If either of these individuals had competently executed his job, there is a strong possibility this whole thing never happens."

Other Big Ten news