Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

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Re: No honeymoon (Nov., 2008): The U of M has outstanding people in many fields other than sports, but people equate Michigan with football. This season has been an embarrassment to the Alumni. In 57 years I have never experienced anything like this. From Fritz Crisler to Lloyd Carr we have had great coaches. Who is responsible for hiring Rodriguez? Michigan players are "quality"—to have this bad a season reflects on the entire coaching staff, not the players.

  • Dr. Jay Sandercock
  • B.S.
  • 1951
  • LSA
  • Bolingbrook

Re: No honeymoon (Nov., 2008): Well, at least Rich Rodriguez did a whole lot better than Syracuse University did!! Finally, they fired their million dollar a year coach after 4 losing seasons. At least Michigan knows how to play ball, as I saw at the game with Michigan State. So he has a lot more going for him overall. Give him a chance at least. SU would be fortunate to have him!!

  • Frances Walts
  • B.S. in Nursing
  • 1963
  • Nursing
  • Syracuse area

Re: No honeymoon (Nov., 2008): Coach Rodriguez said, and I quote, "I can adjust this system [the spread offense] to the players I have." Why didn't he try? He and the school did a injustice to the players that Coach Carr recruited. I want Coach Rodriguez to pay back the 2.5 million dollars the school paid West Virginia. It can be through a Trust or some other investment instruments set up by Coach Rodriguez. How many young men and women could attend Michigan for that amount of money?

  • Richard Igras
  • BGS
  • 1999
  • CASL
  • Dearborn

The University is fortunate that solicitation for donations to the Michigan Difference fund were sent out PRIOR to the 2008 football season (No honeymoon, Nov., 2008). I'm certain donations would have been far less if we had all known that Coach Rodriguez was going to dismantle the character of our football players, destroy our winning tradition, and denigrated the very essence of being a Michigan Wolverine.

Thanks for nothing RichRod.

  • June Kirchgatter
  • 1987
  • LSA

FIRE HIM !!!! Let's play U-M football (No honeymoon, Nov., 2008) not quarterback — halfback kiss and try to hide the ball. When both IU and NU beat us (my other alma maters) we are in serious, serious trouble.

  • Donald Skinner

No S—t, the honeymoon is over.

  • Don Burtraw

I am less than overwhelmed by Rich Rodriguez's "tough times" (No honeymoon, Nov., 2008) and really wonder what relevance his grandfather's background has to Michigan football. Every U-M coach has a first season. Rodriquez just happens to be the highest paid and poorest performing we have ever had. Neither Rich nor his cast of West Virginia characters are Michigan men—and never will be. Should he ever have any success here you can be certain that he will be out the door in a heartbeat to whomever offers a few dollars more.

  • Robert L Blackburn
  • 1961, 1962
  • Engineering, Business
  • Spring Lake

...about the Michigan football team's performance (or lack thereof) this year (No honeymoon, Nov., 2008) is not the losses of starters before the year began or the challenges of installing a new offensive system. Both were expected and deserve some slack for the coach. Less forgivable are a team that is unready to play at the start of a game (e.g., Notre Dame), seems to play fine for two quarters then quits/falls apart, or fails to execute even the fundamentals of the game (e.g., tackling). Those failures rest squarely on the shoulders of the new coach.

  • Rolf Marshall
  • B.A.
  • 1963
  • LSA
  • Washington

I am very disappointed in Michigan's football season (No honeymoon, Nov., 2008). I am wondering if the Michigan football team is rebelling against Rodriguez's coaching style. I sure hope Rodriguez does not make terrible decisions during the Ohio State game this weekend.

  • Eric Schlytter
  • Bachelor of Science
  • 1994
  • Computer Science
  • Universisty Place

In the article Michigan women at war (Nov., 2008), you quote Mavis Kennedy's attack on women who didn't do their part in the war effort:


They spend hours in bull-sessions talking about the days when a coed's biggest worry was about her dress for this week's ball, whether or not the letter-man in chem lab was going to date her, and if a particular sorority was going to give her a bid—"

This is amazing to think that was really the mindset then. Boy, they certainly were not that way when I was at the University in the '60s. at least not that I saw. I am so glad that the women had turned a corner re: this mindset.

Perhaps because the days of the mainly wealthier families sending daughters to college to "meet a man and get married" had changed to ones of more middle class families and their daughters seeing the need and value of a college education for their daughters to pursue careers by then.

  • Frances Walts
  • B.S. in NURSING
  • 1963

Thanks for the article on Coach Rod (No honeymoon, Nov., 2008). With that background, I'm sure the future bodes well for Michigan football. I have watched all the games this year and it hasn't been as easy as I would have liked. But then, I'm sure it hasn't been easy for the coaching staff every week when they've been breaking down film. Of course I'll be watching on Saturday when we play Ohio State. Go Blue!!!

PS: Also both laughed and cried as I read Bo's Lasting Lessons.

  • Lee J Griggs
  • B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
  • 1960,1962,1965
  • Pharmacy, Rackham
  • Doylestown

I have watched U-M football since the Bo era began (and some before that) so I was spoiled by the quality of football here. The change to the new coach has been more of a shock and disappointment that most long time fans anticipated (No honeymoon, Nov., 2008). Most of us loyal fans have faith that Coach Rodriguez will do well in time; however we did not think it would take as long as it now looks like it will take. He appears to have a coaching skill deficiency in my opinion. That would be transitioning an existing program to his program. It appears that the only way he knows is to make a 100% change from day one. This appears to have caused a tremendous drop in the performance level of the players, a lack of focus by the team and a large amount of confusion and inconsistency.

The biggest disappointment has been the defense. With 8 returning starters and a good amount of talent on the bench, the defense should have played more consistently and not yielded the large number of big plays and points against us. They also showed a lack of ability to consistently stop teams on third down. Final criticism of the defense is simple: 48 points given up to Purdue. Unacceptable regardless of the circumstances. They were not prepared or focused to perform well that game. I can't remember seeing that happen against an unranked opponent. What happens next year here?

The offense clearly lacks leadership (and seniors). No one appears to take charge, lead the offense on the field and demand the other players perform at 100% or better. We expected inconsistency but we expected to see gradual improvement over the course of the season. The improvement has not shown up in the games (and that is ultimately where it counts).

The season has clearly been a bigger fall than anticipated. Rodriguez has set many records on the wrong side of the "ledger" (forgive the accounting term), most losses in a season and first loss to a MAC team to name a few. This should put more pressure on him to bring the program back to where it should be. The heat is on him because no one should lose like this at U-M. The Big 10 is in a down year to make it even worse (6 wins should have been attainable). We will wait. We are skeptical because of the terrible performance this year but he deserves a few years. At least 6 wins next year then contention for the Big 10 title the year after that. If he falls short of those minimums then his job should be on the line. This university demands excellence in the classroom and on the football field as well.

I wish him good luck but if he doesn't show improvement quickly he will certainly find that things will turn into a nightmare. Good luck to our new coach. I hope he has a plan that will work as the pride of the athletic department is on his shoulders.

  • Doug Dagostino
  • Business
  • 1975
  • BBA 1975
  • Troy

The reason Rodriguez lost so many players (No honeymoon, Nov., 2008) was because of his desire to eliminate all players that excelled in the previous regime. He didn't encourage them to stay and got rid of the staff. He made his own problem and now he has to live with it. I just can't believe MI gave him a long term contract. As an Alumni, I am embarrassed and disappointed. HE IS NOT A WOLVERINE!!!!

  • Patricia Engle
  • BS in Engineering
  • 1978
  • Materials Engineering
  • Lapeer

It may have been a challenging year for Rich Rodriguez (No honeymoon, Nov., 2008) but he was not up to it. I understand that with this coaching change came a completely new offense, but what about the defense? Someone was responsible for a horrific coaching change and although nothing can be done regarding this season, something sure ought to be done regarding the grievous error. Two longstanding records, bowl appearances and winning seasons went down in a cloud of dust never to re-appear. Not to mention 8 loses, one of them to Toledo (I didn't know Toledo had a team). These things don't happen at The University of Michigan.

  • Pete Savoie
  • BA
  • 1982
  • LSA
  • Poway

Re: All about Oliver (Nov., 2008): Do you see any significance, either in choice or treatment of the subject, to the fact that Bush and Stone both entered Yale at the same time, Sept. 1964?

  • Ed Kimball
  • MA
  • 1970
  • Rackham
  • Ann Arbor

RichRod (No honeymoon, Nov., 2008) might have been a little more successful if he hadn't come in with his "Christ cleansing the temple" attitude. For such a great coach how could he not have recruited a quarterback to make his system go. And defensively, things have been just as bad. What a bust!

  • Rick Anderschat
  • 1971
  • Engr, Rackham
  • Cincinnati

Were there no black women on campus during the war years? (Michigan women at war, Nov., 2008) Did they not participate in activities - especially activities supporting black troops who may not have been able to take advantage of the events and opportunities offered to white troops?

As a black alumna, I am continually disheartened by the so-called historical perspectives of my beloved Alma Mater which fail to include even a mention of black students.

  • Patricia Katopol
  • BGS, MS
  • 1976, 1999
  • LSA, SI
  • Iowa City

sneaked, not snuck. (This is in reference to the Tom Harmon item.)

  • Darla Doxstater
  • Anaheim

Thank you for the opportunity to say thank you for a wonderful piece of news. How fantastic that the printing of older books U-M at forefront of new era in publishing (Oct., 2008) has become so quick and inexpensive!

I am a genealogist and many of the books I need for research fall in that category and are not loaned. Where does one find a listing of the books available and how will one order books? I would appreciate being "kept in the loop" on this project.

Thank you again for the great news and for the opportunity to know that this new technology exists.

  • Martha S. Geyer
  • Pelham, AL 35124

In 1982, I graduated from U-M, and never could have predicted that my eldest daughter would some day attend the school I loved and continue to love. Last year, my daughter Hannah elected to attend Michigan, and even though she chose from some wonderful schools with passionate alumni, she still can't believe that I didn't "insist" she follow in my footsteps. There is something indescribable about Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the experience that stays with us lucky alums forever. Just this past spring, my four Michigan roommates and I had a reunion and spent a whole weekend talking about how we still feel we were the luckiest people on earth—just because of our U-M connection.

Re-kindling this connection to Michigan, through my daughter, my own reunion, and especially through repeated visits as a Michigan Mom, has been a complete pleasure, and one of the best parts has been reading your absolutely fantastic publication. I have loved the stories about the Diag graduation, Tom Harmon, and the current issue's Olympian photos, Wall Street explanations, historic photo tour and the remarkable Red Berenson... I just want to congratulate you and thank you for the sentimental and informative stories which continue to be worth forwarding to all of my family members who share what has become a family love and would wish you, forever, "go blue."

Keep up the fantastic work!

  • Ruth Hillary Rosenfeld

I think the article Who's to blame? (Oct., 2008) by Gerald F. Davis ignores the fact that a lot of other countries with vastly different governments have the same problems.

  • Jim Marshall
  • BS AsE, MS ME
  • 1968, 1971
  • VPI, USC
  • Oceanside

Re: Who's to blame? (Oct., 2008)Please be informed that some of us did not "get drunk." There is a group of Americans, of which I am one, who never shopped Walmart, never bought something they could not pay for with their current paycheck (except perhaps a home), and never joined the madness of excess consumption that swept the country. We deserve some small amount of respect.

  • Kathy Boris
  • BA
  • 1973
  • LSA
  • Ann Arbor

Re: Who's to blame? (Oct., 2008): You failed to mention the Democratic Congress who is majorly to blame. What about Frank, Pelosi and the monies that ended up supporting Obama's campaign? What about Granholm not continuing property tax breaks for the auto industry (i.e. Volkswagon) who are now leaving Michigan? Would have been a great article, had you accurately blamed the actual parties involved.

  • Chris
  • 1993

The S&P is down from 10 years ago (Who's to blame? Oct., 2008), but a balanced portfolio is still up...perhaps with the exception of the last 2 weeks...but I do expect that will recover within the next 2 years. I certainly do not regret developing an investor mentality, nor investing in stocks nor investing in real estate... What is his point?

  • Susan Scott
  • Hermosa Beach

I loved the slides in Time machine (Oct., 2008), but the 1827 picture of the Tappan Oak looks to make the tree in 2008 about 180 years old, and the Tappan Oak does not look that old today. Can I assume it was mis-indentified in the 1937 picture?

  • Patrick W Cardiff
  • MA
  • 1990
  • LSA
  • Arlington

Re: Crash (Oct., 2008): It seems to me the US government is being run for the sole benefit of Goldman, Sacks. From Rubin who helped repeal the Glass Steagal Act and was rewarded well by CitiGroup to the graduates of Goldman who dominate the hedge fund industry, and now Henry Paulson who cleverly destroyed his main competitor Lehman, and further abetted the Disaster.

Goldman has controlled the finance committees of Congress. Will it never end?

  • William J Davis
  • A.B, MBA
  • 1939,1941
  • Lit, Bus

Gerald Davis offers a rather simplistic and disingenous explanation to the recent economic crisis (Who's to blame? Oct., 2008). Truth-be-told, the current financial meltdown was precipitated by the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage sector, not the transition of the U.S. economy from a manufacturing base to a more service oriented one.

While it is accurate that over recent years American manufacturing has declined, it was Bill Clinton who greatly accelerated this effort. In the spirit of globalization President Clinton signed NAFTA into law. This provision facilitated the wholesale outsourcing of the U.S. manufacturing economy.

In terms of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, there is plenty of blame to go around, though very little accountability to date. Sure "Wall Street" greed and the lack of strict regulatory oversight were contributory, but so were the nefarious actions of politicians such as Phil Gramm, Chris Dodd, and Barney Frank. The partial repeal of the the Glass-Steagall Act as a result of passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act contributed to the insolvency of the U.S. banking system. Unscrupulous financial and personal relationships between politicians who wrote legislation and leaders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were absolutely astounding and tragically ruinous to our economy.

Thus, if a "root cause analysis" to the economic crisis is warranted, an honest and open investigation and discussion is required.

  • Adam Rubinstein
  • BS
  • 1985
  • LSA
  • Rockville

Re: Time machine (Oct., 2008): Very interesting topic. But wouldn't the statement "It's the original location of the University of Michigan" be more accurate with the addition of the words "in Ann Arbor" since U-M was founded and originally located in the City of Detroit? FYI, my wife and I currently live in the home built by Alexis Angell, son of U-M president James B. Alexis was an attorney, US Judge, had his own law firm and taught at Michigan.

  • Alan Haas
  • BBA
  • 1967
  • Business (Dearborn)
  • Detroit

I was very happy to read your article Who's to blame? (Oct., 2008) but concerned about the lack of an explanation of the roots of the regulations which you claim are not up to date. I would also have liked you to have explained the connection with the regulatory system and the cause of the housing credit crunch. I have assumed that those who entered into sub-prime loans with future changes based on certain guidelines, e.g. LIBOR, did not know what they were getting into and the lenders did not foresee the effect that might occur. What regulatory factors influenced the problems in addition to greed and ignorance?

  • Robert Schleh
  • BBA, JD
  • 1956 (UM), 1959 (Stanford)
  • Business, Law
  • Miramar Beach

Re: Who's to blame? (Oct., 2008) by Gerald F. Davis, it reminded me of a economist talking on the radio about one year ago. He was discussing the cause of the Great Depression, and he was asked if it could ever happen again. He said not in the way it happened 79 years ago because we now understand what caused it.

However, today, he said, prophetically, we should keep our eyes on complex derivatives since almost no one understands them completely.

The derivatization of home mortgages which bundled risky sub-prime mortgages with good ones, then insured them appears to be the proximate cause of the recent economic crash of financial institutions.

But the risky sub-prime mortgages would never have existed without the liberal philosophy of home ownership for every one regardless of credit rating, income, job or assets. Yes, it is true that many Republicans espoused home ownership as part of the American Dream, but not for high credit risk mortgage applicants. The sub-prime loans began with pressure on banks to lend to low income minorities who were high credit risks.

A landmark court case exemplifies this pressure put on banks: ACORN v Citigroup 1995, in which a group of attorneys for ACORN, including Barack Obama, sued Citigroup for red-lining. The case was settled out of court when Citigroup agreed to lower their qualification requirements for mortgage applicants. The sub-prime loan was on its way. Now that Obama is happily surveying the results of his handiwork, he is now offering his services to the country to correct it.

  • John J. Bladon
  • Ph.D., M.S.

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