Interesting articles.. thoughts?

GopherFanatic19

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Sounds like they couldn’t hack it. Elite programs have elite schedules. You can decide you don’t want to do it and quit. To much blame on others for their own woes. Fleck has said he will always try and out recruit you and make you work for your spot. Big Dan and Dunlop he certainly out recruited him.
 

BTChamp

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Sounds like a badger transplant.....................
 

alaska

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Looks like he has had just north of no views.
 

noamfromm

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Is your name Jason Stahl?
Definitely is a possibility from his posting history.

My first thought is Bleed needs to expand his search parameters to get us these blog posts ;)!

The Grant Norton story is tough to read. If someone has a health issue they should get help. Though the piece seems to me to try and whitewash Norton's anxiety by putting it all on Fleck and Co. Additionaly, if true, it's not good if the therapist is sharing her information with the coaching staff. I say all this with the caveat that we don't know anything from the staff's perspective, just Norton. I'll end by saying that this reads like the AJ Barker saga where one player alleged abused but no one else came forward to corroborate.
 

gophernut1

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Having standards is not for everyone. Having young men that are held to high standard in academics, service and football is not for everyone. Some people think it is healthier to have lower grades, losing football and partying instead of service. Some people think this is the standard young men should be held to. I am proud we have a football coach that encourages young men to create healthy habits (which can be stressful) and be accountable to each other. I have no doubts there are some who are overwhelmed by this. I would much rather read about the occasionally athlete burned out by this type of stress than about athletes dropping out because of bad grades, arrest records and burned out by losing.
 

#2Gopher

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I think something is not right here. I do believe in Fleck and if he was this way, he'd be long gone.
 

kisarazu

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I wholeheartedly agree that mental health is and should be a priority.


However, and I'm coming from a hockey perspective (I didn't play at the U of M), but welcome to competitive sports, Jason. No matter the age group, the bigger the program/greater the tradition, the higher the expectation. That pressure and drama will continue to exist for as long as winning matters. As an athlete, if I don't meet those expectations, I'm on the bench/cut clock. That time is relative to the program plus whatever ceiling the organization thinks I have.
 

noamfromm

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Having standards is not for everyone. Having young men that are held to high standard in academics, service and football is not for everyone. Some people think it is healthier to have lower grades, losing football and partying instead of service. Some people think this is the standard young men should be held to. I am proud we have a football coach that encourages young men to create healthy habits (which can be stressful) and be accountable to each other. I have no doubts there are some who are overwhelmed by this. I would much rather read about the occasionally athlete burned out by this type of stress than about athletes dropping out because of bad grades, arrest records and burned out by losing.
I agree with this take, yet the kid tearing up his esophagus should have gotten him reprieve from practice. Who knows if this story is accurately reported, but I do think that the medical issue goes beyond simple burnout
 
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noamfromm

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most definitely not🤣 just thought they were a few interesting articles that were forwarded to me by another former student staff member
As a former student staff member what are your takes on the articles. Did you see or hear anything that would substantiated Stable's assertions of practice violations or other claims?
 

HoustonTXGopher

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This is much to do about nothing when it comes to the program, on personal level I am sure there are some troubled individuals. I would expect that in every program there are roughly 10% of the athletes that experience something different than what they think they were sold from coaches. What I love about Fleck's program is that every player that contributes and graduates would seem to have successful careers and fulfilling lives ahead of them.
 

Gophers1992

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I'm not under any impression that PJ is a saint, and there are certainly some dangers that come with the lives of student athletes, but I doubt that PJ is significantly worse than anyone else out there. Author definitely comes off as someone who might be jealous or have an axe to grind. Then again who really knows (not me).
 

Pompous Elitist

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A true inspiration for my moniker.

Spurned muckraker that (upon review of publications) clearly doesn’t support college athletics and in particular football hits internal resistance, gets himself demoted, decides to make name for himself tearing down the program, administration, and college football. This has become sort of a cottage industry in recent years.

Do we take everything he says as gospel truth, or look for the other side of the story for a more complete understanding? These type of one-sided stories amplify/assume all actions and motivations were sinister in nature (on the part of the program). I’m shocked the usual cohort of finger pointers aren’t on this thread throwing bombs Fleck’s way.
 

Word

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A true inspiration for my moniker.

Spurned muckraker that (upon review of publications) clearly doesn’t support college athletics and in particular football hits internal resistance, gets himself demoted, decides to make name for himself tearing down the program, administration, and college football. This has become sort of a cottage industry in recent years.

Do we take everything he says as gospel truth, or look for the other side of the story for a more complete understanding? These type of one-sided stories amplify/assume all actions and motivations were sinister in nature (on the part of the program). I’m shocked the usual cohort of finger pointers aren’t on this thread throwing bombs Fleck’s way.
There are certain parts of the story that I'd definitely like to hear more about (how the esophagus issue and therapy were addressed). Hard to jump to any conclusions from a one sided story like this though.

There was definitely a lot of naivete on the author's part about competitive sports, especially at the college level. There's a lot of that type of stuff even going on in high school sports (or club level).
 

balds

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I'm not under any impression that PJ is a saint, and there are certainly some dangers that come with the lives of student athletes, but I doubt that PJ is significantly worse than anyone else out there. Author definitely comes off as someone who might be jealous or have an axe to grind. Then again who really knows (not me).

Was my initial impression as well. Started "researching" college football players in 2014.
Really took off when this new coach comes in and grabs the spotlight (and money).
They extended his contract without asking ME!!!!!!!

I don't mean to minimize the very real issues and health problems college football players face, just offering my impression of the articles.
 

Taji34

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I read both through and it's a tough image to reconcile. A lot of what he is saying seems to be 100% in conflict with the reports about Coach Fleck and the program he runs from lots or former athletes, both here and from WMU, and former coaching staff.

On the other hand, he has a named athlete who is saying these things as well, which tells me that they can't be straight up lying about everything because the former athlete probably wouldn't want to do that.

This is more of a wait and see type thing I think. I'm curious why he didn't go to the media now since he is naming done athletes which was what speed him initially.
 

SixBySix

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I don't know enough about the relationships between players, coaches, and trainers at the U, but the Norton story seems like a colossal failure on the part of the medical staff. If PJ and other coaches are discouraging or preventing players from getting treatment, or the trainers/doctors aren't standing up to keep players safe, those are both huge, institutional problems.

That said, it's hard to square these claims and the kind of environment that would enable them to occur with everything else we have seen from other players, reporters, and coaches during Fleck's tenure.
 

Some guy

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There has never been a person who has come in to any situation in any field and changed business as usual who hasn’t rubbed people the wrong way.

im sure there have been instances of fleck not being perfect and he would probably be the first to tell you that.

i personally know people who hate Jerry kill because of the way he treated players when he took over the program.

im sure there are Mason recruits who hated Brewster.
I’m sure there are wacker recruits who hated Mason
 

Pompous Elitist

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“Especially black men”? Fill in the narrative nuance for me.


Their schedules were packed; they always seemed stressed out; and many, especially black men, were putting their safety on the line to make gobs of money for the institution. In short, as a researcher, I wanted to study their world with the hope that the worst aspects of it could be reformed. I felt like I could bring something new to the conversation given how many student-athletes I had come to know personally as an instructor. I told many of these students about the project and they seemed excited at the idea of participating.
 

swelna

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It's on reddit now, so I guess we'll see how this all shakes out and if it picks up steam:
 

MplsGopher

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Haven't read the articles, and don't plan to unless whatever this is gains more traction.

Based on the comments in the reddit thread, it seems like something that probably happens at every P5 program.
 

Pompous Elitist

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It's on reddit now, so I guess we'll see how this all shakes out and if it picks up steam:
The comments read like a Gopherhole thread, except this time they’ve come for your coach. This could get very interesting.
 

Word

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The comments read like a Gopherhole thread, except this time they’ve come for your coach. This could get very interesting.
From what I've read so far, it all seems like standard college sports stuff. The only thing that made me raise my eyebrows was the possible mishandling of a player who had physical and mental health issues. The question is how much did the coaches really know about that situation and is it being represented fairly. The part about a player being run out of the program? Welcome to the Big Ten. We all know that goes on every single year to make the scholarship numbers work. How delicately each of those situations is handled could be up for question I guess.

I know 2 former players. One was a walk on for Brewster and basically never got to play. The other played under Brewster and Kill and was a starter for 2 years. Both of them have nothing bad to say about either coach. From all that we've heard about PJ, it seems hard to believe he'd be more hard core than either Brewster or Kill when it comes to pushing players and disregarding their health.
 
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