Interesting articles.. thoughts?

swelna

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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.
The part that puzzles me is throwing up blood. IDK about you but most medical professionals will tell you to get it checked out at the hospital if you are throwing up blood. Either there was some really, really poor management by the medical staff and whoever knew or they didn't know it had progressed that far for whatever reason. Without the esophagus injury/throwing up blood, while its unpleasant, I think the rest of the story falls within the current realm of college athletics (and football especially) and there are probably stories from all sorts of programs all over the country.

If it gains steam I'd be interested to hear the staff's side of the story.
 

noamfromm

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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.
This is what I'd like to know. I wish Norton the best but I wonder whether his version is accurate. I would like to believe that the Director of Compliance and Coyle seriously investigated the claims against Fleck and there wasn't anything there.
 

Pompous Elitist

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I’m the last person that will come down on PJF for this incident, particularly without knowing the context. Simply saying perception is reality, and fans of opposing teams/general public seem to jump to conclusions all too often when hit pieces like this come out.

Stahl is trolling for more disenchanted, disgruntled or upset parties that had a bad experience for one of dozens of reasons, and claims to have spoken with at least a handful already although they haven’t gone on record and after reviewing his papers I tend to think Stahl exaggerates his biased interpretations or flat out misunderstands the facts. Hard to know know if this will pick up steam or if more will ever come out.
 

short ornery norwegian

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On one hand, if we're being realistic, players get "run off" at every D1 program in the country. Recruits don't live up to expectations, or don't develop the way coaches expected them to, and they fall down on the depth chart. at some point, the coaches "suggest" the player should consider other options.
it's a sport, but it's also a big-bucks business, and coaches - with compensation based on winning and achieving incentives - want the best possible roster they can have. if some players fall through the cracks, it's the cost of doing business.

On the other hand - if the medical details in the story are accurate, that is very concerning. regardless of a player's status or place on the depth chart, if a guy is vomiting repeatedly, losing weight and has other issues, someone should have known and done something about it.
 

alaska

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This is exactly how fake news starts. No real data, just hearsay. I could write any article I wanted as well and tear someone apart and throw it up on some blog. Its not hard to do, then it gets going in a message board like this and everyone starts speculating on something that has no weight.

If you have not already watch the Netflix documentary called "the Social Dilemma."
 

btowngopher

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Fleck told him to leave the program and not talk bad about it? That doesn’t make any sense. Fleck would have zero leverage to keep him from saying anything bad. Also when he mentions other players that were “similarly broken” like Manns and Reigelsperger, these guys suffered severe football injuries, how is that anyone’s fault?
 

noamfromm

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This is exactly how fake news starts. No real data, just hearsay. I could write any article I wanted as well and tear someone apart and throw it up on some blog. Its not hard to do, then it gets going in a message board like this and everyone starts speculating on something that has no weight.

If you have not already watch the Netflix documentary called "the Social Dilemma."
I think the key difference here between fake news and this story is an actual named source. Normally we see stories with all anonymous sources ala Christopher Steele, but in this case Norton has put his name and story out there to be criticized, analyzed and corroborated.
 

BoatRacer

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It seems like an very classy guy with bashing his previous employer including people from the Department he used to work. Bashing previous employer, coworker or management is for petulant teenager. Posting work emails or communication between you and your previous employer is very crass. I am surprised that the U do not have clear policy on that. If you try to do that with company like Apple or Google, he will be paying for layer fee now.

I would also want to ask the question that was he also responsible for anxiety of students from conservative background ? Did he also created safespace for them in the class? How about relying the student evaluation solely on the TAs? Should these students with anxiety get free pass from his class?

He also has vested interest in sensationalizing the story as he need to retain the readership from his Substack subscribers. It is true he has first person story from former player. Did he reached out to PJ Fleck for comments before publishing the article? If PJ indeed know that former player was not well and not in shape to play, he need to examine his coaching stuff or what he is doing with player health. If players can't handle the pressure of big time D1 world, good luck out there. It is not a kind place. Occasionally I am ashamed to see how soft our generation or younger generation has become.

In different article, the writer is also bashing the Athletic Department for cost cutting measures. On the one hand he said these football players are exploited. He has no problem to ask these football players to carry the load of non-revenue sports. What does he really want? My favorite line was asking to cut budget from football programs. The writer has no clues about how to run a successful organizations or business. When your organization is in trouble, the best way to get out of is to takeaway resources from the most successful program. What a stupid idea! I have seen many business get destroyed by this type of myopic actions. Less football income = more cost cutting! it boils my blood to see these type of suggestions with no understanding of cashflow, ebitda, capx.. anything. Fucking stupid!
I will stop my rant.
 

Jordekorn

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Fleck told him to leave the program and not talk bad about it? That doesn’t make any sense. Fleck would have zero leverage to keep him from saying anything bad. Also when he mentions other players that were “similarly broken” like Manns and Reigelsperger, these guys suffered severe football injuries, how is that anyone’s fault?
It's always someone else's fault in today's society.
 

MplsGopher

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I think the key difference here between fake news and this story is an actual named source. Normally we see stories with all anonymous sources ala Christopher Steele, but in this case Norton has put his name and story out there to be criticized, analyzed and corroborated.
Agreed. Norton putting his name behind it, and sharing his "seemingly scary/awful" anecdote is what would be giving this story legs, if it ever grows them.
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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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.
Nice post - thanks.

Why I don't believe the Fleck is the second coming, lol, I'd be shocked if he was as tyrannical as described. There are no "Mother Teresa's coaching college football IMO. There is also the bias of Norton and Stahl that can influence their view points as well.

The school wasn't a good fit, just like some jobs don't end up being either; its part of life and we always have the opportunity to extricate ourselves from any situation which makes us uncomfortable.

What galls me about all colleges is this part (italicized) from the article (I don't know how it functions when athletes are at the school and if what he says is accurate) but I do believe that they are on their once leave of graduate -

As with all Division I college athletes during and after their playing time, they and their families will have to obtain their own medical insurance coverage and foot the costs associated with this coverage.

I remember a few years back when there was a Go-Fund me campaign for Josh Campion as after he graduated his concussions issues left him debilitated and unable to pay medical bills.

Colleges make an insane amount of money and these young men put their bodies on the lines for that, in addition to fans entertainment.

There needs to be some program in my opinion to provide some type of medical coverage for a specified period of time once they are done playing.
 

BoatRacer

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Nice post - thanks.

Why I don't believe the Fleck is the second coming, lol, I'd be shocked if he was as tyrannical as described. There are no "Mother Teresa's coaching college football IMO. There is also the bias of Norton and Stahl that can influence their view points as well.
I assume the same way. Stahl himself have an axe to grind as the department allegedly didn't treated him with respect. So why not find more disgruntle people to smear the whole university. Another carnival barker trying to made profit from imperfect world of student athlete system. I totally agree with you that PJ is not Saint PJ. But he is far far from the tyrant Sthal trying to depict. If we assume that tyrant is running the programs, why would families like Winfield, Caughlin stay silent. These are the people with microphone and connections. If Norton family think, their son was treated unfairly they should be able seek justice. Why aren't they doing it? It is hard to believe Stahl recount of the story after reading his own story about how the college and colleague treated his so bad. Poor thing. So many holes in the story.
 

CurveballJesus

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This will probably be a Bat signal for Rochelle. She’s probably already hiding in the bushes outside Norton’s house.
 

upnorthkid

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There's clearly no bias in anything he writes. Anyone who says otherwise clearly can't read. /s
 

MplsGopher

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Nice post - thanks.

Why I don't believe the Fleck is the second coming, lol, I'd be shocked if he was as tyrannical as described. There are no "Mother Teresa's coaching college football IMO. There is also the bias of Norton and Stahl that can influence their view points as well.

The school wasn't a good fit, just like some jobs don't end up being either; its part of life and we always have the opportunity to extricate ourselves from any situation which makes us uncomfortable.

What galls me about all colleges is this part (italicized) from the article (I don't know how it functions when athletes are at the school and if what he says is accurate) but I do believe that they are on their once leave of graduate -

As with all Division I college athletes during and after their playing time, they and their families will have to obtain their own medical insurance coverage and foot the costs associated with this coverage.

I remember a few years back when there was a Go-Fund me campaign for Josh Campion as after he graduated his concussions issues left him debilitated and unable to pay medical bills.

Colleges make an insane amount of money and these young men put their bodies on the lines for that, in addition to fans entertainment.

There needs to be some program in my opinion to provide some type of medical coverage for a specified period of time once they are done playing.
I like that idea, a lot. It seems almost common sense.

Yet as always the case with the insurance industry, a fair amount of time/effort would be required to put in during an application for coverage/benefits in order to "prove" that the medical issue was sustained during participation on the team.
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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I like that idea, a lot. It seems almost common sense.

Yet as always the case with the insurance industry, a fair amount of time/effort would be required to put in during an application for coverage/benefits in order to "prove" that the medical issue was sustained during participation on the team.

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GFBfan

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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
This is different in that Norton was recruited by Fleck.
 

swelna

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Part of me wonders if this video was put out because of the Grant Norton stuff...But again, its accounts like this that are hard to sync up with the story in the article. Either these players all have stockholm syndrome, or what happened to Grant is a lot more nuanced than the article presents. I guess there would also be something to be said about how 1 string players may view the program in comparison to others, but still it's hard to reconcile in my mind.
 

noamfromm

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Stahl released a new article yesterday.

He claims that "The story has been viewed over 28,000 times and all of this has been done essentially through email promotion from my gmail account." Which seems gratuitous seeing how it was posted to reddit college football and probably received it's most traction from there.

In addition he says that "by early next week I’ll have video on both where I’ll do a reading of Grant’s testimony so you can share video and audio of his story for those who would rather engage with the story that way.", and that he is going to try and get traditional media to pick up this story.

Personally I would like to see Grant's testimony as it was mainly paraphrased in Stahl's original article. Likewise I would like this story to see the light of day so that the U can be vindicated or someone be held responsible if people knew Norton was vomiting blood and/or the therapist revealed confidential information.
 

GopherDog1

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Maybe this gentleman should try to get a job as a professor in the MIAC. D3 was built for a lower level of commitment to allow for less stress on student athletes. A P5 school has several million dollars to generate and that is hard on everybody.
 

Taji34

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Part of me wonders if this video was put out because of the Grant Norton stuff...But again, its accounts like this that are hard to sync up with the story in the article. Either these players all have stockholm syndrome, or what happened to Grant is a lot more nuanced than the article presents. I guess there would also be something to be said about how 1 string players may view the program in comparison to others, but still it's hard to reconcile in my mind.
I felt the same way. I also don't know how to feel about the fact that they haven't addressed it directly. On one hand, if the allegations are completely false, or close to completely false maybe they feel that it's best to let PJ's culture speak for itself. On the other hand, maybe it's true or partially true and the U is just hoping the story doesn't gain any traction and goes away.

There's no way the AD, Coaching staff, or players haven't seen the allegations.
 

noamfromm

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I felt the same way. I also don't know how to feel about the fact that they haven't addressed it directly. On one hand, if the allegations are completely false, or close to completely false maybe they feel that it's best to let PJ's culture speak for itself. On the other hand, maybe it's true or partially true and the U is just hoping the story doesn't gain any traction and goes away.

There's no way the AD, Coaching staff, or players haven't seen the allegations.
If Stahl was a competent journalist he would have reached out to Fleck, Coyle, anyone at the U for comment on the story. I don't know why anyone would comment publicly on something that isn't in the media or that they haven't been asked about.
 

Cedar Rapids Gopher

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I felt the same way. I also don't know how to feel about the fact that they haven't addressed it directly. On one hand, if the allegations are completely false, or close to completely false maybe they feel that it's best to let PJ's culture speak for itself. On the other hand, maybe it's true or partially true and the U is just hoping the story doesn't gain any traction and goes away.

There's no way the AD, Coaching staff, or players haven't seen the allegations.
Honestly if 20000 people looked at his website that's what the population of Owatonna. I don't think they need to address a scandal that no one is covering. And no I don't really think it's a scandal I'm just saying.
 

Pompous Elitist

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So you don’t have to. The Narrative, twitter mob. Tear down the coach and the program.


Stahl:

Once again, hello to subscribers and all other readers of my newsletter. We are one week on from the launch of Grant Norton’s story on this newsletter and I’m extraordinarily happy with the response. The story has been viewed over 28,000 times and all of this has been done essentially through email promotion from my gmail account. Then, all of you picked it up and spread it across your networks for me. I’m so, so grateful for all you have done. However, I don’t want to lose momentum. I want to make sure that Grant’s story receives the widest audience possible over a multiple number of weeks. Only then can we push traditional media outlets to report the story and get justice for what Grant endured. Moreover, Grant’s story is exhibit A for why college football players need a College Football Players Association. If Grant had a Players Association representative that he could have turned to for help in his time of need, his situation would have undoubtedly played out differently than it did.

So, I want to use this post to launch new social media accounts associated with my efforts at this newsletter. All of them will be devoted to amplifying player stories and working towards the ultimate goal of a College Football Players Association. Here are the different accounts where you can follow the work we’re doing:

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

Instagram

For now, there are a couple posts at Twitter and Facebook highlighting both my story and Grant’s story. Please share these widely. YouTube and Instagram are still in development, but by early next week I’ll have video on both where I’ll do a reading of Grant’s testimony so you can share video and audio of his story for those who would rather engage with the story that way.

So, please follow us everywhere and be sure, as always, to subscribe to this newsletter if you haven’t already. On this post, I’ll be opening up comments for subscribers if you have any suggestions on how the social media accounts or newsletter could be more engaging.
 

Pompous Elitist

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Who has seen this movie arc before? Person A, in this case an apparently very opinionated historian, suffers grievous loss - or in this case perhaps a series of losses over a lifetime. Person A in grief, misplaced anger, blames Person B or Entity B, loses firm grasp with reality or alternate viewpoints —> launches revenge plan. Considering the scale of injustices, discrimination, oppression all around the world (that a historian is surely aware of) this seems like an odd choice to pick up the cross and make his life’s work.

Endgame: does he get part of the settlements? Interested in book money? Speaking engagements? Or is retribution, ie upsetting the patriarchal college athletics complex particularly at an institution he feels wronged him payment enough? Any psychologists here?
 
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