Fill up a big ole' plate of WIN for ESPN's Adam Rittenberg after breaking this story:
Former Michigan offensive lineman Kurt Wermers was academically ineligible when he announced his transfer to Ball State last week, sources told ESPN.com.
Though never official, Wermers' departure from Michigan was floating around the 'net since May. When MGoBlog first posted that information it was greeted with a yawn and the subsequent "dammit, another lineman?" response. But with the subsequent bridge burning on his way out the door, Wermers earned himself a round of rebukes from Michigan blogosphere and apparently a steaming pile of karma.
What does it all mean? Aside from Brian's concerns about Michigan's APR, I don't see how this news will effect Michigan in the long run. Regardless of what happened, the "it's not a family" quote will be dragged up ad nauseum. No matter the facts, it's ammunition for the Rodriguez detractors. What's a Michigan fan to do?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It doesn't matter.
People will say what they want. It didn't matter if it was Bo, Lloyd, Gary, or Rich, someone will always have something negative to say based on something they "know" or something they "heard." They'll take Wermers' and Boren's quotes as evidence to support whatever half-brained theory they've concocted to slander Rodriguez or the team.
So when you hear nonsense like that, take it for what it is. Nonsense. Remember that there are legions of kids who will stand up in support of their former coach. Remember that there are young men on Michigan's current team who think the world of Rodriguez and his staff. And above all, remember that when you choose a different path, do so quietly or with grace and dignity.
I'll let Rittenberg sum this up:
Rodriguez and his staff have taken heat for player departures in the last year, and Boren's comments about eroding family values got a lot of traction in the national media. Whether or not it was his intent, Wermers added fuel to the fire with very similar comments. But in the end, he's the one who ends up getting burned.