(This is an opinion piece by Maize n Brew’s staff writer Andrew McDonald)
Just over a month ago, Michigan fans couldn't have been more proud to say that John Beilein was the head coach of their favorite collegiate basketball program.
He was voted the “cleanest coach” in college basketball in a poll that over 100 of his peers participated in.
As of earlier this week, that poll all of the sudden has a new light being shed on it.
The world of college basketball was shaken like an earthquake on Tuesday morning. The FBI arrested and revealed four college basketball coaches, the global head of marketing for Adidas, and several other individuals to be involved in recruiting scandals.
According to sources, Tom Jurich was asked to fire Rick Pitino, refused, both were fired— Kent Taylor (@KentTaylorWAVE) September 27, 2017
Head coach Rick Pitino and Athletic Director Tom Jurich were both fired after being involved in some of the scandals over time. Bruce Pearl and Auburn are facing multiple issues and are uncertain of what will happen. Assistant coaches at USC, Arizona, Oklahoma State and once again Auburn were arrested on Tuesday.
While all of this information is very relevant, and these investigations are just the beginning of whats to come, I’m here to ask another question.
Why would you ever second guess Beilein or any of his staff?
Yes, Michigan was an Adidas school, so they will be questioned at some point. That doesn't just automatically mean that everything Beilein has done at this program is suddenly tainted.
Michigan hasn't been mentioned in any reports to this point, and quite frankly, I don’t know why they ever would.
For years, Michigan fans have given Beilein a hard time on how he hasn't always obtained the top players or that he doesn't attack his recruiting board hard enough. Its understandable.
However, a lot of that may come because Beilein has no intentions of crossing rules or regulations that the NCAA has set.
If you've ever been around a Beilein coached team or paid attention to how he runs his program, you would understand why he has the reputation he does. His players are known to have class and he’s the most “by the book” coach there is in all of the NCAA.
A perfect example is how Beilein still follows the guidelines for the National Association of Basketball Coaches' for recruiting and all of his other tactics. There are not many coaches left in the sport that do the same, much less at a Power Five school.
In 2009, Beilein was labeled the head of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Ethics Coalition. The program was instilled for coaches to become members and try to promote ethical conduct through leadership, education, mentoring and other traits.
If that isn't enough to speak for itself, there are plenty of examples that do:
Recall being at a U-M alum function once, Beilein was careful not to speak w/ some ex-player sons b/c they were of prospective recruit age— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 28, 2017
And best believe, Beilein has lost out on recruits in the past because he won't shake from stuff like those NABC guidelines. Doesn't care.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 28, 2017
After the sanctions that Michigan dealt with coming from the Fab Five, what Beilein has built at Michigan since those expired is something special.
It’s hard for me to believe that someone who is so well respected by the college basketball community as a whole would ever get involved in issues released this past week.
To Michigan fans or anyone else who follows the game, don’t second guess Beilein. There isn’t a coach at this level that sets as high of standards and follows through with them, and there may never be again.
Instead, you should be happy with what you have and try to understand why he recruits the way he does. Issues like this should never be mentioned with his name in the headline.
In my eyes, it never will.