Say it isn’t so, Joe…Paterno Out at Penn State

I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then…

– Bob Seger “Against the Wind”

A week ago, Penn State football was riding high. In prime position to take part in the inaugural Big Ten Championship game, head coach Joe Paterno was seemingly a shining example of old school values.

Success with honor was his team motto.

A week ago none of us could imagine the scandal that broke over the weekend in Happy Valley.

Of course, a few did know what had occurred at Penn State. Most importantly Joe Paterno knew that something unseemly had happened in his football facility between a former coach and a young boy.

And shockingly despite being told of the incident by one of his graduate assistants, he did nothing to clarify the situation.

Business as usual continued in Penn State football. The retired coach in question continued to have unfettered access to Nittany Lion football facilities, games, and through his charity an endless supply of young boys.

And Joe Paterno, the paragon of virtue, never questioned a thing.

We can debate  exactly what Joe Paterno could have done differently, but let’s agree that he should have done more than he did.

And that’s the problem. Paterno had always cast himself as a teacher first and foremost, his classroom was the football field, the lessons he taught were for life.

And what lesson did he teach with his 9 years of  silence since he  first heard about the abuse?

Of the scandal Paterno said in a statement, “This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”

Coach, we all wish you’d done more.

Especially the children who suffered in silence while this abuse was allowed to fester under your watch.

You can ponder that as you enter retirement.

Nothing But ‘Net – Week #02 – 11/07/2011 – Not Much Of An Exhibition

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played their one and only exhibition game of the 2011-2012 season on Friday (11/04/2011) vs. Wayne State, and they won 47-39.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that they didn’t look very good.  It’s not unusual for a team to look a little raw or ragged or rusty during an exhibition game, but this was worse than usual.  Michigan never really got into any “flow” offensively, although they did play pretty well defensively.  There were a few good plays on offense, and some good individual performances, but nothing very exciting.

The game was dreary, and the stats are dreary.  Neither team shot well: UM shot 37.3% (19-for-51) overall, and WSU shot 32.7% (17-for-52).  3-point shooting was even worse: UM shot 20.8% (5-for-24), and WSU shot 12.5% (2-for-16).  Even free-throw shooting was bad, at least for Michigan: they shot 4-for-12 (33.3%).  It was ugly.

As bad as the shooting stats were, the non-shooting stats were worse.  UM got out-rebounded (40-31) by a much smaller team, and they had more turnovers (14) than assists (11).

Individually, only two UM players hit double figures: Tim Hardaway Jr. had 20 points, and Zack Novak had 14.  Hardaway had to take 17 shots (7-for-17) to get his 20 points.  Only two other UM players even scored: Jon Horford had 6 points, and Trey Burke had 7.  That adds up to 47 points.

Coach Beilein started a slightly unusual lineup: Hardaway, Novak, and Evan Smotrycz were expected, but Horford started ahead of Jordan Morgan, and Stu Douglass started ahead of Burke.  Since I already mentioned the four UM players who scored, that means that two of the starters (Smotrycz and Douglass) went scoreless (0-for-5 and 0-for-4, respectively), and so did Morgan (0-for-1).  Two other players (Matt Vogrich and Carlton Brundidge) also played, and also went scoreless (0-for-2 and 0-for-0, respectively).  Blake McLimans and Colton Christian never even got in the game.

Looking at the stats, it’s obvious that no one had a great game, but some of the players had good games.  Novak hustled all over the floor, as usual, and Hardaway played hard (no pun intended), just not always smart.  Burke looked pretty smooth out there, and Horford looked improved over last season.

So, the one-game exhibition season is over.  On to the real games.  First up is Ferris State at 7:00 p.m. this Friday (11/11/2011) in Crisler Arena.  Come on down to the new, improved Crisler Arena and see if the real Wolverines show up.

Go Blue!



By Andy Andersen

The gales of November seem to be building for the Michigan Wolverines Football team (now 7-2, 3-2 Big Ten). On Saturday Iowa’s Hawkeyes seized control of the football game early and never let go of it.

An inconsistent defense let the powerful and talented Hawkeye running back Marcus Coker advance the ball effectively from time to time over most of the game, but especially in the first half. Coker lugged 29 times for 140-yards and 2 TTs.  The defense did rise up at time and keep Michigan in the game.


Nothing But ‘Net – Week #01 – 10/31/2011 – Season Preview

Hey, welcome back for another season of Nothing But ‘Net.  Let’s start things right off with a few questions/answers:


Q: What is this “Nothing But ‘Net” thing, and how is it different from the other 5000 University of Michigan men’s basketball sites?


A: Good question!  “Nothing But ‘Net” (NBN) is the longest running (since 1999) UM basketball site on the Web, with a special angle you won’t find anywhere else: the view from the cheap seats, specifically sections 209/210.  The motto for is “By Fans … For Fans”, and NBN is a great example of that.  I’ve been a UM basketball fan since 1974, and I’ve been to almost every home game since then, win or lose, good or bad.  During the season, I write once a week (by noon Monday) about the games from the previous week, but I also look at season-long trends, all from the viewpoint of a fan.  Sure, there are plenty of other UM basketball sites out there, and I read several of them myself (,,, and, but the viewpoint at those sites is “journalist”, with media access.  I write about what I see during the game, as a spectator, a fan, and an usher.  Yeah, I’m working as an usher again, for sections 209 and 210.  If you go to a game, drop by and say “hi”.

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