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War of words between Michigan, Michigan State extends to radio booth

by Jason Lloyd on July 29, 2011

It didn't take long for critics to start firing back at Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio.

After Dantonio called his close friend and mentor Jim Tressel a “tragic hero,” heads began scratching across the country.

Jim Brandstatter, the color commentator for Michigan's radio broadcasts, was the most vocal.

“Sorry…but tragic hero remark about Tressel is wrong on a lot of levels,” Brandstatter wrote on his Twitter account. He later added “When is lying to your boss, to the NCAA heroic. Is it heroic to teach young men that wrong isn't wrong unless you get caught? Gimme a break”

Dantonio was expecting the questions about Tressel on Thursday. He knew his response would create backlash, but he doesn't seem bothered by it. Particularly from a Michigan guy. Dantonio has seemed to relish taking swipes at U-M in the past.

“I don't even know who that guy is,” Dantonio said of Brandstatter. “As far as I'm concerned, he's never coached one day of college football or had a relationship with a college player — a real, meaningful relationship. But I knew I was going to be criticized. That's OK.”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth July 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm

And what happened with Michigan’s last head coach… ANYONE at Michigan making a comment about NCAA violations is an immediate loss of any creditability, even if you’re the color commentator.

Monquey August 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Ohio State cheats, got caught, pretty-boy liar coach lies, gets caught….end of story.
OSU fans can’t be adult and admit the coach and the program is suspect. as long as they continue to beat the Akron Us of the world.

larry d. August 16, 2011 at 6:50 pm

They’ve been doing a pretty good job of beating the Michigans and Michigan States of the world as well, MQ.

“Tragic hero” is a perfect description of Tressel. Tragic heroes have fatal flaws, often having to do with hubris, which in a way is exactly what brought Tressel down. I believe he lied to protect his student athletes from being falsely implicated in a federal drug probe and the attendant press that would have haunted the kids for the rest of their lives, as he’s implied in several statements. But one could argue that was hubris no matter how well intentioned.

Graduates of our fine institutions of higher learning in Ohio will understand Dantonio’s literary allusion, of course, but it’s not really fair to expect Michigan folks to.

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