SBD/February 3, 2011/Media

Interview Between Current, Former Michigan Coaches Highlights Signing Day Coverage

Writers find Rodriguez' interview with Hoke to be "awkward"
CBS College Sports' coverage yesterday of National Signing Day for high school football players featured "one of the more awkward moments of the day" when Rich Rodriguez, who was serving as an analyst for the net after being fired as Univ. of Michigan coach last month, "interviewed his replacement," Brady Hoke, according to the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The interview "started off on a strange note when Hoke, who was on the phone, exchanged pleasantries and the camera showed Rodriguez with a blank stare on his face." The conversation was "cordial but it was hard not to feel for Rodriguez" (CHICAGOBREAKINGSPORTS.com, 2/2). In Detroit, Kevin Bull writes the interview was "semi-awkward." Hoke acknowledged there was a "good foundation laid" under Rodriguez, and Rodriguez congratulated him on "a great class." Meanwhile, Rodriguez "seemed relaxed and insightful" during CBS College Sports' coverage (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 2/3). ESPN's Michael Wilbon noted the exchange between Rodriguez and Hoke was "awkward to watch," though Rodriguez "went on to handle the interview well." Wilbon: "They didn't just decide, 'Okay, let's get Brady Hoke live,' and we know enough about television to know that had been discussed, it had been arranged. They probably knew about this yesterday." ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said Rodriguez "handled it like a pro" ("PTI," ESPN, 2/2). YAHOO SPORTS' Matt Hinton wrote, "When you put a guy who was just canned voice-to-voice with the guy who was hired essentially to be the exact opposite of the first guy, everything comes across as a little ... awkward" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/2). 

BEST WAYS TO FOLLOW: In Charlotte, Scott Fowler notes he "sat in ESPNU's studios in Charlotte" during the net's 10 hours of coverage yesterday and "monitored the network's coverage as National Signing Day unfolded." The coverage was "interesting," but Fowler writes, "I also felt like Bill Murray in 'Groundhog Day' -- living the same moments over and over again on Feb. 2." Fowler did note new ESPN analyst Urban Meyer was his "favorite person to listen to on the telecast because of his bluntness" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/3). Meanwhile, CBSSPORTS.com's Dennis Dodd wrote Twitter "reached a new level of coolness" during Signing Day. Dodd: "If you were following the right people, you would watch the whole thing unfold before you." Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly "was a key contributor," as he was "subtly selling his program with urgency" (CBSSPORTS.com, 2/2).
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