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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

No surprise: Lloyd Carr steps down as U-M assistant AD

There wasn't a whole lot of shock when former University of Michigan head football coach Lloyd Carr announced Tuesday he was retiring from his emeritus position as an assistant athletic director at the school, effective in September.

I guess the only surprise in the situation was that he didn't outlast his successor as head coach, Rich Rodriguez.

And therein lies the problem.

Every time Carr's name came up in the last two and a half years, so did Rodriguez's. Every time Carr appeared at a U-M function, the questions were asked. How is RichRod doing? Do you like him? Is there a rift? What's happening to the program?

The two men became inextricably linked.

For Carr — who during his tenure as U-M's coach had a cautious relationship with the media (not 'strained,' by any means, nor 'rocky,' 'tenuous' or 'volatile' ... just 'cautious') — landing what essentially became a PR job, and a PR job doing spin-control for someone else, became an untenable situation. If not entirely open and candid with the media (like his fellow Northern Michigan University alumnus and coaching contemporary up the road in East Lansing, Tom Izzo, could be termed), Carr was always at the very least sincere in his dealings with the media. Lloyd wasn't going to overshare, but he also wasn't going to spin you. Always a man of integrity, you knew that Carr wasn't going to massage the truth in an answer he gave you. He'd be more likely just not to answer.

So when he landed the cushy assistant AD job after his retirement from coaching, a job that had no real, defined duties — other than shaking some hands, making a few appearances at golf outings and charity events — Carr was probably expecting to be able to fade into the sunset. At bare minimum, I'm sure he was expecting a break from the hounding.

Instead, it just got worse.

Never truly comfortable with the scrutiny and questioning while he was head coach, Carr seemed less comfortable when the questions he was bombarded with were about someone else's program.
And the thing that kept those questions coming was Carr's continued association with the school he'd given 30 years of service to.

It's no surprise that he got sick of the situation pretty quickly.

And it's no surprise that he took the high road, and simply decided to remove himself from the situation.

Hopefully this retirement will bring Carr more of the peace and quiet he was hoping for the first time around.

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