Carr On The Team, And Misc.

More from Head Coach Lloyd Carr's Press Conference today: on team chemistry, new facilities, the twelve game regular season, scheduling the Minnesota game.

On team chemistry:
"I like the work ethic, I like the way they've gone through training camp. I think the chemistry is very good, I like the leadership and we have a lot of guys that are coming into this game with a lot of experience. I like this team. We just have to see how we do coming out of the box."

On the new Facilities -- turf and locker room:
"I think for the players, the thing is, we need to do some things here facility-wise. Certainly for the players, and I'm not just talking about our players, all the guys who get an opportunity to play in the stadium this fall, they're going to be able to play on a consistent basis where the footing will be good and where their athletic ability will be able to surface. It won't impact them in a negative way. I think I'm extremely pleased and I'm not one of those people that feel that we have to have the best facilities. We already have the best university to recruit to, and we have a great football tradition, but we do need to improve our facilities. The one thing that I feel extremely good about is that for the first time in at least 50 years, and probably much longer, with our home team, every man will be able to dress in the same locker room. When you have to make decisions that certain guys don't get to dress with their teammates, that's not a decision as a coach that you like to make, because it's not conducive to building a team. I think it's a wonderful thing and that's due to the generosity of some people who donated a lot of money to make that happen."

On 12-game seasons and playing during the week:
"What are the priorities? If the priority is the student-athlete, if the priority is graduation rates, it's funny to me that here are discussions on serious academic reform with no discussion about discontinuing the 12th game, because they're related and some people don't get that message. There's a lot of talk about academics, but I think too often anytime you want to do something that interferes with academics, I hear too many people say, 'Well, it's really not a problem. It's not a problem.' To equate for example basketball, playing during the week, which I don't want to get into, but just because they're doing it doesn't mean it's right for football. In football there are 64 guys on a travel team. That's taking 64 guys out of classes on Friday. There will be people who stand up and say, 'Well, it's only one day.' That's one day, and I think it's pretty important. So the easy thing is to say it's not important. Well, it's the same issue with the 12th game."

On their position about potentially playing Minnesota on a Friday:
"Bill Martin and I met with (Big Ten commissioner) Jim Delany last week. There was a Rose Bowl committee meeting here in Ann Arbor. We made it clear what our decision was. It's an issue of academics, it's an issue of schedule parity, and it's an issue that we feel very strongly about. It's not like we're publicly asking for a review of Big Ten officials and where they live, where they spend their vacations, we're simply doing something we feel strongly about in terms of taking guys out of class. I think there's been some misconstruing. What we told him was this: we'll play on Saturday. We'll play at 6 o'clock in the morning, we'll play at noon, we'll play at 6 o'clock at night, and we'll play at midnight. We'll play anywhere on that day. We'll play at Soldier Field, we'll play at Green Bay, we'll play wherever they want to play. We're simply just trying to say these games are done years in advance. We're simply saying we need to make a decision. Now with that, I think Jim Delany has a very difficult decision. I don't think it's easy. I consider Glen Mason a good friend. As a matter of fact I talked to him after, asked him why he would resist coming to Ford Field to play, but I understand their side. If I were on the other side, I probably would see things differently. But I'm not on the other side. So I think it is an issue that is not an easy call for the commissioner, but I think it's an important call."

On when the next meeting about the Minnesota game will take place:
"There is a conference call set up this week amongst the presidents and athletic directors and coaches of those schools involved. I think, basically, the issue that's been misconstrued. You have to make a decision about what's going to happen if the Twins are playing and the Metrodome is not available for football on that Saturday. If something happens in the meantime we're not asking that if the Twins aren't in the playoffs that we play someplace else. We're saying that we'll be there on Saturday, Oct. 11, if the Twins aren't in the playoffs. We just don't want to be there on Friday night."

For more comments from Coach Carr, go to the U-M website:

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