Carr Dispels Retirement Rumors (Long Interview)

<p>GBW was on hand today as Lloyd Carr addressed the rumors being spread by rival staffs about his health and retirement. He laid both to rest, stating that he would be patrolling the sidelines for the foreseeable future.</p>


Opening Statement:

" I will make this short. I'm not sick and I'm not retiring. The reason I called this conference is because I figured you'd be here already for basketball and I did not want to waste your time. I'm not very comfortable talking about myself but because of recruiting and some things related to this job and our program, I felt it necessary to make this statement again. Hopefully this will put all of those things to rest. I love what I'm doing and I've made that statement before. As long as my health is good and as long as my desire to do this job doesn't waver, I intend to coach."

On where the rumors originated:

"I think unfortunately with technology today, I don't know where all of them came from. But certainly a part of it is within the coaching fraternity in terms of the competition and people who are using it in recruiting. I know who some of those people are. John Kennedy had a great line. He said, 'forgive your enemies but remember their names.' It is unfortunate, but I think we've seen this week there are a lot of very bad things going on in intercollegiate athletics. Unfortunately in recruiting there are a lot of bad things that are said and done that none of us are proud of, but I think that is part of the job. I think its something that every coach has to deal with some form of manner."

On addressing the rumors even though the mainstream media isn't reporting them:

"I'm not criticizing the media for printing what is out there. That is your job. I'm responding for one very important reason: Our program and our players and the people that are out there that we are recruiting at the University of Michigan need to know that none of these rumors are accurate. I can't remember ever lying to the media or misleading them. I don't tell you everything I know because I have a job to do as well as you do. But I have never been untruthful with the media and I'm certainly not being that way now just to impact our recruiting another way."

On the rumors about his health:

"I don't know where it comes from but it is what it is. All I can say is what I have said."

On if the rumors are coming from schools in the Big Ten:

"I'm not going to get into that part of it. People do things through their own motives. I don't want to dwell on it or mean to dwell on it."

On how much longer he'll coach:

"I don't think it will be more than 20 more years (laughing)."

On if he is just speaking of returning for next season:

"I am going to coach as long as my desire and my will and my love for what I'm doing is there. That is really all that I want to say."

On if he thinks he'll name a successor at some point:

"I'm sure that whenever I'm ready to do that, the people here at Michigan will know and then they can begin those preparations. One of my goals when I became the head coach, even if it was for only that one year, was I wanted to try to make sure that the kids that I was coaching had a great experience and I wanted to leave this program in better shape than it was whenever I took it over. That continues to be one of my goals. I want this program to continue to endure and to represent intercollegiate athletics from the standpoint of the way that they were designed to be. I hope that this will always be a program where integrity and winning go together. That to me is what it's all about. That is what Michigan is all about at least in my judgment, especially Michigan football in my judgment. That's what is important to me."

On why he thinks he is the target of the rumors:.

"I have no answer for that. Laurie is here and she told me that there is nothing wrong with you physically, mentally you may not be the same guy (laughing). I think particularly that recruiting may be part of it. I guess some times that during the course of the season since I've been a high school coach, that I lose normally between 10 and 15 pounds. It may be the way that I look. I don't have any idea but it is a job that takes its toll on you physically. When you're on television, in front of the camera every single moment, that's all that I can think of."

On if recruits are asking him about the rumors:

"I've talked to two kids this week asked me or at least had heard these rumors. That is one of the reasons I decided to do this and why I know who are the people saying this. That is really why I'm here today addressing these rumors."

On if rumors like this are common:

"I don't want this as if I'm painting a dark picture. I'm saying that it is negative and it happens. For example, when you first take a job if you’re an assistant and you're taking your first head coaching job there are going to be rumors that you won't be here long. If get to be into your 60's, you're going to have to deal with the rumors that you're not going to be here much longer or you're going to quit or resign. It's all part of the recruiting process and it's not all negative, it's not all wrong, and some of it may be accurate. For example, if somebody had the truth and it was true then it would be one thing, but it isn't true so that is why I'm here addressing this stuff."

On if he has any health issues:

"None."

On how he feels at this point:

"I can say this, I appreciate the opportunity more each year because I know as some point I'm not going to do this anymore. I'm not going to coach forever and I know that. I guess this season, the kids on this team, they made this a fun year for me. I have a great coaching staff. There is not a better coaching staff in this country than the one we have here at the University of Michigan. The support that I've had as the coach, I appreciate very much. When I look across the country and see some of the things that have taken place, I appreciate this job even more. I have been able to do something at a place that, there is no place that I would rather be. I'm fortunate but I know that at some point it is going to end. Because I know that there is an excitement about it, knowing that it's not something that lasts forever."

On if he thinks the talk of Urban Meyer having out clauses for Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan had anything to do with the rumors:

"That was kind of a neat way of advertising the jobs you'd like. There is a lot of criticism about coaches making too much money and all those issues. I think this week when you have three presidents and three athletic directors who fire coaches after their third season, I think that puts that to rest. On the other hand as coaches, we have been criticized and rightfully so because every time a job comes open, or every time there is a threat that a coach is going to be fired, there is another coach who is having his agent call the media and put his name in the mix so that he can either become a candidate or he can use that as leverage where he is. I think both of them are horrible statements about where we are (in collegiate athletics). I read an article yesterday from Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times that I thought made a great statement about the educational leadership in higher education in this country and what happened in those three instances this week. We are moving in the wrong direction. We have people leading these institutions who put winning in front of more important priorities like integrity, like keeping your word when you sign a guy to an extension and then fire him. One of those guys was here at Michigan and wanted to be the president here now. Thank God the University of Michigan Board of Regents didn't hire him. Let him be the president somewhere else."

On when he decided to make this announcement:

"I made a determination to make a statement here last night because it finally occurred to me that I had to say something. I have not talked to our team about this but I will do that tomorrow."

On if he is worried about the transition that will take place when he retires:

"I think that is something that at some point here that the people who run the University, the president and athletic director, whoever is going to be in charge of that will begin to look at it. There are a lot of ways that you can do it and I'm sure they will chose the appropriate way to do it. I think that everyone who has been a part of this tradition understands that what we are trying to do here is have a program where a group of kids can have a great experience and we're trying to win and we're trying to do it with integrity. That is a great challenge. Because what Michigan football means to so many people in this state and throughout this country, the people who went to school here, the people have been a part of it, I think everyone has a different perspective on what it should be, but hopefully it will always represent football, intercollegiate football in the right way, the way it was designed, and that is first and foremost as an educational experience for the kids who play the game. I had a letter last week from a guy who said that Michigan football had become just as much entertainment as it was educational. Well, I disagree. It's obviously entertainment but without doing it in a way that it benefits the students who come here to play football then it isn't done in the right way."

On if he would like to become the athletic director:.

"No. When I'm through coaching, we have an athletic director here. I have spent my entire life in football and I've loved every minute of it, some more than others. When I'm through, I still hope to have something to do in the game, but that does not entail being the athletic director."

On if he'll head to Ford Field to watch John Navare in his first NFL start:

"We have practice tomorrow. I was invited by Tom Lewand to the game and my wife Laurie is extremely disappointed that we can't go. I would give anything to be there. What John Navarre went through here is one of the most disappointing things in my experience at Michigan as a head coach with the way he was treated. But it is also one of the greatest stories since I've been at Michigan because of what he did. Regardless of how it goes tomorrow, some very nice things have been said about him by one of the best coaches in the NFL, Dennis Green. If there is anyone who knows offensive football it is Dennis Green. Some of the statements he's made about John Navarre this week I think prove what John Navarre is all about."

On the Notre Dame situation:

"I think that Tyrone Willingham can speak for himself and has. I'm on the Board of Trustees for the American Football Coaches Association which Ty is a member. I think that situation speaks for itself."


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