Justin Boren: Those guys are a bunch of idiots

Oh snap.

If you already despise JBoren for not only quitting the Michigan program to go to their most hated rival, but also ripping the new coaching staff on his way out of town, then this is just gas for the fire.

SportingNews.com writer Michael Bradley recently sat down with JB to discuss his recent departure and how things are going at tOSU.

Players switch schools all the time. They crave more playing time. They want a different coach. They're too far from home. But switching these sides hasn't happened since World War II, when a couple of Buckeyes returned from the service to play for the Wolverines.

Now, a player used to living behind the scenes is very much at the forefront of something fierce. Sitting down with Sporting News for his first interview since making the controversial move in the spring, he's not backing down from the Michigan fans who won't forgive or forget.

"I laugh at it," he says of the abuse he has received. "It never wore on me. Those guys are a bunch of idiots."


Justin, what happened? We used to be so close!

"I never wanted to quit Michigan," Boren says. "But when I left, Ohio State was the only school I ever considered."

Really?! You're a potential all-American and could be a standout at almost any school in the nation. And the only school that crossed your mind was a place where you can't get a scholarship and where everyone will hate you for having once played at Michigan, and everyone where you're leaving from will hate you for going to their rival.

Yes, I can see why no other schools popped into you mind.

JB's father Mike had played for Michigan, for Bo from 1980-83.

When JB was being recruited by Michigan and tOSU, Bo made a call to Mike...

"You're not going to let Justin go to Ohio State, are you?" Schembechler asked Mike Boren.

"He's going to make his own decision," Mike replied.

Imagine how hard it must have been for Mike to say that to Schembechler. He had grown up in Columbus and graduated in 1980 from Eastmoor High School -- Buckeyes legend Archie Griffin's high school. Mike wanted more than anything to play for Ohio State. But the Buckeyes didn't recruit him.

"(Ohio State) shunned me," Mike says. "Bo took me in."

Okay...go on.

Now, Schembechler was issuing a mandate.

"You're his father," Schembechler barked. "You don't let him go to Ohio State. Tell him where to go."

That meeting had plenty of influence on Justin's decision.

"That was definitely something in the back of my mind," he says.

So were the annual trips to Ann Arbor he made with his family for Michigan games, often against Ohio State. Justin would walk on the field beforehand and meet former players and, of course, Schembechler.

Here's where it gets all mushy.

Boren chose Michigan and made Schembechler happy.

Trouble was, during the recruiting process, Boren had grown close to OSU boss Jim Tressel and offensive line coach Jim Bollman.

"Coach Tressel is a total players coach," Boren says. "He's a first-class guy and down to earth. Coach Bollman is the same way.

"One of the toughest things I've ever done was telling Coach Tressel I was going to Michigan. I loved those guys so much and had become so close."

Toughest things ever? Seriously? Man, tough life.

Okay, here's the good stuff.

"Players want to be coached and have somebody take them to a different level than they can take themselves," Rodriguez says of his aggressive style. "If people think that's demeaning, they misunderstand us."

Running back Steve Slaton, now a Houston Texans rookie, had no problem with Rodriguez's tactics when Slaton played for him at West Virginia.

"Some people need that push, that extra push," Slaton says. "You think you're giving it your all, but your coach knows what you can do and what you can offer."

Boren didn't respond to Rodriguez's pushing and left, saying that the "family values" that Carr had instilled in the program had eroded. Some said Boren couldn't handle the demanding conditioning program Rodriguez and strength coach Mike Barwis had instituted. Others said Carr had coddled Boren and other starters, and when Rodriguez and his staff turned up the volume, Boren cracked.

"I don't think coach Carr had favorites," former Michigan running back Mike Hart says. "(Boren) got yelled at like everybody else, even though his dad played for Bo."

Boren also disputes the notion that he left because he couldn't handle Rodriguez's offense.

"Was it my first choice? Hell, no. But I could have gotten acquainted," he says.

Rodriguez chooses not to comment on Boren. Ohio State's coaches have steered clear of the saga, as well. And neither Boren nor his father will comment specifically on Rodriguez.

"When I get done with college football, I'll let it out," Boren says.

I see. And now the money shot...
"(Tressel and his staff) coach with class and emphasize education," he says. "They put what's most important first. Each player is important. There's no bashing of players. You're not going to be belittled. Each player has feelings. They treat each person with respect."
Well isn't that just dandy. Does Sir Teflon come and tuck you in and read you Woody stories every night? Of course there's no bashing of players. They're paid by boosters, given sportscars from area car dealers, given passing grades from professors and slapped on the wrist when they get caught drunk driving, raping co-eds, shoplifting, or arrested for domestic violence. Plus the NCAA looks the other way when it comes to blatant recruiting violations. Not a bad gig, really.
"I was sad to see coach Carr go," Boren says. "I was hoping (Rodriguez) would keep some of his assistants." He didn't.
Yes he did.
"As soon as I got my release papers, I contacted Ohio State, and they welcomed me with open arms," he says.
...and an open checkbook.

"He enjoys people booing him," Mike Boren says. "He thrives on that. The more Michigan boos him, the harder he'll work."

Boren says the hate spewing from Ann Arbor doesn't bother him much, that he ignores it, that he knows the real reasons he left.

He thrives on it, yet ignores it at the same time. Impressive.

Justin Boren the man: Not impressive.


  1. Anonymous7:26 PM

    Boren is a Douche. I need to send him more text messages.

    I don't wish him bodily harm but a nice stinger when we play them would be nice. :-)

  2. Anonymous8:15 PM

    Boren is going to crush whatever weaklings Michigan has on its Dline in 2009.