He once was a little known folk singer who had to make ends meet working construction. But after the Academy Award winning documentary "Searching for Sugar Man," Detroit's Sixto Rodriguez has stepped out of obscurity and into the spotlight. Wayne State University bestowed Rodriguez with an honorary degree yesterday.

About 15 years ago, someone told me that a man who was Billie Holiday’s alter ego, and had ghostwritten her classic memoir turned movie, “Lady Sings the Blues,”  was living in a little blue house in the Detroit area. That sounded interesting, so I went to see him.

His name was Bill Dufty, and I found out that not only was all that true, he also turned out to be the last husband of Gloria Swanson, the silent film star. What’s more, virtually nobody in the media knew about him. The Dalai Lama knew him, and so did Yoko Ono. But the media did not. His life was worth a book of its own.

Why did nobody know this fascinating man was in Detroit? Well, it‘s largely because as hard as we try to pretend otherwise, the news media are, in large part, stenographers for society’s institutions. Unless you run for office, commit a crime, get dragged into court, put on a concert or do something to call attention to yourself, you may never end up being “covered” in the news media.

I’ve spent most of my life in the Detroit area, and know there are countless other fascinating people beneath the radar. That’s why I wasn’t shocked by the Oscar-winning movie, “Searching for Sugarman.”

UM's David Brandon and Rich Rodriguez
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The head coach of the University of Michigan's football team might learn about his future today.

AnnArbor.com is reporting that University of Michigan Athletic Director, David Brandon, will meet with the university's head football coach, Rich Rodriguez, this afternoon:

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon will meet with embattled coach Rich Rodriguez early this afternoon to discuss his future with the Wolverines football program, according to two people with knowledge of the meetings.

Rich Rodriguez coacing UM football players
Rich Dinges - creative commons

It's not just sitting president's who have to worry about their poll numbers, apparently head football coaches do to.

Public Policy Polling gathered information on a subject that really doesn't have much to do with the general public or policy.

Their robot callers ("we can reduce interviewer bias to zero by eliminating the live human interviewer") got responses from 1,224 Michiganders on the subject of Rich Rodriguez.

The Wolverines have "arguably the best defense in the nation right now," Bacon told us.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Update 4:15pm: Here's the University of Michigan's response to the NCAA's announcement. Athletic Director David Brandon says 

"There were no surprises and there will be no appeal, because there is nothing to appeal. Effective today, this process is over and done and we can focus all of our time and energy on the future."