With a 5-6 record, including six straight losses in Big Ten play, the very last thing Rich Rodriguez needs is yet another distraction in the week leading up to their rivalry game with Ohio State.
Unfortunately for Rodriguez, a distraction is exactly what he has on his hands. And one that could have major implications for himself and the program.
According to a report in the Detroit News, the football program failed to file the required logs used to keep track of how many hours players practice and work out. An internal audit revealed that the logs were missing.
According to an audit, obtained by The Detroit News, the football staff did not submit the practice logs for the 2008 season as required by the university athletic department, which uses the logs to remain in compliance with NCAA rules. The team filed its out-of-season reports after the audit was completed and, as of July, the football staff had still not filed its 2008 monthly logs.
The Detroit Free Press published a story in late August that quoted current and former players saying they were routinely required to exceed the NCAA’s 20-hour limit on practice and exercise. Since those stories ran, the university hired an investigator, and the NCAA has been looking into claims that could result in major violations of rules if proven.
Called “countable athletically related activities” (CARA) reports, the logs help the university’s compliance staff make sure players stay below the 20-hour limit and have the required number of days off as established by NCAA rules. The audit looked at six other sports at the university, including men’s basketball and men’s ice hockey, and raised no similar questions.
The NCAA is currently conducting an investigation into the allegations made by players, and the fact that the very issue they are looking into is “missing” key paperwork does not bode well for either Rodriguez or the program.
Given Rodriguez’s two-year record in Ann Arbor, and the ongoing soap opera of a NCAA probe, missing logs and the looming specter of major violations, it’s looking as if the odds of seeing a third year of the Great Rich Rodriguez UM Experiment are extremely long.
And, at some point, could be taken off the board completely.
Rutgers wide receiver Leonte Carroo could have a charge of simple assault dropped by a New Jersey court today. The woman he is accused of slamming to the concrete has agreed to drop the restraining order request and has asked the assault charge against the Rutgers receiver be dropped as well. NJ.com reports today the woman and Carroo each appeared in a family court on Tuesday, and the woman told the judge she is not scared of Carroo.
So, what does this mean for football? Simply put, it means Carroo may be eligible to play again as soon as this weekend. That would be good timing, as Rutgers is set to host Michigan State this Saturday night.
Carroo has been sitting out while serving an indefinite suspension while this legal process plays out. Carroo has missed each of the last two games for Rutgers, against Penn State and Kansas. Rutgers was off this past weekend. If this legal process does play out as it is expected at this point, Carroo could be reinstated quickly and promptly, making him eligible to return right away. Carroo is one fo the best players on the roster, so having him back and eligible to play is very good news for the Scarlet Knights offense.
The recent flooding in the state of South Carolina has brought many dangers and concerns much more important than football with it, but this being a college football-focused website we must dive into the connection real life issues have with the sport from time to time. South Carolina is scheduled to host LSU in Columbia this Saturday, and that still appears to be the plan. Alternate plans have been discussed though, just in case they will be needed as the week unfolds.
The very concept of moving a college football game to another stadium is indeed a rare situation. It is not, however, completely without precedent. The 1942 Rose Bowl between Duke and Oregon State (my how the times have changed) was moved from Pasadena, California across the country to be played in Durham, North Carolina. This was out of fear of the west coast being attacked during World War II though. LSU’s Tiger Stadium has served as a home football stadium for a weather-related event in the past as well. The New Orleans Saints played four games in Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and forced the Saints to play the entire 2005 season on the road.
Today is only Tuesday, so there is still some time to make sure Williams-Brice Stadium and the surrounding area is suitable for hosting the SEC contest this weekend. Odds are the game will be able to be played as scheduled, but safety for fans and teams involved is always the priority.