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.