Well, so much for Michigan likely getting off with a mere slap on the wrist. Maybe.
For the first time in the program’s storied history, Michigan football is facing major violations based on allegations made in a NCAA report. UM officials, including president Mary Sue Coleman, incoming athletic director Dave Brandon and head coach Rich Rodriguez, addressed the issues during a press conference Tuesday afternoon, admitting that the football program had exceeded NCAA guidelines on practice-time limits.
“We view these allegations seriously,” President Coleman said. “We will make all necessary changes. What we will not do is make excuses.”
Even as the admitted to allegations contained in the report, Brandon said that there were no “instances of anyone purposely maliciously falsifying (reports)” found.
Fortunately for the school, they were not hit with the dreaded “lack of institutional control” hammer. Unfortunately for the school, they could be viewed as a repeat NCAA violator due to a previous investigation into the basketball program.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the NCAA alleges five major violations were committed by the program from January of 2008 through September of 2009. Rodriguez became UM’s head coach in December of 2007.
The Free Press went on to list some of the allegations made in the NCAA’s report:
- From January 2008 through this past September, the program exceeded the permissible limit on the number of coaches by five. The NCAA alleges that five quality control staff members illegally engaged in on- and off-field coaching activities.
- From January 2008 through at least last September, the school permitted football staff members to illegally monitor and conduct voluntary summer workouts and impermissible activities outside the playing season. The NCAA also alleges that U-M required players to participate in summer conditioning for disciplinary purposes, and exceed time limits for countable athletically related activities during and outside the playing season.
- Graduate assistant coach Alex Herron provided “false and misleading information to the institution and enforcement staff” during the investigation.
- Coach Rodriguez “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program and failed to adequately monitor the duties and activities of quality control staff members, a graduate assistant coach and a student assistant coach, and the time limits for athletically related activities.”
- From January 2008 through at least this past September, the athletics department “failed to adequately monitor its football program to assure compliance regarding the limitations on the number, duties and activities of countable football coaches and time limits for countable athletically related activities.
The school will likely appear before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in August. Only after that will it be determined what, if any, sanctions will be placed on the school.
Despite the reports of major violations, Brandon said Rodriguez’s job is safe. At least through the 2010 season.
“Rich Rodriguez is our football coach and he will be our football coach,” Brandon said. “There’s nothing I see that leads me to believe we should change.”
Rodriguez took responsibility for his program and the actions that led to the investigation and potential sanctions.
“As the head coach, the football program is my responsibility,” Rodriguez said. “I will do all I can to carefully monitor all activities. Our philosophy has been to a very open program and always be transparent and have an open communication with compliance.”