According to a report by ESPN.com, the NCAA is accusing the Michigan football program of breaking five rules violations under head coach Rich Rodriguez.
In its notice of allegations — which Michigan received Monday — the NCAA said Rodriguez “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program.” He tracked neither what his staff was doing nor whether his players were following NCAA rules, particularly those limiting the time spent on practice and football-related activities, the report said.
It also said the athletics department failed to make sure its football program was complying with NCAA regulations. Brandon said the department “clearly made mistakes,” but “there was no charge of loss of institutional control” — an allegation that in previous cases has led to severe NCAA sanctions for other schools.
Michigan has 90 days to respond and will appear at an NCAA hearing on infractions in August. The school will see how its internal investigation matches up with the NCAA findings and will consider implementing self-imposed sanctions, a move that could reduce NCAA penalties.
The NCAA said last October that it was looking into the Wolverine program following a report in the Detroit Free Press citing anonymous football players that said Michigan exceeded NCAA limits regarding practices and workouts in 2008 and 2009.
NCAA regulations allow players to spend eight hours a week on mandatory workouts during the offseason and several Michigan players have told the media that they spent two to three times that amount on required workouts. The players also said the amount of time they spent on football activities during the season exceeded the weekly limit of 20 hours, as well as the daily limit of four hours.
It would be naïve to think that other programs aren’t exceeding these practice times as well, but it sounds like what Rodriguez was doing was excessive. He, along with the Michigan program, have a serious problem on their hands.
Rodriguez has been nothing short of a disaster so far in Ann Arbor and if the Wolverines suffer another losing season (which would be their third straight), then I don’t know how the AD can keep Rich Rod on the sidelines. They’re showing support for him in light of these compliance issues, but one more bad year of football would probably end Rodriguez’s short tenure at UM.
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