Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez emotional at press conference
"I guess I’m here to tell you that whatever you’ve heard or want to believe, the truth of the matter is this coaching staff cares very deeply about the young men in our program, always have, always will," Rodriguez said, teary-eyed and taking time to gather his thoughts. "Care very deeply about this institution. We know the rules. We go by the rules, and all we’re trying to do every day is make our great fans ... make them proud. And we will continue to do that."
Rodriguez said he gathered every senior at his house Sunday for "a very positive meeting" but didn't talk much about the allegations.
Michigan has opened an internal investigation into reports players were required to practice more than the NCAA-allotted 20 hours per week last season and eight hours a week in the offseason. Players can exceed the time limits as long as they do so by their own choosing.
Athletic department spokesperson Bruce Madej said the university has reached out to the Big Ten and NCAA.
Rodriguez also defended his long-time strength and conditioning coach Mike Barwis and his practices Saturday.
“Mike truly cares about every one of the young men and women that he has worked with and to imply otherwise couldn’t be further from the truth," Rodriguez said. "There’s nobody that has a greater passion in helping young men and their careers than Mike Barwis and his staff. He has always complied with the rules, as has all our staff."