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Posted on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 6:45 p.m.

Michigan investigating allegations of excessive practice time in its football program

By Dave Birkett

University of Michigan director of athletics Bill Martin said today Michigan is investigating allegations made by former players that they violated NCAA rules by practicing more than the allotted 20 hours per week.

"We believe we have been compliant with NCAA rules but nonetheless we have launched a full investigation of the allegations in today’s newspaper," Martin said in a statement.

Martin did not return messages left at his home and office Sunday, but said in the statement the university will have more to say when it has completed its investigation.

"We are committed to following both the letter and the intent of the NCAA rules and we take any allegations of violations seriously," he said.

In a report that appeared online Saturday, several unidentified current and former players told the Detroit Free Press they were required to spend long Sundays at the football building last season and worked out in excess of the eight hours permitted by NCAA rules during the last two offseasons.

Athletes are allowed to devote additional time to their sports, as long as it's of their own choosing.

Former Michigan receiver Toney Clemons confirmed the report in a story Sunday on

"The allegations are true," Clemons said. "Nothing is fabricated or exaggerated in that story. I was there on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. or 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. depending on if guys needed treatment. You were there daylight to nighttime."

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez denied any wrongdoing in a statement.

"We know the practice and off-season rules and we stay within the guidelines," Rodriguez said. "We follow the rules and have always been completely committed to being compliant with all NCAA rules."

Associate athletic director for compliance Judy Van Horn said Michigan performs "in-person spot checks" of practice in and out of the season.

"We have not had any reason to self-report any violations in this area with any of our sports," she said in a statement.



Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 10:39 a.m.

Now I know why RR shredded strength and conditioning documents........................


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 8:58 a.m.

Thanks for removing my comment. Although other sport reporters are naming them? We all know who is talking (without naming names) Those who leave will be crybabies

Dave Domanski

Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 7:39 a.m.

Those who stay will be... investigated by the NCAA. Those who stay will be... apparently stuck here in the great frozen north on New Year's Day for the foreseeable future. Those who stay will be... hopefully still here when Rich Rodriguez and his trail of sleaze are shown the exit. Hey, Bill Martin, how'd that's whole hiring process work out for ya? Still sure you didn't need to return the calls from Les Miles' people while hiding out on your boat? Yours truly, A disillusioned 15-year season-ticket holder

Tony Dearing

Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 7:34 a.m.

A comment was removed because it violated our language guidelines.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 7:07 a.m.

Michigan is the best at everything. People who read these allegations and think that they are a big deal are probably the same kind of people who think traffic roundabouts are a good idea and wear blue jeans to the beach. 2009 Coach of the Year: King Rich Rod

Alan Goldsmith

Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 5:41 a.m.

"Rodriguez and Martin addressed the team at a meeting Sunday afternoon. They told the team that it had to stick together through a difficult time, according to one person who was there and parents who were briefed by sons. One player described Rodriguez as somber." -Detroit Free Press


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 5:19 a.m.

Once again, we have much ado about nothing; volulntary workouts are "business as usual" in major college football. Only in the Ann Arbor-Detroit market do we have reporters who are such masters at baiting and misleading nineteen year-old kids into giving them information which they can turn into what they think is a "brilliant expose." Usually, as in this case, the "brilliant expose" turns out to be another stale Captain Obvious skit. All it really accomplishes is to hurt the kids who were duped into "contributing" to the story for a week or two. As far as the rest of the content goes, it's only the whining of disgruntled ex-players who, as Chad Henne said, don't want to be the best they can be. Since a lazy reporter probably resonates well with lazy ex-players, I'm sure it was a "match made in heaven." Funny how reporters with no integrity are the ones who attack and accuse UM of the same. Maybe Rosenberg needs to look in the mirror on this one. I never thought I'd say this, but there is a great likelihood that Rosenberg is as ugly on the inside as he is on the outside.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 4:16 a.m.

If you can't win, cheat. When you can't cheat, lie. Is this the new Michigan motto? Between this and the fairly recent problem with the athletic/academic double standard and all the Kineseology majors it is time to clean the whole house, not just the BIG House, starting with Bill Martin.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 2:29 a.m.

lemans, allegations......take off your i hate Rich Rod hat & t-shirt. Go to your dresser pull out your i hate RR onesie with matching blindfold, put it on and go to bed. Ya Blame the coach for the players having such a high gpa last year. That show's terrible leadership. Hey, fella's I know we had the highest gpa of any Michigan team ever..but thats not good enough.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 2:18 a.m.

For all those who think RRod will be're wrong. The allegations were meant to stir the pot. Thats exactly what they did. If anyone here has played an ounce of highschool/college sports you will know that 20hrs a week doesnt cut it at any level. The report suggest players are being worked for 10 to 11 hours a day. Do you not think Barwis knows one of the major developments in muscle growth is rest? You think he got to where he is by runnning kids into the ground 10 hrs at a time? Open up your eyes for christ sakes. This is an attack on a coach. Hmm would it have anything to do with several players leaving that werent going to crack the 2deep of a team that went 3-9 last year? Would those kids have an ulterior motive?Do any RRod haters understand what a typical daily schedule is in college football? Fact of the matter is there are more hours spent in meetings & film than actual practice. News flash, Barwis can watch the players at all times. It speaks volumes when former players(some whom werent even envolved with RR)as well as current players & the parents of current players speak up on behalf of the university stating the accusations are false. Fact is we appeal to mass media rating's. EX. If Matt Barkley gets hurt tomm. Michigan will be an after thought.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 12:42 a.m.

Wow people they are called student athletes because it is not just about football. The way I understand it the rule is so the students have time to do school work they have to maintain a certain level with their grades. Most of these players will not make the NFL so they better be good at academics. It does not matter what anyone thinks about the rules right or wrong...As a leader of a program you have to know this. If you violate the rules you are putting your program in jeopardy. To me it shows bad leadership...the coach is responsible...Do not blame others if the coach broke the rules he should be held accountable...period.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 11:04 p.m.

loyd carr proved that he recruited players that can play from the shotgun and play the spread HELLO WE BEAT FLORIDA WIT MYER AND TEBOW.....its scheme this kinda spread more like Northwestern Attack, but with the players we can get nationally it will dominate the BIG TEN and rake in a few title bad I thought that was the goal.....And Practice you mean we ready to hang this guy for Practicing a bad tem too hard WOW!....And heart break the problem is not the way he treating the players, its what Henne said they see they don't got a getting scared they gonna get barried on the bench...cause alot of players buying into to work-out and conditioning...I bet its a o lineman or a corner they told he was to slow in his 40 or break on the ball ability......GO BLUE....!!!


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 10:56 p.m.

Why should we even believe what disgruntle players who left or are still on the team have to say. They must still have UM envy since they left for other programs but really would have liked to stay here to play, but they knew they did not have the talent or did not develop enough to be in a starting role with the team. Right Tony Clemons? I just hope if there any players on this team who really don't want to play for us would, please just leave! Those who stay will be champions! UM should never start an investigation based on some rouge freep reporter who probably called up a bunch of kids who left the team to see if they can stir up anything about RR. Show us the proof please!


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 10:51 p.m.

Just sit back and really think about this...If they fire this coach cause he practicing players two hard after a 3-9 season which included a lose to Toledo....We headed for the junk pile....HELLO ANYBODY REMEMBER HOW MANY COACHES TURNED US DOWN>>>>RR was like fifth on the list....So yall go ahead and keep trying to sound smart by blowing this out of wack.....and ya'll gonna get just what ya'll want a teamnobody want to coach cause of the politics ALA (Les Miles) he would rather take his michigan priciples and go teach them to southern idiots don't get it do u.....Its like they need to attach a land mass to michigan cause or media and fans think in a box, while the rest of the nation running up the score ON US>>>>HELLO!!!!!


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 10:45 p.m.

When Rod accepted this job, he accepted all that goes along with it--including the current student-athletes, the administration, the University, the secretaries, the alumni, the fans. At least regarding the athletes--he seems to have raised the bar in expectations and changed the conditioning program (a good thing) while essentially saying to them that they were not good enough players because we need better players to fit 'his system' (a bad thing). In life, quick changes occur and the existing workforce must adapt. It could mean a new president, a new board of directors, a new manager. But in this case, the commitment given to these players seems to have been short-circuited by his style and I think that is one of the things that is rubbing people the wrong way. In no way does Rod have to baby these players--but he does have to respect them and it does not seem publicly that he is doing that with Carr's players so much. Just look at the way Minor, Matthews, Clemons etc have been treated in place of Rod's own recruits who may not have the maturity or expertise but fit Rod's 'profile'. Nobody forced Rod to take this job and accept such 'bad' players, but he is doing his best to rid the program of them and that to me speaks of disloyalty and is just not right.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 10:43 p.m.

This is the MOST RIDICULOUS thing I have ever heard! Working out too much! Dedicating themselves to bettering themselves? Urban Meyer at UF has a player (26 in all) want to compare who runs a better program? What about Reggie Bush at USC getting his apartment paid for? Where is that story? I am so tired of this. Working out too much...that is all they can come up with? I am embarrased that this story even gets press. They going to start giving the professors hell for giving students test they have to study too long for?


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 10:43 p.m.

ESPN source, Non-countable Athletically Related Activities. The following are considered non-countable athletically related activities and are not counted in the weekly or daily time limitations: m. Voluntary individual workouts, provided these workouts are not required or supervised by coaching staff members, except that such activities may be monitored for safety purposes or conducted by the institution's strength and conditioning personnel who have department wide duties. Once again, this is a power struggle between the old and new regimes. First, players like Tony Clemons who talked to the Free Press have no idea what the NCAA rules entail regarding voluntary workouts. Also, they are players who stopped working to become better and now they are just complete cowards. Second, something really needs to be done about the reporters (charges or pressure to resign) at the Free Press for not even researching this NCAA rule and just reporting pure biased opinion. And third, OSU fan needs to stay off this site. You and your team ARE the poster child(ren) for violations and internal investigations, see: Clarrette suspended, Geiger resigns, O'Brien and three year suspension. Go Blue! Go Blue


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 10:36 p.m.

BlueinSC, First, Lloyd had built a relationship over four years with Chris before he said that. Second, that was more of an aboration than anything else. Third, I assume your arguement is that Rich should be able to say, "Get the F out if you don't like it". Like I said, that would be nice, and they probably deserve it, but face the facts...It is not working for RR and if he does not adjust the way he is dealing with the bad apples, they are going to come back and bite him. Even worse, we apparently have one or more active players backing up this story, which means he has some serious loyalty/character problems on this team. I would love it if this thing went away quietly, and if it were Lloyd or another long standing trusted coach, it probably would. But RR is a guy that some people love to hate, and he will not get the benefit of the doubt. Right or wrong, like it or not. My personal opinion: I like our coach, and I want him to stay and continue a hugely successful tradition. Unfortunatly, I don't think I'm going to get what I want, because he's made too many mistakes and he is going to loose a lot of footing if this thing gets blown up.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 10:26 p.m.

thank you kingy....Agenda is perfect, if you one of those dudes that quit that on you cause you could be lamensblue or what ever, but its too close to the season to stab the naize and blue in the back, just cause the freshman out of florida faster or something...u seem like you would die on a sinking ship just cause it can't hold your wait and take the whole crew down....I hope he wins a title bad now...didn't really like RR before but i love him now...cause anytime you can make men act like women you must be doing some championship type pipe pressuring and we all know what pressure does!!!


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 10:14 p.m.

This is why I hate politics in sports. Some of you need to move to football country down south(like I did, and was Go Blue ALL THE WAY), then comeback and tell me about eight hours a day. You know what lets fire RR (Sarcasm) and go back to not winning any big games. Lets go back to three yards and a cloud of dust and getting blown out in the rose bowl by USC by 35. To be the best you gotta want to be and practice the best, and if you think eight a day gonna get us more then 3 wins with the soft slow players Car recruited for cloud of dust Bo ball, then lets fire RR, and hire another coached from the Mac or some guy who was a assistant back in the eighties and suck all over again and have a team full of players that run 4.6 at DB......HELLO HAVE WE NOT ALL WITNESS THE TRADITION OF ND FOR THE LAST TEN YEARS. I will quote the biggest cheat of them all (Florida State Coach), who put it best " I will not cut off my nose, to spite my face", Which is what i think is the NEW TRADITION of Michigan Football...we keep this up and we will be just like Notre Dame...A complete joke!! And im sad to say it, the OSU grad right! The reason OSU will continue to beat us is OSU embraces change, even though they not smart enough to follow through on the National level. The spread not a decoy for three yds and a cloud, like yall been using wit Wells. The spread is for championships Just like Modile QB's...lets not let the land scape of college football leave U of M in a cloud of dust....cause of our arrogance and fear of change...Its time we take back whats ours. Most of the players complaining will be cut next year anyway cause of lack of talent...As it should be.....Chad Henne IS THE MAN "WIN OR LOSE" cause he loyal to the Colors of MAIZE & BLUE....Go Blue!!! Lets not forget Carr last game the one time he did what I asked for for eight years not even Florida had a answer for the tough and fast team, i just hate he waited til the end to do what the nation had been doing for years. PLAYING TO WIN THE GAME.....Lets start a new TRADITION...One the WINS ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL!!!!


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 9:45 p.m.

Yes, Blame the newspaper. Blame the players. Blame the haters. Blame the NCAA. Blame the rules. Blame other univerities. Blame Coach Carr. Blame everyone. But do not blame RR the head coach that is responsible for his team. If these allegations turn out to be true he needs to fired. Mi does not need to have one of the best all time programs destroyed by RR or anyone else.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 9:22 p.m.

Consider the source; the article was written by a writer who has it in for Rich Rod and the program, so his sources are hand chosen and are probably not to reliable. His agenda is to disrupt the Michigan program into a lost and hopefully will generate some alumnus to pressure the university into firing Rich Rod soon. By the timing of the article, the reporter/writer is really doing this program a disservice.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 9:16 p.m.

HaHaHa!!! About a year ago I wrote how stupid of a hire it was when Bill Martin brought in RR and I'm looking like Nostradamus right now. I said back then it won't be long that Michigan Stadium would become half-filled on Saturdays and if these allegations are proven to be correct, which I think they are, Michigan's football reputation as the leaders and best will be destroyed. Martin and his whole staff should be fired along with this comedic coaching staff before UM ends up becoming perennial losers like their neighbor, EMU. Then, the President of UM needs to fly down to Louisiana and beg Les Miles to forgive them for their stupidity in the first place for not bringing him in. I said last year I would not set foot in Michigan Stadium as long as RR was the coach. He showed his true character when he tried to weasel out of his $4M buyout with West Virginia. If Bo had been alive, none of this BS would have happened and we'd all be happy campers. On a good note, it looks like it won't be too long now that I'll be sitting back in my usual seats in Section 1 row 69 since I believe Mr. Rodriguez won't be around here much longer!!!!!


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 9:10 p.m.

michboy40, I am troubled by the following quote : "You have to handle these premadonna's like little babies and hold thier hands on the way to the door. You have to coddle them and make them feel good. You have to beg them to stay and oppologize for not living up to them. You have to kiss some major ____! It's that simple." Just what do you think Bo or Lloyd would say to that? Give me a break! This coaching change in dramatic, and there are a number of players that can't hack it, plain and simple. RRod is doing the right thing. If there are individuals who "don't like it," then they should get the f*ck out. Afterall, it was Lloyd Carr who said just that to Chris Perry prior to his senior year. Those who stay will be champions


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 9:09 p.m.

This is a potentially sad day for Michigan football. Michboy, I do believe that some people are trying to bury RR. A lot of people wanted Miles to come here and are now trying to get rid of RR because of it. I wanted Miles, too, but that time has come and gone. RR is here and I truly want him to succeed because, let's face it, if he doesn't and he's run out of town, it's going to set Michigan football back several years. Where did this story come from, anyway? Did players approach the Freep or did the Freep come and approach players to see if they could dig up some dirt on the program? How they got this information does seem to me that they were looking for some dirt on RR. This whole last year and a half has been a nightmare for Michigan football. If this story continues to grow and RR is fired, it's only going to get worse, in my opinion.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 8:34 p.m.

am an Ohio State Grad and have followed this great rivalry for over 40 years. I hope UM gets its program back on its feet because we need each other to push each other to achieve excellence. I thought Ohio State sold its soul a bit when it hired John Cooper, an SEC-like coach in part because it wanted a NC and thought he could deliver it.Carr was a great coach and a great man and frankly his recent OSU record was more about Troy Smith.I fear that UM may have sold its soul by hiring Rodriguez who is also a great technical coach but not the man that Tressel or Carr or guys like Mach Brown are and that my worthy rival deserves. I think Rodriguez can win because his offensive schemes are brilliant and he just needs the athletes which he will/is getting. I just wonder in the character games against equally talented opponents in that fourth quarter whether he will have the team chemistry and built/recruit the character players to pull it out. For the sake of the rivaley, the character devopment of the kids on the team and to help bring the Big Ten back to prominence, I hope he is a better man than his press or UM goes back to the quality of coaches that it has had in the past.