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Posted on Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 7:21 p.m.

Michigan receives notice of inquiry from NCAA about practice violations

By Dave Birkett

Michigan said Monday it has received a "notice of inquiry" from the NCAA indicating it will continue investigating allegations of improper practice time in the football program, a sign major violations may have occurred.

While the NCAA does not comment on ongoing cases, Stacey Osburn, associate director for public and media relations, said in an e-mail that the NCAA enforcement staff initiates an investigation "only when it has reasonable cause to believe that the institution may have violated NCAA rules."

(Click here for the official letter)

"When reasonably reliable information has been obtained indicating a major violation may have occurred, the enforcement staff will undertake a review of the information in order to determine its credibility," Osburn wrote. "At that time, the involved NCAA member institution is informed by a notice of inquiry."

Typically, letters of inquiry detail the nature of the alleged violations, the parties involved and the approximate time frame for an investigation.

Michigan's letter, dated last Friday and addressed to president Mary Sue Coleman, said only that "the possible violations primarily involve the matters under review." The NCAA intends to complete its investigation by Dec. 31, the letter said.

In a statement, Coleman said the university is cooperating fully with the investigation.

"As I said at the onset of this review, we place the highest importance on the well-being of our student-athletes and the integrity of our program," the statement said. "We continue to work with the NCAA to ensure that a thorough and objective investigation occurs."

In August, Michigan launched an internal investigation into questions whether football coach Rich Rodriguez and his staff required players to practice more than the NCAA allotted 20 hours a week.

The university, with the help of law firm Lightfoot, Franklin and White, also is investigating whether coaches violated NCAA rules by attending offseason workouts.

Michigan athletic director Bill Martin, spokesperson Bruce Madej and assistant athletic director for compliance Judy Van Horn did not return phone calls seeking comment Monday.

Martin, who announced his retirement last Wednesday, effective next September, released this statement: "We continue to cooperate with the NCAA on this matter, which is why we reached out to both the Big Ten and the NCAA as soon as we heard the allegations. We remain committed to following both the letter and the intent of the NCAA rules."

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

Other articles on the NCAA's letter to Michigan

Detroit Free Press: NCAA finds cause to press ahead with U-M inquiry

Detroit Free Press: How an NCAA notice of inquiry works

Detroit Free Press: Recap of the U-M football controversy

The Detroit News: NCAA tells U-M it believes major violations might have occurred

ESPN: Michigan receives notice of inquiry from NCAA

The Associated Press: Michigan football draws NCAA letter of inquiry

The Columbus Dispatch: Michigan notified of pending investigation

Sports Illustrated: Michigan receives NCAA letter of inquiry about Rodriguez's practices



Tue, Feb 23, 2010 : 2:03 p.m.

Message to MSC: Summon the Bulldog into action.


Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 12:13 p.m.

I bet UM has a great drama department because you guys, rr and MSC would get an A for sure. This is down right good entertainment. Keep up the good work Richrod. I haven't had this much fun in years.


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 12:39 p.m.

As a Buckeye I wish this thing would go away and Rich Rod could just focus on winning. Listen, the Rivalry (I'm talking about "The Game" sorry little bro) needs Michigan to be good again. Last year's game at the shoe was a wash and it should never be like that. It should always be for the Big ten title or even have National title implicatinos. I hope this is cleared up quickly because I think Rich Rod is a good coach and he will win at Michigan. See you on Rivalry Weekend! Go Bucks!


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 12:11 p.m.

could mary sue coleman please have the guts to ask those investigators how the reggie bush case is going???


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 12:09 p.m.

Let the investigation complete the process. Then, if there is indisputable proof that impropriety occurred and that major violations did happen under Coach Rodriguez, then it is written in his contract that it warrants immediate dismissal. That will end it! However, if it is found that NO violations occurred, then can we leave the Man alone and let him go back and build this team? I have a feeling that is too much to ask though, because it is obvious that there are many (in the powers that be) who have had it out for Coach Rodriguez since he arrived. He has not been given a fair chance, and the vultures that are out for him will just keep throwing other things at the wall until something sticks. Finally, for those who are under the illusion that getting rid of Coach Rod and bringing in someone else will spell immediate success, are just kidding themselves. Whoever coaches this team, will need some time to build it. And should it happen that Coach Rod is dismissed, and then lets hope for the sake of UM that the new coach is given a fair chance to build something. Cause coach Rod has certainly not been extended that courtesy! Lets GO BLUE


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 12:06 p.m.

redcedar: Are you ever going to make an intelligent comment? For a team that can't break.500 you sure seem awful cocky. Maybe when, and that could be a long time, you team actually wins something you could spout off, but until then you just look stupid.


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 11:33 a.m.

what? no lansing state journal article on this?


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 11:14 a.m.

67-28-5 Keep trying little bro.


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 10:32 a.m.

MSU will pay for Rich Rod's extension. He is very popular in East Lansing. I'll chip in a dollar myself!


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 10:16 a.m.

TCFlint - Agreed regarding the free press. That's why I completely avoid their "news" at all costs. In the words of Allen Iverson, "We talkin' 'bout practice... practice!"


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 9:59 a.m.

its time for our elected officials, the regents, to step in and end this mess. they need to start at the top(coleman) and finish it in rr's office


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 9:56 a.m.

Lets go Eagles!


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 8:59 a.m.

I think that ANN ARBOR should institute a city income tax to pay for all of the UM problems. The answer to all problems in ANN ARBOR is to INCREASE TAXES, right? LOL, sorry couldn't resist....


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 8:40 a.m.

Because there was a letter of inquiry sent to the U of M on Friday, this is serious and may have a dramatic impact on our program IE: Sanctions, scholorships, probation, bowl and TV appearances. Does it seem odd that Bill Martin announced his retirement on Wednesday and the NCAA sent a letter on Friday? Does anyone think the NCAA just sent the letter without contacting the U of M first? We are in a horrible position at the moment. The letter advised the U of M the investigation would be concluded by December 31st. Could that be a message from the NCAA to the U of M to clean your house and self report or we will take action? Can the coaches handle the pressure and move forward? RR owes WV a ton of money, I don't think he has sold his 2 million dollar home in WV, a bank in South Carolina is after him for several million, the team sucks, and we're not getting any better. No wonder there was a melt down on the sideline last week between the coaches. MSC is in the drivers seat now and holds all the cards. If the NCAA finds violations and with Martin retiring, she can fire RR, satisfy the old guard and donors who has been opposed to RR from day one and avoid a buy out since he violated the terms of his contract by violating NCAA regulations.


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 8:38 a.m.

I hope that this nonsense blows over soon. Just to get the distraction out of the way and let Coach Rodriguez continue to build this team. Another good recruiting class will certainly add much needed depth to this team. He is building this team, as far as being blown out by Penn State, Hey Penn State is just BETTER. Period! In the meantime, Boren was a fat lazy baby who did not want to run during scrimmaging. Mallett did not even give the coach or more importantly the team a chance. He just heard the word SPREAD, and left. And for those who claim that Mallet left because he did not like Coach Rod, how the hell can you judge the kind of person Coach Rod is when you dont even know him? Based on rumors? I like to judge people based on MY own experiences with them and NOT on what others say. When Coach Rod first arrived here and was asked about the transfers like Boren he had an excellent line, We dont force people out the door, BUT at the same time the door is not locked either Fantastic quote! I dont care how talented a player is; if they dont want to be here or have an attitude, then GO! For the benefit of the team. Let's see how this season plays out first, then if after next year there is no considerable improvement, then let the Coach go! But until then, can we give the man a chance? Hang in there Coach Rod and Lets GO BLUE!


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 8:16 a.m.

Theo212: While I am a big UofM fan, do you remember the fab five? Any university because of the way the NCAA is trying to enforce the rules, could be found to break NCAA rules if one present or former player wants to get them in trouble. End of story (unfortunately).

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 7:40 a.m.

perhaps the NCAA should clear up the Reggie Bush file before they open another one...


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 3:18 a.m.

This is like a Michael Rosenberg letter to Penthouse. The NCAA is a joke -- if they turn this into an investigation, then every team in the country should be investigated. You can't base your efforts on what newspaper chooses to write about which team. So stupid.


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 12:27 a.m.

Gee, I hope my job don't get investigated when I volunteer for overtime......


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 11:36 p.m.

azwolverine, nobody is suggesting there shouldn't be some concern, but the general attitude i've heard is that UofM is doomed because of RR's incompetence, and even you'd have to agree that this idea is ridiculous. after 1.5 years of coaching (and coming in with few players who fit his system) richrod has us headed for a mid-level bowl game, with 2 of the 3 losses from Iowa(ranked 6th nationally) and Penn State (ranked 13th nationally). if going from a 3-9 season to having two frosh lead an admittedly young (not an excuse, a fact) to a 6-7 win season isn't progress, what is?


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 11:26 p.m.

By the way, I'd much rather watch the Purdue game you talk about going to with fans who actually care about winning THAT GAME than with fans who chit chat idly about the future while calmly accepting that Michigan is simply too young, inexperienced, and overmatched to win NOW. That's a weak attitude, imo.


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 11:19 p.m.

Dairy, Having concerns about a team that has gone 8-12 over the past two years, has no defense, and just got beaten silly by PSU for the second year in a row is not "crying." I think Michigan fans SHOULD be pissed off after a loss. I would much rather hear "crying" than all of these fans nowadays who simply accept losing as part of some process towards something greater in the end. Really? Is that what Michigan football has become to some fans? We just accept it while we brag about our past and claim greatness in our future...but forget about now, it doesn't count? BS! This is Michigan football, and any fan that doesn't care about the here and now needs to check the color of their maize 'n blue blood. I'd rather 'cry' than accept defeat anyday.


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 11:05 p.m.

You know BLUE BRAINS if OSU was the subject of this investigation you would be all over it and you know it.After all the great UofM doesn't do things like that.Oh maybe they do.Oh maybe they got caught.


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 11:03 p.m.

dairy6, that is exactly what I like to hear! Finally I read a comment post that goes for rational expectations instead of assuming that because UofM loses 3 of 4, they haven't improved AT ALL, richrod is a sucky coach and the entire program is headed for the gutter. Honestly, logical posts by dairy6 and tater are the ones that keep my faith in these message boards. Everyone else here seems to think that whatever happened in the last game will happen FOREVER. We lost to Iowa and PSU, both highly ranked (Iowa in the top 10!) so anyone who starts whining about richrod not being a good coach, SUCK IT UP! we won't judge you bandwagon fans when UofM gets back on top with richrod at the helm. dairy6 and tater, keep up the good work (even if some say you're "drinking the kool aid" or whatever). GO BLUE and stop second guessing with no logical reason.


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 10:42 p.m.

Just illustrating my point. Cry and cry some more. Pryor blew the game against Purdue and because he has a better one against Minnesota hes stepped up? Really? Tressels some kind of wizard because his guy stepped up against a broken Minnesota team? What about their continued inability to beat top tier teams. Wheres the improvement? Loss after loss in big games. You know what? We dont need this out of our fans! Cry! Cry! And cry some more! Oh look at what Rodriguez did to our team! We will never be good again! Its sooooo wrong! Blah, blah! blah! blah! Shut up and give it a rest! Its a new coach, a new team and a new system. A Freshman team makes freshman mistakes and its going to happen no matter who is coaching. Its going to take time. If you cant handle it then dont go to the game or better yet find yourself a new team! Maybe you should just follow Jason Boron and move down south. After all they are making Progress


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 9:56 p.m.

Big deal, it's nothing. Refinance the stadium and pay off the NCAA. They need to win some games, I'm getting sick of breaking things when they loose, it's both expensive and embarassing.


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 9:51 p.m.

Hey Engineer,lets remember that this is still a fairly young team.I want them to win EVERY game like the next die-hard Michigan fan,but that's just not gonna happen(hopefully in the next couple of seasons,we can start winning every game).I'm even starting to get on myself to not get my expectations up too high and realize that this is a process(playing these guys soo young)that hopefully will pay BIG dividends for us in the near future!Because even though they are "struggling" this season,they are learning and getting valuable game-time EXPERIENCE that they wouldn't get in practice.We need to be patient,it'll get better soon.GO BLUE!!!


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 9:31 p.m.

Better than last year? If you say beating western michigan instead of losing to toledo perhaps. This team did not compete saturday. It got a whoopin and looked a lot like last year to me. The fumbles and turn overs continue like last year and I blame coaching on that. I hate sweater vest but look at pryor. some bad games but then really stepped up. Michigan progress??? OT, close, then blowout. Seems to me we are going the wrong way. Michigan should be one of the best in the big ten each and every year. Last year was a disaster and this year worse. Watch this team cure Illinois' ills and make the look like big ten champs. A bowl is still questionable even with a dalaware state scrimmage. RR should have recruited talent that was here first and then hit the road. He blew off what lloyd had built and now we are paying dearly. Tell me having Boron or Mallet here along with the many other transfers would not help. With molk out we are getting worse by the week. Maybe the pizza bowl next year. Progress is slow if at all. We could have our own John L Friggin Smith on our hands. Little emphasis on D and it shows. An O that can not keep the ball in play for more than a few minutes. A recipe for disaster! Heres hoping for some good news for a change!


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 8:53 p.m.

Go ahead continue the investigation. No problem. Well see what happens and deal with it. So what? As for the team sucking its funny how we lose three games to arguably the three best teams in the big ten and now we suck. What I see is improvement from a freshman and sophomore team. They weren't going to win the big ten this year regardless. So quit your crying and suck it up. This team will win and will be good in the future. Loyal Michigan fans will be there the whole way no matter what. Ill be looking forward to seeing all of you true Blue Michigan fans at the Purdue game in two weeks. All you cry babies stay home so we don't have to hear it! Go Blue!


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 7:55 p.m.

funny how at the beginning of the season all this stuff came out. then the team wins its first four games and there isn't the slightest update. now the team has lost a few games and it is all resurfacing. i guess it is true that winning cures all.


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 6 p.m.

yeah the invesigation started in august after the free press ran a story quoting unnamed ex-players and some freshmen. The name calling comes from where? Not childish here so i dont think i called anyone any names. If troll is offensive than all team sites are offensive. If a michigan poster is on ohio state or penn state's site the term troll is used often along with alot of other adjectives. I dont think anyone is pleased with whats going on on the football field, and the talk on the field is in reference to the players needing to step up and execute. I am no lloyd or richrod diehard. I just want to see a good product on the field. regardless of who the coach is.


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 5:33 p.m.

A PDF of the offical letter of inquiry is on the Detroit News site...seems pretty clear that this is just the next step in the process and the intent is to have this resolved by 12/31/09.


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 5:10 p.m.

Oh yeah, Rich might as well get them talking on the field, because they sure are wasting everybodys time trying to play football.


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 4:53 p.m.

rightmind, this particular story is by, but the story that got the investigation going is by the freep. So he is right about that. I see a buckeye is weighing in with his thoughts and unlike most of my brethren i will let him be, because when i hear that a newspaper digs up info and gets a story going i think of andy katzenmoyer and that whole story reminds me of this. A journalist with a hard on out to make a name for themselves no matter who's reputation they tarnish in the mean time. And we still bring up katz even though we dont know the facts. So i will let the troll speak his mind.....just hoping rich can get these boys to start doing some talking on the field against the teams that matter


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 4:51 p.m.

This is only two months old, investigations do not happen in a new york minute, unless it is on a one hour tv show.


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 4:30 p.m.

81wolverine: I am not sure you noticed, but this article is by Three months to investigate whether RR lied and cheated? I think there looking for a lot more than just extra practice. Now not only does the football team suck, but we are going to be penalized for it.


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 4:16 p.m.

The joke of a situation goes on I guess. In the end, it will just blow away like all the rest of the hot-air stories concocted by the Free Press. Here's a hot scoop just in: I heard there are some medical students at U-M spending too much time with patients. That's got to be adversely affecting their class studies. Let's get the Free Press writers on that one, quick!


Mon, Oct 26, 2009 : 3:47 p.m.

so what? is this meaning that now the ncaa is wanting to know how the investigation is going?