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Posted on Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 3 p.m.

Details of NCAA ruling in favor of Michigan, Rich Rodriguez

By Pete Bigelow

The NCAA’s Committee On Infractions found that Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez failed to monitor his football program, but not that he failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

That distinction was made in the committee’s public infractions report, released Thursday afternoon, and amounts to a reduction - but not a dismissal - of the charge against Rodriguez.

Committee On Infractions chair Paul Dee described the change in the allegation brought by the enforcement committee as a more fair description of the violations committed by Rodriguez.

Michigan had earlier agreed with NCAA findings that four major rules violations had occurred within the football program, but in an August hearing, fought the allegation that Rodriguez had failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

In finding that Rodriguez failed to monitor the program, the committee wrote, “Even though the head coach discussed the activities with the strength and conditioning coach, he apparently either failed to ascertain what activities were taking place or to recognize they were impermissible.”

The second half of the alleged violation - the failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance - is not mentioned in the committee’s 29-page report.

The NCAA largely agreed with sanctions the university imposed on itself in May, in which the university docked itself 130 practice hours through the end of the 2012 academic year and placed itself of two years of probation.

The NCAA added a third year of probation.

In addition, the NCAA found the university had indeed committed a rules violation in exceeding allowable practice times. But the committee wrote that "though serious," the overage was "far less extensive than originally reported and that no student-athletes were substantially harmed."



Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 12:15 p.m.

3 And Out. There are these things called "Bye Weeks." Every Big Ten team has one but not every Big Ten team has had one to date. Michigan has. OSU, Illinois, and MSU have not. Did it not occur to you to look at points per game? If you would have, you would have found that Michigan is 4th in the conference behind OSU, Iowa, and Wisconsin in scoring offense. I'm not going to go through the box scores but I'm sure Michigan would be near the top in total offense also. If you are going to use "numbers," I would suggest that you use enough "numbers" to paint the complete picture.


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 7:05 p.m.

These findings reinforce in my mind that Coach Rodriguez is either inept or dishonest. I gave him the benefit of the doubt in his first couple of years but the facts are undeniable. At U-M, so far he sports a 4-16 Big Ten record along with a handful of NCAA violations and a sieve that he calls a defense. He appears to be a coach who bends the NCAA rules until he gets caught and then disputes the findings instead of running a clean program that is beyond reproach. U-M and its fan base deserve better than what we've been getting.

3 And Out

Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 7:03 p.m.

Quick Note to the RR defenders from here, and some that come here from mgoblog... the vaunted RR offense currently ranks 6th in Big Ten Scoring. 6th. Sparty scores more points in conference than our mediocre offense lead by one great player does. source: big ten conference stats posted at bigtennetwork website: OSU 181 conference points Illinois 139 points Michigan State 135 points Iowa 129 points Wisconsin 127 points Michigan 118 points The big traditional Big Ten offenses score more points in the Big Ten than our RR flashy finesse offense that is based on misdirection and trickeration. 6th best offense in conference + worst defense in conference is not a good combination for Rich Rodriguez. Once again, the numbers do no lie.


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 6:27 p.m.

The fact that Michigan was dragged through this mess is all the reason Mr. Brandon needs to fire this cancerous football staff. Mr. Brandon, I ask you point blank, what would Bo say to you today if he were here with us?? I'll tell you what he'd say, he'd tell you to clean house now and wipe this dirt away forever and go get a "MICHIGAN MAN" for the job. We don't want to hear about what RR & his team of followers did or did not do, we want to hear that you've shown them the door and sent them all back to Virginia where they belong.

Tom Joad

Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 6:27 p.m.

doesn't do anything to diminish the fact that RR is a loser on the football field


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 5:39 p.m.

great news, this whole thing was crap and nothing but a witch hunt..the rr haters are fuming..but that's okay life is to short to hate...rr can move on now and get this program where it belongs..gotta find some guys who can play defense, we then will be okay..Carr did us no favors before he left..the cupboard was bare when rr came in, but the haters refuse to acknowledge that.. goooo rr gooo blue


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 5:27 p.m.

If Michigan gave itself one year probation, the NCAA would've wanted two. I guess they assume that people will naturally go a little easy on themselves.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 4:53 p.m.

What is sad is that the coaches involved in these violations are rarely punished. It's only the kids who lose. After Rodriguez is fired (23 days from now), he will be completely free to move on and screw up another program (hopefully in Division III) while the next coach and the new recruits will have to deal with the practice time limitations, which are quite significant. I don't think many people here understand the significance of those practice time reductions. Every hour of supervised practice is very valuable, gaining reps with the playbook, sitting in meetings, going over film with the coaches. The NCAA feels that has to be monitored closely to keep teams on an even playing field and at to least maintain the illusion that football players are here to receive an education (sorry, Harbaugh, every school this side of Stanford pretends). The NCAA did what it needed to do. The added year of probation is no big deal because, in this day and age, you should have people on staff specifically used to enforce compliance. Their jobs depend on cooperation from the coach. We should be running a clean program.


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 4:50 p.m.

It seems to me that "the failure to monitor" is suspiciously similar to RR's attitude toward defense. In effect, yes I know about it but I don't pay much attention to it. We cannot escape the fact that we will not come anywhere near a Big Ten or National championship without a vastly improved defense and special teams. The question is whether RR can deliver them. I doubt it.


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 4:38 p.m.

The report says Rich Rod "failed to monitor his football program". Really? That's all they have? You, I, and everyone else in the world knows that this is absolutely absurd. Is Rich Rodriguez a football coach or a babysitter? Yes, Rich Rod's staff went behind his back and broke rules, the key words being "RICH ROD'S STAFF"!!! Here are the allegations made by The Detroit Free Press based on "unnamed sources": 1) Mandatory practices were exceeded by up to 13 hours per week in the off-season in violation of NCAA rules. 2) Mandatory practices were exceeded by up to 4 hours per week during the season in violation of NCAA rules. 3) Mandatory practices were held every Sunday for 9 hours in violation of NCAA rules. After the NCAA investigation, it was confirmed that, IN REALITY: 1) The football program exceeded allotted daily practice time by one hour on only eight occasions. 2) On only one of those occasions, the daily overage caused the university to exceed the weekly limit by a total of 20 minutes. This is not a scenario where the NCAA was simply unable to prove Rich Rod failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance. The NCAA confirmed that he absolutely, without question, promoted an atmosphere of compliance. Not only that, but the impartial third party (NCAA) found that, yes there was a breakdown of communication, but there was absolutely no intent of disobedience. The Detroit Free Press ought to issue a public apology to Rich Rodriguez and his family for putting him through hell due to unsubstantiated accusations. If what they did isn't defamation of character, I don't know what is. If you are a Rich Rod hater and think The Free Press was well in its rights, then you are illogical. What if someone accused you of terrible things that you didn't do with little to no hard evidence to back them up? Everyone should be appalled by how the Detroit Free Press handled this story based on principle alone, regardless of your personal opinion of Rich Rodriguez, David Brandon, or the University of Michigan.

Sean T.

Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 4:11 p.m.

We were lucky to get a slap on the wrist, now maybe we can move forward and put this behind us. (especially for the next coach)


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 4:06 p.m.

I think this is good news overall for Michigan. We handled the whole thing very professionally, which will reflect well on the U-M going forward. David Brandon has done a great job early on. @Michboy40: I agree with you completely regarding the "haters". It's OK to make criticisms as long as you have some reasoning and support for what you're saying. Too many of these "haters" offer no constructive comments, are frequently way off-topic, and are just trying to spread their negativity with no logic behind it. I'm so glad I don't sit near any of them in the stadium, as I'd have to move my seats.


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 3:37 p.m.

Here is the Je'ron Stoke's article I spoke about:


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 3:35 p.m.

@Johnnya2 The Newspaper was wrong to print exaggerated and unproven claims from a selection of 2 - 3 misquoted (and this has been shown - Je'Ron Stokes on Rivals talks about it) freshman athletes. The University spoke to this with their quote that I have posted (greatly exaggerated / flatly incorrect). If you read the report, 90% of the overages are from quality control staffers monitoring stretching. Further, you say that the University agreed to 5 major violations. That is false. The University challenged the 5th (the most damaging allegation) and they won. Please read the actual report.


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 3:28 p.m.

@ssAA Interesting, the FACTS that have been accepted were that Michigan broke FIVE major rules. The U ADMITS to those. Tell me what part you can not comprehend about that? These facts are not open to debate anymore. The things that could not be proven does not mean they did not happen. I'll say it again. Just because they did not find the murder weapon does not mean OJ didn't kill his ex. Newspapers evidence requirements are not BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. You may think Michale Jackson didnt rape little boys, but would you have let your child sleep int he same bed with him? I guess the newspaper was wrong to report those allegations as well?


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 3:25 p.m.

@Johnnya2 The University of Michigan: "We are satisfied that the media reports were greatly exaggerated if not flatly incorrect." In Rod We Trust! GO BLUE!


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 3:25 p.m.

While the NCAA found that Coach Rodriguez had not failed to "promote an atmosphere of compliance", it would be foolhardy to assume that he was not only aware of the infractions, but by his failure to supervise--or otherwise--condoned the practice. While the NCAA could have imposed more severe penalties e.g. loss of scholarships and bowl appearances, the end result is probably the best that the University could have hoped for. The bigger question for AD David Brandon is the future of a coach that has not only disrespected the tradition of Michigan, but has offered an inferior product for its fans. With a 113,000 seats and 85 luxury boxes to fill, it becomes an economic decision as well. Could Domino's, in a highly competitive market, survive with an inferior product?


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 3:24 p.m.

john, there is still a duty by a journalist to investigate before writing a story.


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 3:14 p.m.

Larry, If you are referring to my "hater" comment I do not consider all Michigan fans who question the program "haters". I'm talking moslty of the Ghost, NoBowl, 3andout, etc... who always drive the negative into the ground without regard for reality, and with no real pooint of contention that has logic. I'm also talking about the fans of other teams that come on here and bash just because they can. (Although I suspect that those two groups are one in the same).


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 2:56 p.m.

@johnnya2 - No, the NCAA, investigating and interviewing people for almost a full year, could not PROVE the allegations the FREEP accepted as "facts."


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 2:49 p.m.

The Freep reported the facts as presented to them. The NCAA could not PROVE other allegations. Blaming the Freep is akin to saying because OJ was found not guilty he did not murder his wife or the waiter. The time may be off, BUT there were FIVE MAJOR violation that they were convicted of. I guess if Bernie Madoff had only stolen 100 million instead of BILLIONS, it would be less wrong to steal?


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 2:47 p.m.

I'm sure Rosenberg will be writing an apology for the hyperbolic hit-job article he wrote that started this whole fiasco.

Larry Weisenthal

Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 2:46 p.m.

I don't understand why it is necessary to characterize those who criticize aspects of the football program as "haters." If an academic department with an illustrious history descended into mediocrity under the direction of a department chair, said chair would not expect a lack of criticism -- same thing for the University President, for that matter. RR has been paid handsomely, supported generously in his legal problems with his former employer, and given the resources and time to establish a program. It is entirely appropriate to offer criticism for the complete failure of over one half of his program -- that being defense plus special teams. His efforts on offense have been a qualified success, but his performance with regard to the other areas of his responsibility have been entirely unacceptable, and one does not need to "hate" anything to focus attention on this obvious reality.

Blue Marker

Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 2:40 p.m.

Snyder, Rosenberg and Sharp should be fired over this. But they'll just keep on kicking dead dogs at that rag they call a paper.


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 2:30 p.m.

The third year of probation is meaningless. The loss of practice time and reduced coaches stays the same. No we can move on, with the exception of haters who will need to get their parting jabs in over the next 8 months until next season starts.

Solar Blue

Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 2:30 p.m.

I agree, could have been much worse. As far as the NCAA adding a third year to probation, this is understandable. They probably did not want to follow Michigan's self-imposed sanctions 100% of the way. I am confident that Michigan has been doing things the right way since all of this came to light (and, with Mr. Brandon now in charge of Athletics). So whether the probation is 2 or 3 years, it should not matter in the long run.


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 2:20 p.m.

This is good news to me.


Thu, Nov 4, 2010 : 2:07 p.m.

The third year is the NCAA showing they are boss and is disappointing. They want to prevent programs from sand bagging self imposed sanctions.