Michigan football staff battled negativity of losing seasons, NCAA investigation on recruiting trail
“It did” come up some, Rodriguez said. “We figured that some people would ask questions or try to use that in a negative vein, but it really wasn’t an issue at all.”
Rodriguez wouldn’t identify what school negatively recruited against Michigan, but he said - unprompted - it wasn’t Ohio State.
“There’s only one school I think in our league that we thought was negative recruiting quite a bit,” he said. “Most of the rest of the of them didn’t The farther you go south there’s a little bit more negative recruiting.”
Michigan signed 27 players in what was a consensus top-20 class Wednesday, though Rivals.com ranked Michigan 20th, it’s lowest overall mark since rankings began in 2002.
Rodriguez said he did find it more difficult to recruit coming off back-to-back losing seasons. Michigan is 8-16 in his two years as coach.
“It’s tougher than it was if you were winning a national championship, there’s no question,” Rodriguez said. “If you’re on this end, we’ve gotten a little better, so you see progress. But I think you also can see opportunity.”
As for the NCAA investigation, Rodriguez said he wasn’t apprised of what was discussed at a closed-door Board of Regents meeting Wednesday to reportedly focused on the probe.
“We’re all interested in” where the investigation stands, he said. “We’ll all know in due time. They’ll let us know in due time what’s going on and everything like that.”
Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.