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Posted on Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 10:09 a.m.

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez's dealings with the NCAA not over; West Virginia case looms

By Jeff Arnold


Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez discusses the release of the NCAA's findings with reporters Tuesday. Rodriguez remains a key figure in the NCAA investigation ongoing at West Virginia.

Associated Press

The Michigan football program's dealings with the NCAA came to a close on Thursday. Rich Rodriguez, on the other hand, remains on the clock.

The third-year Michigan coach remains a key part of the on-going NCAA investigation at West Virginia, Rodriguez's previous employer. The Mountaineers' program is accused of several major violations similar to those that Michigan admitted to.

The NCAA charges that Rodriguez and successor Bill Stewart used graduate assistants, student managers and other quality control staff members to work in coaching roles. The probe also alleges that Rodriguez and Stewart failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the program. That charge was essentially lessened in the Michigan case.

West Virginia also faces a secondary charge stemming from a one-week period in 2006 when Rodriguez's team allegedly exceeded allowable practice hours. When the violations were announced in August, Rodriguez said he regretted any mistakes that were made and that errors weren't made intentionally.

Rodriguez said Thursday he is relieved to have Michigan's NCAA probe over. He may be asked to appear before NCAA officials in the West Virginia case. Rodriguez declined to speculate Thursday whether the NCAA's findings with Michigan will carry over.

"This is about Michigan, and so I don't want to discuss the West Virginia case and frankly, I haven't done a whole lot with it," Rodriguez said. "That's a separate case from the one here and, personally, I will deal with that one at the appropriate time."

The NCAA brought its case against West Virginia in August. Last month, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck told the Charleston Daily Mail that university officials are compiling data as they construct their defense. Friday marks the 90th day since school officials received the notice of allegations, meaning they will likely appear before the NCAA in mid-February in Florida.

Luck told the newspaper he feels the facts are "pretty clear" and that "people have been very cooperative - whether they're our people or others who are no longer working here."

Former West Virginia President Mike Garrison said in a phone interview Thursday night that officials at his former university may use the NCAA's findings at Michigan as they prepare their case.

"I think the NCAA report gives a pretty clear road map of the issues of concern and one could assume people at WVU will use this as a guide for their own hearing," Garrison said.

Garrison resigned as university president in 2008 amid pressure over following a controversy surrounding the awarding of an MBA to the daughter of West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin. Garrison, who works as an attorney in Morgantown, said Tuesday night that West Virginia or the NCAA has not contacted him. He served as president during the time that is outlined in the NCAA's investigation.

Garrison said he has not read the 29-page report issued Thursday, but said he believes Michigan "dodged a bullet." Whether West Virginia can do the same remains in question despite the common denominators.

"There's one person who is a common link on both of these investigations," Garrison said. "And that's the football coach at Michigan."

Garrison said before resigning at West Virginia, Rodriguez had several requests that would aid him in running his program. One included asking Garrison for more graduate assistants.

Garrison said he denied Rodriguez's requests, which he said played a role in Rodriguez leaving for Ann Arbor. Garrison said Thursday night he assumes Rodriguez knew the NCAA rules regarding allowable coaches.

"The intent - as far as how I took it - with having those graduate assistants was basically letting them do what he wanted them to do," Garrison said. "You see now there is some issue with monitoring what they were doing and guiding what they were doing. I think the coach has that responsibility."

In a letter to then-West Virginia athletic director Ed Pastilong that was written as a follow-up to his resignation , Rodriguez claimed that broken promises - in regards to more graduate officials, textbooks for student-athletes and a website for the football program - led to his decision to leave.

Garrison said Thursday night that each of the requests was considered "potentially over the line."

Michael Buckner, a Florida-based attorney who works with universities and specializes schools in violations cases, said Thursday that the NCAA faces an interesting challenge in ruling on West Virginia.

Paul Dee, the chair of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, said in a Thursday teleconference said the committee only ruled on the information it had from Michigan. He admitted to having knowledge that similar charges were levied against Rodriguez at West Virginia.

"It will be interesting to see how coach Rodriguez responds," Buckner said. "I didn't see him appeal any of the factual findings - which you can appeal - and try and play a little defense with regard to the West Virginia case, so it will be interesting to see what his attorney does."

Jeff Arnold covers sports for and can be reached at (734) 623-2554 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @jeffreyparnold.



Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:10 p.m.

@ Kem I'm very happy to see the win after the sloppiness. The case will be closed win Michigan can beat Iowa, PSU, OSU, Wisconsin and not the little kids of the Big Ten like Indiana and Illinois. Maybe winning against the mediocre Big Ten teams and whooping MAC teams and FCS teams every year is enough for you, but that's not Michigan. It was an embarrassing game to watch, being at a bar mostly of Texas fans. They kept on gibing me, saying the Michigan JV squad showed up, after the every turnover. Regardless, I'm very happy they made a bowl game. When Michigan's offense takes care of Wisconsin and Ohio St., I'll be happy to admit the case is closed. Which article should I it the one titled, "NCAA says Rich Rodriguez guilty of major rules violation, 'but not as egregious as originally alleged'"? Yeah, they swiped out the charge out of outright disregard for the rules to a charge of just being an ignorant know-nothing, or they just lacked proof of his intention to disregard. So, great, we just have an idiot coaching the team that is too stupid to know the rules? I GUESS that's better? Yeesh... The saddest part of the article, "Still, the Committee on Infractions was particularly concerned by some of the inactions of Michigans third-year head coach. It noted Rodriguez and his staff had been properly educated in rules meetings on Jan. 11 and June 3, 2008, as well as on Feb. 12, April 16 and July 29, 2009, yet did not follow them. At the hearing, the head coach stated that he had no specific recollection of reading the handouts supplied during the education sessions, the committee wrote. Regarding rules violations that occurred because of the misuse of quality-control staff, the committee wrote, these rules were clearly stated, yet the staff of this veteran, experienced head coach consistently violated them from the time they arrived on campus. THAT explains it, he just plum forgot he was at the meeting! Very convenient! In life, not knowing the rules does not exempt you from the penalties, but hiring enough lawyers can help you get you a reduced charge. It's a good lesson for the kids. I'll call it tom-a-to, you call it tom-ah-to, what's the difference?


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:23 p.m. the article on the charges RR was exonerated on the 5th charge of creating an atmosphere of blah, blah, blah, and the other 4 charges were not as egregrious as originally made out to be by the FREEP. See how you twist the story to make it worse than what you seem. I'm also sure you saw the game today...I don't need to say anything else about the closed.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 10:29 a.m.

@ Kem You can tell me they were stretching all day long. Michigan admitted guilt to four of the charges that occurred under Rodriguez's watch and, as a result, lost 130 hours of practice time and received three-years probation. And you did say the other coaches broke rules "...Bo broke rules, Mo broke rules and Lloyd broke rules..." I guess if you don't consider breaking NCAA rules cheating, then I can see why you support Rodriguez. Regarding the offense, what I'm saying is under the existing circumstances, the offense, as good as it has been, has not been enough in the last three games to overcome this team's deficiencies, or else we would not currently be in a three-game losing streak. Yeah, I agree IF the defense were mediocre, it wouldn't be different. It isn't, but one of the worst in our history. Focusing solely on the offense, it's not enough. IF we give Coach Rod another three-years to focus on the defense, maybe then we'll start winning in the Big Ten, but there's another one of those IFs you are so fond of. And it's tough to make a comparison to criminal law and NCAA rules, but the NCAA does not give our probation and deduct practice time for jaywalking. This was no misdemeanor, but a felony in the NCAA's eyes. You can argue it however you like, but unless you can argue away the probation and the 130 hours, you're SOL. Regarding the bowl games, you seem to prefer Michigan not make a bowl game every year? It sounds like if its not a sure win, you'd rather Michigan stay home. Yeah, I agree Michigan has had some lopsided losses to USC, but we weren't the only team to lose badly to Pete Carrol's teams. You seem to forget Tim Tebow's only bowl loss to Michigan, which was sandwiched between Florida's two national championship runs. And Michigan has never had a great history in winning bowl games, but it was making it to the bowl game that mattered, which included three weeks of additional practice. And you describe the idea of Michigan going to a bowl every year a "fantasy," but where were you the for nearly the last 40 years, before Coach Fraud showed up, Michigan made a bowl every year since 1976. That was reality, until Rodriguez decided defense wasn't a Michigan ideal and opted for cheating instead. Our offense has failed to score enough to win three games in a row, Coach Rod was NOT exonerated on the fifth charge, only that it was not, as Joe points out, egregious as originally thought. Still Michigan, under Coach Rod's watchful eye, admitted guilt to four violations and is being punished, our perfect record with the NCAA is gone forever and we're still looking for bowl game #1 of the new era. Slice it and dice it however you will, but that's reality. Inefficient offensive yardage isn't going those matters.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 10:12 a.m.

I just love this stuff! 4-16 record in division play. Program placed on probation for MAJOR rules violations. UM (govt agency)had to buy out a portion of the coaches contract because the coach violated said contract. Coach under investigation at previous employer. Coach involved in dubious land deals with banned football booster. But, the REAL issue is the (liberal?) media over at the Knight Ridder union busting newspaper! THEY "have it out" for this poor, poor, misunderstood coach. Tell me fans, what other person would you pay $6,000,000 for this record, the biggest upset in collegiate football, the worst record in UM history, and probation of the program? From where does the worship arise?


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 8:23 a.m.

Kem, A story on this website has the headline of: "NCAA says Rich Rodriguez guilty of major rules violation, 'but not as egregious as originally alleged'" It doesn't say that Michigan was found guilty as you assert!!! RR broke the rules, regardless of how silly or vague they are, he admitted that he did, he fought one reported violation (that he was accused of doing at WVU as well) and won his appeal, the NCAA ruled that RR broke the rules, basically accepted the UM sef-imposed penalties, but added one year of probation to show that they are in charge and walked away. What part of that is not true?


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 7:49 p.m.

@RudeJude...Reality...really. Again, the reality of the situation is Michigan was accused of stretching due in part to the vague rules of what the NCAA defined as practice time. The reality is RR was exonerated of charges brought against him...what part of that do you fail to understand. Even if I was anti-RR, I would concede as much. Again, you lost focus of your argument, your initial argument was the offense does not work in the Big Ten, I showed you that it does. Now, you're talking about the offense not winning's a team game Jude...both sides feed off each other and the defense has not stepped up. NO offense can overcome the ineptitude of this defense. We both know and fans and non-fans alike know offense is not the up and admit that. As far as a fan goes, I cheered through the Bo, Mo, Lloyd, and will continue to cheer for RR as long as he is the coach. Believe or not each coach had their issues, but were good men. What basis do you have that RR is a disgrace? Is that your assumption? Also, I don't need you to put words in my mouth about cheating (matter of fact I never said anyone cheated), but let me ask you a question, do you know what cheating is? Let me phrase it for you, it is taking short cuts to gain a competitive advantage. Oh yeah, the NCAA exonerated RR on that charge because there is no competitive advantage in stretching. If you want to study major violations look at USC. The only reason Michigan was hit with the so called "major" violation tag is that NCAA only has two types of violations; one is major the other is secondary. If the NCAA was a traffic cop, jay walking would be a major violation. The reality is you are living in this "just because we're Michigan that everything should be handed to us and we should go to bowls every year" fantasy. Going to a bowl was cool until we started getting blown, I distinctly remember the Tennessee slaying and the USC beat down (twice), did Lloyd and Bo both have losing bowl records? My point is that we were not the dominant team that we think we were and 11-1 in 2006 was actually the exception and not the rule for UM football. Now that is reality...

3 And Out

Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 7:31 p.m.

Ode to Theo12's King: We're caught in a Trap We can't walk out Because our defense stinks so badly Why cant Brandon see What Rich is doin to me When he don't believe in recruiting defense We can't defend together With a Suspicious Line We can not build our team With a Suspicious Line When an old friend named Mo Drops by to say Hello Will he see suspicion in our Line? Here we go again Asking how we can defend a walk-on QB with two weeks to prepare? We can not win games anymore With a Rich Rod line We can not build our dreams With a Rich Rod mind Oh let our program survive Oh dry the tears from our eyes We let a good thing die When Martin pulled the wool over our eyes We're caught in a trap... rinse and repeat PS: Im a hunka hunka burnin love too.


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 4:24 p.m.

@ Kem What did you prove exactly? Coach rod 1-3 in the Big Ten this year, and you proved what? Great offensive numbers that fail to translate to points and victories equals failure. All you proved is that you can claim victories in arguments you never argued. Too bad Coach Rod can't pull that tactic, he could just claim a perfect season and never play a single game. And what years were the Michigan coaches you claim cheated put on probation by the NCAA? As a Michigan fan, you should be ashamed saying that about our coaches. Unless you have proof of said cheating, then that's one thing, otherwise you're just working off an assumption. And are you saying a Michigan coach cannot compete without resorting to cheating? I gotta confiscate your Michigan Fan card for those comments. You're no fan. Even the supporters of Rich Rod would have to agree with that. And there you go again, "IF the defense was just average." There you go with the IFs. Kem, do yourself a favor and read the next sentence very slowly and you'll see why you are wrong. MICHIGAN'S DEFENSE IS NOT AVERAGE, BUT ONE OF THE WORST DEFENSES IN THE NCAA AND POSSIBLY THE HISTORY OF MICHIGAN FOOTBALL. Stay in reality. The offense is not enough to make up for this. It's very exciting to watch but not enough to make for Rich Rod's defensive and special teams shortcomings. I would expect Dave Brandon to attack the newspaper, it is what I would do if I were in his position. It does not change the fact that, in the reality that we live in and not the fantasy "IF" world in your head, Michigan has been found guilty of breaking several MAJOR NCAA violations and has been put on probation for three years and has lost 130 hours of practice. Stay in reality, my friend, as painful as it is.


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 4:12 p.m.

@Beanie..Oh, RR was coaching with those three guys as well?! Darn, I should have kept my mouth shut. :-)


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 3:35 p.m.

@ Drew Sharp, I mean RudeJude...I get it, you're never going to get over, as soon as they stop with the probation talk you'll find something else to complain about. I also get it that you do not have a clue what UM got dinged for..stretching and that is after the strict NCAA went over everything with a fine tooth comb. Quit acting like UM or yourself is holier than thou, Bo broke rules, Mo broke rules and Lloyd broke rules, the difference is that the Free Press have an agenda against RR. Have you read the quotes from Brandon and even the NCAA, Brandon came close to saying this whole process was a waste of time and that the Free Press should apologize for this mess. I see you're changing the focus of your argument, you mentioned the offense can't contend in the Big Ten. When I proved that it does work, now you want to attack the wins vs losses. C'mon the offense does work, Oregon is doing the same thing, the difference between the two is Oregon has a defense. Talk about the defense all you like, but leave the offense out of it. You have a first year starter who is only a sophomore who has already broken the Big Ten rushing record and the team is on pace to break the Big Ten total offense record. If the defense just plays average, Michigan is a legit contender and you know it.


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 2:51 p.m.

Best Coaches in Michigan History (For Fans who KNOW their Michigan history): 1. Fielding H. Yost 2. Glenn "Bo" Schembechler 3-T. Fritz Crisler 3-T. Lloyd Carr See the pattern? Huh huh? You got it, no NCAA violations, and full of class. The Michigan True say, "No way." To a coach who turns up his nose to the NCAA When you accept a coach without class It's not long until he becomes a pain in our...butt.; D


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 2:32 p.m.

@ Kem The NCAA is strict in regards to their limits on the allotted hours of practice, and Rodriguez, be it out of arrogance or ignorance, broke that rule or allowed those under his supervision to break them. This isn't similar to going five over the speed limit and still getting a ticket as much as you'd like to make it seem that way. I'll get over it when Michigan's coach is no longer under investigation for NCAA rule breaking and isn't causing our team to be put under probation and tossing away invaluable practice time. I'll get over it when I stop seeing Michigan's probation discussed on ESPN to a national audience with potential recruits listening. And, no, I did not forget the Oregon game, nor the App St. game. Yes, the problem is our defense and Rodriguez has done little if nothing to remedy it. As bad as our defense was in those two games, I believe they would fair better than our current defense. Would you really argue otherwise? It is clear both our defense and special teams are an afterthought to Rodriguez. The Iowa game you touted earlier was a prime example of the bad state Rodriguez has led them into. Also, the turnovers you bring up are another example of Rodriguez's poor coaching job. I don't see the taught argument you are claiming to make. Is it that our offense is good enough to win games? It has not been enough in the last three games. I agree, IF the defense was better, maybe it would be enough. IF we didn't fumble as much. IF Troy Woolfolk was healthy. IF, IF, IF. The truth is our defense is not better and the offense has not outscored our opponent's offense in the last 3 games and we are fumbling all too often. Wake up to reality.


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 1:46 p.m.

RudeJude...apparently if you have done the research, NCAA reduced the number of "charges" to 2 and that is because they realized the rules put forth were vague. The football team was "penalized" for stretching, yes think UM is the only team that may have misinterpreted that rule? Sounds like you are disappointed RR was exonerated and now you trying to find something else. Get over it and move on. About the offense...the problem isn't the offense, it's defense and special teams. The defense isn't creating stops and teams are grinding down the defense thus reducing the number of times the offense gets the ball, that's a lot of pressure on an offense to have to score everytime they get the ball. Plus turnovers do not help either. So for you to say the offense does not work is ludicrous. I remember Oregon with a spread offense kicked UM's butt in 2007. I know, I know, that you forgot that game, but what about App State, they ran a spread as well. I can go on and on about that. Look at all the facts before you make an argument...I'm beginning to think you are Drew Sharp posing under an alias.


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 1:20 p.m.

There's no doubt that Theo can rhyme, But even he will see in due time, If Coach Rod wins a prize, It will be won with many, many lies. Michigan deserves better than a crystal covered in grime. * 4-16 in the Big Ten * First coach in Michigan's history to violate NCAA rules * Led Michigan into three-year probational period and reduction of practice time * Still under investigation by NCAA


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 12:50 p.m.

@ Kem How'd that game against Iowa turn out? You're doing a great job proving my point with your rhetoric. Michigan has a very inefficient offense. It can put up big yardage, sure, but when it comes to points they fall short. Personally, I'd prefer to have a team that wins rather than shatters offensive records and loses. MAYBE if Rodriguez would have bothered to work on the defense even a little, things would be working, but since Rod has yet to understand he is the Head Coach and not the Offensive Coordinator, it's probably not going to happen. This coach had trouble in West Virginia and it followed him and tainted the Michigan program. Call it rhetoric, but I see a Michigan team guilty of major violations that is on probation for the next three years. That's not cleverly worded, just plain ol' fact. I also love the part that Rodriguez is required to attend the 2011 NCAA Rules meeting because this guy never bothered to look them up in his tenure as a head coach. What a sad joke, and the worst part is there still exists a small minority of fans that support this fraud. And I'll be happy to take your money not to return to this site. The news I get here can usually be found on other sites days earlier. Tell you what, send me $100 dollars and I'll gladly donate it to the "Ditch Rich" Buy-out fund in your name. Deal? :D


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 12:48 p.m.

Does anyone in "the state up north" remember that as recently as 2006, #2 Blue played the #1 Buckeyes in THE GAME for a shot at the BCS game? Oh, from wht heights you have fallen! ND's FB program degenerated over an extended period of time. UM has collapsed at the speed of light. You can't dump RR fast enough. Even this Buckeye wants him gone. UM's poor performance diminishes the value of the rivalry.


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 12:05 p.m.

@RudeJude....I get that you don't like RR, but at least do the research on what happened at WV. Despite the quote from Garrison, RR did the same thing at WV. This actually helps his case since it shows there was miscommunication within that football program amongst the administration as well. "his offense fails to contend in the Big Ten" you are spewing rhetoric. His offense is on pace to shatter records in the Big Ten and didn't they put up nearly 500 yards against Iowa who at the time was one of the best defenses in the nation? Now, if you choose to come back to this site I will gladly give you a few dollars not to. This rhetoric has to end.


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 11:09 a.m.

That darn Free Press is at it again. Now they have created a mess for the West Virginia Football Program. Cancel your subscriptions!


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 11:01 a.m.

I am curious how many fans are supportive of Rodriguez just because they believe he can return Michigan football to greatness. While I WAS supportive of him and willing to give him a chance to succeed, I am now questioning whether the administrators made a huge mistake selecting this guy. It appears that there are numerous questionable practices he has been involved with, and just as he offers less than plausible excuses for his failures at michigan, he cannot bring himself to admit that he has done wrong. I am not a proponent of releasing a coach during the season, but I think Michigan football and the university will be better served without Rich Rodriguez as head coach. While I think Harbaugh MAY be a credible replacement, the next coach should be one of impeccable integrity and one who knows how to win in the Big Ten. I am not privy to the information, nor am I competent to make the proper decision on who the next coach should be. I would prefer another two years of a struggling team with a new coach than to 5-6 years with a struggling team coached by RR


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 10:39 a.m.

I really hope Brandon is just being diplomatic until the end of the season. If he continues his cheerleader speeches without any sense of tough talk, he may turn out to be a spineless wimp, just towing the comapany line, until things are beyond reason.


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 9:56 a.m.

I support Rich Rodriguez. I don't like everything he has done, and I want him to win more, but I don't believe he has had a fair shake. A segment of our fans set out to crusify this guy the second he got to campus, so until he is fired or quit's, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I only ask one thing from D Brandon. If you fire the coach at the end of the year, I will support you too, as long as you have a plan. And by plan, I mean you better have his back up firmly in the saddle, and you better KNOW you are going to get your guy. Also, no vacations that involve being away from your cell phone for 48 hrs. while "your guy" is left out to dry the day before his BCS title game.


Fri, Nov 5, 2010 : 9:42 a.m.

"There's one person who is a common link on both of these investigations," Garrison said. "And that's the football coach at Michigan." How the "true fans" stick behind this guy is beyond me. We can debate the severeness of the NCAA penalties, but I'll never understand how there are Michigan fans who support the coach that took away Michigan's clean record and image. That IS enough for true fans. How far some fan's standards have fallen that they support our team being led by a disgrace like Rodriguez, touting his supposed "offensive genius" though his offense fails to contend in the Big Ten and that he has completely ignored the defensive side of the ball as well as Special Teams. He has lowered the meaning of Michigan on and off the field. If UofM chooses to keep Rodriguez around because of his contract, I'll be happy to donate a couple hundred dollars to help buy his contract out. This disgrace has to end.