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Posted on Sat, Aug 14, 2010 : 8:30 p.m.

Dave Brandon: Michigan had 'a fair and thorough hearing' with the NCAA Committee on Infractions

By Michael Rothstein

SEATTLE - The defense is over. Now the waiting begins.

As Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon and his contingent from Ann Arbor emerged from the Grand I Ballroom at the Westin on Saturday afternoon, he could relax.

The university presented its case concerning five alleged major NCAA violations against the Michigan football program - four of which the school has accepted responsibility for - in a seven-and-a-half hour hearing that included three breaks. When it ended, Brandon said nothing from it surprised him.

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Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon, shown in a file photograph, said, "The process will continue. And under the rules, based on the process as it has been laid out, we’re going to be very quiet."

“We had a fair and thorough hearing, and we feel good about the fact that we were given that opportunity,” Brandon said. “And the process will continue. And under the rules, based on the process as it has been laid out, we’re going to be very quiet.”

Brandon said he didn’t receive a definitive timetable from the NCAA Committee on Infractions but instead a range of time he wouldn’t elaborate on. The Committee on Infractions typically takes anywhere from one to three months to render a decision.

NCAA Committee on Infractions members remained inside the ballroom for another hour after Michigan left the room. Outside the room, Brandon did almost all the speaking for Michigan.

Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, wearing a pale green suit with black trim, did not speak with the media after the hearing. Football coach Rich Rodriguez initially declined to talk, but eventually answered one question as he hurriedly walked from the ballroom to the elevator surrounded by Michigan strength and conditioning coach Mike Barwis and another individual.

“Certainly glad that this part of the process is over,” Rodriguez said.

The charges the NCAA alleged after an almost year-long investigation:

• Quality-control staff members regularly monitored voluntary off-season workouts and regularly assisted with on- and off-field coaching duties.

• Players were required to participate in more than the maximum allowed practice hours.

• Graduate assistant coach Alex Herron provided “false and misleading information” to NCAA enforcement staff.

• The athletic department “failed to adequately monitor its football program to assure” NCAA compliance.

• Rodriguez “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program and failed to adequately monitor the duties and activities” of his quality-control staff.

The only charge Michigan disputed was Rodriguez’s failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance. The investigation was spurred by a Detroit Free Press series into practice hour overages within the Michigan football program.

The allegations are the first major NCAA violations in Michigan football history.

Herron, who was accused of lying to NCAA investigators, arrived at the meeting wearing a tan suit. He did not stay in the hearing the entire time, leaving shortly after lunch.

The hearing took three breaks throughout the day, a brief one beginning at 10:33 a.m. that sent Big Ten Conference commissioner Jim Delany to the elevator and most of the rest of the participants to the restrooms. At 12:05 p.m., the committee broke for lunch. It reconvened at 1:18 p.m.

Brandon, who has been the face of Michigan’s response to the NCAA investigation since Michigan received the NCAA Notice of Allegations in February, appeared in good spirits for most of the day considering his athletic department was the subject of the hearing.

Even so, he was relieved when it was over.

“Yes,” Brandon said. “I’m heading back to Ann Arbor, Michigan, take this suit off, get ready to watch football practice tomorrow and get back into the swing of things.”

It was a long day.

It officially began at 8:30 a.m. although most of the Michigan contingent was in the ballroom well before the start time. Brandon took the escalator to the fourth floor at 8:04 a.m. wearing a dark suit, a Michigan pin on his left suit lapel and with a “good morning, gang” to the media assembled outside the ballroom, joined by Coleman.

Three minutes later, Rodriguez came up the escalator in a dark sports coat, gray dress pants and a lighter blue shirt.

Tables were set up in the meeting room with white tablecloths covering them. Each participant had a placard with their name in black lettering. Microphones also sat on the table.

Prior to the meeting at least 12 boxes - including some marked ‘UM exhibits - were brought to the hearing room by bell cart.

The majority of Michigan group, which included Brandon, Coleman, Rodriguez, Barwis, faculty representative Percy Bates, assistant athletic director for football Scott Draper and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, had a buffet breakfast earlier in the morning on the third floor in the Whidbey Room.

Coleman and Rodriguez had been up since at least 7 a.m., as they were spotted chatting together before entering the Whidbey Room to have breakfast.

Despite the clear room setup as a hearing - one former Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan described as “closer to a Congressional inquiry when you’re sitting in there, to some degree, with your peers in front of you” - Brandon seemed at ease throughout the day.

He had pizzas, cheesy bread and desserts from Domino’s Pizza delivered to the media as they staked out the room. During the first break, he engaged committee member Missy Conboy in a long discussion and afterward seemed comfortable with how Michigan performed.

“It’s not an ambush thing at all,” Brandon said. “It’s not the nature of the process. Very collegial and professional and everybody was given an ample opportunity to express their views and that’s the way it should be.”

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein



Thu, Aug 19, 2010 : 2:51 p.m.

If we win against UConn, it will be a shock - they had a good season last year and they didn't lose many players. Should be interesting.


Mon, Aug 16, 2010 : 5:26 p.m.

Look at the schedule - there is every reason to believe in a losing season. Let's break it down. It takes seven (7) losses to make a losing season. Definite losses - without question - no way UM will win: ND, OSU, Iowa, PSU, Wisconsin That's five (5) right there. After that two (2) more will come from the following: UConn, MSU, Illinois, Purdue. No way UM wins more than two of these games. That's 7 losses, ending in a 5-7 season.


Mon, Aug 16, 2010 : 11:24 a.m.

Just take a good look at Michigan's schedule and there is no rationale for a losing season. If fact if we open with a win against UConn -- and we will, it should be a pretty good season in 2010.


Mon, Aug 16, 2010 : 10:34 a.m.

sally-this is a bold statement. please show us the reason you think michigan will have a loosing season this year... boy i wish i had a crystal ball or in your case cards or maybe you use tealeafs to predict this outcome? show us some facts for this prediction! its easy to talk smack when you agree with some one-else that talks smack and you have no facts to back-it up...


Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 11:04 p.m.

"'Pizza Party in Seattle' Sounds like everyone had fun. We'll see how much fun it is in a couple months when the hammer comes down during another losing season in aa." Good post, redceder1. I agree that another losing season is in the cards for A2. RR will end up getting fired, or as the politically correct spin docs at the UM will say: he left to spend more time with his family and coach at the community college level.


Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 7:25 p.m.

Michael Rothstein, Actually I thought you did a pretty good job trying to give us something out of nothing. Must be hard. Some complained that you wrote about clothes. Some complained that you didn't write enough about clothes. Some complained that there weren't pictures, pictures of what? the hallway? the elevator? Some complain that they needed more insight. It really goes to want, not need or the right to know. Must be hard. What I would "like" to know is did the compliance dept personal go? I would assume they did, but it wasn't clear. Thanks!


Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 7:25 p.m.

Actually, I like Dave Brandon better than I do Domino's pizza in fact my wife makes absolutely the best pizza definitely better than Domino's. Man, if Dave could have served my wife's pizza rather than Domino's I'd bet even money that Michigan would have been cleared of all violations. Maybe when RR and team get out here for the Rose Bowl this year we'll invite them over to my house for some real pizza. Well, it's a thought. I sure hope that the policy police don't feel it necessary to make an example of Mich. after the USC thing. Hey Quack, I'm guessing that Mrs Coleman was dressed appropriately for the circumstances and I'm sure Mich. was represented with the utmost class and dignity that they deserve. This whole thing is sad for such a fine and classy school. It amazes me how these violations are such a big deal and yet so many of our government officials are probably guilty of gross criminal misconduct it sets a real bad example to our young people. Well anyways, this to will pass and I hope it will help in some way. In our lives you can wake up in the morning and all is well and then maybe the phone rings and your life is torn apart never to be the same and if that has never happened to you well, be patient boys and girls you just haven't lived long enough. I don't know what the Detroit newspaper motives were I doubt if the motives were all for the better of some Christian way of life. You will find that when you are at the top of the mountain doing quite well there really are those that don't like you just becuase and there are those that won't hesitate to bring you down to their level, being pissed off at the world. That goes for people or companies its an ugly human thing that is why I understand how this happened and my only surprise is that it didn't happen before I think we just didn't get caught for these type of violations. I have no doubt that under Bo, Gary or LLoyd there were some type of violations at some point and I'd be quite naive to think otherwise don't you think? I'm glad this is almost over but I think other colleges better take this seriously cause the policy police will be watching and rags like the free press that don't like a particular school will be lurking.


Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 6 p.m.

"Mary Sue Coleman,wearing a pale green suit with black trim"... give me a break! What were David Brandon and RichRod wearing, pray tell? Have you looked at Dr. Coleman's resume? Certainly, her experience and qualifications doesn't warrant such a sexist report of her presence at this meeting.


Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 1:26 p.m.

I really want to know how the lawyers were dressed.

Kathleen Giesting

Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 1:05 p.m. continues to disappoint. No picture of Mary Sue Coleman in her light green suit and no comment on the attire of the other UM representatives at the hearings. Were the guys at least in maize & blue ties?

Jaxon Boyfriend

Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 11:37 a.m.

It might be the end of the RR era, I never liked the Rail Roads anyway - but for RichRod, his train is continuing to pick up steam and knocking out anyone and any team in his way. Look for Mr. Rodrigeuz as 'coach of the year', holding the crystal football - coming soon, very soon! Go Blue.


Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 11:28 a.m.

Number6fan,"Others can't help but predict the end of the RR era" There are no coments posted yet predicting the end of the RR era.


Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 10:49 a.m.

Rorshach Ink Blot; what a great analogy! I think it will rain at the Purdue game as well. I don't blame the Freep for all of this -- they were just a tool. Someone at Michigan obviously tipped off the Freep. My question is who and why at Michigan did this. Why go after RR?


Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 10:18 a.m.

This is great! Reading things into Dave Brandon's facial expression in a picture that wasn't even taken at this hearing - it's an old file photo that I have seen previously on, if memory serves me right. Oh, and while we're at meaningless speculation: does anyone know how the Michigan delegation traveled to Seattle? Do they still have access to Domino's jet? At least they can still get their pizza, or so says the article. Any deeper meaning in that, too?


Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 9:39 a.m.

The comment section is a bit like reading Rorshach Ink Blot responses since the story is basically neutral - it lets us know that a procedural hearing was completed - and some of the commentators have "read in" amazing insights based upon Dave Brandon's picture as he is speaking. Others can't help but predict the end of the RR era - was it the blue shirt? Let's be real: Another step in the process has taken place and we'll know the results at some undisclosed time later. I'm pretty sure we ALL know that this means it will be the cause of rain during the Purdue game - at the very least!!

Michael Rothstein

Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 7:57 a.m.

Inside the Hall, Didn't see any PR people from Michigan (I know Ablauf and Madej did not make the trip). Lawyers were there for sure. A lot of them.


Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 7:46 a.m.

MR: Who else was part of the Michigan party making the trip. Any communications/PR or attorneys in Seattle?


Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 5:55 a.m.

Sounds like things went normally. I like that we were given some insight into the event. Mr Brandon sounds like he ran an even keel and there is no doubt he is handling himself very astutely. I hope this whole affair helped the Detroit Free Press in some positive way. I probably won't buy copy from them ever again. I realize they were doing what they perceive is their job but I for one hope that their paper goes out of business. I don't blame them I just don't like their style. Go Blue!


Sun, Aug 15, 2010 : 12:18 a.m.

Well that part of the witch hunt is over, finally we can get back to talking about how the Rich Rodriguez spread is going to dominate the Big 10 this season, you morons that don't support the U of M are either ignorant or clueless. Either way, two years is a small price to pay for a Big 10 championship in 2010, MOOOOOOO


Sat, Aug 14, 2010 : 9:30 p.m.

Now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.


Sat, Aug 14, 2010 : 8:27 p.m.

Well I'm glad we now know what everyone was wearing, how many breaks were taken, and that Brandon fed the media. I'm sure the dollars spent by and the other "news" organizations present were well worth it to give us all that spine tingling insight into the process of this hearing.


Sat, Aug 14, 2010 : 7:42 p.m.

Give Dave Brandon his due. He's one loyal guy. After all, it was Domino's.. Seriously, I think everyone feels a whole lot better with DB running the athletic department.. Even though Bill Martin got UofM into this mess, I can't imagine him leading Michigan through this process.