Michigan alters practice plans to meet with NCAA; Rich Rodriguez, Danny Hope say there's no feud
CHICAGO - Michigan football practices begin Monday and two-a-day workouts begin Aug. 15, one day later than coach Rich Rodriguez would like.
The reason? Rodriguez and Michigan officials will address the NCAA Committee on Infractions in Seattle on Aug. 14. Rodriguez plans to fly out the day before.
“We’ll keep it from being a distraction,” Rodriguez said. “I’ll have to go and do it, and it is something that we all at the university have to go and look forward to meeting with them and furthering that process along.”
Michigan has investigated allegations into practice time violations for close to a year.
The NCAA typically takes six to eight weeks to render a decision on whether to further punish Michigan beyond its self-imposed violations that includes the loss of practice time and restrictions on quality-control coaches.
Rodriguez, Purdue coach Hope dismiss talk of a feud
Rodriguez and Purdue coach Danny Hope had a heated post-game conversation following the Boilermakers’ 38-36 win over Michigan in November. The disagreement was based off a one-game suspension of Zach Reckman.
Rodriguez said after November’s game he felt Hope blamed him for getting Reckman suspended the week after Michigan linebacker Jonas Mouton was suspended for a “non-football act” against Notre Dame.
Neither coach appeared comfortable when asked about the incident Monday, including a visible bristle from Hope. Hope said he and Rodriguez haven’t discussed the incident.
“No, not about anything like that,” Hope said. “We see each other at all the Big Ten meetings. It’s not an issue.”
Rodriguez said he moved past the incident - the second time in three years he has butted heads with a Purdue coach. Former Boilermakers coach Joe Tiller called Rodriguez a “snake oil salesman” after Roy Roundtree chose Michigan over Purdue at the last minute in 2008.
“Everything is fine,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t want any more drama, probably Danny doesn’t either. It’s just a situation that came up and we talk about it and move on.”
A nearly healthy roster
With a week until the start of preseason practice, Michigan is going into the 2010 mostly healthy.
Rodriguez said he anticipates one player - defensive end Will Heininger - will not be ready for fall camp. Heininger tore his right ACL in spring practice.
Included on the healthy list is sophomore running back Vincent Smith, who is coming off an ACL injury of his own. In years past, Smith’s torn ACL might have kept him out of the start of the season. Now, though, it is different.
“Not with the medical technology that is available these days and the science part of it,” Rodriguez said. “You have to do the rehab, but they could come back quicker.”
Smith is in the midst of a competition with Mike Cox and Fitzgerald Toussaint for the starting running back job.
Rodriguez said Michael Shaw, another candidate, has two weeks left of summer school but couldn’t elaborate because Michigan does not comment on academic standing of athletes.
This and that
Rodriguez indicated both Darryl Stonum and Junior Hemingway would have the first shot at the starting outside receiver spots. Stonum, who was jailed for three days for violating probation, will not receiver further punishment from Michigan. Rodriguez said his daughter, Raquel, has asked him to teach her about football.