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Posted on Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 3:32 p.m.

Michigan alters practice plans to meet with NCAA; Rich Rodriguez, Danny Hope say there's no feud

By Michael Rothstein

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.

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



Tue, Aug 3, 2010 : 1:43 p.m.

I have to ask the Mitches of the world... you really are honored to have a coach that had to answer questions about... being put on probation and a trip to Seattle? getting in a feud with another coach after a game? not suspending a player at all that was put on probation for a DUI, and then violating probation? It appears times have changed at UM....


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 8:39 p.m.

Good of the coach to try to prevent Seattle from becoming a team distraction. Unfortunately, it has already caused the team to start a day later than intended. Let's hope it does not have any more impact than that. Will the NCAA layer on additional penalties? If they do, will it even matter? It certainly won't prevent this team from going to postseason play. There is little chance of that happening. I'm thinking the defense will allow record yardage on the ground and 5 touchdowns per game. And the offense might score 3 touchdowns but only when it isn't turning the ball over. During the past 2 years, I haven't seen evidence to indicate otherwise.


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 7:43 p.m.

Hey Rich, feel free to STAY in Seattle when you're out there. Watching you lose game after game is getting very tiring. Your time is just about up!