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Posted on Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 10:55 a.m.

Questions and answers: Where do things stand for the Michigan football program?

By Dave Birkett

Q. Where does the NCAA investigation into Michigan’s football program stand? A. Michigan released a Notice of Allegations last month detailing five infractions the NCAA says it committed. The university has until May 24 to file its official response, and is scheduled to appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions Aug. 13-14 in Seattle.

Q. What are the allegations specifically?

A. That Michigan exceeded the permissible limit of football coaches when six quality-control assistants took part in restricted activities; that the team violated practice rules by exceeding time limits and having staff members monitor summer workouts; that graduate-assistant coach Alex Herron lied to NCAA investigators; that head coach Rich Rodriguez failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance and properly monitor his staff; and that the university failed to adequately monitor its football program.

Q. Which violations are the most serious?

A. Failure to monitor “is a significant violation as far as the NCAA is concerned,” former NCAA Infractions Committee chairperson David Swank said. It’s unclear what coaching duties Rodriguez knew his support staff was taking part in, but Rodriguez said in an April, 2008 deposition that he was aware of NCAA restrictions on coaching size and duties. “You have to only use the 12 on the field for coaching,” he said at the time. Regardless, by including the last two allegations, the NCAA is indicating that it believes Michigan did more than simply misinterpret the rules.

Q. What’s Michigan’s response?

A. We won’t officially know for a couple months, but new athletic director Dave Brandon acknowledged in a press conference last month that Michigan violated rules on coaching limits and practice time, though he indicated “internal confusion” over NCAA rules led to the latter accusation. He did not outline a defense for the other allegations. Because the university’s investigation turned up similar findings, Michigan is likely to self-impose some penalties.

Q. What punishment will Michigan face?

A. Since penalties usually reflect the rules that were broken, Michigan stands to lose practice time (double the amount it exceeded NCAA limits by, probably over a multi-year period) and face staff-size restrictions, including possibly the loss of an assistant coach position. Herron almost certainly will receive a show-cause action that prevents him from coaching at a member institution in coming seasons.

Because the violations are considered major, Michigan also could lose scholarships and/or official visits, and likely will be put on two or three years of probation, which subjects the athletic department to more NCAA scrutiny. The NCAA also asked Michigan to provide the Infractions Committee with copies of its win-loss record from 2006-09 and television obligations for the next three years. Theoretically, penalties affecting those areas could be in play, too, though a TV ban is highly unlikely. The NCAA has restricted just two schools from appearing on TV since 1996, and both were found to have a lack of institutional control.

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Mon, Mar 15, 2010 : 11:09 p.m.

I for one appreciate that Tater and Theo are out there bashing our little sisters. They may think they are better than us today, but this is not about reason or logic. State must never be better than us! If you think they are better than us then you are not a real UM fan!! Do NOT let apparent facts get in the way of the obvious! Saint Theo and Paster Tater are incredibly biased but that is who we are!!


Mon, Mar 15, 2010 : 8:08 p.m.

ND doesn't have Golden Tate, or Clausen. How do u think we cant beat them. They have a new caoch so it will be hard for them to have a good season. Iowa could be a potential upset. Even Wisconsin. I believe 8 wins, and we will keep RR and he will improve the team. K how do u think we will lose to illinois witout Juice. We can beat purdue, and indiana. OSU will be tough but last year was actually a close game. We can beat UConn. If we were to beat them pretty bad then that momentum will carry out to rest of the season and hopefully leading to upsets against Iowa, Wis, and OSU. We can take MSU, by the time we play them all our players in key positions will be healthy. 3-9 CMON, yeah if RR was left wit players that cant run his system like in 08. And plz explain a MICHIGAN MAN is. Cuz the ones that i know of, they r all under contracts wit other teams and seem to be doin well with them, so good luck on finding another Michigan Man and dealing with an extension of more losing seasons. The best thing for UM is to keep the coach that all the players trust. Because if we get another coach it will be a repeat of 08-09. Have some common sense ppl its not hard to think. GO BLUE!!!!


Mon, Mar 15, 2010 : 6:07 p.m.

Realistically, I think we're looking at 3-9 next season.


Mon, Mar 15, 2010 : 6:01 p.m.

Billy, GOBlueinNE_PA is not far off. The defense is a huge question mark. It's going to be closer to 4 wins that it is 7. Even 4 wins next season are not guaranteed. UConn is a likely loss, along with ND, MSU, Purdue, Indiana and Illinois. Perhaps, they may win one of the Purdue/ Indiana /Illinois games, but I'll believe it when I see it.


Mon, Mar 15, 2010 : 3:29 p.m.

No way does Michigan beat ND or Iowa


Mon, Mar 15, 2010 : 2:59 p.m.

4 wins! are you serious? I think 6 or 7 would be more likely. Wins vs Uconn or ND, Umass, Bowling Green, Indiana, Illinois and Purdue. Possible additional wins MSU, Iowa & Uconn/ND. The defense should be better this year with the same dcoord for a consecutive year AND a little depth so they dont tire out in the second half.


Mon, Mar 15, 2010 : 12:15 p.m.

Saline I think your timing is a little off. Remember, the meeting w/the NCAA happens in August, but the punishment won't come out for 8 ot 10 weeks later. That should put us knee deep into the season. If RichRod somehow manages to actually win, then I think he probably stays, but if we are slogging through yet another disgraceful display, then he's out of here. While I hope I'm wrong and I know the kids will do their best, I don't see us winning more than 4 games next season. So I think RR is sent packing, w/the NCAA violations giving us the just cause. My guess, RR finishes the season and sometime by Thanksgiving, he's relieved of duty and we have a new search committee being formed.


Mon, Mar 15, 2010 : 11:03 a.m.

The U of M is in a good position in regards to RR. I thought they would fire him after the report came out. What BG can do now is evaluate RR this summer and terminate him in August after the NCAA finds us guilty of rules violations. (Just Cause) I honestly believe our home opener against UCONN will be another loss for us because of our defense. They are a good team and will be fired up when they come to the big house.


Mon, Mar 15, 2010 : 9:09 a.m.

There is no such thing as a "Michigan Man".That is an tiresom idiom dragged up by Bo (not a Michigan Man )to describle Steve Fisher (not a Michigan man) over Frieder (who WAS a michigan man )and the coach of the UM basketball team.Neither Bo or Fisher had any connection to the state of Michigan or its university other than his job title.As far as standards Bo,who supposedly emphasised "student athletes"had one of the lowest graduaton rates in the league,barely 50%, as I recall.I would like to see the phrases "Michigan Man" and "leaders and best" expunged from the UM hype machine.


Mon, Mar 15, 2010 : 8:03 a.m.

Theo always has an excuse for under performing U of M. What will the excuse be when there is no bowl game for 3 years in a row? The other team selling hot dogs at the games????


Mon, Mar 15, 2010 : 8:03 a.m.

i remember when i used to get steamed over theo. but he relies on absurdity so much that i'm beginning to think he's an ohio state or michigan state fan. and now i can only say one thing to him: awesome!


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 11:54 p.m.

theo212 MSU will embarrass themselves as usual early in the tourney. What the hell do you watch,NIT.


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 8:36 p.m.

I think I have it! AZ and all the other Rich Rod haters should go on strike. STOP rooting for Michigan and burn all of your maize and blue until Rich Rod gets fired and we hire a "Real Michigan Man." Then we'll see how many of the 100,000 plus fans that fill the Big House notice that you aren't there!? You must take a stand!


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 7:49 p.m.

2sweet, I couldn't agree more. UM fans obsessing on MSU is a complete embarrassment to M fans everywhere, imo. Who cares about Sparty??? Until UM starts winning again, worrying about Sparty is irrelevant. Further, when UM does start winning again (minus RR), Sparty will still be irrelevant. Obsessing on Sparty just shows how far we have fallen when OSU is no longer the main focus.


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 7:34 p.m.

yea U of M got boned and MSU gets a 5 seed and OSU a 2 seed and what does Mich have? 2 worthless WVY coaches.


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 7:13 p.m.

What happened to our BB team? Puleeeeeze! One word : REFS! They've boned us all season! And we don't need no stinking coffee.... we have.... THE SPREAD! Long Coach The King


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 5:34 p.m.

How stupid are most of you? if we get rid of RR then we will be having a longer span of losing because the players can only run RR spread option. After two seasons ppl want him gone? Cant expect to change an entire system and win the next 2 seasons especially if the oach doesnt have his players and also plays in a tough conference. RR hasnt brought humiliatio to the program he is bringing something new that most ppl dont like, A new tradition and style of Michigan football. This change will bring UM to the top. Go Blue!!!


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 3:24 p.m.

Where do things stand. Of course The king has everything in control.....NOT. Hey Theo what happen to the final 4 for BBers? Look RR has done NOTHING - NOTHING but bring shame & humliation to this program. Some people need to get a life or wake and smell the coffee


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 2:29 p.m.

Fantastic Dialogue, Theo!


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 1:13 p.m.

keep doing your best to keep the story going dave...can we get another demar dorsey article while you're at it?


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 12:57 p.m.

No matter There seems to be two clear camps.. one for Rich Rod, and one against.. and the one to let him go is growing. I dont think a wining season will ever quash the debate on keeping him or letting him go. As soon as he stumbles, many will be ready to pounce. I say Fire him now, cut our loses and hire a Michigan Man! Go Blue. Get rid of Rich Rod now!


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 12:52 p.m.

Birkett, where in all these stories is there anything new? And why do you insist on keeping this story going? You guys should be previewing spring practice, not writing article after article over the equivalent of spilled milk. The newspaper business has really sunk to a new low and I guess all that matters are 'clicks' nowdays and don't care about integrity or the truth. Every EDUCATED Michigan fan knows these 'violations' are a joke as is posting 4 articles on the same story in one day. Not impressed with you Birkett, but hey while you're at it, maybe you can write another story on Demar Dorsey, I'm sure we could all use another reminder how UofM is above those sorts of kids right? GTFO Birkett...


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 12:31 p.m.

As I was reading over other comments from other articles I find it embarrassing how much Tater and Theo bring up MSU. You guys are making true Blue fans look like we are jealous of Sparty. You guys need to grow up and stick to the facts!!


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 12:08 p.m.

Did Michigan or the NCAA discuss anything new this week or is this simply a clarification of what we already knew? Anyway, it is good to keep things in the public light, because Michigan is a public institution, becasue hiding facts doesn't change them, and because NCAA infractions should (and are, to my knowledge) always made public. I do agree, though, that if this isn't related to any new information, the timing of four stories related to it on mlive is a bit strange.


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 11:56 a.m.

Mr. Birkett, Wouldn't this article have been more relevant say, a month ago?


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 11:43 a.m.

These articles are so random.


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 11:14 a.m.

As a born and raised West Virginian and proud WVU alum I would like to issue a sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU! to the classy and sophisticated athletic department of UM. Three years after swooping in and taking our bball coach we are the champions of the best conference in the land, and looking at worst case of a #2 seed in the greatest tournament in sports. You on the other hand, well, youre wont even be playing in the NIT. Two years after losing our egomaniac of a football coach we are coming off back to back bowl games, and our two highest rated recruiting classes in history. You on the other hand get to enjoy every story regarding your new football coach centering on some new low in the history of your prestigious university; the worst thing that can be said about our coach is that he is too nice of a guy. In closing, Im sure I will be called a hick or even worse for posing this message, but the truth really does hurt. If my grammar or spelling is not perfect please forgive me I was up to the wee hours of the morning celebrating; something your fans have not had a reason to do for quite some time. I guess karma really is a bi***.