You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sat, Aug 29, 2009 : 9:26 p.m.

Report: University of Michigan football program broke training rules

By Staff

Six current or former University of Michigan football players say off-season workouts go beyond NCAA guidelines, the Detroit Free Press reported today. The players, not named in the article, said members of coach Rich Rodriguez's staff directed the workouts. Read the complete story here.

The players also allege they exceeded NCAA limits on football-related activities during the 2008 season and Michigan staffers watched voluntary scrimmages this spring. If true, the allegations could result in NCAA penalties. In a statement, Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez denied any infractions were committed. “We know the practice and offseason rules and we stay within the guidelines,” Rodriguez said. “We follow the rules and have always been completely committed to being compliant with all NCAA rules.” Michigan spokesperson Dave Ablauf said it’s too early to know whether the university will investigate the allegations. “That’s a discussion that will have to be had once everyone’s taken a look at this,” Ablauf said. Michigan opens the 2009 season Saturday against Western Michigan.


Tony Dearing

Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 9:34 a.m.

I give the Free Press credit for breaking this story. No news organization and no journalist ever wants to be beaten on any story. But I have complete confidence in the reporters we have hired to cover the U-M football and basketball programs. Both have a history of competing against major metros and breaking more than their share of stories. These kinds of stories come from months of developing sources and carrying out investigations, which we are committed to doing on an ongoing basis.


Mon, Aug 31, 2009 : 8:10 a.m.

Do heads role at for not breaking this story themselves? I feel Dearing owes the ann arbor community an explanation and what ( if anything) will change in the future. Pityful.

Alan Goldsmith

Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 1:09 p.m.

1. Is the story true? 2. Why has the U of M made their Faustian deal with the devil? 3. Why do we have to read the Freep to get investigative reporting about Ann Arbor?


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 12:53 p.m.

Sure, Rich pushed the boundaries after 3-9 last season. Anyone who has ever led a team or organization knows that when things get really tough, regardless of the rules and guidelines, you push harder and become more demanding than you would under normal circumstances. If you think that doesnt happen, you are nave, or a perpetual loser. Im not a Rich Rod fan or hater, but I support him because he coaches Big Blue right now. Michigan puts up 55+ on Western Michigan and has a lot better year than people think.

Nevada Doug

Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 11:56 a.m.

Six former or current players don't want to be identified. If they don't have the guts to put their names to their allegations, how can the Free Press possibly expect readers to believe them? Lousy writing, lousy investigating, lousy ethics by the editors and the writer.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 11:27 a.m.

While fans and coaches around the country are snickering about this, they are also relieved that their home town papers would never do this type of "investigation". Can you imagine the Columbus Dispatch doing this to the Buckeyes? No way! It's not that the Buckeyes don't also stretch the meaning of voluntary, it's just that that paper would leave it alone. As they do in Gainesville, Tuscaloosa, Madison, East Lansing, you name it.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 10:11 a.m.

I'm sorry but if you are buying this story you need to check your head and please resign from michigan's fan base. Have you ever heard of an agenda? Let me give you 2. The Detroit free press and rosenburg are so biased it's not funny. I love the last quote of the article that was completely taken out of context but perfectly cut and placed to make RR look bad. That quote was about how rich wanted to get to know the players better especially the seniors. I'm sure that the players interviewed are the ones that couldn't cut workout and the current players probably are the two looking elsewhere to play football. And one last thing if our fans to prematurely call for RR head and he gets this team winning championsips please stay off the band wagon.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 9:50 a.m.

well...U of M football is on national TV just now...ESPN has picked up this story.....what a way to start the season...RR needs to get control of this team.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 9:17 a.m.

And just think about all those "Michigan Fans" that continually complained about Lloyd Carr those last few years. I'll bet half of A2 wish he had never left, I know I do!!!


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 9 a.m.

Maybe we Wolverine fans put up with it because we realize what RR is trying to do on the field and support it. One bad year doesn't mean squat. Sorry if it gets some "fans" panties in a bunch, but last year was going to be bad no matter what system they ran if Threet and Sheridan were the QBs. With Tate and Denard and Devin Gardner in the wings, the future on the field is looking bright and some of us fans have the patience to look at the long term, not the short term. As for all the crap that is continually dumped on the program, like the obsession of some writers to keep writing all the negative about the program be it true or false (i.e. the whole "family values" B.S.), well, they're going to keep writing it because they seem to have some vendetta against RR and some fans just can't get enough of it and start to buy in to the crap they're writing. Feagin got busted for a coke deal and he got the boot, yet some of you make it sound like RR was helping the kid do it, for Christ's sake. Many programs have things that happen off the field that are beyond the coach's control. They can't baby sit 100+ players 24/7. At what point are some of you going to start blaming the kids for making stupid decisions, not the staff? Probably never as long as the Free Press keeps pumping out the attack articles. What's important to keep in mind in this case, what many online fans haven't done, is that the program hasn't been found guilty of anything. ANYTHING! These are accusations that are supposedly coming from former and current players. It doesn't say how many is "several." They don't even name names! If the Free Press is going to make these claims and claim these violations are so major, then back it up. When the Ann Arbor News did their whole academic thing, they used players names. Of course, they also falsely told players their intentions for the article, which I find shady. Freshman offensive lineman Michael Schofield's father posted on one of the premium site message boards: "As a parent of a Michigan player I will say that the Freep is full of sh!t. Michael spent more time this summer on class work than any thing eles (sic), he came home to visit, there were no Barwis police chasing him making him pratice (sic), he played basketball, goofed around with other sports athlets (sic) at the dorms, like all college kids do. To say that these kids are training or being made to train over the NCAA limits is untrue...what my wife and I like about Michigan Football was there committment (sic) to education first. Some thing the Freep does not belive (sic) in." Of course, I don't expect the Freep to talk to those players. Instead they were busy pumping out the positive article about how MSU's program plays within the rules (it's true, they did put that article out right after wards!). If Michigan's football program is found in violation of something, fine, let the NCAA investigate and prove it. But until then, it's nothing but a bunch of anonymous accusations.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 8:13 a.m.

The Free Press story isn't just some sports writer's opinion blog, but they are leading with 2 major articles, and 7 follow up articles to this issue. I'm not a U of M, Spartan, or Buckeye fan...What I'm saying and acknowledging is that since the hire, from all the double talk that went on when he tried to get out of his West Virginia contract, a QB making Coke deals, to all of this, and the worst season in history, this new coach has brought scandal to the university. This is way more than just new guy which some like and some don't, changing to a new "fangled" offense from a "3 yards and a cloud of dust" that Bo and Woody brought. Why do U of M fans have to put up with all this extra stuff?

Ann Arbor Resident

Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 8:13 a.m.

MjC, There is no indication the reporters are up to investigative reporting on this (or any other) topics. They need to bring in Jim Carty!!


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 8:02 a.m.

Oh man...just this story being in print might be enough to raise Bo from his grave. One thing is for sure...either RR's head is going to roll or the current players that talked to the Free Press are gone. Quality programs don't have this kind of dissention. Its very clear that everyone on this team isnt on the same page and some changes need to be made. As for Rosenberg.if he even attempted a story like this when Bo was here he wouldnt be able to sit for a month after Bo got done kicking his you know what all the way back to Detroit. RR needs to come out with the same fire and put Rosenberg in his place.assuming the story isnt true. If the story is trueRR shouldnt even bother coming to work on Monday.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 7:44 a.m.

If this is true, then Rodriguez should be fired. But lot of people here are quick to convict without knowing all the facts. Personally, I take anything that Rosenberg writes about Rodriguez with a grain of salt. He's had a weird hateful obsession with the coach since he got here. Let's let the facts come out. That said, I know a couple of guys that played D1 football at other schools, one in the Big Ten and the other in the MAC. They've both told me that the summer 7 on 7 is not really voluntary, and that if you want to play you need to put in extra "voluntary" time in the gym. So I guess the question here is how much pressure the coaches put on the players and whether these voluntary activities were monitored.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 7:23 a.m.

Wow, Plenty of firsts for Rich Rod. 1. Bowl game streak broken. 2. First losing season in decades. 3. First loss to a MAC team. 4. And now first NCAA violations. Rich Rod has been a horrible hire for UM. The kids he is recruiting are sub standard in terms of academics (19 of 22 have declared kinesiology as a major) and he has managed to completely destroy the foundation of UM football.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 7:10 a.m.

And do we have reporters on top of this story? Or is this just going to be a matter of copying a freep story and leaving it at that? If these allegations prove true, the UM football program will suffer for the next ten years. Look at how long it's taken our once brilliant basketball program to recover. This situation saddens me terribly. And, David, the University will come down hard just as they did with the basketball program. So much for that new stadium bringing us any luck.

Ann Arbor Resident

Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 7:04 a.m.

.....and the fans thought a 3-9 season was the bottom.

The Grinch

Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 7:02 a.m.

It matters not if these reports are coming from allegedly disgruntled players. It matters whether or not the charges are true, and the Freep appears to have its facts in line. So what is the University going to do about it, or is it willing to let us become the Florida State of the Big Ten? To paraphrase a line from one of my favorite movies, "I'm shocked, SHOCKED, to find cheating going on in Rich Rod's football program."


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 2:10 a.m.

to bigblue... A reading of the Free Press story indicates many current players confirm the comments not a disgruntled few. The story has been reported so now it is time to take a look to see if there is a real issue.


Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 12:53 a.m.

everybody just calm down. since RR has been at michigan most of carr's recruits have not been able to take the more strenous conditioning program. i would not be surprised if these allegations were coming from disgruntled holdovers from the carr regime who probally know they might not see the field at much as they think they should. all this says to me is that the reason why michigan underachieved for the most part under carr was the simple fact they were not trained and pushed hard enough. football in america is a man's game if you can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen. i can't wait until RR has 100% of his guys in the program. no more backstabing from 3rd string overweight OL's.

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Aug 29, 2009 : 11:42 p.m.

It's a fairly strong report from the Freep. If true, the whole athletic department needs an overhaul, starting from the top. It's cheating, sanctioned from Martin himself, plain and simple. Just one more straw on the camel's back, starting with that miserable loss to Ohio State in '06. Not one piece of good news from Michigan football since that day. Coming right on the eve of the new season, I'm just furious.


Sat, Aug 29, 2009 : 8:59 p.m.

Michigan is cheating pure and simple, last year the systemic academic scandal and now willfully breaking practice rules. Not good


Sat, Aug 29, 2009 : 8:58 p.m.

Michigan again sold it's soul when they hired Rich Rod. I am literally watching the program go right down the toilet. So sad...